My Pigeon isn`t well...Please Help - Pigeon-Talk
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EdMurray EdMurray is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 98

My Pigeon isn`t well...Please Help


Hello everyone.
I`ve been reading a lot of posts here and found some good info, however I`d like a little more advice if possible. I`ll give a few details.

Four years ago I found a young pigeon, a squab I guess you would call it. It was abandoned and I took it home. I managed to bring it on well and since then it has sort of lived with me, in the house. It goes out in the day (well it did until a few days ago) and comes in at night. As soon as dusk rolls in I`ll see it sitting near the patio door and I let it in. He has a sort of nest, plenty of pigeon food and fresh water.

Anyway, two days ago I saw him at the patio door and opened it and expected him to come jumping in as always. However, he just sat there. I knew something was wrong as he never does this. I went out and lifted him in, another thing that he never lets me do. Although I`ve had him for four years I never did manage to tame him so that I could stroke him or lift him up.

Well, since then I`ve had him on a warm hot water bottle and covered up. He won`t move, drink or eat.
I`ve made ringers solution and have been trying to give it him, and I`ve made a mixture of small pigeon corn pieces, frozen peas (thawed!), and a little bread and water to bind it. I`ve been trying to feed him this too but it`s very difficult. Although he won`t move unaided, he can certainly make it difficult to feed him!
Sometimes I put his normal seed bowl right up to him and he actually bends down and tries to peck the seeds but he can`t seem to get any and gives up.

I have had a good look in his mouth and throat and can`t see anything wrong eg canker, and I`ve checked him over thoroughly and can find no outward signs of injury.
I`m at a loss as to what to do. I don`t have a vet near or any "bird" friends I can ask hence I`m here to ask you good folks for advice.

What can I do? What should I be feeding him? My local pet store is useless, they don`t have any medicines or formula stuff I can make up. I`d be so grateful for any suggestions.
I`m not even sure of how much I should be trying to feed him or water him. Could someone please let me know the quantities I should be aiming to get into him? Maybe you could approximate in teaspoon measures so I know exactly what you mean?

Please help, he`s a lovely little chap and I`d love to bring him back to health.

All the best,
Ed.
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Pigeonpal2002 Pigeonpal2002 is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6,379
Hi Ed and welcome to pigeontalk!


Well now, that is a tad unusual behaviour for your pigeon...considering how long and how well you would know him after 4 years. Given the facts you've stated and how he is otherwise healthy and fine, the only thing I can think of is shock of some kind. Perhaps he ran into a window or was attacked by a cat or bird of prey and he's in post tramatic stress I know it sounds silly but pigeons and other prey animals are easily stressed out by such things. And if he ran into a window or something else hard on impact, he might have jarred himself good to the point where he's not very lucid or aware with a possible concussion.


Others will be on soon to offer more suggestions and advice, but in the meantime, can you let us know where you are and possibly post a picture of the pigeon as well as any other details, however minute.

Thank you,
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AZWhitefeather AZWhitefeather is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mesa, AZ USA
Posts: 7,335
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdMurray
I`m not even sure of how much I should be trying to feed him or water him. Could someone please let me know the quantities I should be aiming to get into him? Maybe you could approximate in teaspoon measures so I know exactly what you mean?

Please help, he`s a lovely little chap and I`d love to bring him back to health.

All the best,
Ed.
Hello Ed & Welcome,

So sorry to hear about your feathered friend. It sounds as though you have followed the proper steps to helping this little one.

Since he isn't drinking on his own, I would suggest using an eye dropper to administer the rehydrating solution, a couple drops at a time, along the beak, every few minutes.
At this point, I wouldn't worry to much about offering him food. Hydration is first & foremost.

Please keep us posted.

Cindy
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As we fly,
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If we become ill or injured in any way,
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Last edited by AZWhitefeather; 27th January 2006 at 09:06 PM..
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Camrron Camrron is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 06:52 PM
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Posts: 801
Hi Ed and I am glad you have been reading about caring for pigeons here. I only want to add a caution about giving liquids through the beak. It is all to easy to aspirate your bird and possibly bring about pneumonia. There are a lot of good posts on hydrating and giving liquids to birds. Hopefully others can give you the details you need if you don't see them and especially how much liquid he needs. Warmth and liquids are so important for survival though. Your little bird flew home just knowing he would have your care and protection. Hope it goes well.

Cameron
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AZWhitefeather AZWhitefeather is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 08:51 PM
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Location: Mesa, AZ USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camrron
I only want to add a caution about giving liquids through the beak. It is all to easy to aspirate your bird and possibly bring about pneumonia. .
Cameron
Yes, indeed, caution does need to be taken when administering liquids into a bird.

The veteran rehabber I worked with suggested a beginner rehydrate a pigeon either by using the eye dropper method or tubing them. This, of course, should only be done if the bird is not drinking on it's own. I suggest the eye dropper method because it seems easier for beginners than tubing the bird.

Cindy

Sorry for the confusion. Yes, initially,the liquids should be placed along the beak as fp has pointed out. I have edited my previous post.
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A Pigeon's Dream

http://www.pigeonangels.com

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

Last edited by AZWhitefeather; 27th January 2006 at 10:01 PM..
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feralpigeon feralpigeon is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 08:52 PM
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Location: Northern, CA
Posts: 6,859
Hi Ed, and welcome to Pigeon Talk. Have you had or taken the opportunity to really look through the feathers and over the body to see if you can sight any abnormalities in the skin such as in puncture wounds? Also, if you could place the pij on a heating pad set at low w/a towel over it in a quiet place in the house, that would be great. Could you describe his poops for us?

In terms of hydrating him, will this bird swallow if you simply drop the liquid on top or on the side of the beak? A pinch of sugar and salt in a cup of warm water will help to rehydrate the bird. If you need to actually place inside the mouth for the bird to get the solution because it doesn't swallow from placing on the outside of the beak, then you need to make sure that it goes down the throat and not the first hole which leads to the air sacs/lungs. It is always best to see if the bird will swallow on its own by placing the drops on top or on the side of the beak. Otherwise, you will have to get the dropper past this first hole and make sure it is directly introduced to the throat opening in the back.

I wouldn't let this bird continue to go out on its' own until the problem has been identified. As Brad suggested, your general whereabouts would be helpful to know in terms of other members who can help out or known pigeon
friendly avian vets in your area.

fp
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Birdmom4ever Birdmom4ever is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 09:33 PM
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Country: United States
Location: San Jose, California
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Checking for puncture wounds is good advice. They can be well hidden by the feathers. A few years back we got one of our roller hens back from a kind family who found her. She looked okay on the surface but wasn't herself. I checked her carefully but didn't find anything, so I took her to the vet. The vet sprayed down the feathers on her back with water and bingo--there was a quarter-sized wound on her back, presumably from a hawk. If you wet the feathers with a little water you'll find it much easier to check for wounds. Since your pigeon's behavior changed dramatically in one day, I suspect an attack by a hawk or cat. Around here hawks are especially problematic in winter.
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Camrron Camrron is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 09:49 PM
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Yes Birdmom that is how I noticed some not-so-obvious problems with my bird too. A wet bird does allow you to see through to the skin.

If you try this though Ed please be prepared with a heating pad to keep your bird warm and dry afterwards. My bird has just started bathing. He is healthy but after a dip he still sits on top of a lamp I have to keep warm and dry out. Pigeons run at a higher body temperature than people so it is really important to provide external heat, especially if your bird is ill. The exact temp. I don't know but the experts can pass that on and it will make more sense when you hear it from them.

Cameron
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pdpbison pdpbison is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 09:58 PM
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Hi Ed,



Tell us where you are in case any of us might live close by?


Now, what are the poops looking like? Are there poops getting made?

Two days without chow is maybe no big deal for now, but whatever he is still passing will be important as an aid to possible diagnosis, and, if possible, for you to gather a tablespoon or so of the freshest and refridgerate it pending someone here maybe mentioning a decent Avian Vet in your area you could go to for getting a fecal exam done.


For now, get an electric Heating Pad, lay a towell over it ( white towlls are good to see poops by) and set him up on it...set the pad to low, or if to medium use two layers of towell...ideally, it should be set up so he can be on it, on the edge of it, or off of it as he likes...

Hydration wise, if you are going to use an eye dropper, make sure the liquid is 'tepid'...and make sure to get the end of the Eye Dropper well past the little breathing opening in the back of his Throat and do not squirt it, but dribble it in at a moderat rate.

Is he standing? Sleeping on one leg or both legs while standing?

Or, is he laying down for his resting?

Eyes open mostly, or eyes closed mostly?

Keep him safe from any drafts too...he needs all his energy to deal with whatever is wrong with him and not to be spending it on keeping himself warm....so.,..the Heatind Pad and some seclusion/protection from drafts will be important.

So, let us know roughly your location, and...

Describve well for us the poops-so-far...

Lastly, please feel his Crop and see if it feels like it is empty or if it has food at any rate, 'something' in it...or if it sorta looks full but only has air or gas in it...


Till next...

Phil
Las Vegas
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feralpigeon feralpigeon is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 09:59 PM
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Location: Northern, CA
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Following up on the possibility of a punture wound, the bird will also need to be put on an appropriate antibiotic such as Clavamox also known as Augmentin. Most likely you'd need to see a vet for that.

fp
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pdpbison pdpbison is offline
Posted 27th January 2006, 10:01 PM
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Hi Ed,


Yahhh, good mentions above for looking for punctures or claw wounds and so on.

I usually just blow the Feathes so they lift, but that is still hard to see well...

But do check him out thoroughly that way, his sides and back especially...these kinds of punctures sometimes hardly bleed at all and can be hard to find...

Phil
Las Vegas
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Skyeking Skyeking is offline
Posted 28th January 2006, 04:26 AM
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Hello and Welcome to Pigeon Talk,

I'm sorry to hear your pet is not feeling good.

You have been given some excellent advice, and I would follow it.

Also, pigeons will come down with coccidiosis, when their immune system is compromised as it usually dorment in their gut. What does the poop look like? It is a possibility, but just a guess.

Taking the bird to a vet for exam and fecal would get you an accurate diagnosis.

Along with warmth and hydration, once he is eating, I would suggest some human grade probiotics, Apple cider vinegar in the water, and garlic caps.



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jazaroo jazaroo is offline
Posted 28th January 2006, 06:00 AM
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For hydrating, what I found worked well for me was to use a milkshake straw and insert it into a glass with about an inch of Pedylite or other re-hydrating fluid mix. I then block off the top with my finger. Their beak will fit nicely into the the unblocked end and the birds I've done this with open their beak a crack and slowly drink.
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EdMurray EdMurray is offline
Posted 28th January 2006, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 98
Hello again and may I begin by thanking you all very much for your wonderful replies. I appreciate them no end. As I already said, I don`t have any "bird" friends as such and have no access to a vet on my own. If by Monday things have not improved I shall be in touch with my sister for a lift to one (I don`t drive unfortunately).

Anyway, let me bring you all up to date, and then I want to tell you a little bit more about my special little chap and our history, and then I`ll answer the questions that I have been asked.

Well, I feel a little more hopeful today. I got up this morning, gave him his ringers solution and some of the mix I made up, gave him a fresh hot water bottle and covered him up. Then I let his girlfriend out (I`ll explain later), and when she had flown off, I actually heard him cooing! I hadn`t heard a peep out of him for three days now! I so hope it was a good sign!
I had to go out for a couple of hours then and when I got back in he was all out of his covers and I noticed that his seed bowl was almost empty, not that he had eaten it all, but it was all scattered around, good style. He is notorious for this when he is in good health so again I hope I can take it as a good sign. I`m just not sure if he ate any corn or not though.
Nevertheless, I redid his water bottle, gave him more ringers solution and mix and covered him up again and that is how he remains at this moment of writing.

Now a little history.
I brought Shalken on (yes, that`s his name) from being an abandoned squab. he was such a little fighter even though he was terribly weak and all boney. I fed him by hand and his little defiant eyes and body so tried to get away. He didn`t know I was trying to help him and wanted to defend himself, he had a real zest for life!
Anyway, he thrived and before long was strong and flying around. I let him go with a sad heart but he came back that very night! Of course, he was more than welcome and I let him straight in to his old nest! He took full advantage of my hospitality but as I said earlier, I could never get near him, he would squawk and coo if I even looked at him the wrong way! LOL
Well, all was sweet for a year until he broke his wing. Some kids had thrown a brick at him in the little square I lived around, they were always trying to torment the pigeons that congregated there.
I lived in another town then and took him to the vets. They advised putting him down as the wing couldn`t be mended. I asked for any possible options and they said the only thing they could do was to amputate his wing but he probably wouldn`t recover and if he did he would need special arrangements etc Well, I looked at his little bright eyes and knew I had to give him a chance so I let them amputate.
He was very poorly at first but pulled through. He looked such a sad little thing but then he rallied and began eating and drinking like a little trooper. This was just at the time that I moved to my present address and I fixed up the garden all secure, made him a new nest inside and things went so well. He would come in at night, be outside in the garden all day, pottering around and pecking, and all the other pigeons would fly in and they would have their little rituals and things they do. He was not a solitary bird.
He went from strength to strength and he even got himself a girlfriend who sort of just moved in with him! They are inseparable and are so affectionate to each other! They have had quite a few babies and apart from two that didn`t make it, they have all grown up well and flew off to wherever!
I always wondered if I did the right thing with the wing operation etc but seeing what a full and fullfilled life the little devil has lived since with his lady, I know it was the right thing to do.
Well, that`s his story and mine.

Ok, on to other matters.
I`m in the UK, Northamptonshire.
Even though he has a girlfriend I have kept them separated these past few days. She still comes in at night but I don`t let them have physical contact. They are between eggs at the moment so no problem there.

Poop wise, it has been rather green, some solid, some watery. Before he always had the classic oil paint from a tube poop.

I did another thorough check for injuries. Nothing that I can find.

Checked his mouth and throat again, all seems in good condition.

He stands on two legs, and sleeps that way too.

Eyes open mostly.

I`m using a syringe to deliver his water and ringers solution in small amounts. He does seem to be taking it in if I drop it on his beak. I also deliver a few drops directly into his mouth, only a few drops though as I know it is dangerous to squirt it it.

His crop feels like there is something in it, I do make sure he takes some solids in.

As Trees Gray suggests, (thanks for the advice), I will get some apple cider vinegar for some water (what quantities?) and some garlic capsules (again, how many? how often?).
I will also get some human grade probiotics but I`m not sure what they are, please advise

That`s about it for now. If anyone has any more ideas I`d love to hear them of course.

My best wishes to all and many thanks for all your help.
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EdMurray EdMurray is offline
Posted 28th January 2006, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 98
Another little update:

I just let his girlfriend in and Shalken started cooing and moving his head up and down like they do when they do that courting ritual thing!
He was even scratching himself, and he hasn`t hardly moved in three days! It is so good to see!
As I write this, I can hear him scattering his seeds around!
Just checked on him and he has come out of his covers...I think I`m going to leave him for a while and not put him back in...he looks very alert, is cooing, and seems "interested" in things if that makes any sense.

All the best,
Ed.
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