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Old 10-24-2018, 07:03 PM
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New bird exposed to Polyoma virus?

Greetings all,

I have been reading for quite some time and found lots of useful information on this site. A great big thanks to all of the contributors. I have a little experience with birds as I had a sun conure years ago. As obstinate and demanding as he was, I have missed him ever since...

To my current dilemma, I purchased and am now waiting, to be weaned, on a Yellow Shouldered Amazon, thanks to Salty and Wrench's videos. About a week ago I was contacted by the pet shop and informed that they had two birds die, a sun conure and a caique. The sun was the first to die and though while unfortunate, not unheard of. It was newly arrived, very young, and a little underweight even compared to his clutch mates. Four of which are still alive. The caique on the other hand was a fat, happy, healthy bird. When it died, alarms bells went off and the nursery went into lockdown mode. Store employees only in the nursery and no birds in or out. My bird and several others which had already been sold were now involved in the quarantine.

They sent the caique off for a necropsy the results of which were the Polyoma virus. No other birds have since died or fallen ill. There is about two weeks left in the quarantine period at which point they will swab my bird to test for the virus the results of which will take another week. Maybe come back clean, maybe not. It was in a room with two birds who had the virus but we have no way to know if it got it or not.

I currently have no other birds and have no intention of breeding now or in the future. My question is this, should I have them refund my money and look elsewhere for a bird or hang on and wait for this bird to make it through the quarantine period and hope it comes back clean?
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Old 10-24-2018, 11:45 PM
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Re: New bird exposed to Polyoma virus?

Welcome to the forums, sorry to hear of your dilemma. I honestly don't know enough about Polyoma to give a meaningful opinion. No doubt other members will share their expertise.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:56 AM
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Re: New bird exposed to Polyoma virus?

Just wait for the test-results first.
(I know- lots of nailbiting - been there, done that)

*If* your bird has been infected (wait for those results first plze) and tests positive, chances are that with retesting 6 months later (you can do one extra at 3 months to get an update) he will have shed everything anyway (completely clear, his immunesytem will have kicked it) or may still be shedding it but not get sick -> that will really limit your interaction/ option with other birds, but still no biggie.
Yes, *if* your birds consistently tests positive you will have 'a Typhoid Mary' in your house, but since most birds go untested there is really no telling how many birds are infected (and shedding or not) we actually have! So do not feel too bad about that either.

Since you already stated you have no intention of breeding with this bird ...
living the good life is all that matters.

So: your bird is not actively ill atm (that is great!) and is he does not gets really sick the next few months he probably will not suffer from it at all.

(compliments for the store btw-- most of them will just go "hush hush" about it and you maybe would only have found out if your bird sickened and died as well.. / great they took responsability)


Oh, plze do not accept a swab - insist on bloodwork!
A swab can be anyting from a whipe-over-the-feathers (that means hit-or-miss for the entire flock and does not say anything about one particulair bird), from the throat or the cloaca/vent ... all are just too random!
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:35 AM
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Re: New bird exposed to Polyoma virus?

Honestly, if you do not plan on breeding, and especially if you don't have any other birds in the house, your baby testing positive for polyoma but not displaying any symptoms isn't as scary as it sounds. Not to sound morbid or anything, but polyoma is typically a baby killer. Birds that are at least fully feathered, close to being weaned, and in general good health (or adult birds) generally aren't affected the same way by polyoma like baby birds are.

You don't often hear about single pet birds falling victim to polyoma because by the time they go home, even if they've been exposed, they are past the "danger point". However, if they were exposed, they CAN STILL BE CARRIERS, so continued testing is important if you plan on bringing your bird around other birds ever.

Polyoma is a terrifying word for a breeder or hand feeder, though, because any babies that are still really young are incredibly susceptible to the virus and it has an incredibly high mortality rate. Overall, it is your choice what you do, but if your baby shows no symptoms, even if the first test they do is positive, it isn't necessarily a death sentence.

*As a side note, because you now know about this issue, you may want to negotiate a little on your purchase agreement. Personally, since most disease testing like polyoma, pbfd, etc., is recommended to be done every 3 months for 6 months to a year after exposure because of how long it can take to show up in a sample and if there is a positive result, what the next 2 or 3 results after that look like, I would see if you could get them to agree to pay for those tests for you. Just something to think about. As a breeder, that's what I would offer you, at the very least.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:12 PM
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R.I.P. "Oscar The Grouch" Sun Conure, "Pickles" Panama Amazon
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Re: New bird exposed to Polyoma virus?

Thanks for the replies guys. Those were my instincts when they first told me about the virus and then way I still lean, I just wanted to make sure my attachment to the bird had not clouded my judgement. Thanks again
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