Gastro-intestinal helminths of pigeons (Columba livia) in Gujarat, India
A study was conducted to assess the prevalence of helmith parasites of domestic wild and zoo pigeons in Gujarat, India by faecal sampling and postmortem examination. Qualitative examination of 78 faecal samples revealed 71 (91%) with parasitic infections of nematodes (85%), cestodes (31%) and Eimeria sp (77%). There were 200-1600 nematode eggs per gram during the monsoon season, which was high compared to the 200-1000 eggs per gram in winter and summer. In post-mortems 85% had parasitic infections, of nematodes (75%), cestodes (69%) and Eimeria sp (58%). Two species of nematodes (Ascaridia columbae and Capillaria obsignata) and five species of three genera of cestodes (Raillietina echinobothridia, R. tetragona, R. cesticillus, Cotugnia digonophora and Hymenolepis sp) were identified. Despite their parasitic infections, not a single pigeon revealed any alarming clinical signs.