Objective: To determine efficacy of providing drinking water medicated with doxycycline for treatment of spiral bacterial infection in cockatiels.
Design: Randomized controlled clinical trial. Animals-18 cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) naturally infected with spiral bacteria.
Procedures: Spiral bacterial infection was diagnosed by means of cytologic examination of swab specimens from the choana and oropharynx. Eleven birds (treatment group) were given drinking water to which doxycycline hyclate had been added at a concentration of 400 mg/L for 30 days; the remaining 7 birds (control group) were given unmedicated water. After completion of the study, 6 control birds were treated with drinking water medicated with doxycycline for 21 days.
Results: Daily mean plasma doxycycline concentration for birds in the treatment group ranged from 2.26 to 2.86 Mg/mL (overall range, 0.83 to 4.34 Mg/mL). All treated birds were negative for spiral bacteria after treatment for 21 days and remained negative when examined 160 days after treatment ended. Control birds remained positive for spiral bacteria. Control birds treated with doxycycline after completion of the study were negative for spiral bacteria after treatment for 21 days and 30 days after treatment ended. No clinically important adverse effects were associated with treatment.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggested that providing drinking water to which doxycycline had been added at a concentration of 400 mg/L was effective in eliminating spiral bacterial infections in cockatiels.