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Just an example of how uninterested she is in food. So it’s about time to feed her (she should be hungry it’s been about 5.5 hours and her crop is empty).... i sprinkled a small thimble full of seeds by the book on the towel, and she just stood on top of them, snuggled next to the book listening to Led Zepellin 😂 she then lost interest and went up to a higher spot so I put some seeds on the white flannel - she just stepped right over them as if they were invisible. By the way, she can definitely see them! She pecks at them when she wants to, and doesn’t have trouble focusing in and pecking them/chattering them in her beak. I just think she doesn’t care about food for some reason.
Are you still tube feeding her maybe she's getting adequate nourishment from what you're feeding her by tube maybe that's satisfying her appetite just a thought.might be worth trying reducing what your feeding her by tube to see if it'stimulates her appetite and encourages her to start feeding on her own .
 

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Discussion Starter #162
Yup she’s tube fed, but like I mentioned... even after the night she’s not interested in food, that might be as long as 8-10 hours since her last feed. I’m reluctant to feed her less at the moment while she’s recovering from everything, she only has 20ml at each feed - she was getting the same as that plus peas and seeds until the gagging started, so her nutrition has already been reduced significantly?
 

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Is she on Nystatin or an antifungal?
 

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For a youngster it's usually easier to pick up a pea than a seed, it's not about the size. I feed peas to every youngster 3 weeks and older. Once they recognize peas as food, usually within a day or 2 they eat the peas by themselves. Her situation is a bit different, her mouth might still be sore after the pox.
 

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Discussion Starter #166
For a youngster it's usually easier to pick up a pea than a seed, it's not about the size. I feed peas to every youngster 3 weeks and older. Once they recognize peas as food, usually within a day or 2 they eat the peas by themselves. Her situation is a bit different, her mouth might still be sore after the pox.
I wish there was a way to teleport all you guys here to consult in person! 😂

I was hand feeding her peas for several weeks until the gagging began.. in the early days there was no way to feed her peas as they were just too big (the lesions in her beak obstructed the mouth so much that I could only use a really tiny tube to feed her).

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head because she definitely doesn’t recognize anything as food. Yesterday I spent almost an hour playing with seeds and peas with her, after I posted those pics. She was able to lift up and grab everything, including dried corn. She just refuses to swallow anything. She will pick it up and chatter it, then drop it. When interested she’ll do this over and over, but won’t swallow them or move them back in her beak to consider swallowing them.

I don’t think her mouth is sore at all, it looks beautiful! Even the most recent little hole has healed! And when she’s playing with me and using her beak to grab my finger or the edge of the towel she doesn’t seem put off by it?

I have all the time in the world, tons of patience, happy to try anything if it might make a difference to her! I did hourly PT when she wasn’t able to use her legs so if there’s anything I can be doing? I’ll give it a go!
 

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Discussion Starter #167
So her last feed was about midnight. This morning she got Nystatin at 8:20am (when she woke up). She didn’t gag when I gave it to her but she didn’t much appreciate the tube. At 9am I tried to interest her in seeds and peas and some chopped up rocket.... no interest whatsoever. I put a pea in her beak, she flicked her head and threw it out, same with a seed. So I put another pea and sunflower heart at the back of her beak and she swallowed both. Within 20 seconds she was gagging, she continued until she brought both up. A minute or so after that I gave her formula (20ml) and she’s been gagging ever since. With the formula she doesn’t actually expel it from her mouth but I see it hits the back of her throat. (Because her beak was so deformed initially even when it’s closed now O can see inside her beak/tongue/throat now due to the small gap). So I can see the formula visibly after she brings it up her esophagus from the crop.
 

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Discussion Starter #168
I thought I would give more information to help you guys think about what could be ailing little Xena.
She has good levels of activity and energy, and is active and alert. She rests/naps in the day on and off. Prefers to be perched on the edge of her brick or nest but sometimes snuggles up in the corner of her areas. Her droppings are pretty much the same as they have been since she kicked the salmonella. Typically the dropping is semi solid and the color of her formula, with visible urate and urine. (When she was eating seeds and peas it was darker and more solid). I have used a microscope to look for worms or eggs and none are visible. There is nothing malodorous about her droppings and they are uniform throughout the day and regular.

Her cage and perching spots are all super clean, I use wash cloths that are changed as soon as they are soiled and washed at high temperature. I have an antiviral/antibacterial spray to clean her cage and bowls and perches etc once or twice a day.

The house is warm, usually between 22-27 c, and she has access to a hot water bottle which she will snuggle up on when she feels like it.

she isn’t flying around a lot, but she can get a few meters unaided now and will do this a few times a day.

Her tail feathers all snapped when she was poorly and couldn’t use her legs, but there’s lots of new growth.

of her feet is slightly wonky, and she stands on the edge of it rather than flat. She can put weight on it and does a one legged stretch with the other foot outstretched behind her several times a each day.

She preens often and has lots of new feather growth.

I think that’s everything!
My vet is pigeon friendly but it’s very tricky to get any testing done because it’s not legal to give wild pigeons care or medical treatment. The fine is €200k so he’s very cautious obviously.
I’ve looked up so many different illnesses and diseases that cause vomiting in pigeons and none of the symptoms seem to match. Today is day 6 of the nystatin and I don’t notice a change at all except perhaps slightly reduced gagging, but that also corresponds to omitting the seeds and peas.
i hope all this helps with brain storming! 🥰
 

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I was just going to suggest taking her to an avian vet to have her checked for canker and yeast. Canker does not always show up in the throat and beak, it can be located deeper and not be visible. Is she drinking water by herself? Can you post a photo of her droppings?
 

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Discussion Starter #170
She was on spartrix for a very long time for the large masses in her mouth and on her tongue... do you think she could have got it again after I stopped the meds? And would the Nystatin not have treated yeast? It’s day 6 now.
I’ll post a pic of her droppings now, she’s been perched on her nest for a few hours sleeping.
 

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Discussion Starter #171
96401

you can’t tell because the washcloth has absorbed it, but there is visible urine and urates when they are freshly expelled from her body.
 

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I was just going to suggest taking her to an avian vet to have her checked for canker and yeast. Canker does not always show up in the throat and beak, it can be located deeper and not be visible. Is she drinking water by herself? Can you post a photo of her droppings?
sorry I didn’t answer any of your questions.
It’s not possible to go to an avian vet, as pigeons are not legal to treat here in Italy and the fine is HUGE. I go to someone who sees her, but he’s taking a huge risk... I’ve actual emailed a few pigeon specific avian vets around the world to ask for a video consult but no luck yet.

She hasn’t drank water for more than a month. She has never been interested in water either. I would say since September 16th she’s accessed water with my encouragement less than 10 times, and I offer her water every day, about 10-15 times.
 

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Weaning can be tricky even in a healthy pigeon. I had one I raised that took hours to encourage by tapping at seeds with my fingertip just to eat a single seed. It took a few good hours to have him eat onky a few. But by the next day, he was hungry enough to finally figure it out. I woke up to the sound of him eagerly pecking away and eating :)

Usually, it is a transitional period where crop feeding by the parents includes less and less of their crop milk and contains more intact seeds. Once fledged they will sometimes get fed by parents at first and then are encourged by mimicing their parents to pick at and identify seeds as food. Pigeons are very selective and choosy in general and may not recognize one type of seed as a safe food at first. It can be a hurculean feat to get them used to a new type of food, but hunger and lack of options will motivate them to try new foods.

I wish I could teleport, hahah. That would help a lot!

Some places may either consider pigeons a nuisance pest or mistakingly consider them wildlife. They are ferals, and have been domesticated ages ago. Sometimes vets will treat them if they are a bona fide pet, but finding the right pigeon-friendly vet is the challenge.

Glad she is on nystatin, this should help if she does not have canker or some other parasitic or other pathogenic issues. I am amazed you said you used a microscope to examine her feces as most people either do not have a lab grade microscope or the right type of chambered slides or the supplies needed to do a test tube floatation. The procedure is actually relatively straight forward and easy compared to some staining protocols. Did you prepare a high specific gravity solution as well for a floatation test? Some will use a zinc sulfate solution while looking for coccidia oocysts. A saturated salt and sugar solution with an optional buffer is best for quick worm tests. And sometimes many slides will have to be made and fully examined in order to see a few oocysts depending on the parasite species, season, and parasite load in the GI tract. It can be tedious searching, but patience is key.
 
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Her droppings actually look rather good. Nothing too obvious at all at first looks. Young pigeon droppings may be a bit more loose than older pigeons, but this is to be expected.
 
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Marina B is right concerning canker. It can exist deeper in the GI tract and sometimes can be found in other organs. Perhaps an antiprotozal medication will help.

Antiprotozoal nitroimidazole-class drugs like metronidazole, carnidazole (Spartix), ronidazole, clazuril, or diclazuril are commonly used. Many work on trich/canker. Ronidazole treats trich and giralda but may work on most coccidia species as well. Toltrazuril (Baycox) works well on coccidia. Coccidia oocysts are smaller than worm egg casts but can be seen using a fecal floatation like I mentioned with a plain sugar and or sugar/zinc sulfate solution to preserve the oocyst shape and integrity prior to examination. Best to use both solutions at the same time depending on species. Trichonomas can also be seen under high magnification.
 
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Her droppings actually look rather good. Nothing too obvious at all at first looks. Young pigeon droppings may be a bit more loose than older pigeons, but this is to be expected.
I wish I had a lab grade microscope! Mine is only 120x although I felt it was good enough to see worms or eggs which is what I was looking for at the time (back then her droppings were very bubbly because of the salmonella, so I wanted to figure out what was going on. If she had or does develop symptoms which need testing we can potentially use a local lab via the vet, and just use a general “bird droppings” tag on the paperwork and blame it on my English and hope that they just run the test and dont ask what bird it is! My vet was telling me that it’s perfectly legal to kill a wild pigeon here, but if you give it medical attention it’s illegal! (Ridiculous in my opinion but hey, pigeons are very misunderstood).

Where abouts are you in the USA? I was in Las Vegas for 4 years and Idaho for 5!

If time is all that’s needed to encourage her? I’m down for that for sure! I’m not entirely aware of her age, I was thinking something like 3-4 months? At what point would you consider reducing the formula? If she wasn’t gagging and vomiting I would be so happy! I hope that if she eats a seed or two herself she won’t wanna bring it up! I’m reluctant to reduce the formula as I aforementioned, before she’s figured out food. What do you think? I just want her to be healthy first!

She’s been on the Nystatin for 6 days today, should I keep going for 10? I think I read persistent cases might need a little longer.

Talking of medicine, what test is done for yeast, canker or anything else that might be causing a lack of appetite or interest in food and water?

Ever since I’ve had her, she’s had pox on her eyes and beak and she was blind and incapacitated in her mouth for 4-6 weeks so I wonder if she just doesn’t know what food is! My other rescue has PMV so is in bathroom quarantine! 😂 i don’t want Xena to have to manage that too!

Yes let’s just start teleporting! Great idea...!! If you come at tea time we’ll cook dinner too before you head off home! 🤣
 

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I would love to teleport! Thank you for the dinner offer :)

Unfortunately, 120x may work only to see larger intact worms or roundworm/ascarid egg casts. Smaller nematodes and capillary worms' egg cysts are quite small and can be seen at around 400-600x mag. Trich and other protozoans require greater like 1000-1200x. Especially true with bacterium at 1200-2000x with oil immersion and needed staining kits.

I wish I could teleport my microscope with all my chemicals, slides and stains!

Yeast can be seen with iodine stain with a fecal smear, but usually need 1200x magnification as they can be quite small but not as small as bacteria. Perhaps a few yeast culture dishes can be made to tell. Yeasts are normally found in the GI tract (especially lower GI) but in low levels. A crop swab is best to take or visual examination looking into the mouth.

Yeah that is messed up. Killing them is legal, but treating them isn't? They must think of pigeons as pests like mosquitos :( Makes me angry actually... as it is better to understand, treat and heal, than to kill, period. They are like feral cats, escaped domestic animals..

Perhaps if you post a few new pictures of her I may be able to tell her age better. Also perhaps a weight will help as well.

It may take a gradual process of less formula and more solids mixed into the formula to ween her over before a completely solid diet. She may have internal inflammation or damage in her crop, proventriculus, or even her gizzard which may make digesting solid food hard or impossible. Hopefully in time this will get better.
 

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I have lived all over the US.

I have lived in Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, California, Florida, and Arkansas. :)
 

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Yes, I would keep her on Nystatin for 10d. It may be best in her case after antibiotucs and digestion issues.
 
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