In this chapter you find more information on the different stages a PBFD infection can show in adult birds. The photos demonstrate how different the course of disease can be if you compare the individuals. Furthermore they make clear that birds can be virus carriers without showing any symptom of the disease themselves.
All birds you can see in this chapter have been tested for PBFD at least once with a positive result. They belong to a group of birds who have been rescued from their keeper in September 2005; this man didn't take good care of them. I was one of the responsible persons and I took care of these birds for several months until they have been adopted by other bird lovers or regrettably died before we could find a new home for them.
Virus carrier without symptoms: female budgie named Schlupp
This budgie hen named Schlupp didn't show any symptom of a PBFD infection when she got into my care. Despite this, her test result was positive. That means the bird is a virus carrier and could infect other budgies without being ill herself.
Virus carrier without symptoms: female budgie named Morani
Also the female budgie named Morani didn't seem to be ill at all, but she carried the virus.
Only the chipping of the upper beak could have been an evidence to the disease, but such chippings can also be found in healthy birds because the beak keratin is perpetually rebuild; it's the same process like human hair and nail growth. Therefore these splinters are no sure proof of an infection.
Virus carrier with soft symptoms: male budgie named Sam
The male budgie named Sam got into my care when he was about four to five months old. He must have become infected shortly before. In case he would have become infected as a chick when he was still growing, he would have died long ago since chicks get killed by the virus within a few days. His left wing wasn't intact, the primaries were missing; the right wing was ok. In other respects his plumage was fully intact and he didn't show any abnormalities in claw or beak growth.
Virus carrier with loss of primaries and tail feathers: female budgie named Houdina
Houdina also was about four to five months old when she was rescued. Most probably she became infected just a few weeks before. All primaries and also her tail feathers were completely missing.
Appendix, March 2007: In the beginning of 2006, Houdina moved into a new home where she became a member of a flock that is PBFD-positive. After her first moult, the primaries and tail feathers grew back and she learned to fly. Today she looks like a healthy budgie and there are no hints for a PBFD infection.
Virus carrier with missing primaries, tail and head feathers: male budgie named Frodo
The adult male budgie Frodo showed a progressed stadium of the disease. All his primaries and tail feathers were missing, therefore his wings seemed to be very short. Furthermore there were bald patches in his face and on his head, also his body plumage was tousled and kind of fibrous. Some of the feathers on his head seemed to by stuck together, but they weren't.
Virus carrier with missing head feathers: male budgie named Paddy
Even though his body plumage was intact and also no primaries or tail feathers were missing, one could easily see that something was wrong with this budgie just by looking him in his face. Most of his mask feathers have dropped out. Paddy was extremely underweight. This clue led to the presumption that he was suffering from a chronic gastro-intestinal disease. Such diseases are likely to appear in PBFD-infected birds because their immune system is damaged by the virus.
Virus carrier with missing head feathers and partial loss of primaries and tail feathers:
female budgie named Amy
Amy was already adult when she got into my care. Her primaries and tail feathers were partially missing. The body plumage was intact, but some of her face and head feathers were also missing. One noticeable detail was the colour of Amy's cere. It was light blue what means that her constitution was not quite good and her hormonal balance seemed to be disturbed. This led to the conclusion that the virus infection had a negative influence on her ability of reproduction.
Virus carrier with missing primaries, tail feathers, and with tousled body plumage:
male budgie named Balou
When I first saw Balou, he was seriously ill. He suffered from an infection that affected his central nervous system and therefore he showed neurological deficits. One symptom was a tremor and also he showed a disturbance of equilibrium. By the aid of vitamin b injections we were able to cure this disease and no palsy or other neurological symptoms remained. Nevertheless Balou was handicapped all his life because his primaries and tail feathers were missing. His body plumage was fully intact, but due to the PBFD infection it was fibrous and tousled. Balou died because of another infectious disease (a so-called secondary infection) before we were able to find a fond new home for him.
Virus carrier with missing primaries, tail and head feathers: male budgie named Tom
Balou's best friend, the male budgie named Tom, was also in a bad state of health due to his PBFD infection. When he got into my care, not only his primaries and tail feathers were missing, but also his head was predominantly bald. In addition to this he suffered from an infection of his respiratory tracts which was treated with antibiotics. After his friend Balou had passed away, Tom looked peaky. I suppose it was a kind of mourning he went through. Just a few days later, Tom also died.
Virus carrier with plumage defects all over his body: male budgie named Aragorn
Aragorn was agile and laddish. His behaviour was the complete opposite of what his plumage told about his health status. The PBFD infection was in a progressed stadium when Aragorn got into my care. All his primaries and tail feathers were missing and there were plumage defects all over his body and head. Also the beak showed some exfoliations that were a sign for the presence of the virus in his body.
Virus carrier with massive plumage defects all over her body: female budgie named Eve
The female budgie named Eve showed a dramatically progressed stadium of the disease when this bird was entrusted in my care. Eve wore nearly no feathers at all, her body was naked. Some parts of her skin showed feather lumps and sanious skin infections which are typical for PBFD patients like her.
We managed to cure these skin diseases by the aid of antibiotics and after this therapy, Eve became very agile.
Virus carrier with massive plumage defects all over her body: female budgie named Ayla
Like Eve this female budgie named Ayla showed a progressed stadium of PBFD. Her plumage had mostly been destroyed by the virus. Despite being a naked bird she was agile and cheerful. Fortunately she didn't suffer from skin infections or feather lumps.
Virus carrier with massive plumage and beak defects: female budgie named Lizzy
It was obvious how much she suffered from the disease. Her head was completely bald and the rest of her plumage also was defect when I first met Lizzy. In addition to this, her beak showed structural damages like fissures and chippings. The immune system was severely attacked and therefore she came down with an intestinal infection. We weren't able to cure it, thus we decided to put her to sleep since there was no hope for her at all.