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Howard Nye Howard Nye is offline
Posted 15th June 2015, 08:59 AM
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Injured Sparrow Not Eating


Hi all,

A friend of mine told me that her dog attacked a sparrow. She brought the sparrow to the emergency vet, who confirmed that the sparrow had no puncture wounds, but that the sparrow did have a dislocated shoulder and thus could not yet be released.

My friend brought me the sparrow. When I put the sparrow in a kennel, she seemed alert and active. She settled down and spent most of the last 18 hours sleeping with her head tucked under her wing. But this morning she was again alert - jumping around and trying to fly as much as possible.

My main immediate concern with the sparrow is that it doesn't look like she's eaten or had anything to drink (although she may have taken a very quick drink; it looked a bit like she did so but I couldn't quite tell). I've set her up with improvised dishes (old jam jar tops) filled with water and sunflower chips - as our bird shop told me that sparrows prefer sunflower chips and that it's a balanced diet for them. The bird looks a bit young to me, but is clearly fully fledged and I think would definitely be flying were it not for the shoulder injury.

Does anyone know how long it's OK for a bird to go without eating and / or drinking? If the bird continues not to eat I assume that I'll need to start syringe-feeding. I have Kaytee Exact hand feeding formula, and am used to feeding it to an adult pigeon of mine who has been recovering from a crop infection. But the sparrow is so small, and I'm afraid of stressing her. As such, I was wondering (1) what amount I should feed the sparrow and (2) if it's safe for a sparrow to be syringe-fed (or is the risk of heart attack, etc. from syringe-feeding is too great).

One other thing - I have the sparrow in a pretty large dog kennel, where she can hop around and try to fly (I also set up a nest-box inside for her to hide and some perches for her to hop on). Is this a good environment for her, or, because she has the dislocated shoulder, should she be confined to a smaller environment? (A related issue about the size of the kennel is that, although I don't think she can fit through the spaces in the bars on the door of the kennel, she can get her head through, and she did try a few times to see if she could squeeze out.)

Thanks so much,
Howard
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Turdus Turdus is offline
Posted 16th June 2015, 04:13 PM
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It sounds like the dislocation wasn't fixed in which case a trip to an avian vet is in order. Black oil sunflower seed would be something they would enjoy but a seed diet isn't a balanced diet at all.

A bird can't go without eating or drinking for very long and it should be apparent from looking at its droppings. Kaytee Exact formula should be OK since it's not a nestling.
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spirit wings spirit wings is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 09:04 AM
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Depending on the species a sparrow is non native and a vet would probably have to put it down if it can't be released. , which may be more humane than keeping it in a cage as it is a wild bird. Only solution is to keep it for a few months and see if it improves, if not then use your best judgement. Me, I would not want to keep a wild bird, I would not be able to euthanize it either.(call me weak) I would probably end up letting it go at a park where there were allot of crumbs from tourist available, and hiding spots, like a theme park with allot of natural areas.
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Turdus Turdus is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 09:13 AM
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If it was a native species and the original poster is located in the US then it might be euthanized if it couldn't be fixed.

If it's a non-native species then its legal status isn't much different than that of a pet bird (which is typically a non-native species) and the vet will try honor the wishes of the the "owner."
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spirit wings spirit wings is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 10:09 AM
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That can be true, but it is still a wild bird, pigeons feral came/still comes from domestic stock. vets are told to euth non-native species. I'm sure not many would care for the plight of one sparrow being kept In cage the rest of its life, and there are good vets out there that would do the service for a paying customer, IMO, Each to to his own is the best judge of how to handle it.

Last edited by spirit wings; 17th June 2015 at 10:11 AM..
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 10:19 AM
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I have to agree that a wild sparrow kept in a cage for life would be miserable. Sometimes it isn't the quantity of life, but the quality.
As for eating. Their favorite seed is usually white proso milet. Bet if you give that to the bird, and keep it in a warm and quiet place, it will eat it.
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kiddy kiddy is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 11:40 AM
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I agree with spirit wings. You can keep him for few months to recover and release in some Park with natural environment, she will hide herself and eat as well. Let her die with her natural death, everyone has right to live. what is humane about euthanasia when we can't try it on humans?
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiddy View Post
I agree with spirit wings. You can keep him for few months to recover and release in some Park with natural environment, she will hide herself and eat as well. Let her die with her natural death, everyone has right to live. what is humane about euthanasia when we can't try it on humans?
Actually in some states, we can do that with humans.
Sometimes a quiet peaceful death may be kinder than being torn apart by a predator, or starving to death because it can't get to food and water without flight. And being left out to fend in all kinds of weather without flight.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 03:59 PM
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Think if a bird is nonreleasable, life in captivity is better than certain death. There are ways to enrich a birds environment. Also maybe a home can be found for the bird with other birds of similar size, temperament, or even species. Has the bird been looked at by an avian vet to see if the dislocation can be fixed?
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kiddy kiddy is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3 View Post
Actually in some states, we can do that with humans.
Sometimes a quiet peaceful death may be kinder than being torn apart by a predator, or starving to death because it can't get to food and water without flight. And being left out to fend in all kinds of weather without flight.

Sorry I never knew about such States but then it should be wherever we have right to euthanize an animal. Even if it becomes a prey of predator that would be a natural death. I know it feels bad to think something dying being torn apart even I can get faint seeing such situation, still think about if we put every other animal to sleep for not being a prey what would predators eat? Won't they starve to death, even if it kills to see how they survive but they are designed to feed upon them. Starving won't be easy for them too in same way as it is not easy for sparrows? Why we think about one and forget other when both are lives. It is just that they are designed to eat on sparrows/birds while birds are to eat upon insects/grains whatever. Even insects feel the same pain when we crush and kill them (I m not talking about exceptions here like me, cwebster or one other poster who save them and may be you but talking about common doings). Humans think of humane end for critters if it was so humane it should have been adopted for humans first because they deserve humanity more than anyone being humans. Sorry if anything is offensive but it kills me when we can't give life to anyone why we take away someone's life? because it is in our hand? Harming someone shouldn't be in our hand
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kiddy kiddy is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwebster View Post
Think if a bird is nonreleasable, life in captivity is better than certain death. There are ways to enrich a birds environment. Also maybe a home can be found for the bird with other birds of similar size, temperament, or even species. Has the bird been looked at by an avian vet to see if the dislocation can be fixed?

You are right and you are taking such a great care of your disabled rescues, they would have been put to sleep if in wrong hands but your phoebe is living since good 8 years and love you so much. Thanks again for saving them as I always say.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 07:00 PM
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Harming someone really shouldn't be in our hands. I have had to have animals euthanized and it is always very hard...have only done it when they are really suffering and there is no hope of any kind of treatment or help. I also sat with my mother in intensive care while she was dying of lung cancer and when she seemed to be suffering horribly, asked the staff for more morphine for her, knowing that there is a tradeoff between pain relief and breathing. It was really hard and I hope I eased her passage, although she didn't die right away, but never want to have to do that again. Just euthanizing any living thing for convenience, or because you don't want them around anymore, is really really not OK in my book. My old vet earned my respect because he refused to euthanize a dog he had been treating for years; the family said, we're tired of him, we want a new puppy.
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Turdus Turdus is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 08:44 PM
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Take the bird to an avian vet. Fix the wing. Send the bill to the dog owner. Release bird when ready.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 17th June 2015, 09:09 PM
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If you guys know anything about wildlife, then you would know that to have your life over is sometimes better then 5 more years in a cage. Some wild things are just not happy sitting in a jail for years. There is a middle line here, and some just go too far over to one side. But that isn't always thinking about the animals welfare. That is seeing things only one way. Need to look at things from both ways. Sometime it may feel good to save a life, but sometimes it isn't really in the animals best interest. Need to look at it from different angles.
And Kiddy, I don't think that putting one bird to sleep to avoid it becoming lunch while still alive, or starving a slow death, is going to make the predators starve. Lots of other lunches out there. Sometimes keeping things alive is better, and sometimes not. I think some have to learn that. It's not that simple.
And Turdus, the dog owner would not be held responsible for the injury to a wild bird.
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kiddy kiddy is offline
Posted 18th June 2015, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3 View Post
If you guys know anything about wildlife, then you would know that to have your life over is sometimes better then 5 more years in a cage. Some wild things are just not happy sitting in a jail for years. There is a middle line here, and some just go too far over to one side. But that isn't always thinking about the animals welfare. That is seeing things only one way. Need to look at things from both ways. Sometime it may feel good to save a life, but sometimes it isn't really in the animals best interest. Need to look at it from different angles.
And Kiddy, I don't think that putting one bird to sleep to avoid it becoming lunch while still alive, or starving a slow death, is going to make the predators starve. Lots of other lunches out there. Sometimes keeping things alive is better, and sometimes not. I think some have to learn that. It's not that simple.
And Turdus, the dog owner would not be held responsible for the injury to a wild bird.
Well I usually ignore arguing because I respect everyone's opinion except for if I want to learn something from someone. I think and re think from all the ways still I couldn't convince myself yet about putting someone to sleep.
I don't know Jay if I am seeing just by one way but I really don't know what the bird is interested in, life or death because I can't ask it or it can't reply me. But as I see human prisoners in jail living miserable lives for crimes and some times innocents, they don't file petition for death sentence. In my life I just saw one girl asking death who had an acid attack on face and after many surgeries she couldn't get her face back while the attacker was living well on bail so after being frustrated of laws and delayed verdicts over such crimes she filed a petition for death. Few months back a criminal got death sentence but he asked for life time imprisonment, the case is still in court however the guy is responsible for a murder. Why prisoners feel better in jail for lifetime and don't want to be executed . I have gone through many cases like it in news papers. We can't say what birds think living in wildlife for 5 years but if they are getting space to move/fly and feed, what else the disabled birds will ask for.
Even we don't know after being released, will the sparrow be lunch of predator or not and may be she survives for long hiding. So why we take those days from her life based on our assumption and possibilities of being eaten by a predator when we don't know how long her life is. In many cancers, death possibilities are high still we don't opt for death when diagnose it, we still ask doctors how long can we live. This is just because we speak and they speak not. I am just thinking about humans point of view and try seeing their examples only because a bird can't tell us or we can't hear it. Again I am sorry, I just don't mean arguments, this is my mind which poses so many questions, I can't answer it. Many times euthanasia seems to get rid of a disabled bird when we can't help it and satisfy ourselves saying I ended it up humanely.

Last edited by kiddy; 18th June 2015 at 01:17 AM..
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anorexic, dislocated shoulder, food /water, rehab, sparrow

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