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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks,

I have never seen anything like this before and need your input with a really big problem.

We have had very wet weather for the past month+ and this has resulted in many ferals becoming terribly sick with protozoal, bacterial and parasitic infections. I have six wild ones in-house right now, in various stages of (dis)repair, being treated for E. coli, Tetramaria, amoeba, Eimeria, fungus -- you name it, they got it. But they are slowly improving.

Here's the big problem tonight... One sweet little gal who I have in since July 26 had really started to improve within the past couple of days. Her fecal smear today showed lots of budding yeast. This was a result of metronidazole (for amoeba) and spectinomycin (for E. coi) administration, and despite receiving ACV in her drinking water and yogurt in baby cereal via crop needle. When I picked her up tonight to give her some nystatin, she had a flat dime-size open wound under her left wing that is weeping plasma. There is no puss, no fetid smell, just an open hole in her side that you can look at the fascia under her skin. What the #$%+ is that?

Feeling her body, I discovered a lump about the size of three pencil erasers on her dorsal right side about two inches from the preen gland. It is starting to "erupt" on one end, and has the same appearance as the wound under her left wing, except that it is raised. I will aspirate this thing with a fine gauge needle to see if there are any microorganisms in it.

I couldn't help but wonder if any of you have seen any parasites -- worms in particular -- cause a lump that drains like this. She received one dose of ivermectin and pyrantel pamoate for roundworms, and her fecal is negative for eggs.

Any help greatly appreciated!
 

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did you push on it to see if anything like a maggot or grub of some kind can be popped out?...I have seen dogs with lumps that turned out to be a fly maggot in the skin...but not sure if that is the case....
 

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Paratyphoid (Salmonellosis) will sometimes cause boils (eruptions) on joints due to overpressure of synovial fluid. Fine needle aspirates generally are very clean with nothing to be found other than a few RBC nuclei--you virtually never find the responsible bacteria. And, for that matter, Salmonellosis isn't the only thing that can do that...

However, you seem to indicate nodules on the actual trunk, not associated with joints. Can you post pictures?

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
you seem to indicate nodules on the actual trunk, not associated with joints. Can you post pictures?

Pidgey
I would love to post a photo of it! Do I host images to a photo site, then drop the hyperlink for them here, or is there an easier way?

I am going to clean up the bird, aspirate the lump, and shoot some images.

Thanks!
 

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There's more than one way to post pictures here--you can use the "Go Advanced" button below the text-entry window and scroll down till you see the "Manage Attachments" button, which is pretty self-explanatory after that. However, you have to limit the size of the images to 100 KB.

There's another option where you have to go to your profile and add an album or something. I haven't explored that option since they upgraded the site and I've got an image hosting account so I link big pictures.

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update and photos

Here are the photos of the eruption wounds on the bird:
Under the left wing...

It looks like viscera or entrails. The bird doesn't bat an eye as I probe and press it. Spirit Wings, I too thought the greyish white stuff looked like a maggot, but it is not.

Back at right hand side


Overhead view of wet birdie with eruption wound on right hand side


I aspirated one of the wounds, Gram stained and found mostly RBC's, very few white cells, rare macrophages, and a few scattered clumps of Gram (+) cocci. No yeast or other mycoses seen. I had enough sample left in the needle to culture it, and it is growing some small colonies that I will ID after they grow out a little more. There were so few bacteria in the wound, I don't think the eruption was bacterial in origin. It wasn't abscessed or purulent either. This is why I was thinking more along the lines of a large parasite having erupted through the skin.

Does this look like anything you may have seen before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tapeworms too!

Coincidentally, this bird pooped in her water dish and as the poop broke apart in the water, I discovered hundreds of tiny white "egg sacks" as such...


I prepared a wet mount of two of these puppies, and when I cover slipped them, the sacks broke open and released these...



And picking one out for a glamorous close-up...


I sent the photos to a wonderful parasitologist acquaintance who informed me,
"The last 3 photos are beautiful photos of tapeworm eggs. That would make the first photo tapeworm proglottids (perhaps they swelled in the water)."
Ick, ick, ick! So I gave the birdie a plump dose of pyrantel pamoate tonight for the tapeworms. But I don't believe that has any connection with the wounds that simultaneously erupted on her back.

I ordered a bottle of Mediworm from Jedds. It's a much stronger tableted version of pyrantel pamoate plus praziquantel. Do you folks prefer any other dewormers for tapeworms?
 

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That oughta' do it on the wormer.

Are you sure those little white capsules laying in that wound aren't... something like egg sacs? Check 'em to see if they're soft and movable.

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Pidgey, I completely agree... that white stuff looks like egg sacks or something that should be dissected out. They are soft, but they don't move at all. I took a hand lens and bright light to them, and very gently pressed on them with a blunt instrument, before I noticed incredibly fine vascularization at the surface, and immediately stopped the "poking." So that ain't no bug! :eek:
 

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Tapeworms can sure do a number on an animals vitamin uptake. I suppose that it's possible that he's suffering a whopping hypovitaminosis. Can you take and post a picture of that under-wing lesion from a little further back so that we can see it with respect to the rest of the bird? Very occasionally, a bird will get a tear under there for unknown reasons but you'd get the idea that the skin just stretched too far and broke. I'll see if I can find a picture of one to illustrate that (Aias and Sabina had one like that once). If this bird was suffering the disintegration of the skin for a hypovitaminosis reason as well as a reduced immune system, then I suppose you could get something weird like this. Back in a jiffy...

Pidgey
 

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Well, crud! The correct pictures aren't available about Simone (Aias and Sabina's bird with that problem) anymore. I'm having a difficult time remembering who else had one like that...

Pidgey
 

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For your info, Moxidectin Plus from the Australian Pigeon Company contains praziquantel for tapeworm. (In case you have some on hand).

Beautiful photos, Columbidae.

What photo were you looking for, Pidgey? Not the one with the hematoma under the wing?

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Drats! -- another skin eruption

I type this one-handed, while holding a wet towel-clad bird in the other hand.

She developed a third eruption through her skin overnight. Just finished bathing her in a sink full of Virkon to disinfect the skin and feathers, and soften the tissue around the wounds. Will try to get fresh pics this afternoon. The new wound is near her tail, dorsal side, where the tail feathers meet the body (I call that the "hip" area where the bird can wiggle and articulate her tail). It's smaller than the other two open wounds -- about 1/4 inch diameter. All I can think of are those stupid sci-fi movies where the alien germinates inside the host, then BAM! bursts through the skin and...

I am going to take some impressions of all three wounds -- all open and leaking plasma -- and aspirate the new one. Will acid fast stain for mycobac too. It blows me away that she appears unaffected by this. Eats well, great looking poop "balls" that are easy to pick up, no complaints handling her or touching the wounds. It's beyond weird.
 

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Found this while trying to think of keywords for images Pidgey was referring to earlier:

Excerpt from question asked on how to help a pigeon, in this thread:
http://ask.metafilter.com/37850/Help-for-an-injured-pigeon-in-NYC
(don't bother to read the whole thread)

... the still-alive pigeon had a gaping bloody hole in its chest with maggots and large, live beetle in it.
If the pigeon doesn't mind you handling it touching its wounds, it would be interesting to know if it has been desensitized, if it doesn't feel tactile stimulation in the affected area. Maybe injected toxins? (Injected by mosquitoes or other insects?

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Can biting feather lice transmit disease to pigeon

Larry -- thanks for that info.

Can feather lice be a vector for injecting bacteria or parasite eggs beneath the skin? This bird was loaded with them. What is best/safest/easiest product to get rid of them? Ivermectin orally did not clear them on this bird, so I had to resort to a pyrethrine spray.
 
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