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beltron13 beltron13 is offline
Posted 11th November 2018, 11:32 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 11

Pigeon with twisted neck


Hi all

Need your help and advice on helping this poor bird.

Background
My apartment has numerous pigeons living around us and a week back I found this pigeon fallen on ground and unable to fly, struggling badly so i brought it home.

Symptoms
This one has a badly twisted neck which turns completely upside and especially when its trying to look at us. Also when looking suddenly its leg start to wobble and it falls down and then keeps struggling haplessly.
Here's a video of the bird

https://youtu.be/Y10SqfrhgSM

The bird eats grains during the day but doesn't seems to eat much, neither it seems to drink water. Its poop is green coloured and was watery when i first brought it in but in last few days it has firmed up a bit. I keep it in an open area in balcony during day and pull it inside house in a decently sized carton lined with newspaper. It keeps going in those fits of endlessly flapping numerous times during day as well as night and then can be found lying tired with twisted neck and body completely out of shape.




While alone, he rests with his neck in normal position but gets into twists the moment it wakes up/gets alarmed and then goes into the fits and then even if supported and corrected, cant stand and keeps falling and whirling and also hurting itself.



Medication
Based on a pigeon rearer's advice I have treated him for 5 days with following medication

Doxycycline - 20mg twice a day (crushed tablet in 3 ml of water, injected in his mouth)
Neurobion Forte - Vitamin supplement - 1/4 tablet per day administered orally crushed in water

Evion 200 mg - Vitamin E capsule administered orally, 1 every 2 days


Current situation
The only thing that seems to have improved is some strength in the bird gauged by the strength of it's resting being held while being fed but overall the situation is grim. The helpless bird keeps going in fits numerous times a day by itself or when someone goes near it.

As of today it has hurt it's left eye is completely swollen and the very little of pupil is visble. Not posting a picture now since its resting and I dont want to disturb it for now. Will post later.

It has been 5 days that I've been administering him medicines but there's barely any improvement to talk about. Please guide me how to better help the poor bird.
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 12th November 2018, 07:57 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,357
Looks as if he has PMV (paramyoxyvirus). No medicine will help, only supportive care till the virus has shed. This normally takes about 6-8 weeks. In nature they usually die from starvation, impossible to pick up seeds. That will explain the green droppings when you found him (starvation droppings).

Put down a deep seed dish, he will peck at random and figure out a way to eat by himself. If not, then you will have to handfeed him. Leave a small dish of water with him, they can sometimes drown when having fits. Minimize stress, cause this will make the symptoms worse. Do some reading up on the internet regarding this disease.

Even after recovering, the symptoms can return when stressed. So he might be unreleasable once recovered.
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beltron13 beltron13 is offline
Posted 12th November 2018, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 11
Thanks for the reply Marina.

It has been a good day today (or so I hope) because no fits since I gave him the medicine this morning. I hope its not due to the eye injury that he's not active

I'd done reading up on PMV and suspected that. You too are almost certain of that, now I need advice if i shall stop the antibiotics ? I guess i should continue with the multi-vitamins for few more days.

How much should i feed him, he eats very little by himself but doesn't seems troubled when eating/picking grains. Bengal gram/Peas is what I feed him by my hand, any suggestion on how many to feed him and frequency ? His stool is still green, should I be worried ?
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beltron13 beltron13 is offline
Posted 12th November 2018, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 11
So here's the picture of his eye which was perfectly okay but since last 36 hrs has been like this



The other eye looks okay




Any suggestion for eye care ?
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 12th November 2018, 10:31 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,357
Are you feeding him the frozen peas that have been defrosted in lukewarm water? If so, try feeding at least 40-50 peas 3 times daily. His droppings will be dark green when on a pea diet, that's normal. Peas contain a lot of moisture, but try dipping his beak (not over the nostrils otherwise he might aspirate) in a small bowl of water after feeding.

He can also aspirate if you put water in his mouth with a syringe, so rather try the above. Don't give him antibiotics unless really necessary.

Can you get a small cage to put him in rather than letting him loose on the balcony, otherwise he will injure himself more. You can also turn a cardboard box on it's side with the open part to the front and then cover this part with 20 % shadecloth so that enough light will filter through.

Minimize stress. If he is safe from predators on the balcony, put the box on a table to make him feel safe. Don't move him around too much, leave the box with him in the same spot. Only handle him when you have to feed him.

I know it's awful watching them having these fits, but at least they are not in pain.
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beltron13 beltron13 is offline
Posted 12th November 2018, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 11
I'm feeding him approx 10 peas twice a day as he seems to be extremely stressed when being hand fed. I'll increase the number today. These are fresh green peas and Bengal gram.

I need advice on if I should continue with antibiotics for his eyes to heal up? 5 days of antibiotic done but the injury happened only 2 days back.

During the day I keep him in balcony for being in sun but by evening temperature starts to drop hence I bring him in a carton lined with cloths and paper. Here's a picture of his day time arrangement

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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 12th November 2018, 09:37 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
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I've never dealt with Chlamydia, but photo's I've seen on the internet looks similar to what he has. Then you will have to continue with the Doxycycline, treatment for up to 3 weeks.

Put a deep dish with food inside there with him. Will be so much easier if he can start eating on his own.
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 12th November 2018, 09:39 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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Rather split the tablet into pieces and put the correct amount deep inside his beak when you medicate him. So much easier and there's no danger that he might aspirate.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 12th November 2018, 11:13 PM
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I agree with Marina that it is likely PMV, although other things can cause neurological symptoms. The eye could be from Chlamydia, or even canker, or from him injuring it when he has seizures. Just in case it is chlamydia, I would continue the meds. But cleaning with saline and dabbing dry, then putting an antibiotic eye ointment on the eye would be a good idea. Is the balcony closed on the lower half so that he can't fall off?
If you cook the peas till they are soft, and then let them cool to luke warm, it may be easier to digest.
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beltron13 beltron13 is offline
Posted 13th November 2018, 12:48 AM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 11
Thanks for the replies Marina & Jay. I've cordoned off half the balcony with his opened up cage forming one of the boundaries and closed all other gaps so that he can roam around in the space should he feel the need and not fall off. Earlier I kept him closed in cage. He still doesn't walks out of the dark corner of the cage.

The eye certainly looks like an injury to me since both the eyes were perfectly fine and similar but suddenly this happened 2 days back and he was in violent fits then. Anyway, I'll continue with the antibiotic for another 3-4 days for the eyes to be better. Going to crush the tablet, and make him swallow it with peas, probably filling the powder inside one. The syringe thing looks horrible and poor bird pants even though I've been very careful with it.

I've kept grain on the floor of the cage on newspaper since he was constantly tipping the bowl over. He walks over and eats the grain a few times during the day. The water bowl is outside the cage with minimal level so that there's no possibility of drowning even he drops his head in it.

I assume it's good that there have been no fits in atleast last 24hrs and he also seems to get back his composure pretty soon after being handled, sense of balance is improved but most of the time he's sleeping.
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 13th November 2018, 05:41 AM
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Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
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The meds won't be effective if you put it inside a pea. Will be better if you crush the tablet, dissolve the correct amount in a little bit of water. Take small breadballs and let this soak up the water with the meds and feed to him. I still think it will be easier for him to eat from a deep seeddish. Even a small box with the sides and back higher up than the front will be better. Put this against the wall and try and secure it there somehow. The higher parts will prevent spillage of seeds when he tries eating.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 13th November 2018, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marina B View Post
The meds won't be effective if you put it inside a pea. Will be better if you crush the tablet, dissolve the correct amount in a little bit of water. Take small breadballs and let this soak up the water with the meds and feed to him. I still think it will be easier for him to eat from a deep seeddish. Even a small box with the sides and back higher up than the front will be better. Put this against the wall and try and secure it there somehow. The higher parts will prevent spillage of seeds when he tries eating.
Agree.
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beltron13 beltron13 is offline
Posted 13th November 2018, 08:50 PM
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Posts: 11
Thanks Marina. Will try and arrange something like the deep dish and secure it to the side of cage. No fit frenzy since last 2 days. I feel the kid's getting better 🙂
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 14th November 2018, 07:07 AM
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Glad to hear he is getting better. Thank you for helping him.
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school1012 school1012 is offline
Posted 14th November 2018, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Country: United States
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I saw this in a bird a few years back and took it to a vet. It was a bird virus pmv sometimes known as twisted head. He said the bird can live a long life but can not be released. It is important to keep the bird calm and can give it Chamomile liquid in the bird's drinking water. We used 4 drops each day and it helps keep him calm. However the symptoms may lessen at times but will never go away completely.
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