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rook's Avatar
rook rook is offline
Posted 25th February 2010, 08:50 AM
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Racing pigeon with concussion


Hi,

I wonder if I could have some advice please. I'm caring for an injured and exhausted racing pigeon we have found on a train station (24 hours ago). The bird has suffered a concussion (drowsy, left eye closed, subtle problems with coordination, vision and balance, some weakness in left wing and leg). No external injuries or fractures have been found. The bird has received first aid treatment (rehydration, pain killers) and is "adequately confined. The pigeon is drinking with help, and since today occasionally independently the Poly-Aid solution provided (emergency nutrition for sick and injured birds - stops sick birds from starving). However, it is not feeding yet. Poops are "starving" ones. Crop is empty. My question is, would you start force feeding a bird in this situation, and if so, how long would you wait before you start force feeding it?

Many thanks for your help again.

Stephan.


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Charis Charis is offline
Posted 25th February 2010, 09:08 AM
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Yes Stephan, you should feed the bird. You can do this...

You can hand feed defrosted corn and peas. Run some hot water over them until they are defrosted and slightly warmed. Gently open the beak and pop the piece of corn and peas at the back of the mouth and over the throat.
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Feefo Feefo is offline
Posted 25th February 2010, 09:13 AM
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Hi Stephan,

This was my timescale:

One of my woodies got concussed a couple of moths ago, her neck was completely flaccid when I found her, she was weak down one side, the ferals had pecked at one of her eyes and she had damaged her side and a wing trying to get up.

I found her at 10 in the morning, started hand feeding her defrosted peas that evening (but I had to guide hem down her throat) and by 2 the next morning she was sitting up properly, later that day she was shuffling around a bit but it took a couple of days before she was able to walk and then a bit longer before she could fly.

I treated her homeopathically according to Beryl Chapman's instructions and gave her Metacam.

Poly Aid is a real life saver, but it has very litle residue to show up in poops' so you will get the green bile of "starvation poops".
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Last edited by Feefo; 25th February 2010 at 10:19 AM.
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Jimhalekw Jimhalekw is offline
Posted 25th February 2010, 10:03 AM
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Without food at all in the crop it is doubtful that the bird will regain enough strength to self feed, so start as soon as possible. The problems you stated might be overcome with food. Thank you for taking the time to not only rescue, but to seek advice. Keep us posted; Jim
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Posted 25th February 2010, 12:50 PM
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Thank you very much for all the replies and advice. In the meantime I have fed the pigeon about 8 peas, 2 pieces of sweetcorn and some grains, all soaked to make them nice and soft. I have stopped at this point to avoid to much stress. The pigeon is still conspicuously thirsty. It has "climbed" the food bowl and is sleeping on it now. I will keep you posted about further developments.
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John_D John_D is offline
Posted 25th February 2010, 02:58 PM
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Good save, Stephan.

They need quite a lot of peas and corn for as long as you need to hand feed. The three I had here at one time had 40+ bits twice a day at first, but as I observed them getting back into feeding themselves, producing good consistent poops (and gaining weight) I reduced it to a supplement only and then none.

But hopefully this one wll soon get back to eating, when it is comfortable and rested.

John
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Feefo Feefo is offline
Posted 25th February 2010, 03:19 PM
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Hi Stephan,

I just looked back to your comment on the Poly Aid that he is drinking independently...is the solution you are giving him thick enough? He will need about 7 teaspoons mixed with 11 mls of water...that is quite thick, but it gives him the nutrition that he needs. If tube feeding I make a bit extra as it needs sieving.

Cynthia
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Posted 26th February 2010, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feefo View Post
Hi Stephan,

I just looked back to your comment on the Poly Aid that he is drinking independently...is the solution you are giving him thick enough? He will need about 7 teaspoons mixed with 11 mls of water...that is quite thick, but it gives him the nutrition that he needs. If tube feeding I make a bit extra as it needs sieving.

Cynthia
Hi Cynthia, you are right! If mixed according to the recipe it is very thick and pretty sticky too. If had diluted it down a little bit to make it drinkable, as a compromise, at least for the time being until it became clear that the bird wouldn't feed by its own. The bird is getting better, is now more alert, walking around and did the first time a very long and thorough preening session. I am still feeding (about 30 peas this morning) and the poops are starting to get better (so I am told, as I am still at work). So no tube feeding is needed. We are getting there...
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Posted 26th February 2010, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_D View Post
Good save, Stephan.

They need quite a lot of peas and corn for as long as you need to hand feed. The three I had here at one time had 40+ bits twice a day at first, but as I observed them getting back into feeding themselves, producing good consistent poops (and gaining weight) I reduced it to a supplement only and then none.

But hopefully this one wll soon get back to eating, when it is comfortable and rested.

John
Thanks John! I have increased the amount of peas as suggested this morning, as I got a bit concerned yesterday evening as the pigeon got to agitated whilst feeding...
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Skyeking Skyeking is offline
Posted 26th February 2010, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rook View Post
Thank you very much for all the replies and advice. In the meantime I have fed the pigeon about 8 peas, 2 pieces of sweetcorn and some grains, all soaked to make them nice and soft. I have stopped at this point to avoid to much stress. The pigeon is still conspicuously thirsty.* It has "climbed" the food bowl and is sleeping on it now. I will keep you posted about further developments.

I'm glad he is improving.

* I just noticed this comment.
Perhaps he is seeking warmth, as they are not able to maintain enough heat when sick perhaps he is looking for warmth or out of drafts of air?
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Posted 26th February 2010, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trees Gray View Post
I'm glad he is improving.

* I just noticed this comment.
Perhaps he is seeking warmth, as they are not able to maintain enough heat when sick perhaps he is looking for warmth or out of drafts of air?
I don't think so as he is in a draught free room with about 23 degrees room temperature all day / night round. I haven't applied any additional heat sources like infrared lights or a heat pad as I have learned that this is regarded as potentially risky in birds with concussion and central nervous symptoms.
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Posted 26th February 2010, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rook View Post
I don't think so as he is in a draught free room with about 23 degrees room temperature all day / night round. I haven't applied any additional heat sources like infrared lights or a heat pad as I have learned that this is regarded as potentially risky in birds with concussion and central nervous symptoms.
Yes, I know that they should never have heat applied to a concussion area, therefore I mention a warm draft free area.
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Posted 26th February 2010, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trees Gray View Post
Yes, I know that they should never have heat applied to a concussion area, therefore I mention a warm draft free area.
Sorry, just meant to explain my thought process... Do you think the room temperature should be higher or would you apply a heat pad? Many thanks for your advice.
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Skyeking Skyeking is offline
Posted 26th February 2010, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rook View Post
I don't think so as he is in a draught free room with about 23 degrees room temperature all day / night round. I haven't applied any additional heat sources like infrared lights or a heat pad as I have learned that this is regarded as potentially risky in birds with concussion and central nervous symptoms.
Can you convert what 23 degrees is in fahernheit. Pigeons can handle cold weather to 30 degrees, but not when they are sick and they cannot handle drafts of air no matter what the temp. But I know you have him well tucked away from drafts.
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Posted 26th February 2010, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trees Gray View Post
Can you convert what 23 degrees is in fahernheit. Pigeons can handle cold weather to 30 degrees, but not when they are sick and they cannot handle drafts of air no matter what the temp. But I know you have him well tucked away from drafts.

23 degree celsius = 73.4 fahrenheit. The pigeon is indoors in our centrally heated utility room, which we regularly use for rescue birds.
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