Pigeon has a URI. Anything I can do in addition to antibiotics? - Pigeon-Talk
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June June is offline
Posted 1st March 2017, 10:15 AM
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Pigeon has a URI. Anything I can do in addition to antibiotics?


I have a foster pigeon named Gem who a couple days ago started grunting while she breathed. The vet got her on doxycycline, which she is taking like a champ. But I want to know if there is anything else I can be doing for her. Any products that you find help with a speedy recovery or any tips on keeping them comfortable when they are sick? She is still perched and able to fly, but you can tell she is having a hard time breathing - tail bobbing, open mouthed at times, still grunting. Poor girl! I just want her to feel better!

Thank you all in advanced for your time, and if possible, send a couple prayers Gem's way!
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Posted 1st March 2017, 10:44 AM
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I'm sorry your bird is sick. While she is on doxy, be sure to pull anything that has calcium, as it will bind to the drug, and make it less effective. Grit, vitamins, oystershell etc. We have hard water here, so I even will use distilled water when using doxy, as hard water contains a lot of calcium. Hope she feels better soon.
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Posted 1st March 2017, 11:09 AM
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Thank you for the advice and well wishes. I pulled her grit after reading about doxycycline in depth last night, but didn't think to check the water!
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Posted 1st March 2017, 11:25 AM
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I would just try to keep her quiet, as flying around will make her get out of breath, which is scary for both you and her. Keep her warm and quiet. And give her some extra treats. How many birds do you have?
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Posted 1st March 2017, 11:44 AM
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I have her in a cage right now, while I work on turning my walk in closet into an aviary for her and her dove friend, Cas, so I guess it's a blessing in disguise the aviary isn't finished! I have 4 birds at the moment, all fosters. Cas and Gem of course. And I also have two cockatiels in a separate area of the house.

In regards to keeping her warm, anything you recommend? I debating giving her a heating pad in the cage, but tossed the idea because of the potential of burns and fire hazard, so I've just been giving her fleece scraps to nest with instead. But the last couple days she hasn't been using the nest box, so it seems like a mute point to try offering nesting material for warmth at the moment. I thought about placing a heater near their cage, but not sure if it would heat them up too much? The house is a pretty comfortable temperature, but I'm assuming she might be having a difficult time maintaining her normal temperature while sick because I caught her shaking a little for a couple minutes this morning. But I suppose it could just be weakness getting to her.
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Posted 1st March 2017, 01:09 PM
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If she seems sick, a heating pad can be put under the cage, or in the cage and covered with a layer of towel. Should only be set on LOW, and if you want her on it, you often have to take perches out so that she stays on the floor of the cage. As long as she seems okay the way she is, don't worry. But if she gets sicker, I would use the heating pad. Many people do with no problem. Be careful keeping a pigeon and a dove together, as if the pigeon gets aggressive, she can hurt the dove. Most don't keep them together for that reason.
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Posted 1st March 2017, 01:18 PM
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Thanks for the advice! I'll get a pad on standby for now then. And yes, I was skeptical at first as well. Cas came into the rescue with his brother, but he was picking on him to the point of wounds, so we separated them. Cas quickly became depressed after that. We didn't have any other doves in the rescue, so we decided to try introducing Gem, and the two instantly hit it off, and have been together for about a year now. They groom each other frequently, and Gem even laid an egg recently which they both took turns sitting on! They are inseparable. Which is why I'm doubly worried about Gem. If she passes, I'm certain Cas will become depressed and we don't have any other doves in the rescue to introduce. So I will be keeping my fingers crossed in the meantime. Again, thank you for all you advice. I greatly appreciate it!
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Posted 1st March 2017, 01:32 PM
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Awww..............that's cute that they like each other so much. Apparently have mated up. I hope Gem gets well soon. I really do. Please let us know how she does. Are there any treats they like?
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Posted 1st March 2017, 01:38 PM
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I'll keep you posted! And no, I truthfully haven't been able to find anything they are super fond of aside from spray millet from time to time. Any suggestions?
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Posted 1st March 2017, 02:47 PM
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Most like safflower seed very much. They all love chopped unsalted peanuts. They won't recognize them at first, so you mix it in with their feed. Eventually they will try them. Once they do, they love them. Most birds do. They will come to you for the treat.
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