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Long Beach Animal Care Services Recommends Vaccination of Pet Birds to Prevent Avian Pox

Release Date: 2017-11-10

Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) urges the community to be on alert and protect pet birds and chickens against avian pox due to an identified case of an infected bird in Long Beach.

“While avian pox cannot be transmitted to humans, dogs or cats, it can cause significant mortality in certain populations of birds, including flocks of chickens,” said Ted Stevens, Manager of Long Beach Animal Care Services.

The California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) laboratory confirmed a pigeon in Long Beach was infected with avian pox. Several other birds, including crows, were suspected to have the virus. Avian pox spreads among birds and is part of the larger family of poxviruses.

Avian pox causes blisters on the unfeathered parts of a bird’s skin (eye, head, feet), which then turn into vesicles, nodules and then burst and form scabs, much like human smallpox. It is transmitted from bird to bird via contact such as pecking, but can also be transmitted via mosquitoes, which have been shown to carry and transmit the virus to birds for up to a month.

Prevention measures include mosquito control and vaccination for specific types of avian pox, including pigeon pox and fowl pox.

Following these Animal Care Services tips can help prevent your pet birds or chickens from

contracting avian pox: 

  • Consult a Veterinarian regarding vaccination for any pet birds or chickens. 
  • Please do not feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife, including birds, may lead to large concentrations of animals around food, increasing the spread of disease.
  • Remove standing water from around the home to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
  • If you observe a sick wild animal, do not approach the animal. Report sick or injured animals to Animal Care Services by calling 562-570-7387 and providing your observations as well as the location of the animal.

About Long Beach Animal Care Services

The goal of Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) is to make Long Beach the safest large city in California for people and animals through the promotion of responsible pet ownership and recreation. ACS serves 600,000 residents and pets in the Cities of Long Beach, Cerritos, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos and Signal Hill.

Visit Animal Care Services at the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village (Village) to adopt, volunteer, donate, license your pet or obtain resources regarding low cost vaccination and spay/neuter clinics throughout the City. ACS is located at 7700 East Spring Street in Long Beach. The Village is open Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and holidays. For more information, please visit www.LongBeachAnimalCare.com.