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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 8th January 2013, 04:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Portugal
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Pigeon with hot head and beak


Hi all,

I've got a young feral in the house, Bonbon, about 4 months old, caught at 5 weeks showing symptoms of PMV plus canker and a 'cloudy' eye, very undernourished. At the time he was treated with Flagyl and Baytril (for suspected Salmonella) plus Chloramphenicol eye drops, and later wormed with Ivermectin. He's been doing well but he's still unable to feed himself and the seizures are bad and very frequent.

A few days ago while I was feeding him I noticed his head and beak became very hot, though there was no apparent change of temperature in the rest of the body. His skull, over the right eye, feels a little more prominent than over the left, but it's such a small difference I can't be 100% sure. There's definitely no chance of concussion, he's been in a padded environment all the time. I read in here before about hot temperatures in pigeons and what they meant, but I can't remember now. I'm worried he might have a tumour, or something like meningitis -- can pigeons have that?

Additional background information:
Last summer there was an outbreak of PMV in town. I took in 5 birds from my feral flock, 4 of which recovered completely and are now free flying (they're doing fine, they come for tea every day and there are no predators here). The fifth was an older brother of the patient I posted about, he was worst affected and he's still here because his flight is still not perfect, but otherwise he's fine.
Bonbon tries to peck for seeds over 1" away from where they actually are (his brother also did that for 2 months, but no more) and the few seeds he picks up he tosses. He can drink for himself, but some of the water gets tossed too. His poops are fine, well formed with white urates when he's on seeds, but his crop can be sluggish (no sour smell) and when that happens I put him back on thawed peas after the crop empties.
He's totally imprinted, and will only hold his head upright when I'm holding him.
He's not on supplemental heating, but the room temperature is kept above 15șC. There's no metal in his cage (wicker walls, cork perch, newspaper covered floor) and the food and water are served in pyrex dishes.



Last edited by Teresa; 8th January 2013 at 04:23 AM.
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Jaye's Avatar
Jaye Jaye is offline
Posted 8th January 2013, 09:01 AM
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I have never heard of such a symptom, although any bird can certainly have a tumor although I hope it isn't that. Hopefully this will ring a bell with someone else.

Besides the heat, would you say BonBon has improved or declined any since you have had him, neurologically speaking ?
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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 8th January 2013, 12:33 PM
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Neurologically he declined in the first few days, and the clouding of the eye, barely noticeable when I caught him, also got worse before it got better.
I was very careful with med dosages, so I believe it was the disease manifesting itself, as I caught him and brought him indoors the first day I saw him toss the seeds I'd left out for him. I was keeping an eye on him because he was the youngest in the flock.
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minimonkey minimonkey is offline
Posted 8th January 2013, 01:44 PM
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Pigeons can indeed get meningitis -- or more commonly encephalitis, which sounds like a real possibility here. He may have a fever, or just localized inflammation. Do you have any metacam, or have access to the drug meloxicam? If so, that really might help. If you can get the human drug meloxicam, I can help you figure out how to dose it.

Do you have West Nile virus in your area, by any chance? It can look a lot like PMV in a pigeon.

Poor guy -- thank you for caring for him.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 8th January 2013, 06:34 PM
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You might try giving him vit. B12. Charis knows someone who had a pigeon with neurological symptoms, and he used vit. B12. Both the birds seizures stopped and the stargazing.
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superflyer superflyer is offline
Posted 8th January 2013, 07:02 PM
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How was the B12 given? Does it work with long recovered PMV birds who stargaze?
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Jaye Jaye is offline
Posted 9th January 2013, 09:31 AM
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If it is actually a fever or inflammation, an anti-inflammatory might also help. Either metacam or if there's none of that, childrens motrin (childrens liquid ibuprophen), which is safe for pigeons (very small dose, like .033 cc).
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 9th January 2013, 05:51 PM
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Top 10 Human Medications Poisonous to Pets

NSAIDs (e.g. Advil, Aleve and Motrin)

Topping our Top 10 list are common household medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), which include common names such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil and some types of Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). While these medications are safe for people, even one or two pills can cause serious harm to a pet. Dogs, cats, birds and other small mammals (ferrets, gerbils and hamsters) may develop serious stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as kidney failure.

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet...onous-to-pets/
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Posted 9th January 2013, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superflyer View Post
How was the B12 given? Does it work with long recovered PMV birds who stargaze?
Sorry, not sure how it was given. Don't think it matters really, as long as the bird got it. As far as long recovered birds, I'd give it a try. Nothing to lose.
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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 11th January 2013, 01:15 AM
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Thank you all so much for your advice!
I do have Metacam in the house, should I give him some or wait and see if his head heats up again before medicating him? I usually give pigeons one drop a day for up to 3 days (unless the vet says otherwise), is that what you would recommend too?
I will talk to my pharmacist today about getting vit B12! Anything that might ease his seizures would be wonderful!
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Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 11th January 2013, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minimonkey View Post
Pigeons can indeed get meningitis -- or more commonly encephalitis, which sounds like a real possibility here. He may have a fever, or just localized inflammation. Do you have any metacam, or have access to the drug meloxicam? If so, that really might help. If you can get the human drug meloxicam, I can help you figure out how to dose it.

Do you have West Nile virus in your area, by any chance? It can look a lot like PMV in a pigeon.

Poor guy -- thank you for caring for him.
Thank you so much, minimonkey! I have metacam, will give him some straight away if his head feels hot again, unless you think I should start now.

I'm not familiar with West Nile virus, will have to research that, but this summer we had an awful viral outbreak (almost certainly more than one virus involved) combined with salmonella and canker. Many ferals died all over town, and I was very lucky to only lose one bird out of my feral flock. Some birds that didn't develop PMV symptoms got pink ceres, pink eyelids with watering eyes and bright red feet for a couple of weeks, but they all pulled through. I still don't know what those symptoms meant, any thoughts?
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John_D John_D is offline
Posted 11th January 2013, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superflyer View Post
How was the B12 given? Does it work with long recovered PMV birds who stargaze?
Sometimes a vet may give an injection of Vit B, but I believe there is a form of it which can be given orally and supplied by vets. Otherwise, a good pigeon vitamin supplement should contain it.

It won't have much effect on 'left over' neurological signs from PMV, if any.
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John_D John_D is offline
Posted 11th January 2013, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
Thank you so much, minimonkey! I have metacam, will give him some straight away if his head feels hot again, unless you think I should start now.

I'm not familiar with West Nile virus, will have to research that, but this summer we had an awful viral outbreak (almost certainly more than one virus involved) combined with salmonella and canker. Many ferals died all over town, and I was very lucky to only lose one bird out of my feral flock. Some birds that didn't develop PMV symptoms got pink ceres, pink eyelids with watering eyes and bright red feet for a couple of weeks, but they all pulled through. I still don't know what those symptoms meant, any thoughts?
It is possible for birds not to develop neurological symptoms with PMV, and only respiratory problems, but that would be very unusual. It does suggest an illness such as Chlamydiosis or just Sinusitis among others.
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Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 11th January 2013, 02:36 AM
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Thanks John, I'll bear that in mind. I wondered if it was a respiratory problem at the time, but was puzzled that there was no nose discharge and no sneezing, just the redness and the wetness around the eyes.
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Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 11th January 2013, 03:01 AM
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This is Bonbon a few days ago.
He spends most of the time with his head upside down, and if he has no perch he will walk round and round, dragging his head in his poops, yuk! The cork perch was a bit of driftwood from the beach, and after being thoroughly cleaned it proved perfect! Bonbon can get a good grip on its irregular surface, his head stays clean, and it's so soft he can't possibly hurt himself no matter how often he headbutts it! It can be washed once a day because you can dry it with a hair drier in a couple of minutes (or half an hour on top of a radiator).
As you can see, Bonbon is a happy little chap, a bit of a drama queen but adorable, and I'd love to see him get better!

http://s333.photobucket.com/albums/m...bug-Bonbon.mp4
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