Oral Canker-Trichomoniasis

Oral CankerWorming Peafowl
Avian Influenza AdviceExternal Parasites on Peafowl

Oral canker or has it’s medical name should be (Trichomoniasis)

It’s symptoms are Cheesy substance in mouth and throat.



Trichomoniasis is a disease of the upper digestive tract, seen in pigeons, doves, raptors, Peafowl, turkeys, chickens as well as many other wild birds.


Trichomoniasis (Trich or canker For short)  With the current improved management practices in the poultry industry trichomoniasis is not common in turkeys and chickens. Outbreaks usually occur in warm climates or during warm weather.


The etiological agent of trichomoniasis is Trichomonas gallinae (Tg). Tg is a pear-shaped flagellated protozoan with 4 anterior flagella and an undulating membrane to provide motility.

<a href=”http://www.browfarm.co.uk/peafowl/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/11/scan00011.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-46″ alt=”T. vaginalis is a single-celled,” src=”http://www.browfarm.co.uk/peafowl/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/11/scan00011.jpg” width=”471″ height=”640″ /></a> T. vaginalis is a single-celled, teardrop shaped protist that can grow between five and 20 micrometers wide. Four anterior and one posterior flagella allow T. vaginalis to move.

The life cycle of Tg is very simple; it divides by longitudinal binary fission.


Nearly all pigeons are carriers of Tg. The pathogenicity of the different strains of Tg is very variable. Adult pigeons transfer the organism to squabs via the “pigeon milk”.

Raptors often contract trichomoniasis by eating infected pigeons and doves.

Turkeys and chickens contract the disease by drinking stagnant surface water containing T. gallinae . Pigeons are believed to be the most common vector by which the water supplies are contaminated.

Clinical signs

Affected birds may have difficulty closing their mouths and may drool and make repeated swallowing movements.

Severely affected birds will stop eating, become depressed, ruffled in appearance, and emaciated before death.


Lesions are seen in the mouth, sinuses, pharynx, esophagus, crop, and proventriculus.

Typical lesions are white to yellow plaques or raised masses.


Gross lesions are very suggestive of trichomoniasis but are not unlike those seen with visceral pox, candidiasis, and hypovitaminosis A.

histopathology of the lesions will help distinguish trichomoniasis from the above diseases.

The presence of large numbers of trichomonads in the oral fluids is usually considered confirmatory. A wet mount of fresh oral fluids will reveal the motile trichomonads when examined microscopically.


Eliminate any carrier birds as they will contaminate the waterers with Tg.

Provide clean fresh water and eliminate sources of stagnant water.

Avoid contact between pigeons and doves and susceptible poultry.

A low preventative level of protozoacide can be fed in the ration or in the drinking water. Agents that have been used are dimetridazole (Emtryl), nithiazide (Hepzide) and Enheptin.


Several drugs have been used to treat trichomoniasis including Emtryl (dimetridazole), aminonitrothiazole, and Enheptin. These drugs are no longer available for use in the UK.

Back yard flocks or pigeons not used for food production may be effectively treated with dimetridazole by prescription of a veterinarian (1000 mg/L in drinking water for 5-7 days). T. vaginalis is a single-celled, teardrop shaped protist that can grow between five and 20 micrometers wide. Four anterior and one posterior flagella allow T. vaginalis to move

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