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Hi all!

I really need some advice on how to help Coco, a feral pigeon I rescued.

The whole backstory: I caught Coco about 3 months ago, because he had a really bad case of stringfoot. However, it turned out stringfoot was not his only problem, as he also suffered from extremely bad, watery diarrhea. I immediately treated him with a broad-spectrum antibiotic (enrofloxacin), because his feet were swollen and bleeding. 10 days later, I treated him for canker and cocci, and also gave him a dewormer.

TLDR: Ever since I brought Coco in, he's had very bad watery diarrhea, and he's been drinking excessive amounts of water. I've sent a crop swab and a droppings sample to a lab, and all they told me is that he has some cocci and some yeast, but that it isn't "too bad". I've tried everything, including water with ACV and probiotics (although the brand I used only contains 1 strain of bacteria), but his condition is not improving. I'm very worried he's damaging his kidneys by drinking so much, but I don't know if I should take the water away or not.

I'm not an experienced rehabber, but I would really like to help Coco. Please, could anyone offer some advice? What other conditions could cause his symptoms? I don't know what else to do :(.
 

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Hey I'm also from the UK (Scotland) im new to helping wild pigeons as well and I wish I could offer some advice but hopefully @Marina B may have some advice to help when their back online. Can I ask where did you get the stuff from to treat the canker is it easy to get a hold ov in the UK or of my vet I've looked it up but I don't trust any unless someone has used something with good results and you can't trust the comments on amazon or that lol. Hopefully your wee guy perks up soon and you get the advice you need off someone, I just lost a young rescue pigeon at the weekend due to bad canker he was beautiful black and white with and specks of black on his white face
 

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Polyuria (excessive watery urine) can be a symptom of kidney damage/disease, diabetes, an infection involving the kidneys, endotoxins from bacteria after treating with antibiotics, or flushing out medicines. A blood test should be able to tell.

How long has the excessive watery droppings have been going on? You mentioned diarrhea as well. Perhaps there is still an infection. A picture would help here. If you can post a few pictures of fresh drippings on white paper towels, that would be very useful. I am interested in seeing the color of the urine fluids, the color of the urates, and the color and consistency of the fecal portion of the droppings.

I would definately keep up with a coccidistat like Diclazuril and perhaps an antifungal like Nystatin. Sometimes after antibiotics, an internal fungal overgrowth can occur.

Be sure to provide some electrolytes in the water like a 50/50 mix of water and pedialyte for a few days to prevent severe dehydration and shock. And also provide liquid vitamins for caged birds as well in the water.
 
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Hey I'm also from the UK (Scotland) im new to helping wild pigeons as well and I wish I could offer some advice but hopefully @Marina B may have some advice to help when their back online. Can I ask where did you get the stuff from to treat the canker is it easy to get a hold ov in the UK or of my vet I've looked it up but I don't trust any unless someone has used something with good results and you can't trust the comments on amazon or that lol. Hopefully your wee guy perks up soon and you get the advice you need off someone, I just lost a young rescue pigeon at the weekend due to bad canker he was beautiful black and white with and specks of black on his white face
Hey there! I used Harkers Spartrix for canker and Harkers Coxitabs for cocci. Sorry to hear about your youngster! Mine is quite strong all things considered, but I'm afraid things will take a turn for the worse unless I figure out what's wrong with him
 

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Polyuria (excessive watery urine) can be a symptom of kidney damage/disease, diabetes, an infection involving the kidneys, endotoxins from bacteria after treating with antibiotics, or flushing out medicines. A blood test should be able to tell.

How long has the excessive watery droppings have been going on? You mentioned diarrhea as well. Perhaps there is still an infection. A picture would help here. If you can post a few pictures of fresh drippings on white paper towels, that would be very useful. I am interested in seeing the color of the urine fluids, the color of the urates, and the color and consistency of the fecal portion of the droppings.

I would definately keep up with a coccidistat like Diclazuril and perhaps an antifungal like Nystatin. Sometimes after antibiotics, an internal fungal overgrowth can occur.

Be sure to provide some electrolytes in the water like a 50/50 mix of water and pedialyte for a few days to prevent severe dehydration and shock. And also provide liquid vitamins for caged birds as well in the water.
Thanks for the information! The watery droppings have been going on since day 1 unfortunately. His droppings have a lot of urine, and he poops almost constantly. I've checked his droppings for yellow urates, but he's never had that problem. The photo I've attached is from this morning. I'll post some more later today, as his droppings tend to be more substantial after he eats (and the diarrhea is more obvious).

I haven't been able to find Nystatin (I don't believe they sell it over the counter in the UK). In terms of supplements, when I first took him in I gave him a multivitamin supplement in the water, and now I've switched him to Avipro Avian which contains probiotics and electrolytes, but I'm not sure if others have had good experiences with this supplement.

Does anyone happen to know a pigeon-friendly (and hopefully knowledgeable) vet in London?

coco1.jpeg coco2.jpeg
 

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For how long did you treat for canker? Any chance of getting hold of metronidazole? Also called flagyl. You might find if you have a petshop closeby.
 

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For how long did you treat for canker? Any chance of getting hold of metronidazole? Also called flagyl. You might find if you have a petshop closeby.
I treated from October 1st until October 15th (1 Spartrix per day) Not sure if I can find metronidazole, but I can try to look for it. The lab test included a canker test too, but they didn't say anything about that, so I assume it was negative.
 

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Hi, try to give a look at this link:


If you are on Facebook here is a pigeon protection group in UK, they could be maybe able to suggest you a good and serious pigeon - friendly vet:


Here you can find many helpful info and pics about poops, give it a look and try to compare the droppings of your bird with the situations mentioned there :


About probiotics - I have good experience with this product: Oceproven Virbac or Vitaregul Francodex (they both have the same composition but the second one is more convenient because it is for bigger amounts of water)
It's a French product but you could try to look for something similar. it contains B-glucans and mannan oligosaccharides, it was suggested by my vet.


I would not treat him again for canker without new vet test or without seeing canker in his beak or at least without suspecting it. The vet test didn't show canker and you gave him spartrix. Stress (originated by medications and by the whole situation) could increase the risk of multiplication of the canker organism but now you don't know if that happened (it happened to my pigeon Londo when I was treating her for her cloacal prolapse). Treating him again for canker without a real reason would be more harmful than useful. That's my own opinion, of course.
Canker is not always visible in the mouth/throat but have you tried to check inside his beak with a flashlight? Have you noticed something? Any bad smell?
 

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Hi, try to give a look at this link:


If you are on Facebook here is a pigeon protection group in UK, they could be maybe able to suggest you a good and serious pigeon - friendly vet:

I'm not on facebook unfortunately, but I'll try reaching out to other bird friendly organizations in the area.

Here you can find many helpful info and pics about poops, give it a look and try to compare the droppings of your bird with the situations mentioned there :


About probiotics - I have good experience with this product: Oceproven Virbac or Vitaregul Francodex (they both have the same composition but the second one is more convenient because it is for bigger amounts of water)
It's a French product but you could try to look for something similar. it contains B-glucans and mannan oligosaccharides, it was suggested by my vet.

Thanks for the information! The droppings interpretation page you linked looks like a great resource, I'll give that a read.

I would not treat him again for canker without new vet test or without seeing canker in his beak or at least without suspecting it. The vet test didn't show canker and you gave him spartrix. Stress (originated by medications and by the whole situation) could increase the risk of multiplication of the canker organism but now you don't know if that happened (it happened to my pigeon Londo when I was treating her for her cloacal prolapse). Treating him again for canker without a real reason would be more harmful than useful. That's my own opinion, of course.
Canker is not always visible in the mouth/throat but have you tried to check inside his beak with a flashlight? Have you noticed something? Any bad smell?
Sorry, I should've been clearer - I'm not planning to treat him for canker again (I was just saying I'll look for metronidazole in case I need it for other birds later). Back when I did treat him, it was before running the tests (I didn't know there were tests available for pigeons, but I've since found out). I did it because I've been reading this forum and people seem to suggest canker is present in most ferals and that it's usually a safe bet to treat them for it. Your point is perfectly valid though, and I agree that it doesn't make sense to medicate randomly.

His throat is clear and doesn't have any other symptoms than diarrhea/thirst (and perhaps occasional sneezing, but I think that might be due to dust).
 

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Hey there! I used Harkers Spartrix for canker and Harkers Coxitabs for cocci. Sorry to hear about your youngster! Mine is quite strong all things considered, but I'm afraid things will take a turn for the worse unless I figure out what's wrong with him
Thank you n Where about did you get them was it online or a vets, awww I'm sure he will be absolutely fine with your care hopefully it's just bad bacteria or that thats exiting his body as it needs to come out somewhere lol but hopefully he makes a speedy recovery. Yeah I was hoping the little guy was gonna make it but when I got a hold ov him the canker was really bad he was so thin only way I knew he was young was he didn't have any colour in his eyes they where all black but he was fully feathered his willet I'm sure it's called was a brownie color with little hairs on it and just starting to turn white he was an absolute smasher I will attach a photo of him
 

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Thank you n Where about did you get them was it online or a vets, awww I'm sure he will be absolutely fine with your care hopefully it's just bad bacteria or that thats exiting his body as it needs to come out somewhere lol but hopefully he makes a speedy recovery. Yeah I was hoping the little guy was gonna make it but when I got a hold ov him the canker was really bad he was so thin only way I knew he was young was he didn't have any colour in his eyes they where all black but he was fully feathered his willet I'm sure it's called was a brownie color with little hairs on it and just starting to turn white he was an absolute smasher I will attach a photo of him
Thank you for the kind words. I'm so sorry about your little one - I know that despite our best efforts, it is too late for some of them.. At least you gave him another chance.

In case anybody wants to know, I used an online service for the tests testing.
 

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After looking at the photo with the droppings, it just looks like an issue of polyuria and not diarrhoea. The urine looks absolutely clear and the fecal portion looks intact.

I would definately try a little electrolytes and water soluable bird vitamins in the water. Aside from Vitamin A and D3, B vitamins will aid in recovery. I would let his kidneys heal and allow for electrolyte rebalance and skip medications as long as there are no obvious signs of illness, lethargy, etc. Just try not to add too much salts into the water. A 50/50 mix of water to infant electrolyte water (like Pedialyte) for a few days should suffice.

If the problem persists for another week after electrolytes I would say reach out to a pigeon-friendly wildlife centre (not National Trust charities) or a pigeon-friendly vet or pigeon racing club or organisation. If you tell a vet he is a pet, they are less likely to euthanise. The little one may need blood labs and a proper diagnosis. I hope that the pigeon recovers and is well on the mend. Cheers for rescuing him!
 

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After looking at the photo with the droppings, it just looks like an issue of polyuria and not diarrhoea. The urine looks absolutely clear and the fecal portion looks intact.

I would definately try a little electrolytes and water soluable bird vitamins in the water. Aside from Vitamin A and D3, B vitamins will aid in recovery. I would let his kidneys heal and allow for electrolyte rebalance and skip medications as long as there are no obvious signs of illness, lethargy, etc. Just try not to add too much salts into the water. A 50/50 mix of water to infant electrolyte water (like Pedialyte) for a few days should suffice.

If the problem persists for another week after electrolytes I would say reach out to a pigeon-friendly wildlife centre (not National Trust charities) or a pigeon-friendly vet or pigeon racing club or organisation. If you tell a vet he is a pet, they are less likely to euthanise. The little one may need blood labs and a proper diagnosis. I hope that the pigeon recovers and is well on the mend. Cheers for rescuing him!
Thank you for the reply. I thought it was diarrhea because it looked a bit mushy, but I think you're right, the droppings probably look like that because of the amounts of urine he's producing. I've attached a better photo of the droppings.

In terms of vitamins, I have been giving him "Nekton T" (for pigeons) with the following composition:

COMPOSITION:
  • 6,600,000 IU of vitamin A,
  • 10,000 IU vitamin D3,
  • 13,265 mg of vitamin E,
  • 665 mg of vitamin B1 (thiamine hydrochloride),
  • 1680 mg of vitamin B2 (riboflavin),
  • 3330 mg pantothenic acid (calcium pantothenate-D),
  • 10 000 mg nicotinamide,
  • 665 mg of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride),
  • 224 mg of folic acid,
  • 2000 mg of vitamin B12,
  • 16,660 mg of vitamin C (L (+) - ascorbic acid),
  • 1330 mg of vitamin K3 (menadione sodium bisulfite),
  • 50.000 g Biotin,
  • 3.000 mg Iron (ferrous sulfate -II-),
  • 1.220 mg of zinc (zinc sulfate),
  • 1250 mg of manganese (manganese oxide),
  • 250 mg of copper (copper-II-sulphate)
  • 100 mg Iodine (calcium iodate).
  • L-lysine 0.2%,
  • 0.2% DL-methionine
  • Dextrose
  • Silicic acid,
  • Calcium carbonate

I've recently switched him from the vitamins to a probiotic supplement (with vitamin A and electrolytes), but I'm not sure whether the salt/sugar/water ratio in this one is right for him. I will be trying the solution you've mentioned.

I will find him a vet, but there is no way I'll let anyone euthanize him.


coco3.jpeg
 

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I'm not on facebook unfortunately, but I'll try reaching out to other bird friendly organizations in the area.



Thanks for the information! The droppings interpretation page you linked looks like a great resource, I'll give that a read.



Sorry, I should've been clearer - I'm not planning to treat him for canker again (I was just saying I'll look for metronidazole in case I need it for other birds later). Back when I did treat him, it was before running the tests (I didn't know there were tests available for pigeons, but I've since found out). I did it because I've been reading this forum and people seem to suggest canker is present in most ferals and that it's usually a safe bet to treat them for it. Your point is perfectly valid though, and I agree that it doesn't make sense to medicate randomly.

His throat is clear and doesn't have any other symptoms than diarrhea/thirst (and perhaps occasional sneezing, but I think that might be due to dust).
Thanks for clarifying. No need to apologize, it was me who assumed that you were considering the possibility of another canker treatment 🙄.

I only want to add that one of our pigeons (my brother's pigeon) had too watery poops (he is a PMV pigeon).
In addition to the French probiotics mentioned in my previous post, we gave him even a natural product called Oxycox. It contains garlic and others plants like thyme, tanacetum vulgaris, echinacea purpurea, triganella faenum graecum other than manganese and zinc. It protects the digestive system, helps to regulate the transit and provides a protection from parasitic infestation of coccidies.
After a few months of treatment with both products he stopped with watery poops.


If yoy could find something similar, you could give it a try.
 

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It will be very tricky to calculate the proper electrolyte and glucose ratio. Generally, a vet will have to know what the ideal weight (and BMI) of the bird should be at health and then determine fluid loss compared to fluid intake in order to ascertain the level of dehydration. Usually, when an animal has excess electrolytes (or toxins) they self regulate by increasing fresh water consumption. If the bird is having excess water loss due to polyuria or diarrhea, the bird may be at risk of dehyration or electrolyte depletion. The cause of polyuria should be diagnosed and have a blood plasma analysis performed to understand if there is an excess of electrolytes or not, or other signs of various disorders such as organ impairment or infection markers.

I would use a low to medium ratio to start out with for a few days, and then provide fresh pure water for a few days so the pigeon can self regulate granted it has normal kidney function.

I did note there are white urates included in the droppings in the last picture. This is a good indicator of healthy/normal kidney function, but without a proper blood test this is only speculative. Also, if the bird is too hot, is under some kind of stress, or is very physically active, this can cause polyuria to rid excess body heat. This is normal. But, if the bird is having an elevated body temperature due to unknown causes, it can be a cause for concern and may be a sign of an infection, a metabolic disorder, or disease.

I hope the little guy is well on the mend, and gets better soon :)
 

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I would be careful using thyme oil. There have been a few reports of toxicosis in pigeons using too much. Also, essential oils may put added stress on the liver and kidneys in a recovering state. It is best used as a preventative with caution.
 

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Thanks for clarifying. No need to apologize, it was me who assumed that you were considering the possibility of another canker treatment 🙄.

I only want to add that one of our pigeons (my brother's pigeon) had too watery poops (he is a PMV pigeon).
In addition to the French probiotics mentioned in my previous post, we gave him even a natural product called Oxycox. It contains garlic and others plants like thyme, tanacetum vulgaris, echinacea purpurea, triganella faenum graecum other than manganese and zinc. It protects the digestive system, helps to regulate the transit and provides a protection from parasitic infestation of coccidies.
After a few months of treatment with both products he stopped with watery poops.


If yoy could find something similar, you could give it a try.
Sorry for the late reply! PMV certainly sounds like a possibility as well, I've heard it can cause polyuria.

Thank you for the suggestion - for now, I'll try vitamins/electrolytes and supportive care in general, until I get a proper diagnosis.
 

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It will be very tricky to calculate the proper electrolyte and glucose ratio. Generally, a vet will have to know what the ideal weight (and BMI) of the bird should be at health and then determine fluid loss compared to fluid intake in order to ascertain the level of dehydration. Usually, when an animal has excess electrolytes (or toxins) they self regulate by increasing fresh water consumption. If the bird is having excess water loss due to polyuria or diarrhea, the bird may be at risk of dehyration or electrolyte depletion. The cause of polyuria should be diagnosed and have a blood plasma analysis performed to understand if there is an excess of electrolytes or not, or other signs of various disorders such as organ impairment or infection markers.

I would use a low to medium ratio to start out with for a few days, and then provide fresh pure water for a few days so the pigeon can self regulate granted it has normal kidney function.

I did note there are white urates included in the droppings in the last picture. This is a good indicator of healthy/normal kidney function, but without a proper blood test this is only speculative. Also, if the bird is too hot, is under some kind of stress, or is very physically active, this can cause polyuria to rid excess body heat. This is normal. But, if the bird is having an elevated body temperature due to unknown causes, it can be a cause for concern and may be a sign of an infection, a metabolic disorder, or disease.

I hope the little guy is well on the mend, and gets better soon :)
Thank you for the advice regarding the electrolyte solution - I've always had trouble finding a definitive answer regarding the sugar/salt/water ratio, and now I know why :)

And yes, there are white urates in there, although sometimes it's hard to tell because the droppings are always very watery. In terms of why he has polyuria, this is something I'll have to figure out: he's definitely not active (and does not seem visibly stressed), but I don't think I can rule out infection.
 

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Thank you all for the replies! I really do appreciate your advice on this matter, and I'm certain Coco is going to get well :). I've had a very hectic week so I'll use the weekend to find a vet and get him the help he needs as soon as possible.

Coco and I both thank you 🕊 I've learned a lot from all of your replies (and from my past lurking on the forum).
 

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Thank you all for the replies! I really do appreciate your advice on this matter, and I'm certain Coco is going to get well :). I've had a very hectic week so I'll use the weekend to find a vet and get him the help he needs as soon as possible.

Coco and I both thank you 🕊 I've learned a lot from all of your replies (and from my past lurking on the forum).

You are most welcome! I hope Coco recovers soon and is on the mend :)
 
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