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rudy rudy is offline
Posted 4th July 2019, 12:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: India
Posts: 32

Pigeon with wobbly head


Hi everyone



Yesterday, I got a pigeon under the following circumstances.
1. wobbly head
2. only white urates for droppings, but today morning, then was a black sticky something in the poop as well.
3. No bad smells. The bird is feisty and resists being touched but cannot move around because of the wobbly head.

Yesterday I kept him on a heat pad, and gave him some water using an eye dropper. I inserted the dropper way down to the back of his mouth to make sure the water goes down the food pipe.
Today I started him on liquid food (grains soaked and grinded). I also gave him metrogyl.

I would like to start him on Enrofloxacin just in case it is paratyphoid. But I'm wondering if I should wait a day or two and look for improvements instead of giving antibiotic.

I will be taking him to the vet tomorrow and probably they would do some tests. I just wanted to confirm that I am doing everything right, and probably if he is just emaciated, maybe a few days rest is all he needs. Also he hates having the dropper slid down his throat for the feedings, and he is losing a lot of energy just struggling to free himself from my grip. I cannot feed him peas because I have found some of my pigeons don't digest them well. I tried giving him whole seeds, but the seeds are just sticking around in his mouth, he makes no attempt to swallow them.

Update: Today morning there is more black/dark green in the droppings. The droppings are still very little, not the florescent green starvation poops but more dark and sticky. When I placed a seed dish in front of him, he is attempting to eat but has no control over his neck movements.
Here's the link to a video of the wobbling head-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrzxHqnW4vA

Any advice would be most appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by rudy; 4th July 2019 at 02:49 AM..
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bootface bootface is offline
Posted 4th July 2019, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Country: United States
Location: Washington
Posts: 404
Have the vet teach you how to tube feed. It’s works much better than syringe feeding. If he is just emaciated (which I doubt based on the head movement) it will take several weeks of refeeding for him to gain weight and strength enough to be released.

Black droppings can mean slow GI transit, which can be caused by dehydration and starvation.

I usually give antibiotics when I have a suspected PMV pigeon, but you might as well wait and see what the vet says.
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rudy rudy is offline
Posted 4th July 2019, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: India
Posts: 32
Thanks bootface! I will definitely ask about the tube feeding. He is drinking water if I hold his head to the water dish, but doesn't like to be fed.

Last edited by rudy; 4th July 2019 at 05:59 PM..
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rudy rudy is offline
Posted 5th July 2019, 03:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: India
Posts: 32
Took him to the vet today. They took his fecal and blood sample and ruled out parasites. But they don't have the tests for paratyphoid.

The doctor showed me how to tube feed. The pigeon is trying his best to steady his head and look around, even trying to take a few steps, but there is a clear lack of coordination in his movements.
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 5th July 2019, 04:33 AM
Join Date: Dec 2016
Country: ************
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Paramyxovirus can be diagnosed by isolating virus from swabs (oropharyngeal and/or cloacal).

There is no treatment for PMV infection, only supportive care.

Last edited by Ladygrey; 5th July 2019 at 04:36 AM..
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rudy rudy is offline
Posted 5th July 2019, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: India
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Thanks Lady.grey for replying. No we don't have those tests here, unfortunately.
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rudy rudy is offline
Posted 6th July 2019, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: India
Posts: 32
Update on Maari, that's what I have named him. He continues to resist feeding. After I slide the dropper down his throat and empty the liquid food, I can still see liquid coming out through the sides of his beak. It is as if his crop has too less capacity, and is unable to keep the liquid food down. I am able to give only 2-3 mL maximum in one feeding, and maybe I am feeding like 5 or 6 times. I feel that is too less an amount, right?

His poops are still very few and little in quantity. He twists his head to his left whenever stressed, typical of pmv. He doesn't the typical bad smell of an infection going on however, he smells like a normal pigeon.
Today I placed him by the window since it was a more sunny day today. He takes a lot of interest in looking outside, must be missing his friends surely.. poor thing!
Right now I am continuing with metronidazole & enrofloxacin which I started yesterday. I am baffled by what the return of liquid food to the beak could mean. Would there be some obstruction in the crop? I have still not started tube feeding btw, because I am sure that is going to be more stressful, and plus I don't have an extra helper with me.
He is undergoing a molt. He also that wing tapping and grunting when I catch him for feeding. He is attempting to scratch his head but loses balance.

Last edited by rudy; 6th July 2019 at 03:42 AM..
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birdtalk birdtalk is offline
Posted 6th July 2019, 10:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 81
When you physically touch its crop from outside after feeding it, does it feel full ? empty?
Is the fed food getting digested completely ?

Can you attempt feeding it green peas ?
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rudy rudy is offline
Posted 7th July 2019, 12:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: India
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After feeding the crop doesn't feel full at all, and all he can take is maximum 2 ml at a time. For the third mL, it starts to come out. When he drinks water, he is gulping it by making exaggerated motions with his throat.
The poops are bigger now, but it is the same dark green, not the ordinary pigeon poop.
I haven't started on anything solid, because I'm afraid I will give some hard grains and peas and they will remain in the crop and ferment, and lead to sour crop.
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 7th July 2019, 05:05 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,291
Rather try force feeding him defrosted green peas as suggested, they are easy to digest and contain a lot of moisture. Much safer than tube feeding. Try to feed 30 peas 3 times daily, total of 90 per day. You can increase the amount in a day or 2. Add apple cider vinegar to his drinking water (5ml acv to 1 litre water), that will also help with digestion.
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bootface bootface is offline
Posted 7th July 2019, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Country: United States
Location: Washington
Posts: 404
You are not feeding him enough. An adult pigeon takes 30ml 2-3 times a day. The eye dropper method is the worst way to feed him- it’s slow and you risk aspiration. Peas are safe but slow. While tube feeding might seem more stressful, you can give them a large volume of food very quickly. The less handling time the better with high stress animals.
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rudy rudy is offline
Posted 8th July 2019, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: India
Posts: 32
HI EVERYONE
Thanks for all replies. Today I started him on green peas. I have given him just one feeding, so I have to watch the poops and look for changes.
He has becomes considerably lighter than when I got him, and his eyes are also looking bit sunken (I can see his third eyelid at times). His poops have increased in volume somewhat, but nowhere near normal poop.
He gets more easily startled now, with accompanying head wobbling and twisting. He can stand by himself, but does that circling thing when he tries to walk.
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rudy rudy is offline
Posted 8th July 2019, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: India
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Finally some close-to-normal looking poops! The peas are getting digested!!
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 9th July 2019, 08:36 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
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Glad to hear that. You can put down a deep seed dish for him, sometimes they do figure out a way to eat by themselves. Although he will make quite a mess, but will be so much easier for both of you.
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rudy rudy is offline
Posted 9th July 2019, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: India
Posts: 32
Will definitely try that.
Also, we get black chickpeas here:
https://www.indiamart.com/proddetail...505150733.html

I saw videos where they are feeding pigeons these peas after soaking them overnight. I am wondering if I should try this to provide him more variety instead of just green peas everyday. That is until he builds some muscle and fat and starts feeding on his own.
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