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Smidgeon Smidgeon is offline
Posted 15th September 2017, 07:38 AM
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Dove Rubbing Belly Raw


Hello all. I have a white ringneck dove that was brought to us over a year ago because she/he (haven't figured that out yet, name is Snowflake) was found in a storage barn being attacked by cats and was obviously tame. She(?) is very friendly and healed nicely and has since been our pet. I also have a feral pigeon that I hand raised from a 2 day old baby and she is now 8 years old. Her cage is next to the dove's cage. I have noticed lately that she does a LOT of what seems like obsessive "dancing" with her feet on the perch, legs "flicking" back one at a time, and other similar movements. She also preens a lot. I mean, in a behavioral sort of way. When you talk to her she preens. I always picked on her calling her shy, she could never look at me, always preening when I talked to her. I don't know if that's related to the leg thing. My main concern is that she has rubbed herself RAW. I'm worried about infection. I think it is from the leg dancing/flicking/repetitive movement. I will try to post a pic. She has no parasites that I can see, is healthy and clean with no sign of mites or lice or anything else. My pigeon in the cage next to her is also in excellent health with no parasites. She eats and drinks. Doesn't seem to interested in the grit I lay out but I keep it there for her. Any advice is appreciated! I don't want her to hurt herself or get sick. The pic is the best I can get holding her with one hand and taking the pic with the other. The raw area is not oozing or anything, is not wet. It is isolated only to the immediate area above the legs. Attachment 59209
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Last edited by Smidgeon; 15th September 2017 at 08:02 AM..
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bootface bootface is offline
Posted 15th September 2017, 12:49 PM
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That looks awful and I'd probably take her to an avian vet. Hopefully someone else can better explain the behavior.

The dancing/leg flicking thing you describe sounds similar to what one of my pigeons does when he's on an uncomfortable surface (just move dude, you've got plenty of space). Maybe try changing the perch. Honestly I'd change everything in her environment in an attempt to fix that.

The preening could be displacement behavior, she might feel threatened by you. So, stop staring at her and work on getting her habituated. Does she preen like that when you aren't trying to interact with her?
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 15th September 2017, 02:15 PM
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Maybe the rubbing of the leg is because of the raw area, and not the other way around?
Not sure exactly what you mean without seeing her doing it. Don't you have an avian vet who could see her? It's going to cause an infection.
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Smidgeon Smidgeon is offline
Posted 16th September 2017, 12:54 PM
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I have removed the perch that she is normally on and am replacing it with a smoother, flatter, bigger surface. Since removing it, she's mostly sat on her food dish and hasn't exhibited the leg flicking thing as much. I am going to change her cage around enough that she has something to think about other than her belly, as long as she doesn't seem stressed out about it.
She does preen like that all the time. I'm wondering if she's bored. I am going to try to get her cage on more of the same level as my pigeon's cage so maybe they can see each other better. (my pigeon has shown zero interest in her in the last year, not surprising since they are completely different). I am watching the wound closely and am going to observe her behavior after my modifications and see if she stops. Her temperament is otherwise normal, she loves to talk to you and loves it when you're just around her cage. I'm used to my other feral pigeon, so I tend to forget that my dove is domesticated and likes attention. Unfortunately I don't have an avian vet near me that I know of. I may be able to get my farm vet to give me something for her when she comes out to visit my horses this week. I wish there was some way I could protect the area but there's really no way to do that.
I'm sure she's picking at the area because of the wound, but I'm not sure if it was there before the leg flicking thing. I don't know how she would even get something like that. I suppose it's possible though. Not much I can do about it, can't prevent her from bothering the area
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 16th September 2017, 02:22 PM
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You could wash it with saline (1quart of boiling water to which you add 1 Tablespoon of salt), let it cool to lukewarm and clean the wound. Cover with antibiotic cream.
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gemma23426 gemma23426 is offline
Posted 17th September 2017, 09:21 AM
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It's an awful situation. Can't see it any sadder. Wash it and use antiseptic. Sorry for that.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 17th September 2017, 10:22 AM
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Don't see why that area could not be covered with a non stick pad, and connected on with straps, like they do for those pigeon pants. If the bird keeps doing this, then it isn't going to heal. You need to find out the reason for the behavior. Does the bird get out of cage time daily? They need time out for exercise and interaction.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 17th September 2017, 10:38 AM
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Maybe call any of these places and see if they know of someone in your area. Google your area for avian vets. Someone must be able to give you info on a place closer to you.


Fairport Animal Hospital
117 North Main Street
Fairport, New York
585-388-1070
www.fairportanimalhospital.com

Leland Brun
Honeoye Falls, New York
585-624-2861

The Wild Bird Fund, Inc.
c/o Animal General
558 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10024
646-306-2862
Animal General is located on the northwest corner of Columbus and West 87th Street
http://www.wildbirdfund.com/

Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation Network
Gabriele Whitman
Sterling, New York
315-754-6208
License: Class 2, Federal Migratory Bird License, License to collect or
possess.
Training: Oil Spilll
Animials Accepted: Large mammals, small mammals, raptors, songbirds, pigeons, gamebirds, waterfowl, reptiles.
Our Policy: At Second Chance Wildlife we rehab without prejudice. We return phone promptly and we accept any animial in need.
Skills: I love to help out new rehabbers by providing advice, starter kits, providing information for obtaining supplies in the future and generally assisting them to become qualified rehabbers.
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Smidgeon Smidgeon is offline
Posted 17th September 2017, 11:28 AM
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Thank you all. I need to get her to stop picking it. There is a way to cover it that she won't pick off? Does she need a collar? I am sorry I'm not familiar with Pigeon pants but I'm going to look it up now. She won't leave it alone and I haven't put anything on it because I was worried she would ingest it. To make matters worse, she's molting now so is itchy all over. I am trying to observe her throughout each day, and have been talking to her more which she seems to love. If anyone has any details on some sort of dressing with the straps that you speak of that I can put on her, or if I need to make a collar for her, please advise.
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Smidgeon Smidgeon is offline
Posted 17th September 2017, 11:32 AM
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I am also going to now post this to the injury board to maybe get advice on dressing the wound in a way that she won't pick at it
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FredaH FredaH is offline
Posted 17th September 2017, 01:13 PM
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The only thing I can think of is bubble wrap, the small bubble one. You could cut it to the wiidth you want and tape it, that way she couldn't bend her neck to get to the sore. She can try and claw it off and if she gets it off you can use Velcro attached to the front and back of the collar and join that to a band of Velcro around her body, under the wings.
This is a comfy collar and I'm thinking anything that you can inflate like this or even just a band of foam rubber that will prevent her from bending her neck.

I wouldn't cover the wound because it needs air to heal it but I would go online and order some medicinal manuka honey. It's used in human and veterinary surgery and is wonderful stuff plus it's a natural antibiotic.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 18th September 2017, 10:00 AM
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If it is being caused by the leg flicking, then you need to cover it. Stopping her from picking at it with her beak is good, but the poster said she was rubbing it raw by flicking her legs back and forth. If not covered, then how do you stop her from doing that? And keeping it covered would keep it clean. And would use antibiotic cream under the dressing.
People cover wounds to keep them clean and protected. They don't need to be uncovered to heal.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 18th September 2017, 10:02 AM
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You didn't answer me. Does she get out of cage time? They need that to be healthy. If unhappy they will develop all kinds of behaviors. Could be because she is stressed.
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Smidgeon Smidgeon is offline
Posted 18th September 2017, 10:18 AM
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no, she doesn't get out of cage time. I will remedy this somehow. After she heals, I will look into the pigeon pants and let her spend time in a spare room. I made a collar for her which I thought was working perfectly but she poked her beak through it. So I just made a light fabric covering that wraps up around her wings and back but with room for defecating. She seems to tolerate it so far. Just with one day spent in the collar, her belly healed up so much. If I could just get her to leave it alone a bit longer!
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 18th September 2017, 11:43 AM
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Is there a reason why you don't let her fly around for exercise? Just sitting in a cage all day long will cause these kinds of behaviors. They are smart and need stimulation. That would be a very lonely life for a bird.
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