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Welcome to our site!!

We hope that you will benefit from the information on our website, as educating people about Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) is one of our 2 main missions.

  • Avian Health Network (AHN) is a 501(c)3, non-profit charitable corporation, headquartered and incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. AHN is an organization of volunteers with no paid personnel dedicated to making a positive contribution to the advancement of research into causes, prevention, and treatment of Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD). Our mission is twofold: to educate and promote public awareness of this deadly disease and to raise funds to help support PDD research headed by Dr. Branson W. Ritchie, DVM, PhD, Dipl ABVP and ECAMS of the Emerging Diseases Research Group (EDRG) at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) is a deadly wasting syndrome that afflicts wild and domesticated birds and parrots worldwide. The symptoms of PDD are varied, its routes are unknown, and its outcome is fatal. There is currently no blood test or non-invasive way to screen for PDD, it just indiscriminately kills our birds.

    PDD can affect all species of psittacine and many non-psittacine species such as passerines and rhamphastids. It is believed to be viral and causes irreversible neural damage to birds of all ages. The carrier state cannot yet be detected.

    Until such time when a particular agent that causes PDD is identified and a suitable diagnostic assay developed to identify infected individuals, the infectious status of treated/recovered individuals remains unknown.

  • Read the "Frequently Asked Questions" about PDD and learn more about PDD.
  • Read our stories about Living With PDD, you may also visit our PDD Memorial Quilt and read the stories of the birds that are featured there.
  • StopPDD Challenge for PDD Research


    In 2005 we completely redesigned our fundraising programs and instead of single yearly fundraiser like "The Challenge" and the "Grey Poop-on Challenge", AHN now sponsors the Annual "Birds of a Feather" Quilt Drawing, Coins for the Cause to StopPDD or Stomp Out PDD.
  • How You Can Help
    • Would you like to know what you could do to help?
    • Would you like to see the many ways that you can make a donation to AHN to fund PDD research?
    • Like to sew or quilt? Join our "Birds of a Feather" Quilt Challenge to StopPDD Yahoo Group. This group includes quilters and all the other volunteers who are helping to make this charity quilt a reality. This is a central meeting place where we can exchange and post information, and collaborate in virtual space.

    LATEST NEWS!!! - updated October 27, 2008
    • We are very happy to announce that our winner of the 2008 Quilt Drawing is Connie Weber of New Jersey! Her winning ticket was #1071. Congratulations to Connie and thank you to everyone who supported the Birds of Feather Quilt Drawing.


    • ONLY DAYS LEFT TO BUY YOUR QUILT TICKET!!!!!!!!!! Ticket sales close October 15th. Buy yours today here...


    • September 2, 2008- DR. RITCHIE IS COMING TO VIRGINIA!


      See the Flyer HERE!

      Speaker: Branson W. Ritchie, DVM, PhD, Dipl ABVP & ECAMS

      September 21, 2008 Noon - 4:00 P.M.

      Please -- NO birds at this event!

      BRING lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on and a snack to share.

      The event is free, but donations to Avian Health Network, Inc. for the StopPDD campaign are welcome.

      Quilt Tickets for the 2008 Birds of Feather Quilt will be on sale as well. You can also buy your tickets online at

      Please RSVP no later than September 17, 2008 by leaving a message on (703) 204-1211

      HOSTED BY Bill and Valerie Schuster, 3300 Prosperity Avenue, Fairfax, VA 22031**


    • June 12, 2008- We received information from Dr. Christopher R. Gregory with the Emerging Diseases Research Group for Companion Animals a the University of Georgia College of Vetinary Medicine that a web page is now available at for PDD Submission Protocol. If you are not able to access the page, here is the form. Last spring Dr. Ritchie contacted AHN with the important update that after a decade of repeated attempts, the Emerging Diseases Research Group had established a neural cell system from a psittacine bird. That will provide the group with a completely new way to attempt to grow the suspected PDD virus in the laboratory. Dr. Ritchie has expressed the need for fresh samples (blood, feces, bodies or organs) from birds that have been recently confirmed with PDD before any treatment has been started. Please help get the word out about this development and share the above hyperlink.

    • Feb 2008- The Quilt is done!  See it now and buy your tickets! Winning Ticket to be drawn October 25, 2008.


    • Dear PDD Research Supporters,
      Dr. Ritchie called me today with an important update. After a decade of
      repeated attempts, the Emerging Diseases Research Group has established a
      neural cell system from a psittacine bird. This will provide the Group with
      a completely new way to attempt to grow the suspected PDD virus in the
      Dr. Ritchie said that the group needs fresh samples (blood, feces and God
      forbid, bird parts) from birds that have been recently confirmed with PDD
      before any treatment is started. If you have a bird that has been recently
      diagnosed, please have your veterinarian contact Dr. Ritchie or Dr. Gregory
      to discuss sample collection and submission by submitting their contact
      information to - messages will be forwarded.
      Best Regards,
      Valerie Schuster
      Avian Health Network, Inc - Stop PDD Campaign 


    • The front of the 2008 "Birds of a Feather" Quilt will be shown on October 27, 2007 at the York Expo and Fair Grounds "Horticulture Building" 344 Carlisle Avenue, York, PA 17404 during Birdie Bingo, hosted by Castle Enterprises. After that event, the quilt will be sent to Mary Hettmansperger and it will be quilted by the end of the year. Mary is our quilter and has been sewing about 35 yrs and quilting about 10 years. She is a grandmother of 11 and a great grandma of 1. She loves quilting and a last year quilted 17 quilts for her family. We are so excited to have Mary taking this on and we know it will be beautiful when it is complete. We promise to keep you all posted on production and pictures.

      Tickets are NOW on sale!

    • Check out the 2008 Individual Quilt Blocks
    • See how much fun everyone had last year at Birdie Bingo on October 28, 2006


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