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Discussion Starter #1
I found a pigeon yesterday just sitting in the middle of a large plaza. She has very bad canker--I can feel a hard mass on the outside of her lower mandible and there are hard layers of plaque inside her beak, both upper and lower. I can't even visualize the glottis. Is it possible for her to be breathing with her glottis covered in canker plaque??? (She does do a little open-beak breathing, but not as bad as I would expect.)

She weighs in at just 180 grams. Gave her fluids yesterday and started her on Kaytee this morning. Wondering if it might be good to add an antibiotic here (doxy? Baytril?)

Jennifer
 

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Hi Jenfer

As a rough guide "canker" that appears forward of where the beal meets the face is likely to be diphtheric pox lesions, though there could be both pox and canker there ( would give the exact references from the books I have but would need my glasses). I have only seen this in wood pigeons. I would give antibiotics, they won't touch the pox but there is a high chance of other infections.

You could also try the homeopathic remedies Kali Mur and Nat sulph.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cindy,

I'm not home now, but will try to get some photos tonight.

Cynthia,

I wondered about pox also, but if it is pox, I think there is also canker present, as there's the tell-tale odor. I've never seen canker masses in the upper beak, however. Did you say previously that in that location it's more likely to be pox?

I gave her a Spartrix last night and doubled up the dose this morning in hopes of dissolving some of the plaque quickly. I have Nat-s on hand and can give her a dose tonight.

Thanks,
Jennifer
 

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We had a wood pigeon (Little Lulu), there was something terribly wrong with her, not even the vet worked out what the real problem was. The inside surface of her upper beak had layers of white plaque, on the vet's instructions we bathed that in something he gave us that looked like diluted iodine and after a few days all fell off... but then regrew.

This makes me wonder if just brushing it with colloidal silver might have a beneficial effect.

The problem with diphtheric pox is that it so often triggers trichomoniasis, so I always treat with canker as well.

The problem with this sort of pox is that it is deadly to wood pigeons and as I have only seen it in wood pigeons I have little advice on successful treatment. But one vet suggested giving Echinasea to strengthen the immune system.

Cynthia
 

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I found a pigeon yesterday just sitting in the middle of a large plaza. She has very bad canker--I can feel a hard mass on the outside of her lower mandible and there are hard layers of plaque inside her beak, both upper and lower. I can't even visualize the glottis. Is it possible for her to be breathing with her glottis covered in canker plaque??? (She does do a little open-beak breathing, but not as bad as I would expect.)

She weighs in at just 180 grams. Gave her fluids yesterday and started her on Kaytee this morning. Wondering if it might be good to add an antibiotic here (doxy? Baytril?)

Jennifer


Hi Jennifer,




What color is the plaque?



Anyway, I have had fairly good luck with these by a regimen of both Metronidazole, and, of Baytril ( or Baytril and other Antibiotics concurrently) , orally, tubed in via a very thin Catheter when need be...along with tube feeding, of course.


If I think it is too 'iffy' for these Birds to drink when they can drink, and or once the 'mucous' phase is begun, I will tube in additional Liquids also just to be safe to save them the danger of drinking.


Also, and maybe importantly, I have gently saturated any visible plaque or infection areas with a Q-Tip, dipped into a solution of say, three or four Anti-Canker Tablets of whatever sort ( Spartrix, Metronidazole, Ronidazole, or 'cocktails' made of all three...) into which I have added a few drops of "DMSO".


This solution I make for topical applications, is so that the several ( say, four ) tablets of Metronidazole or it and other anti-canker meds, are dissolved in say, one Tablespoon of Water, in a Shot Glass...amd dissolved thoroughly of course...and stirred with the Q-Tip before each occasion of swabbing, since the particulates will settle at liesure.


Then, gently saturating the efflicted areas, AND saturating their counterparts outside, saturating the skin there, useing a Q-Tip, and when saturating inside areas, being mindful of their unseen Tracheal aperature laying as it can, under local plaque, so that I do not cause any of the solution to dribble where it could cause a problem there.


Usually, if the inflamitory debris or placque is thick, the plaque will loosen it's attatchment to the unerlieing tissues, partially at first, then more...and the Pigeon will 'shake' it loose and out on his own.

These artefacts can be startlingly huge sometimes, and one I recall the Pigeon shaking out finally was close to an inch and a half long and 3/8ths of an inch wide and thick...and was like firm 'Tofu' and very 'rubbery'.


When attatched or partially attatched, it is usually adhering too strongly on one end or in other partial ways, to be removed, so I am patient with this and I do not tug on semi-loosened debris, but instead, I let the Pigeon decide and let him shake his head for it to come out when it is ready.



Oxytetracycline AND Byrtril combined, have been my recourse sometimes, and probably should always be, and you might want to consider using them both along with the Metronidazole for this sort of occasion.


I prefer to swab on the topical application of the anti-canker Solution three or four times-a-day.


They can get into open Beak breathing when the placque or debris is compromising their Thracheal aperature, and this CAN get much worse once the adhering portions of the plaque are in-effect dissolving their bonds and getting mucousy and making lots of slime, and one deals with this as one may, if one can at all.


At that phase, once lots of slime has been getting made for say two or three days, I have sometimes folded a small cotton cloth to be about the size of a Cigarette package, and had it lightly but definitely saturated with pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine, and set it into the Cage, into tha Cage bars but 'low', and each time the Pigeon has sought it out and spent the night with his face right in it, and next day, caughed or shook out sometimes HUGE debris-artifacts or 'plaque' material, and were then breathing normally again and looking very happy about it.



One can try cleaning out the mucous at this phase also, using a dry Q-tip and gently rolling it into the goo to lift and remove the slime, but it is being produced usually at a rate where one would be doing little else but that, just trying to keep up.


Anyway...


Good luck..!


Provide good 'warmth' of course if he is thin or if any doubt about his quality of endothermy while he is dealing with this.




Phil
l v
 

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This is some really specific, useful information. Wow!!! I am going to copy this and save it on my computer. Great job on describing this stuff!! Again - Wow!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Couldn't get any clear shots of inside the lower mandible. Meanwhile, here's the best shot I did get. You can see the lesion just inside the upper beak.

Phil,

Plaque is white/yellow. She was very alert (looked at me) when I came home yesterday. Lots of droppings. She was quite fluffed, so I had a heat pad in with her.

This morning very lethargic but less "slimey." I painted her mouth with Spartrix and silver and tubed some formula (with Spartrix and Baytril), after which she was full-out open-beak breathing.

I might nebulize her with some saline (don't know if she needs the gent) tonight to try to help loosen things. The turpentine is an interesting idea, but I'm not going to use any essential oils in the house (I have cats, and EOs are toxic to them).

Thanks!
Jennifer
 

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Hi Jennifer,

Here are the references that I found about the location of pox versus canker.

Dr Colin Walker :The Flying Vet's Pigeon Health Management

The most common disease that pox is confused with is canker....when it occurs in the mouth (mucosal pox) , the lesion looks like yellow plaque , which is easy to confuse with canker....there are two simple loft based tests that a fancier can use to distinguish between the two:

The site of the lesion: If an imaginary line is drawn through the base of the bird's beak, then any lesions between this line and the tip of the beak are likely to be pox vesicles. This area is too hostile and exposed for trichomonad organisms to survive. Conversely, lesions on the throat side of this line are likely to be canker.

Attachment to surrounding tissue: As canker lesions invade, there is often a fragile line of inflammation at the edge of the lesion, which enables separation of the canker from the surrounding tissue. The pox lesion is a vesicle or blister of the mouth lining itself, and so cannot be separated from it.

Dr Wym Peters : Fit to Win

Position: The yellow pox lesions in the mouth and throat may resemble canker but the lesions of pox, resulting when birds have fought, are usually more in the front, middle and side of the mouth. Canker is seen further back in the throat.

F.W.D Harper B.V.Sc M.R.C.V.S Coughs & Colds: Croaks and Canker

Pox or canker lesions can occur in the mouth and obstruct the opening to the airway.
Pox lesions in the mouth are the most difficult to distinguish from canker. Since pox originally forms as a blister, the crater of which fills with a yellow plug once it bursts, the lesions tend to be flatter having the appearance of “filling in” rather than “growing out” They also tend to occur further forward and to the edge of the beak (they probably arise in fight wounds). A check for canker is not much help in differentiating, since many birds affected by pox may also harbour trichomonads, nevertheless treat pox-affected birds that show Trichomonas, since they can exacerbate the problem.

There can be other conditions or combinations with a similar effect. In Fit to Win there is a photo of a bird wih with Circo virus infection which has oral viral ulcers covered by yellow discharge.

(I have cats, and EOs are toxic to them).
I didn't know that...but aromatic essential oils are toxic to birds, so I don't use them either.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for that info, Cynthia! It's very interesting.

Based on those descriptions, what I'm seeing must at least be pox or both pox and canker. Our avian vet recently told me that canker tends to form in layers that "can be peeled away" and that pox tends to bleed whereas canker doesn't, which surprised me. (I told him I'd seen my share of canker birds who had bloody lesions, which surprised him.) He said the only way to diagnose pox for sure was via histopathology.

With this bird, I can see a "line of inflammation" to one side of the foremost lesion in the lower beak, which fits Dr. Walker's canker picture; however, the same lesion is also flat, which fits Dr. Peter's pox description.

but aromatic essential oils are toxic to birds, so I don't use them either
Ah. Makes sense, given that birds are so sensitive to all kinds of fumes.

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm really sad to report that this little pigeon died just now. When I came home, she had that look, but I thought I ought to try to feed her anyway. Tubing went fine (no open-beak breathing or distress after, and she actually looked a little better), but just now I had the feeling I should look in her carrier.

She was lying on her side with her head tucked under; formula was oozing out of her beak and her wing was spasming. I picked her up, and in the next few moments she was gone.

I wish I had found her sooner. I remember how alert she was yesterday, looking at me in that cute way they do. Somehow that memory makes me even sadder.

Jennifer
 

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Sorry to hear that Jenfer. I know you try so hard to save them but some just aren't meant to be. They do steal your heart though don't they.
 

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I am so sorry, Jennifer.

Cynthia
 
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