The following medical formulary was compiled several years ago by a group of veterinarians.  I thank them for their guidance in keeping our feathered friends as healthy as possible.

General Considerations

Purpose: The purpose of this formulary is to provide a concise, accurate description and proper dosage of the common drugs used in pigeons. Experience has shown that various sources provided vastly different dosage levels. Some of which were so high that they were toxic, others so low that they weren't effective. The dosages and other information in this publication were gathered from multiple knowledgeable sources and are the proper dosages and information to the best off our knowledge. It must be noted, however, that some of this information is based on experience of individuals, not carefully controlled scientific studies. This is especially true for the drugs listed that are not specifically made for or approved for use in pigeons.

Dosage Levels; You will find many of the drugs listed to be given in mg/bird. mg/pound, or mg/gallon, instead of teaspoon or tablespoon per gallon. The reason is that many of the drugs come in various concentrations. Because of that, a teaspoon of one preparation doesn't equal a teaspoon of another preparation of the same drug. This often results in toxic or ineffective levels being used. This poses no problem for most of the prescription drugs as they are usually listed in milligram equivalents. However, some OTC (over the counter) preparations do not give you the number of milligrams per teaspoon. When this occurs you, must figure that out on your own. The following is an example:

You buy a drug OTC that comes as a powder in a plastic bag. it tells you that there are 10 grams of the drug in that bag. Empty the bag and measure how many teaspoons of powder you have. You find that you have 20 teaspoons. So you have 10 grams/20 teaspoon or .5 gram/tsp. .5 gram=500 mg (see chart) so your drug has 500 mg/teaspoon. Figure how many teaspoons per gallon you need from that. (i.e. If you need 1000 mg/ gallon, you need 2 teaspoons per gallon. You buy a drug OTC that comes in a liquid. You are told that it is a 20% solution. That means there are 20 grams of the drug in every 100 ml of solution. There are 20 teaspoons in 100 ml (see chart), so there is one gram of drug in every teaspoon of liquid in the bottle. One gram is equal to 1000 mg so you have 1000 mg of drug per teaspoon. Figure out what you need from that.

Dosage Range: Many of the drugs give you a dosage range. This is done for two reasons: 1. The lower dose may be used in mild infections but the higher dose may be needed in more severe infections. 2. Since most drugs are given in water, the amount of the drug a pigeon gets varies with how much he drinks. We assumed that in hot weather 30 birds drink a gallon/day and in cold weather 60 birds drink a gallon per day. The low dose is figured on the 30 bird/day consumption level and the high dose on the 60 bird/day consumption level. This is a very important principle to keep in mind with the more toxic drugs such as dimetridazole (emtryl).

Dosage Intervals: It is, important to give the drug for the proper length of time. Failure to do so often results in poor response, relapse of the disease after the drug is stopped, and production of resistant strains of organisms.

Diagnosis: Establishment of a proper diagnosis before treatment begins is extremely important. Shotgun treatment often produces poor results, delays recovery to when the proper drug is finally found, and often produces drug-resistant bacteria and parasites. We can not stress strongly enough, in the case of antibiotics, that a culture and sensitivity be done to make sure the antibiotic used is needed and effective. Just because a drug is noted to be effective against many cases of E. coli doesn't mean it is effective against all cases. More and more drug-resistant bacteria occur every day and can best be treated when proper diagnosis are used first.

Medications and Associated Items

Some of the Medications and associated items for proper sanitation, especially during a disease outbreak are listed here The most important thing to remember is:









Name: Amoxicillin Trihydrate (Amoxil, Amoxi-drops, many others.)

Name: Cephalexin (Keflex. many others)

Name: Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin, many others)

Name: Doxycycline   (Vibramycin)

Name: Enrofloxacin   (Baytril)

Name: Erythromycin   (Gallimycin)

Name: Lincomycin (Lincocin)

Name: Lincomucln/SPectlnomvcln   (LS 50)

Name: Nitrofurazone (Furacin, many others)

Name: Sodium Sulfachlorpyridazine  (Vetisulid)

Name: Spectinomysin (Spectoguard)

Name: Sulfadiazine/trimethoprim  (Ditrim)

Name: Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim, many others)

Name: Tetracyclines Chlortetracycline (Auereomycin) Oxytetracycline (Terramycin)

Name: Tylosin  (Tylan, Tylocine)


Name: Amprolium (Corid, Amprol)

Name: Sulfamethazine  (Sulmet)


Name:Carnidazol (Spartrix)

Name: Dimetridazole (Emtryl)

Name: Metronidazole (Flagyl)

Name: Ronidazol   (Ridzol)


Name: Primaquine (Aralen)

Name: Quinacrine HCL (Atabrine)


Name: Fenbendazole (Panacur)

Name: Ivermectin   (Ivomec, Eqvalen)

.Name: Levamisole (Tramisol, Rippercol)

Name: Mebenazole   (Telmintic)

Name: Piperazine (many preparations)

Name: Praziquantal   (Droncit)


Name: Nystatin (many preparations)

Name: Permethrin dust (Insectrin GP)

Helpful Measurements and Equivalents:

The following table may be helpful in converting various measurements.