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planty planty is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Country: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 18

Dove/Pigeon can fly but can't stand


Hi

I am an animal lover, but, never had birds as pets. Am based in UAE currently.

Today, while resting on my 7th floor terrace, I found a light grey bird (that I thought was pigeon) lying below my sunbed (resting on its belly, not standing on its feet). When I tried to approach, it tried to fly like 8 feet, and, then, fell. I understood something was wrong, and, I caught it, but, due to my loose grip, it flew out of my hands to another building's terrace across the road (like 20-30 meters), but, fell again on the terrace floor. I managed to go there and get her back, this time with firm grip.

I found that she didn't have ability to stand on its feet, which were just let loose on one side of the belly. I googled/youtubed and her symptoms didn't match those of birds with broken legs (no bruises/swelling/bleeding). The bird is like 4-5 inches long.

So, I took her to a vet here, who confirmed that it was not a broken leg, but, probably a viral infection called "Newcastle Disease" which leads to inco-ordination between brain, limbs & wings (some sort of paralysis). He prescribed 1ml injection of potassium arsenite for the next 10 days, which he hopes should bring back the bird to normalcy.

He has even written an interesting paper on this treatment, where around 50 infected falcons in the middle-east were treated with this compound out of which 37 recovered within 8-10 days. His paper:

http://www.priory.com/vet/falcons.htm

But, after reading a lot about this disease on the web, I don't know if the symptoms of this bird are actually those of the Newcastle Disease. So, I don't know what kind of incoordination/paralysis it is that the bird can fly but not stand.

It looks so scared that its not eating the canary feed (given by the vet), and drank a little water after 8 hours of trying.

Sorry for the long post, but, I really want to save this beautiful bird. Have attached some pics and posted a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P6CL...ature=youtu.be

If some expert can assess her condition and advise, both for treatment and feeding, I will be very thankful.

I will keep posting her response to the treatment, so, others can benefit, if positive.

Thanks in advance


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Last edited by planty; 9th February 2013 at 01:19 PM.
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Dima's Avatar
Dima Dima is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Country: Canada
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,216
Thank you for rescuing the dove.

I do not think it has NewCastle.
Personally i think it hit a window and now has a spine/nerve problem; this is the reason it cannot move the legs.
Most of the time , if that's the case it would heal by resting and having vitamins ( for birds) especially with CA & D3 and all the B vit.
Do not attempt to have her walk on a slippery floor like tiles.That will splay her legs on top of the problem she has. ( carpet is the best to check how she walks, but it's not the case now)
Make a towel like a doughnut and place her in the middle of it. She does not need to walk for a few weeks. Provide dove seeds and fresh water every day with vit in it.
I love her new home with leafs. Place her in big pet carrier or big cardboard box with paper towels underneath and the doughnut towel where you will place her to sit and rest.
You can pop in her beak Ca & d3 (only ) 20 mg a day for a week. If you have CA& D3 pills check how much mg is in it and cut it into pieces of 20mg.
Make sure her legs, when she rests, are in the proper position ( and not behind her).
You can wrap her legs if you wish with first aid bandage.

Any questions are welcome.

Members on PT will come and help.
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planty planty is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Country: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 18
Hey Dima

Thanks for your prompt response, and, really, forgot to mention that this is a great forum, where I am seeing so many bird lovers at one place, helping each other to the max...really pleasantly surprising...

That doughnut towel is a great tip, since, I also was wondering how to keep her legs free and not under her body weight (which is why I got some waste leaves from a florist...hard to find grass here in Dubai)...she is already nesting on the doughnut now...her box is big enough though (15 inch X 15 inch)

Since, I am new to this, pls advise how/where usually can I get these CA & D3 pills (are they 2 different pills, one with Vit C&A, and nother with Vit D3?), and how I can beakfeed her...I tried to feed her those seeds, but, she wouldnt even open her beak, except for water...and, I don't have the talent to open that tiny beak and force in food.

Any why is this leg wrapping required?

Thx again...
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planty planty is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Country: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 18
Pls also advise if:

- I can make some food for her with ingredients (that we eat), if yes, how, since, it might be hard to find dove food here in the middle east...
- how many times I should feed the dove
- what quantity

Thx
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Dima Dima is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Country: Canada
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She doesn't eat at all?
If not here's a easy , rich in proteins trick: defrosted peas. You may want to wrap her in a towel and just leave her head out. you pop the pea far back in her throat, she will automatically swallow:
Here are some prewritten feeding instruction...

You can hand feed defrosted peas. Run some hot water over them until they are defrosted and slightly warmed. Put the bird on your lap and hold it next to your body. If it helps because you are having a hard time handling the pigeon, you can wrap a towel around it or put it in the sleeve of a tee shirt, with the head out the wrist. This method confines the pigeon without hurting him and makes it easier to handle. Gently open the beak and pop a pea at the back of the mouth and over the throat. It gets easier and faster, with practice, for both you and the bird.
You will need to feed 30-50 per feeding [depending on the size of the pigeon] and every time the crop empties until you know the baby is eating on his own. After a couple of feedings, most squeakers get the hang of it, pick up the peas on their own and naturally transition into a seed diet.
This is a wonderful method for teaching babies to eat because they feel the whole food in their mouth and it’s soft and easy to pick up and hang on to.
The crop is located right below the throat and with food it fills up like a little balloon. The peas make the crop feel lumpy and squishy.


You need only CALCIUM WITH D3, they always come together, since calcium is proceed with D3 in the body.
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Dima Dima is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Country: Canada
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What kind of seeds can you get.
Wild bird seeds are OK.

I sugested the leg wrapping if the legs go in other position than the normal one, which is underneath her, not sideways or backwards

Last edited by Dima; 9th February 2013 at 03:58 PM.
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altgirl35 altgirl35 is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 04:24 PM
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Seems like spinal trauma to me too
If you pinch her toes does sh respond?
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planty planty is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Country: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 18
I am glad 2 people feel that its not Newcastle Disease, but, then Spinal trauma...does that cure with time...? The bird looks quite active though...every 1-2 minutes, she tries to fly inside her box, changing positions...

@altgirl35: she does respond when I touch her feet...but, looks they are not receiving all energy/signals from the brain/body

Do you guys think you can guess from the pics the bird's age? From youtube, I guess, she is not a baby...as her neck is not long, rather chubby...and she was flying when I got her...

@Dima: Thanks for the peas trick...I am trying, but, I feel scared hurting her trying to open her beak a lot...also, it threw up the water out after 5-6 sips...
Its early morning here and the bird & I have not slept...is it important that I feed her or can she wait a few hours...?she hasn't eaten anything for 12 hours now...The vet gave me canary seeds though which the bird denied outright...

And last question...why is not making any sounds/squeaking like other birds I see on youtube...?didn't hear a single sound...

Last edited by planty; 9th February 2013 at 05:11 PM.
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altgirl35 altgirl35 is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Country: United States
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i'm not sure the age
they can recover from spinal trauma, but sometimes they do not, will have to wait and see
make sure floor of box is nicely padded so she doesn't hurt herself worse
she is being quiet because she is scared, i wouldn't expect to be vocal in captivity
leave seeds for her and a small dish of water at least a 1/2 inch deep so she can drink and let her rest
hopefully she will eat on her own
and you go get some rest too!
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Dima Dima is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 05:35 PM
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She threw up water? The water she drank?

Here's a video how to open the beak. This pigeon is tamed. You wrap your dove in a towel, gently squeeze the beak at the base, also you can use your other hand to open the beak by pulling up the tip of her upper beak. Then just take a pea and pop it a bit far in her beak (not at the tip on the beak). She will not get hurt at all. Courage. She needs to eat, otherwise she will die of starvation. She is scared of hands and especially fingers, they look like predator claws to birds and that's why she may struggle.
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Dima Dima is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 05:39 PM
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To answer to your question. She looks young, may be 3-4 months old. She should be able to eat on her own if you leave seeds. Make sure she has light to see them. They do not see in semi dark or dark room. I like her white feathers underneath her tail.
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Dima Dima is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 05:57 PM
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The video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU1SO0ZJoow
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planty planty is offline
Posted 9th February 2013, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Country: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 18
Thanks a lot Dima & Altgirl35 for answering those queries...

Well, this is what is surprising, that she is not a baby, but, is so stubborn that she won't open her mouth...I have tried to handfeed the seeds to her, and scattered them all across her box, but, she just sits on them, and, on the water bowl...as if she never ate/drank in her life....this is till last night...

This morning, I tried to use the peas feed, and was easily able to open her beak, but, her mouth after the beak is too small for the smallest of peas...

so, finally, found some recipes and mixed crushed corn flakes with bird seeds and water, that she ate some...but, due to her nervousness, she pooped ...lot of liquid followed by solid...pic below...pls advise if that poop is normal...

All in all, her energy/desperation is not decreasing....every 2 min she flaps her wings to attempt to fly and hits the carton walls...

Thanks
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planty planty is offline
Posted 10th February 2013, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Country: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 18
I know its Sunday guys, but, need inputs, so, we can save the bird...

the thing is that the doughnut towel isn't working as the bird is continuously trying hard to fly, with its feet pushed behind its belly...

So, finally, I am trying to make a swing with a cloth wherein I plan to wrap the bird, so, it can't spread its wings (as if its in my hands)...and I will then have her legs suspended in air through this swing...makes sense? or can the bird forget to fly if it can't move its wings for 3-4 days?

For the food, I was finally able to force some (seeds, water, cereals mix) inside her throat...can I give her boiled soft sweet corn or can they choke her (knowing she couldnt take peas)?

Thx
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altgirl35 altgirl35 is offline
Posted 10th February 2013, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Country: United States
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Age: 47
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They can choke on wet foods
It's tough when they are like this
I just keep them in a small padded cage
I have ones made out of fiberglass screen called reptariums
I don't immobilize them, I think it's just to stressful for them
Try not to worry to much yet about force feeding her
She can probably eat on her own and will when she feels safe enough
The fact that she was sitting on the water bowl makes me think she is drinking
Not sure about the poops but glad to see them it means she had food in her
Again poops can be abnormal because of stress
Let her rest, keep her basically on bed rest in a small padded confined area
Keep her clean
By any chance do you think that vet will give you some meloxicam or some kind of pain relieving anti inflamatory?
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