Nov 2019 Injured PIGEON In Recovery - Advise/Analysis requested
Matt - Los Angeles, San Fernando valley
I feel like a neglectful partner on this site - as I tend only to come here when seeking advice and have yet to give any. Please forgive me, that. I am not knowledgeable in the birdly arts yet. I INTEND to enhance my knowledge in the near future.
SUSPICION: BROKEN LEG? BROKEN HIP? PARATYPHOID?
I go to a park in Los Angeles every weekend to attend to wild birds, typically for STRING INJURY, and many of those are successes! Most times I do not have to 'kidnap' the bird and take it for a stay of 2 - 5 days. Sometimes I've helped geese, once an Egyptian goose. This is no string injury case. But background
I PICKED UP A BIRD THAT A FRIEND HAD MENTIONED WAS GETTING BEATEN UP. It took me a few minutes to locate it, since he was grounded and sitting under a bench. I followed the guy, grabbed him eventually and inspected him. He didn't seem ill, and I didn't notice any issues regarding unpleasant odorous poop, but on close inspection, he was weakened, and lifting his left leg. He stumbled while walking.
I'VE BEEN TAKING CARE OF THIS GUY SINCE SATURDAY. I held him overnight Saturday, took tweezers to lice, and later bathed him Sunday night, dried him in a towel and near a portable ceramic heater I have. Its been several sleepless days, and my phone is dated so I post here from work on lunch. (and yes, the bird is **ahem** HIDDEN at work.. and has been for the entire week while I'm here)
HE'S TAKEN FOOD WELL, and owing to suspicion about his body weakness and threads about Paratyphoid being associated with his drooping left side, I took it upon myself to begin giving him two drops 5% Baytril into about 15 mL of bottled water. I'd done this twice in the first 30 hours, and once each day since. My unfortunate monetary circumstances, and the FACT that I have had to devise schemes each day to PROTECT this guy (hiding him everywhere) has led me to many sleepless days and back pain. haha.
HE ALSO HAS A SINGLE BULBOUS GROWTH ON THE TOP OF HIS HEAD, and his feathers up there looked as if they'd been either matted or scraped away. THE FELLA ALSO HAS ONE SINGLE CIRCULAR SCAB LOOKING THING ON HIS NON FLIGHT WING.... these are the reasons I suspected paratyphoid and began to use the Baytril, i'd heard it can be potentially dangerous
That night he was weak to the point of being virtually complacent. No strength. Did not resist my carries etc.
DIET: Millet, Milo, Cracked Corn, Sunflower (black small), split peas, occasional safflower seeds
NIGHT 1: I submerged him in a warm full body (to mid neck) bath with DAWN soap (apparently helps kill mites/eggs) and submerged his body to draw out any flies. That night I destroyed quite about 7 mites, and 1 pigeon fly.
NIGHT 2: found some mites underneath wing, asked friend with pet pigeon, BATHED AGAIN, submerging LONGER.
Destroyed 3 pigeon flies.
since then, no bug issues.
BEHAVIOR: night 1: barely moving, did not set him down. He dried calmly and warmly on my knee (towels/heater)
NO WING MOVEMENTS but his RIGHT wing. NO COOING, NO NOISES
DAY 2: rested calmly in small carrier disguise as a birthday package (open roof to grab handle) Little movement all day (warm quiet dark space)
night 2: ditto, rested well, a bit more animated
Long story short. He's getting stronger day by day. I haven't got the resources to get a proper syringe for measuring distribution of baytril until Friday's pay day. I HOPE I'M NOT GIVING HIM TOO MUCH... he doesn't always drink ALL the water.
It's now Thursday. He's insistent and persistent and animated. Yesterday evening he pushed himself from my hands and guided himself (only 4 feet) to the tv stand.
Please note, I don't wish to restrict him, I just am not permitted pets. AND there are cats ALL OVER THIS HOUSE.. I don't need the attraction, to be evicted, fired etc. (lodging/work)
Since yesterday he's actually begun to grunt. HE HAD NOT MADE ANY NOISE SINCE SATURDAY. He's stronger, hes aggressive somewhat unless I wrap him tightly.
ALTHOUGH HIS CONDITION IS GETTING MUCH BETTER (no flies sucking the life out of him) and he's looking better and actually FLAPPING HIS WINGS NOW...
I'm very concerned that he may have something broken. I NOTICE A SLIGHT CLICKING WHEN HE MOVES HIS BODY - IT SEEMS TO BE COMING FROM HIS LEFT SIDE
ALSO: THE BIRD'S LEFT LEG IS CONSTANTLY IN A STATE OF BEING RAISED. HE ELEVATES IT, and I believe I can see a bone going UP BEHIND WHERE HIS BACK IS. I hope nothing's broken. I could not get a picture of his leg elevated and don't know pigeon anatomy enough to know if this is natural when lifting a leg up.
I can imagine he was stressed and beaten and on his way to dying since I could simply pick him up with his reduced evasion AND he was under a bench.
THERE ARE PEREGRINES around that park and unfortunately he would've been food for a rat, a cat, a dog, a bird ...or succumbed to fever and death if left to the cold that night.
PLEASE FORGIVE MY IGNORANCE regarding this and especially the use of BAYTRIL... i will post pictures.
I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ... (BEFORE I may take him to a vet tomorrow as I requested the day off to possibly return him)
WHAT DO YOU SUSPECT?
IS THERE A RELIABLE/KIND BIRD SANCTUARY nearby DTLA? near the San Fernando Valley?
Note: I do not currently drive. I work long hours and I'm looking for the best interest for this guy...He appears to be recovering
IS THERE AN ANIMAL SANCTUARY AROUND? A MEMBER WHO WOULD TAKE IN ANOTHER POSSIBLY ILL BIRD?
I have been reading a bit and from what I gather, even if helped, he may be a carrier of the virus (IF that is the situation) forever.
I don't want the dude to die, and I've gone through extraordinary measures to keep him hidden in the office. It's been stressful wondering if he'll throw a fit or COO loudly... god, there was even a FIRE DRILL for the entire large building today.
Anything would help. Provided he stays quiet. I think I can get away with this for another week. I don't know much longer after that.
MY FRIEND also says I should set him up with a SPLINT. But I'm not sure how to do that, or without a diagnosis I am unsure if a splint would simply damage something else.
Last edited by MattZ; 14th November 2019 at 02:31 PM..
Sounds as if you are doing everything correct and he is getting better. Can't give advise on the amount of baytril unfortunately. The droppings in the first photo's looks good. If you are on Facebook, there's a group "Pigeon Angels" where you can also post if you want someone else to take over caring for him.
Going to the vet is a good option, just don't let them euthanize him. Some vets just don't care about pigeons. Also make sure he is a good avian vet.
I'm trying very desperately to get someone to watch over him.. but my laptop is kaput, and I cannot access Facebook from work (apparently there's a large network of folks under "PIGEON ANGELS")
Its become difficult on my gut to have this guy here at work with me.. today he was audibly upset when I put him in the carrier. I'm afraid I'll get discovered and lose my job.
Anyways, I'm unable to think super critically... haha it feels like a battle of the wits... Me wanting him to stay silent (can't go in and feed him or change things today as he's growly since yesterday... I think he's upset that he wasn't released yet. I just know he's still a bit stumbley and his leg is still looking weaker than the other. Is this a sign of any particular bird illness? Also that bump on the top of his head. When I got him I was afraid it was some sort of burrowing bug since he'd seen far better days and was close to death.
I'm going to buy a lunch box after work... a large bag one, or reinforce my side bag and carry him in that. It's gotta remain quiet though... but at least in a bag I can take him outside on breaks.
I may have him until I can get help or maybe I'll have to release him back with his folks.. I really don't want to do that before he's better though
Last edited by MattZ; 18th November 2019 at 04:35 PM..
I agree with James, all in all, given he is eating and pooping and in the pics seems alert, you have done well so far.
1) FWIW...if he eats on his own, I would say it's fairly safe to leave him at home while you work, assuming your shift is less than 10 hours.
2) It benefits any weak of ill bird to be in an ambient temperature of min. 80 degreees F...it helps kick in their own healing. Anything under that, while perhaps warm to a human, does an ill bird no benefit. So maybe keep him in a room where that temp can be maintained ?
3) Also...given that a) he was being picked on by his flock and b) he was weak when you saved him...accompanied by the odd circular lump....I would say dosing with Baytril (james' suggested dosage) is something you should really do.
It wouldn't hurt, and IMHO there was SOME reason he as being attacked by flockmates (usually that reason = illness).
4) IMHO lay off the bathing for a while. With a weak or recovering bird, just best not to get 'em wet even if you use a heater to partially dry 'em.
So again, if you cannot hand him off to someone trustworthy, it's a fairly safe bet he could get along OK at home for 8 or 9 hours, as long as in a safe carrier/enclosure, or even a small room like a bathroom.
Thanks for caring, Matt. Good job so far !
email is my preferred off-thread contact method, thanks....
Last edited by Jaye; 18th November 2019 at 06:59 PM..
Potential Rehab location
I've reached out to a friend who used to attend a Zoo school and internship. He may be able to get accommodations at a rescue rehab stationed there which I have been told is a catch, rescue, release operation. I am hoping they pull some strings cause this has been pretty exhausting, and as I'm no specialist, I'd rather see him in more able hands... someone with experience
Hopefully the soonest will be tomorrow morning (which I had requested prior in hopes he recovered for release)
I left a note in the mail box (and an email) at a local pigeon racing chapter to please contact me today (though I'm not sure they ever will) as I'd like a keener set of "wise" eyes to look at the situation. Also a facebook message to an Old Vet ACQUAINTANCE.. .I hope he responds as well..
@ James and Jaye...
His tail feathers had some incidence of eaten feathers.. very light but scattered. He did have a few mites before I washed him (the two times a day apart ONLY to remove the bugs and kill any flies)but he didn't have much wing feather damage.
Jaye, I will try my best, thank you both for the encouragement. I tried all night to buy an adequate lunch pail or so, but only had time for 4 stops... closest thing I found would've been way too constricting (*although being wrapped in linen in a box, in a bag is restrictive as well... at least thing was he can see me (cut another bag up with mesh) and I can rub his head and if need be, fake a trip to the bathroom and take him with me. a little minute or two out of the bag so he doesn't go nut.
my brief lunch will be outdoors as well.
would you happen to have any idea whether something might be broken? I would sometimes hear something shift or click (not very audibly, but sensory like) within the bird when moving it's left leg. I am afraid he was either attacked or struck by a vehicle and survived...
there is also that possibility that he developed an illness that caused some paralysis?
Today i had to take to putting him in a book bag/laptop bag with a cloth lined box inside. he tries a lot to get out, but if anything is broken I think maybe the immobilization is useful?
it's only until 4:45 or so... and I can take him on my lunch break to get some air.. though I don't have a collapsible cage to keep him around.
I get the sense something is wrong with bother his LEFT LEG and TAIL... as he has preened himself since getting a bit better... but has not shown much tail activity.
If that's the case.. he won't be able to fly unless there's a full recovery, correct?
Last edited by MattZ; 19th November 2019 at 01:08 PM..
dear MattZ,--one of my pigeons suffered a broken wing and when I carefully-picked her up she screamed[pain]-if -you have given her a bathe then my guess is the leg/foot are manageable-by her,good appetite-could indicate not much pain..--I hope your knowledgable/caring friend will help..--gotta love this,-I once had a 4 day old cottontail-I wore a shirt with two large front pockets-one pocket/rabbit,other pocket formula/food.--we were inseperable.--his name was jojobeez or joseph r cottontail.--sincerely james waller
Pidgey update 11-28-19
The little fella had continued to be a presence both at home and at work.
He'd been on Baytril 5% for 11 days until I stopped for fear of ailments.
I'd gotten in touch with a "bird specialist" after spending the week trying mostly unsuccessfully to contact local racing groups and vets. I'd set up a meeting on a Saturday and unfortunately the specialist had a family emergency. At that point his foot was cupping and grabbing (yellowy photos) and he'd begun stretching BOTH his wings.
That week the specialist put me in touch with a pigeon rehabber in Carson, CA. Unfortunately. I got sick and couldn't get out that way. (I don't drive at the moment. An intended avoidance of an expense)
Pidgey began to preen himself AND SHIMMY HIS TAIL!
I found it amazing since I was afraid he'd had something broken. I bought new ways to carry him (folding travel kennel and an insulated igloo lunch carrier) and he'd been goin to work with me. I called out on n Tuesday to take him down south when the rehabber put me in touch with a hummingbird/songbird rehabber who got me in touch with another amazing rehabber that I was able to meet with on Tuesday.
She gave him a go over. His scalp, prob ingrown feather follicle. His weaker wing seemed to be hardened at the front (wrist or wing shoulder)... and unfortunately since I'd taken him off baytril.... His foot had begun to swell.
I'm super grateful to have gotten in touch with her and will post (pending her approval) forward information regarding her wonderful cause.
I'm hoping for an update on Pidgey Smalls soon enough. I'm grateful he's in good hands.
He was delivered over in a Don Julio box I'd cut up a bit from a local retailer. I've been advised that he was underweight and that could take several weeks to bring back up , but that I was likely doing a great job keeping him up.
I'm just a bit concerned about his newly inflamed foot. More info to follow
Last edited by MattZ; Yesterday at 12:53 AM.. Reason: Adding photos
Before handed over to care
One with him preening his tail which was wonderful
Another in his transport box
Another from a free days before when his foot was still regular size (he's gripping my hand with both)
Updates and info to be posted. It's been a hectic stressful two weeks and I'm thankful for you guys giving me advice here. It's been truly helpful with a "secret pigeon" like this. THANK YOU!
|baytril, injured, leg limping, pigeon|