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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday, I noticed that Walter's (older king pigeon) preen gland is considerably enlarged and yellow (leucocytes?). It's soft and about the size and shape of a garbanzo bean (chickpea). It doesn't appear abnormally sensitive. Any ideas?

The birds were treated with Ivormec for worms on Friday. In the past week, I've twice seen Walter looking like he was throwing up (nothing came out). Other than that, he seems fine: eating, pooping, courting Grace.
 

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Hi TerriB,

I'm sorry to hear about Walter.

Is he having any other health issues?

I would keep a close eye on him, his immune system may be just a bit compromised.
 

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preen gland is considerably enlarged and yellow
Where is that and how can you tell? Do you have pictures?
 

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Terri, as mentioned, I'd keep a close eye on it especially considering the vomiting that Walter is also experiencing. You might want to 'pat' the gland w/diluted peroxide (a 10%) solution mixed w/water) am & pm. It may be that he isn't feeling well and so not 'working' his preening gland, but keeping a close eye should reveal more in the next couple of days. Hope nothing serious is going on for Walter.

fp
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
...Is he having any other health issues?
I would keep a close eye on him, his immune system may be just a bit compromised.
Thanks for asking, Treesa. He has a chronic respiratory condition - just finished a session of Clavamox for that. I've wondered about circo virus, given his various problems.

Where is that and how can you tell? Do you have pictures?
Hi Kippy. The preen gland is located on the bird's back right where the body feathers meet the tail feathers. Normally, it's just a smallish nub - less than 0.5 cm for Walter. Sorry, I don't have a picture.

...(Dr. A. Pilny) recommended to just gently ''express'' the excess oil every so often...if we forgot to express the gland it would become inflamed and tender. When that happened, we would smear some antibiotic cream on it until it looked normal again. BTW this keet had a badly scissored beak, (born that way) and could not utilize the oil on her own.
I tried to see if I could express anything, but wasn't able to. Plus, he strongly objected to that. Since he is normally cooperative about things, I'm guessing it's uncomfortable. Did you get the antibiotic cream from the vet or do you think Neosporin would work?

...You might want to 'pat' the gland w/diluted peroxide (a 10%) solution mixed w/water) am & pm. It may be that he isn't feeling well and so not 'working' his preening gland, but keeping a close eye should reveal more in the next couple of days. Hope nothing serious is going on for Walter.
fp
Thanks, fp. Do you think a "backed-up" gland would turn yellow? It's the color like when a bird has canker or another infection. I thought about a warm moist compress to help it resolve, but the location is a bit tricky with new feathers coming in.
 

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Hi TerriB,



If his Preen Gland somehow got clogged, it could fill up and enlarge and be possibly quite tender.


If nothing came out when you tried to 'express', then this likely is the trouble.


Can you see where the nomal opening of it would be? even if it is not any longer truely 'open'?


This happens of course with various skin Glands in people and other animals also, where, the sin either accidently grows over and prevents it from releasing it's 'Oil', or, somehow a clog occurs...and the little Gland then just keeps filling up with no way to get emptied...




Phil
l v
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Slow Improvement

Well, there has been some slow improvement. The preen gland is softer and has reduced in size a bit, still very tender but not getting worse. Maybe soaking his back end in warm salt water will encourage healing. Still haven't been able to express anything.

The nights are getting cooler (50s), so he now gets a heat disk in the mornings and at night to lay on. Figure the additional warmth will help.
 

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Hi TerryB,




Are you able to see what would be the tiny opening of the Gland?


And, is it indented there?


It might need to be mechanically re-opened, as say, with a sterile 'Pin' or better yet, a Hypodermic Needle, and even gently squeezed then, in order to regain it's necessary ability to release it's contents and to have a functioning 'duct'...



Phil
l v
 

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Terri

I would not think it advisable to stick anything into the gland without the bird actually being examined by a vet who deals with 'exotics'.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Made up a bucket of warm salt water and held Walter's back half submerged for several minutes. Must have felt good because he was calm and quiet. He and Grace are courting, so I let him tend to her for a while, then checked his preen gland - still enlarged, but softer than when I first noticed it. I could finally find the indentation and probable opening but don't think I'm going to try to do anything invasive. He let me apply some gentle pressure (no discharge) and let me know when he'd had enough. I'll repeat the sitz bath tomorrow.

The article also mentioned Vitamin A. I still need to check if that's covered in any of the supplements I'm currently giving.
 

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Wow, very interesting and thank you for the photo.

Just a thought but there should be a sticky with those tags on this subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
KD (7 yr) abruptly stopped laying eggs a year ago. There was no evidence of retained eggs but her condition slowly deteriorated. Tried 10 days of Clavamox - no change. A knowledgeable pigeon breeder suggested normal aging. The vet said it was not hormonal but nost likely a nutritional issue. Tried various supplements and offered different fresh foods - no change.

About a month ago, I read a comment on this forum regarding different wormers targeting different worms. Although I worm every four months, it had been a year and half since using Pyrantel pamoate so I immediately treated with Moxidectin Plus.

Since my birds live in a flight pen and aren't exposed to other pigeons, the last time I treated them for canker was about a year and a half ago. Instead, twice a year I had the vet do a crop swab of a different bird - which always came back negative.

The reason I'm including this in Walter's thread even though they presented different symptoms is that the causes were related. While at the Puyallup Fair pigeon show, I was fortunate enough to talk with Gene Nollan about Walter's enlarged preen gland. He suggested it might be internal (wet) canker, which can attack any tissue. Since one symptom of canker is poor condition, it seemed like this could also apply to KD. So I treated with RonSec for canker.

It's been a month since treating for worms and canker and KD is noticeably improved - looking better and acting more herself (feisty!). Walter's preen gland is half the size it was and this afternoon I was finally able to express a tiny bit of preen oil. His uropygial gland is working again and he started molting so definitely seems to be improving.

So it cames back to basics - treat regularly for worms and Trich, and be careful to rotate meds!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update

Okay, so Walter's preen gland ruptured. :( The veterinarian put him on antibiotics initially but long term has me doing the warm salt water soak daily, followed by Neosporin ointment to keep the area soft. Been doing this for several weeks now. At one point, I was able to milk out some preen oil, but nothing since then. I'm hoping the wound will gradually heal, but it sure is taking it's time.

Other than that, he's eating, drinking, pooping, and relating to his mate like normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Some Improvement

Three more weeks of supportive care (alternate days of warm water soak and warm compresses) and daily applications of Neosporin. His preen gland is still much larger than normal and the wound isn't completely healed, but it does seem to be improving. I'm glad he's so much bigger than the other birds so none of them pick on his boo-boo. :)
 
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