Found Young Crow. What Disease is This? - Pigeon-Talk
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jondove jondove is offline
Posted 7th February 2012, 02:37 AM
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Country: Romania
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Found Young Crow. What Disease is This?


I found a young crow (or a rook, not sure about species, but that's not important now) on Sunday in a snowstorm in front of my building. He was sitting there alone on a low branch, all wet and almost frozen. He didn't fly away when I slowly approached, so I could catch him.

Now I have him inside, he is warm, has food and water. He eats and drinks by himself, although I think he's not eating enough, as he is sick.

All his symptoms seem to fit those of ornithosis, but I'd like to get a confirmation from someone who has more experience with birds.

So, he has an infection in the left eye: a crust is covering most of that eye. But part of the eye is still visible and seems ok, so I think it can be saved.

Also, he is breathing with an open beak, sometimes with a noise, which can be either a slight whistling, or some kind of sneezing that rather resembles a rattling noise.

His droppings are rather watery, with a large white watery part, though that could be just because he's not eating enough?

Also, his breath has a funny smell, but I don't see canker in his throat, and honestly I don't know how a crow's breath normally smells or exactly how canker should smell...

Other than that, he is not very bad, never lays down but always stands on a perch that I improvised for him. Like I said he eats and drinks by himself. He can fly, which he did once or twice around the room, but mostly stays on his perch. I didn't have him caged, so he is free to roam the room he is in.
To my amazement, I can easily get close to him and even make him perch on my hand, Sometimes he will even eat something from my palm, so he doesn't seem very afraid/stressed. He only resists when I want to catch him, for example to give him his medication, but that is a normal reaction even for a tame bird.

Speaking of medication, in the idea that this is ornithosis, yesterday I got some tetracycline tablets from the vet pharmacy and some eye drops with chloramphenicol for his eye. I just started giving that to him last evening, there is no improvement yet, but he certainly isn't worse today than yesterday.

My Internet was down until today, probably also because of the snowstorm, so I couldn't post this sooner. Any other suggestions as to what disease this is and the most appropriate course of treatment are most welcome. I really have no experience with crows whatsoever and there are no avaian vets nearby.

If someone can confirm this is ornithosis, how contagious is it to other birds and humans? I have two pigeons in the house and a few others that come to my balcony. The new bird is of course in quarantine, in a separate room.

In the video you can see the problem in his left eye and also the way he breathes.



And here is a picture of the poo.
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File Type: jpg crow.jpg (22.2 KB, 111 views)
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Last edited by jondove; 7th February 2012 at 03:27 AM.. Reason: Added video
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mosman mosman is offline
Posted 7th February 2012, 07:17 AM
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It says "This video is private" and it goes to a black screen. Doesnt show anything, I take it you have to unlock it for us to see it.
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jondove jondove is offline
Posted 7th February 2012, 07:24 AM
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Thanks for pointing that out, I was quite sure I didn't make it private, just "not in the list". Anyway, problem solved,

Still waiting for replies
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Charis Charis is offline
Posted 7th February 2012, 09:01 AM
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Please start handfeeding him. You can feed dry dog food soaked in hot water so that it's soft, open his beak and put small pieces at the back of his throat or offer it to him and see if he will eat it on his own. I agree with you that he isn't eating enough. You can also offer hard boiled eggs.
Crows do have a musty odor about them.
I don't think any of us can confirm what's wrong with the crow. Is there a vet near you that treats birds?
Do you know the correct tetracycline dose to give?
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almondman almondman is offline
Posted 7th February 2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charis View Post
Please start handfeeding him. You can feed dry dog food soaked in hot water so that it's soft, open his beak and put small pieces at the back of his throat or offer it to him and see if he will eat it on his own. I agree with you that he isn't eating enough. You can also offer hard boiled eggs.
Crows do have a musty odor about them.
I don't think any of us can confirm what's wrong with the crow. Is there a vet near you that treats birds?
Do you know the correct tetracycline dose to give?
I was also going to suggest looking for a rehab. Jondove lives in Romania, so, I'm unsure of availability. Do you live any where near either a vet or rehab clinic?
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jondove jondove is offline
Posted 7th February 2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charis View Post
Do you know the correct tetracycline dose to give?
I wanted to ask about the dose. At the pharmacy they told me it's one tablet a day per kg. of body weight, so that would mean about half a tablet, as he weighs about a pound. I see one tablet contains 14 mg oxytetracyclin, so that means I am giving him 7 mg a day. Is that enough?

I had already bought him some dog food, but I gave it to him dry at first. He swallowed a few pieces then lost interest. I'll try to soak it like you suggested so that it gets soft.

In the meantime he does eat with pleasure a mix of hard boiled egg, low-fat ricotta cheese and porridge. I also gave him small pieces of boiled chicken breast, he ate some but not so much, so i started to grind the meat and add it in the mix that he seems to like the most. He also ate a few banana pieces. Actually I think today he started to eat some more.

I hope I won't need to force feed him, but I will if he won't eat enough. I did that at first, but he had a problem swallowing, I mean I could still see the food deep in the troat for a while, then he finally swallowed it all the way and only then I would give him some more. But after that he threw up most of what he had swallowed. Maybe I gave him too much, maybe he still hadn't recovered from the cold outside. But since then he never threw up any of the food he ate on his own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by almondman View Post
Do you live any where near either a vet or rehab clinic?
I don't think there is a rehab here that will take in crows. I live in the capital (Bucharest), so there are lots of vets around but they don't know much about birds. I heard there is one that specializes in birds, but that's at the other end of the city. I may try to get there if the bird doesn't improve soon.

By the way, I know pigeons are quite frail when ill and you can lose them very quickly, is that true for crows too?
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almondman almondman is offline
Posted 7th February 2012, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondove View Post
I wanted to ask about the dose. At the pharmacy they told me it's one tablet a day per kg. of body weight, so that would mean about half a tablet, as he weighs about a pound. I see one tablet contains 14 mg oxytetracyclin, so that means I am giving him 7 mg a day. Is that enough?

I had already bought him some dog food, but I gave it to him dry at first. He swallowed a few pieces then lost interest. I'll try to soak it like you suggested so that it gets soft.

In the meantime he does eat with pleasure a mix of hard boiled egg, low-fat ricotta cheese and porridge. I also gave him small pieces of boiled chicken breast, he ate some but not so much, so i started to grind the meat and add it in the mix that he seems to like the most. He also ate a few banana pieces. Actually I think today he started to eat some more.

I hope I won't need to force feed him, but I will if he won't eat enough. I did that at first, but he had a problem swallowing, I mean I could still see the food deep in the troat for a while, then he finally swallowed it all the way and only then I would give him some more. But after that he threw up most of what he had swallowed. Maybe I gave him too much, maybe he still hadn't recovered from the cold outside. But since then he never threw up any of the food he ate on his own.



I don't think there is a rehab here that will take in crows. I live in the capital (Bucharest), so there are lots of vets around but they don't know much about birds. I heard there is one that specializes in birds, but that's at the other end of the city. I may try to get there if the bird doesn't improve soon.

By the way, I know pigeons are quite frail when ill and you can lose them very quickly, is that true for crows too?
It depends on what they are sick with, but crows generally are a very hearty bird, able to withstand a lot. West Nile seems to be one disease that can take them down pretty quick. Good luck, and thank you for caring.
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corvid2e1 corvid2e1 is offline
Posted 18th February 2012, 07:19 AM
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Your bird is last years Rook. The droppings actully don't look to bad, corvid droppings are naturaly much more watery than pigeons anyway. Gapeworm is very common in corvids, particuly Rooks, and can cause open mouth breathing, coughing and weazing. there are many treatments available for that. There are unfortunetly plenty of other problems that can also cause those symptoms though, and no one can give a diagnosis over the internet for that, so your best bet would be a specilist avian vet. His calm attitude is far more likely to be because he is sick, not tame. you will probably find as he recovers he will become much more wary of you. All birds tend to hide symptoms for as long as posable so by the time they are obviously sick they do not tend to have much fight left, and can go down very quickly. Good luck with him. keep us updated.
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Larry_Cologne Larry_Cologne is offline
Posted 18th February 2012, 07:50 AM
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Something puzzles me. He is moving his tongue a lot. It appears that there is something wrong with his tongue. Is it my imagination, or is his tongue severed at the base?

I've downloaded the video, and done a frame-by-frame scrutiny.

Probably an idiotic question.

Larry
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Last edited by Larry_Cologne; 18th February 2012 at 08:15 AM..
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jondove jondove is offline
Posted 1st March 2012, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corvid2e1 View Post
Your bird is last years Rook. The droppings actully don't look to bad, corvid droppings are naturaly much more watery than pigeons anyway. Gapeworm is very common in corvids, particuly Rooks, and can cause open mouth breathing, coughing and weazing. there are many treatments available for that. There are unfortunetly plenty of other problems that can also cause those symptoms though, and no one can give a diagnosis over the internet for that, so your best bet would be a specilist avian vet. His calm attitude is far more likely to be because he is sick, not tame. you will probably find as he recovers he will become much more wary of you. All birds tend to hide symptoms for as long as posable so by the time they are obviously sick they do not tend to have much fight left, and can go down very quickly. Good luck with him. keep us updated.
Sorry for the late reply. I think you were right about everything, except I was lucky to find a specialist avian vet on a Russian forum, that ventured to give a diagnosis and suggest a treatment over the internet. She suggested it was most likely a respiratory infection and advised a course of Azithromycin.

So I had the bird on Azithromycin (10 mg/day, or 20 mg/day/kg) for the respiratory infection for 10 days. He has no truble breathing anymore.

The left eye also improved visibly after a 5 day course of eye drops containing dexamethazone and some antibiotic (Tobradex). He can now see with both eyes.

I was wondering if it would be safe to release him and if so, when and how. Of course I will wait at least until the weather gets warmer, hopefully in a couple of weeks or so.
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jondove jondove is offline
Posted 1st March 2012, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry_Cologne View Post
Something puzzles me. He is moving his tongue a lot. It appears that there is something wrong with his tongue. Is it my imagination, or is his tongue severed at the base?

I've downloaded the video, and done a frame-by-frame scrutiny.

Probably an idiotic question.

Larry
Actually a very good observation, I wondered about that too as it looked strange to me too. I've never had the chance to take a close look at a rook before so I don't know. Anyway he seems to eat and drink normally. But I've never heard him cawing.

Maybe someone with more experience can explain what's with his tongue.
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Last edited by jondove; 1st March 2012 at 11:16 PM..
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almondman almondman is offline
Posted 2nd March 2012, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondove View Post
Actually a very good observation, I wondered about that too as it looked strange to me too. I've never had the chance to take a close look at a rook before so I don't know. Anyway he seems to eat and drink normally. But I've never heard him cawing.

Maybe someone with more experience can explain what's with his tongue.
IMO - Not cawing is nothing to be too worried about. Crows are usually very social but between being sick, and afraid, it probably isn't vocalizing because it doesn't see or hear another crow. It just doesn't want to bring any extra attention to itself.
No ideas about it's tongue, unless there is some injurie in the throat that might cause swelling that it's trying to gag up? May be why it's not cawing too.
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corvid2e1 corvid2e1 is offline
Posted 12th March 2012, 12:25 PM
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Don't wory about his tongue, that is normal. (well, the breathing is abnormal but the tongue movement is normal for abnormal breathing if you get what I mean!) The lack of vocalisation is also normal for a sick, wild corvid in captivity. ocasionaly something will set them off, they will often reply to the sound of their own species if they hear it, so he may answer a recording, or some will shout at the sight of their own species dead or in distress, or something that resembles it (one of my crows who is normaly very quiet will shout in fury at the sight of me walking past her aviary holding a black plastic bin bag!)
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