Common Loon

Health Issues Which May Affect This Animal

What Causes This Disease?

Avian botulism is caused by the ingestion of a toxin produced by the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum type C. Avian botulism outbreaks are most common in August, September, and October throughout North America when conditions are favorable for bacterial growth.

Where Is The Disease Found?

The bacteria that cause botulism is found throughout North America, except Alaska. It has been documented in many species of waterfowl in Idaho.

Signs of Disease

Toxins produced by C. botulinum cause paralysis in birds which is often referred as “limber neck”. Paralysis usually starts in the legs and wings, then progresses to the neck, making it difficult for birds to hold up their heads. Since the birds can’t hold up their heads, the most common cause of death from botulism is drowning. Birds that do not drown usually eventually die of respiratory failure.

Read More About Avian Botulism

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Common Loon

Gavia immer

IDAPA Classification: Protected Nongame
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