Injured & partially blind Juvenile Pigeon - Pigeon-Talk
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EllieP EllieP is offline
Posted 8th September 2019, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2

Injured & partially blind Juvenile Pigeon

Hi all, I'm new here & just wondered if anyone can give me some advice (though it's a bit of a long read sorry!).

One of my parents recently found an injured juvenile pigeon by the side of the road and, as we've taken in and raised wild pigeons before, decided to bring it back home to care for.

It has some injuries on its wing and neck and, as all of them are on the same side of its body, we suspect it was hit by a car. However I've treated the wounds with saline and antiseptic cream and they appear to be healing reasonably well, if a little bruised.

However I am concerned about one of the poor bird's eyes; the one just above the injury to its neck appears completely black with a yellow haze around the edges (see photo, I've also included a photo of it's normal eye to show the difference).

I'm fairly certain it is partially/fully blind in that eye, because I've noticed it accidentally bumping into things on that side of its body when it's been walking around & it only notices I'm there when I wave my hand in front of its other, normal eye (and then it usually jumps back in surprise...).

We are hand feeding it (although I saw it pecking at grass once) and I've also noticed it walking round in circles every so often before sitting down.

I've read a little about Paramyxovirus and was wondering whether this behaviour and its blind, hazy eye is a result of this virus?

I also read somewhere that apparently blindness can be caused by Salmonella too, but again, I'm not an expert so I don't know if that's true or not.

Alternatively, is it likely that it hasn't got a virus, and its eye has just become black & hazy yellow because it was injured in the same trauma that damaged its wing and neck?

I was also wondering if, in anyone's experience, partially blind pigeons can be released back into the wild?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 9th September 2019, 07:14 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,306
To me both eyes look similar. If he is blind in one eye, then please don't release him. He won't survive out there and will easily get caught by a predator. What are you feeding him? Defrosted green peas will be the best to forcefeed him. 30 peas 3 times daily (total of 90 peas per day) will be fine. Always leave a small bowl of peas with him. They quickly learn to eat peas by themselves.
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Colombina Colombina is offline
Posted 10th September 2019, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2017
Country: Italy
Posts: 709
Hi, thanks for helping him and welcome to PT!

I saw the two photos: yes, the eye above the injury to his neck looks darker and it seems that a patina has started to appear on it.
Years ago we rescued a bird hit by a car in the parking of a supermarket, he was badly injured (he needed surgery and antibiotics), he became blind in one eye because of the trauma. The eye became darker and a patina slowly appeared on it, I can try to take a photo if you want to see it. It could maybe be the same situation for your bird.

Blindness could also caused by diseases (for example my brother has a pigeon blind in one eye because of pox), infections.

A blind eye means a blind side and so inability to see predators and to escape from them, to see cars, etc. He can't survive in the wild.

How are his droppings?

You could give him a complete vitamin supplement (vitamins + trace elements + amino acids), it will help him to get stronger.
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EllieP EllieP is offline
Posted 12th September 2019, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
Hi all, thank you for your replies!

I've answered your questions at the end, but first, there have been some developments with the young pidge - the majority of which are positive:

Most importantly, he's regained some sight in his injured eye! The black & yellow haziness has largely gone and you can clearly see his pupil & iris, though they are a little misshapen. However the injured eye still appears to be a bit swollen & sticks out of his head more so than the other (see photos).

But he can see when I'm approaching from that side & moves away from my hand when I put it next to that eye, which is very encouraging to see (no pun intended!).

His neck wound is healing well - his skin looks a lot better & he's starting to grow some feathers there again (albeit very small ones at the moment).

However the wound on his wing has got a little worse - the bruised skin over the bone has broken which has caused it to bleed a little - I'm regularly putting antiseptic cream on it to try and prevent any infection from taking hold.

We've been keeping him in a large caged run outside with lots of bamboo perches secured through the wire mesh - and despite losing all but one of his tail feathers when he was hit, he's been flying round & landing on the perches rather well.

I've also seen him pecking more at the birdseed we've been putting down for him, although he still doesn't quite seem able to feed himself fully.

We've been hand feeding him a mixture of warm water & chick crumb, but on Marina B's recommendation we're going to try and feed him some peas as well.

His droppings are currently brown & white, though on one occasion he freaked out when we were feeding him and he pooed on the towel we had wrapped him in, and that dropping was a bit jade-green, weirdly!

I was wondering if any of you know how long it will take for him to grow back his tail feathers? We're planning on releasing him once he's fully recovered & can feed himself, but if at that point he still hasn't grown a tail, then I'd be hesitant to let him go. What do you think?
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Colombina Colombina is offline
Posted 13th September 2019, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2017
Country: Italy
Posts: 709
Thanks so much for the update!

Yes, the eye still looks swollen and there is still some haziness on it but it's a good sign that he has regained some sight! We'll see what happens with time.

You could make a cup of chamomile tea (without added sugar) and wash his eye with it twice a day, you can use an eye dropper (just be careful to find the right temperature: slightly warm).

You could also look for a product like this one:

It's a sterile solution for eye washing, I used it for myself and even for my birds, here you can find it in pharmacy.

They could maybe help the healing process of the eye.

Pay attention to any bad smell coming from the wound on the wing: if you notice it, it means that the injury is becoming infected and so an oral antibiotic would be absolutely and urgently needed. You are doing well in regularly putting an antiseptic cream (I usually disinfect the wounds and apply an antibiotic cream twice a day).
In case of bleeding, you can use a powder which helps to stop bleeding and to heal wound.

You can give him a vitamin supplement specific for molting period like Oropharma Muta-Vit, it's rich in biotin and sulphurous amino acids, it will help the feathers tail (in case they are just broken you have to wait for them to fall down and regrow) and all his other feathers to grow back.

Of course, you need to be sure that all his feathers are back and in good condition before releasing him.

As you said, you also have to wait that he is fully recovered (even his eye) and able to eat seeds of different sizes and shapes (he just needs some practice, leave him always available a large variety of seeds and dry legumes like small lentils, mung beans and peas).

Are you thinking about a soft release?

Last edited by Colombina; 14th September 2019 at 04:26 AM.. Reason: Additional info
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