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Izzy Izzy is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 239

Help! What do I do???

I'm absolutely devastated right now. Most of you know I haven't been well lately and yesterday, after having a few extra rough days of major coughing, along with chest pain and other gross things I called my doctor back. I hadn't told him previous about my having Mel and Misty, but decided I should mention it. I spoke with his nurse and she told me she would talk to my doctor and return my call. It wasn't even 5 minutes when he called me back and told me to get rid of Mel and Misty immediately!

I told him that they had no other place to live, but I would do my best to find a home but how did he know that they were "for sure" what was making me sick. Maybe I should come in for tests or something? He told me to place them outside immediately or just let them go and seal off their room and do not enter it again for at least 10 days. Then he said I should come back to his office Monday morning.

I admit, he frightened me. But there's NO way I'm going to just let Mel and Misty go outside, they will die, I just know it! They are only a little over two months old and if something happened to them I would never forgive myself. I'm heartbroken just knowing that I have to let them go and it's tough enough to deal with that, there's no way I'm not making sure they go somewhere where they can be fed on a daily basis and safe from harm.

Another thing, my oldest dog Sheba starting coughing two days ago. I'm afraid maybe she has gotten something from them also. She's scheduled to see the vet on Monday afternoon. I'm just scared that I'm letting Mel and Misty go without "absolute" proof that they are what is causing these problems. I admit, it's looking more than coincidential now and if Sheba is sick because of them, that'll make me feel even more horrible. I mean, I can deal with my being sick, but putting my dogs at risk tears me up.

I called my local humane society this morning, they gave me two phone numbers, one for a wild life sanctuary, which told me they are too full to take in two pigeons and another who will not even take pigeons. If I were able to find a private home, I feel I must tell them about my being ill, isn't that the right thing to do? Will that hinder Mel and Misty finding a home? I'm not even absolutely sure they are carrying anything to cause an illness, if they were, wouldn't they be sick also? Can they just be carriers and not be ill? Can't I just be treated if it is positive it's something from the pigeons and not get it again? What about my dogs, can they be treated? I have another dog that isn't coughing, but what her? I have so many questions and I'm so scared of doing something out of haste because of fear...I just don't know what to do, can anyone help?

Last edited by Izzy; 20th November 2004 at 09:32 AM..
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re lee re lee is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: enid okla
Posts: 4,198
This is a hard subeject to touch on. First do you have other health problems that could relate to this. Second I do not know of any thing that would pass to a dog from pigeons. Sure pigeon dust can cause some lung problems. allergies and such act up. But If your doctor thinks you have a problem with keeping the birds. I wont even touch on That. Its between you and the doctor. Go see the doctor let him deturmine your sickness. Act from there.
Pigeonpal2002 Pigeonpal2002 is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6,379

Hey Izzy,

Just read your post. I agree with Re lee. Wait and see what your doctor says is the problem, it might be correctable or something else entirely. Once you hear what he has to say, then you can work from that. Hopefully he is a good doctor that knows what's he's talking about and not over-reacting because of the birds. Keep us posted and we'll try to help in any way we can.

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Feefo Feefo is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: UK
Posts: 11,336
Hi Izzy,

If your doctor thought that the pigeons were carrying a disease that was so dangerous to humans would he advise you to release them?

And if he is so certain that the pigeons are causing your symptoms would he not also be able to tell you what is wrong with you?

And if you were ill from a pigeon related disease, what point would there be in sealing the room for 10 days? You would not be affected by further exposure and sealing a room for 10 days would achieve nothing other than to let the dust settle.

So on this basis I would guess he suspects that you may have a severe allergic reaction. Only he can confirm that. Get him to tell you at least what he suspects so that you can make an informed choice!!!!

If it is an allergy then you can confidently rehome them. I know that many of our members will want to help, but can't do it overnight.

If you release Misty and Mel now the most likely outcome will be a slow death from starvation.

I think that in panicking you this way without giving you any information he is behaving most unprofessionally.

...while all the time your dear full-throated pigeons will be heard, and the turtledove high in the elm will never bring her cooing to an end. (Virgil)
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Lin Hansen Lin Hansen is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 10:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 3,337

I am so sorry to hear about all of this. Click on Search, type in "pigeon breeders lung" and the second thread on the list w/ that same name provides alot of information, if in fact, this is the ailment that your doctor thinks you might have.
Until you can get back to your doctor for additional tests, etc., perhaps you could cut down on your direct contact w/ Mel and Misty or at least wear one of those "surgical" looking masks to filter out the dust and whatnot that may be affecting you.
I am not very well versed on all of this, but I am tending to think that your doctor probably thinks its this "pigeon breeders lung" that is the trouble. It is not supposed to be that common, but if you have had allergy troubles before, and I think you mentioned that you had, it would be common sense to deduct that your current problems are a result from living in such close quarters w/ Mel and Misty.
Try not to panic yet...there may be other alternatives....if it is allergies from "living with" Mel and Misty, perhaps an outdoor setup is an option.
Good luck,
Izzy Izzy is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 239
I'm sorry for just blurting out everything here, honestly, I didn't know where else to go. I'm super upset at the thought of Mel and Misty not being here and guess I'm not thinking really clearly right now.

I tried to talk longer with my doctor this morning, he was in a rush and was just so non-chalant and adamant about my birds. I think you are right though, I can't see what harm having them for a few more days will do. I will just limit my exposure and not bring them out to hang out with me in the other areas of the house for right now, until I get some clear, concise answers, I just have too many questions that still need answering to do anything rash.

Just for the record, I do not have any other health problems that could be relating to this. I really thought and still feel that I just got the flu last month, which turned into bronchitis and then eventually walking pneumonia. I've had the flu and bronchitis in the past, a few years ago, as a matter of fact, but honestly, I've never stayed ill longer than a two weeks, especially once I'd gotten a breathing treatment and an inhaler, which I have again. But then again, I've never had walking pneumonia either, so I'm sure that would make me stay ill longer. I just don't seem to be getting better.

I guess I am worried now that maybe I contracted psittacosis (sp?) from Mel or Misty. I'm hoping my doctor can do a special test to tell me postively if this is the case. I read that having psittacosis can eventually lead to pneumonia if not treated quickly enough. I didn't go to the doctor right away when I first got ill because it never occurred to me that it would be anything other than just the normal flu/bronchitis and would go away. After reading all the symptoms of psittacosis and seeing that I'm having ALL of these things going on now, really bothers me. The one that really struck a nerve was 'abnormal tolerance to light' which I never had before, but noticed this past week how even the light from my monitor makes me squint, even though I've turned the brightness all the way down. I can understand the night sweats, diarrhea, vomiting, chills, fever and fatigue having to do with the regular flu, but this one symptom is odd.

After reading about psittacosis at the OSH site, the one Cynthia posted a link too in my older thread about health and pigeons, I continued to look around for more information. I then read that though more rare, it can be spread to other animals. I'm not sure if this is true or not, just what I read and now with Sheba having this cough, which she's never had before, it's got me probably a bit paranoid. Lily isn't coughing at all, but she's younger at 6 years old and Sheba is quite old at 12 years.

Ok, I'm feeling better now, at least mentally, lol! I'll definitely let you know what happens after my visit with my doctor on Monday.

Thank you for your reassurance re lee and Brad, it definitely helped me get a grip.

Izzy Izzy is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 239
Thank you Cynthia and Linda, I posted my earlier message at the same time you were posting yours.

You are right Cynthia, the more I think about it, the more annoyed I am with my doctor! I mean, he REALLY frightened me! That definitely made me very frantic and it's definitely not fair for him to just tell me those things without giving me any answers. I was trying to ask him the questions I originally posted here, but he kept interrupting, saying he was busy and to just do what he said.

Linda, thank you for posting what I finally starting thinking, once I stopped freaking out, lol! I can limit my exposure for a few days, though I'll miss them on my shoulder and talking to them, but at least it's not harmful for them, like it would be should I just let them go outside, which I'm NOT going to do!

I hadn't thought of pigeons lung or allergies, but that is a very good point! Again, I have SOME many questions, how can I make any type of major decision without having some answers.

Thank you again, I knew I came to the right place with my worries, I'm feeling much better now and happy to make a rational decision not based on being freaked out.

I'll keep you posted as soon as I get some real answers.

Pigeonpal2002 Pigeonpal2002 is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6,379
Psitticosis/ornithosis/chlamyda is not supposed to be very common in pigeons from all my readings. It IS contagious to humans however. Do Mel and Misty have any unusual symptoms such as runny eyes, nose or discharges? If they had this disease at birth it is unlikely they would have ever survived to adulthood. Young pigeons are very suseptible to illness and usually won't survive without treatment.

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AZWhitefeather AZWhitefeather is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mesa, AZ USA
Posts: 7,333
Hi Izzy,
I agree with the comments made thus far.
* If Mel & Misty are such a threat to human life, I can't imagine your Dr. suggesting to release them.
* From what I've read, 'Pigeon Lung' is ususally diagnosed in people who care for large lofts, hundreds of pigeons, not necessarily two pigeons.
* Asthma & allergies could certainly be playing a role in your, & Sheba's, health issues.
We recently took Reese, our two year old cat, to the vet on an emergency basis as he began coughing accompanied with labored/opened mouth breathing. He was diagnosed with 'asthma'. The vet feels perhaps the pigeon feather dust & feathers themselves could have triggered his attack as he has access to the AZ room where 4 of our pigeons are housed.
He has been placed on a course of Prednisone & is doing wonderfully.

I think your Dr. was being a bit dramatic with his advice. JMO.

Until you are able to sort things out, please try not to get too stressed over this as it will only enhance your present condition. I know that's easier said than done.

Sending happy thoughts to you, Mel, Misty & Sheba.

A Pigeon's Dream

As we fly,
Let us be safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Let us find safety where we are welcome to stay.

Cynthia Boyce
Keys & Eyegone's Avatar
Keys & Eyegone Keys & Eyegone is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 10:52 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Country: Canada
Location: Tottenham, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 635
Maybe the darder from the birds is acting up on the bronchitis. If I'm not mistaken it stays in the system for awhile without symtoms. Maybe it's get agravated.
Trying to be hopeful for me and you.
Hilary Dawn
What are we?
People call us monsters because we work at an animal shelter and have to put down hundreds of animals each year.
But if we're the monster, then what would you call the people who are truely responsible for all these animals' suffering and eventually...their deaths?
~Hilary Dawn
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ZigZagMarquis ZigZagMarquis is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,168

I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope it works out for the best.

You've gotten a lot of good words and positive comments from folk here. If I may, let me also add that when you talk to your doctor next make sure he knows that you're not going to let the converstation be over until you understand why he was so adiment about you getting rid of the birds right now, to the extent of putting them out and what it is he suspects they may be causing. You've already heard that from others here in one way or another and I'm sure you will.

Okay, if it comes down to it and you have to part with Mel and Misty... let me say... I'll take them in. I know I'm way out here in CA, which would mean you'd have to ship them to me, but if you cannot find someone closer or it has to be sooner then later or something... PM me with your info and I'll have a shipping box drop-shipped to you from Jedds or Foys... meanwhile I'll send you a check for shipping and we'll get help from experts here on the board about how to prepare them for the trip.

I hope it works out where you get to keep them, but if it doesn't, I'm sure someone closer to you will take them in... if not, they can take a little road trip to CA and move in with my birds.
Izzy Izzy is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 239
Hello all and thank you SOOOOO much for your very reassuring posts. I'm glad I ran right here now and freaked out on all of you, lol! I was embarrassed at first, but I know all of you understand and I really appreciate that.

Zig, your post made me cry, so nice of you to make such a generous offer. Don't worry, I've been a crybaby all day, lol! But again, it's wonderful that you would take them in, if I have to let them go. I won't know anything for sure until after I visit my doc on Monday and I'll have a few words for him.

Just wanted to say thanks again and so happy to find people like me who understand how one can bond so much to silly pigeons, lol!

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Feefo Feefo is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: UK
Posts: 11,336
Hi Izzy,

I am sorry that you have the extra worry about your dog. As you know I have two beloved dogs and I would be horrified if I thought I had exposed them to any risk. I would also be horrified if I exposed any of my pigeons to a sick rescue.

Kimberley, who is a rehabilitator, has had ornithosis and therefore will be able to give you a better insight into the symptoms than the rest of us. Her user name is e0emouse. Perhaps you could send her a private message or e-mail as she doean't often log on.

...while all the time your dear full-throated pigeons will be heard, and the turtledove high in the elm will never bring her cooing to an end. (Virgil)
Sweetie Sweetie is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 59
I do not think it is Mel and Misty that are making you sick. It may be something in the air. I think that the doctor just wants you to get rid of them. Because people are always trying to get me to get rid of Sweetie. Even pastors! Please don't get rid of your babies.

Thank you,

Victoria Lutes (Sweetie)
e0emouse e0emouse is offline
Posted 20th November 2004, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 24

I have had psittacossis, and it was easily treated with ciprofloxacyn. Your birds can be tested for it, and treated as well. I would be highly surprised if two month old birds have it, and are asymptomatic, but anything is possible. Unless you haven't changed their cage in two months, I doubt that they are dirty enough to be shedding it in airborne material. However, like I said, anything is possible. I contracted it while giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation during surgery on a feral bird attacked by a hawk. He died, I felt like I was going to a month later! LOL A veterinarian can test for it, and dispense antibiotics.

This is cold and flu season. There are many things going around. If he told you that the birds gave you a disease and he hasn't even tested or treated you for it, he is endangering you as well as the birds. You can also be tested for allergies to the birds, I have been tested. There are other zoonotic disease besides psittacossis, most are diagnosable through tests.

I would guess that it was precautionary on his part to tell you to get rid of the birds, as it is true that many birds carry disease. However, hand-raised birds who are otherwise healthy would be less likely than a feral found sick in an alley.

I hope that you feel better soon! Call a good avian vet, even if there is not one in your area. They could walk your vet through a good exam and testing procedures.

Best of luck,

avian vet, baby dove, humane society, hydrogen peroxide, pest control, pigeon lovers, pigeon lung, pigeon poop, ringneck dove, sick pigeon, sick pigeons, young bird, young pigeon

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