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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

Where I live people often find sick and injured birds and they drop them off here as they know I will look after them and try and make them better. Over the years we have healed a lot of birds and released them, I have only ever kept 1 as it was too injured too release but it had healed. Releasing it would have basically sentanced her to death.

Someone dropped of a pure white dove yesterday, it looked like half of its neck was missing, it took a while then I thought it must have been a hawk attack by the way the feathers had been plucked and basically eaten away at the poor thing. Some how it managed to get away and survive.

After handling her indoors she managed to get loose whilst I was trying to clean the wound, she landed on her feet, looked strong and well and basically just walked around and was aware of who and were I was and tried to avoid me. I mixed some hydrogen peroxide with water and sprayed it on her wounds hoping to kill any infection she may have and put her in a large box and kept her warm.

I put my hand in with seed and she ate plenty and she is also drinking water so she seems well and not in shock or having any effects from being attacked.

Do you have any advice on what I should do? I could try and take a photo of her tomorrow, her neck has a lot of dried blood on it, it is a very large wound and I worry so much for this poor bird and I want her to get better, she is so beautiful, I have never handled a pure white dove. The bird we couldnt release due to her permanent injuries is a collard dove, she is so tame, she sits with me every night on my head and although its hard work keeping the place clean she is worth the hassle!

Will this poor dove ever recover from such an injury? What would be the best treatment for her?

I hope someone can offer some good advice so I can help the poor thing.

Kind Regards

Pirus
 

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Where are you located in case we have a member near by that can help you?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am in the UK, I found this forum on google with the search I was trying to find information on.

Liverpool England UK
 

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We have members in the UK. I'm going to send each of them a private message and see if they are available,
In the meantime, is it possible for you to post a picture of the injury?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Its 3:47am at the moment, the bird is in a warm dark room and probably asleep so I will leave it till the morning. This is her second night here, I checked her this morning and she seemed alert and strong and able to eat on her own. I will speak to my mother when I wake up to see how the dove has been behaving.

I will get a picture posted in the morning.
 

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I have sent each of 5 members a private message to have a look at this thread so, please check in a bit latter in the morning. I know they will do what they can to advise you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you, if it means passing the dove to someone who is more experienced I will do that if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That injury to its chest the one I keep here had that with maggots inside, it was horrid. She couldnt fly so on nice summers days I would go into the garden and put her on the grass and she would peck around with the other birds. I decided to stop doing it once when I looked up and there was a hawk sitting there waiting. A few weeks later I noticed blood on her chest and that had appeared so some sort of fly must have laid their eggs on her.

Anyway here are photos of the bird. I have put 4 large ones up (big file size) on my personal web server so you can zoom in and 4 cropped files.

I dont know what to do about the dried blood, she is now trying to pull it out as it must be annoying her but it starts to bleed again.

http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee46/urchinlfc/DSC00147sml.jpg

http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee46/urchinlfc/DSC00146sml.jpg

http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee46/urchinlfc/DSC00145sml.jpg

http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee46/urchinlfc/DSC00144sml.jpg

The ones below you are best saving to your pc if you wish to zoom in etc. You can do this by right clicking on the link and do save target as.

http://www.bets4free.com/dove/DSC00144.JPG
http://www.bets4free.com/dove/DSC00145.JPG
http://www.bets4free.com/dove/DSC00146.JPG
http://www.bets4free.com/dove/DSC00147.JPG
 

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Hello and welcome, though in sad circumstances.

This is from a post by Helen of Wild-Life-Line treated a pigeon that survived the attack:

At first glance this injured pidge doesn't look too bad. Extend his neck and you see that all the flesh surrounding the neck, shoulders and spine has gone. His spine and shoulder bones are exposed, although that is difficult to see through all the red. He's now installed under heat lamp with Synulox
in his system and the wound covered with BR jel. He should survive -
whether he'll regenerate enough muscle to fly again is another
matter. This is probably a sparrowhawk attack.


BR gel is an antibacterial gel. I don't know if you can still buy it or what the alternative is. Synulox is an antibiotic available from the vet. A hot waterbottle wrapped in a towel can replace the heatlamp.

He will be in shock and there will be blood loss, so you will also need to mix 1/2 tablespoon of glucose, 1/2 teaspoon salt and half a pint of warm water. Try dripping a bit in the bottom of his beak, but if he gets too distressed hold a bowl of water next to his beak. (Edited: actually I answered this before reading the entire post and thought it was a collared dove, as you know they are much more delicate. But make up the mix anyway to combat any blood loss).

Helen is in Blackburn Lancashire and her vet is Laura of
Springfield Veterinary Surgery
144 Redlam
Witton
Blackburn
Lancashire
BB2 1UW
01254 54654

I don't know if Laura is on duty today but you could try telephoning her for advice.

I could also try asking Helen to telephone you if you PM me your number but I don't know if I have her current number.

If you have to take him to a vet that is closer take a copy of this post to show that a pigeon can survive with even worse wounds.

It sounds as if he will make a full recovery but it is best to give him Synulox as the hawk's talons will have penetrated quite deeply and won't be particularly clean.

Cynthia
 
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Thank you so much for helping this poor dove! Cynthia is the best to give you advice on meds available in the UK as well as treatment. Fortunately this is a domestic dove, so it's not stressed and terrified at being handled the way a wild one would be. It must be someone's escaped pet. Best of luck with the little one.

-Cathy
 

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Poor thing...gosh, that must be painful.
 

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Poor thing...gosh, that must be painful.
Yes, she will need some Metacam.

Is the crop torn open? If it is, then we also have an account from Helen about a bird that had really bad crop damage and nearly got euthanased but is fine now .

Wash the dried blood off with water that has been boiled, had salt added and allowed to cool. If she continues to peck at the area then you can make her a little vest out of a pop sock .

I am glad you spotted the maggots in time on the dove you kept. I had a similar experience with a collared dove rescue, I had been told that a blubottle had been seen walking about her, but didn't find any eggs...then the maggots hatched and I found the flies had layed eggs where the feather shafts entered the skin. I was just about to leave the house, so I called in sick, but can't help thinking about what a nightmare it would have been for her if I had gone to work without checking in on her.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you all for the advice so far.

The steps I have taken so far before I read this forum are:

1. Kept the dove in a warm large box (see through) and tried to keep it dark so it stays calm.
2. Given the dove water with sugar and salt in (did not have any glucose but will get some)
3. Tried my best to kill any infection it may have by using hydrogen peroxide diluted with water and sprayed onto the injured area. I today noticed it had an injury under its wing, not big so this may be were the hawk put in its claws?
4. Given it seed, it is eating well and has no problem doing so, it even eats out of my hand as I try and do that so she doesnt have to bend down as it must be painful for her.

I dont really like taking wild animals to the vet, I took this dove there once and basically just got moaned at saying its a wild bird, your not allowed to keep hold of her etc. She didnt mention the fact that the bird cant fly and if it was in the wild it wouldnt last 5 minutes. Cost me a fortune and in the end all they gave me were some pain killers and a small neck thing to stop her pecking at her wound but she nearly ended up killing herself trying to get it off and getting her head stuck in it (well done vets).

The medicines you mention, are these available to buy anywhere or do you have to go to the vet? I take it that they wont just give it out either you will need to bring in the bird?

Tomorrow I will buy a hot water bottle for her and put that under its padding that it sleeps on and try my best to wash it. It is very difficult though, the dried blood is so thick you cant whipe it off it would have to be soaked for a long time to do it.
 

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Hi Pirus,

The dried blood will gradually soften, don't expect it to come off straight away. I had a white dove recently with an injury to the crop, nothing like as horrific as your little one, but it too had a lot of dried blood around the area.
As Cynthia suggested, use the saline water when it is still warm, soak some cotton wool and just hold it on the area you're treating for a while, don't rub, and it will soften. You may have to do it over a few days.
Also Cynthia recommended I pluck out a few feathers around the wound which I found helped a lot to see the wound as it was healing and once it was clean the bird tended to leave the wound alone more.

I wish you luck, it is a lovely bird.

Janet
 

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I dont really like taking wild animals to the vet, I took this dove there once and basically just got moaned at saying its a wild bird, your not allowed to keep hold of her etc.
I agree there, you have to have a vet that you can trust and that knows, or wants to learn, how to treat bird.

If a bird is ringed then the law only allows you to give it first aid, anything else has to be done by a vet. That done, you should trace the owner via the RPRA, describe the injuries , ask if he wants the pigeon back and if he will cover any veterinary fees. If he isn't a responsible owner then ask for the pigeon to be transferred to you.

Janet is right about plucking the feathers around any wound that you find. You will often find that birds that have been bitten or shot will have feathers and other debris rammed into the wound. These will come out without the wound being contaminated when you pluck the edge of the wound. so don't try to swab these out or to tweeze them out as this will add infection.

You should flush wounds aggressively with sterile saline which you can buy from a pharmacy, I know Boots have it for eye care. That will take care of most of te debris , but I wouldn't flush that chest wound if it is anything but superficial as water might get in the air sacs.

While the wound is healing you can dress it with Intrasite Gel (available at pharmacies), this will keep the wound moist and help with debridement - I will expand on that later!

Cynthia

PS this is a good site on avian wound management: http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2003/november/Cousquer/Avian-Wound-Management-Part-2.html
 
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Discussion Starter #17
My local vet does not know about birds, I took my dove there when we first found her and she advised me to go to one about 20 miles away as they are "experts" in that field. Took her there, got a hard time about having a wild dove had little or no help but a collar to put on the dove which nearly killed her.

I have never plucked any feathers before, the type of birds we get here are very often just babies who have either been abandoned by their mother or their mother has been killed and they have been left to fend for themselves. We do get the odd one that has been found and just unable to move but I have never dealt with a bird with such bad injuries.

What would I do to pluck the feathers? Wouldnt that be painful for the bird? I have just been in to check on her, I have let her out the box today and she is on a perch by the window looking out and generally looks well. If she didnt have that injury you would think there was nothing wrong with her. Is the water bottle still recommended as I will put one in her box over night if that is the case. I will try cleaning the wound a bit more today and buying some of the treatments you advised above.
 

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What would I do to pluck the feathers? Wouldnt that be painful for the bird?
These would be the very soft breast feathers, it won't hurt. They are the sort of feathers that collared doves lose if they struggle when you hold them, easily detatchable What you do is sterilise a pair of eyebrow tweezers and go round the very edge of the wound, tweaking all the time. Sometimes you will lift a feather out, other times there will be nothing to lift...don't look for feathers to tweak as the ones that have been pressed into the wound would be invisible to you.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Seems very happy today, even flying around the room a bit, perching and finding her own food and water.

Leaving her be tonight, would you suggest at night to put her in a box wit a hot water bottle or leave her alone?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Also I can see some new flesh growing, what would happen if there were feathers still in the wound when the flesh grew over it?
 
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