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Discussion Starter #1
Hello

Any help you can give with a pure white pigeon that has come to us would be appreciated. She (we think she) was flying and looked to be one of a healthy flock that lives on the roof next door. She came down to our garden (we are feeding two other white pigeons, she must have seen this from on high) and has appeared to deteriorate since, looking weaker by the day.

2 weeks ago Snowy was grounded, looks ill, hunched, closes eyes a lot, weak. Droppings generally dark green, not well formed blobs. Smells like algae. She swallows her food repeatedly. Eats a small tablespoon of sunflower seeds throughout day from the best pigeon diet to knowledge offered.

Last week I discovered cream/yellow pointed both ends smooth parasites in her droppings that could contract into balls. 2 or 3 mm. There were 20 or so in one and they would crawl away and dry up.

She's been taken to a vet who gave her Panacur on Tuesday. Since then parasites do not appear in droppings, which look a little improved but still not healthy. I also discovered thin brown lice mainly round neck. Have got KG Bird Spray to try. Her eating behaviour is the same though and is getting frailer everyday. Noticed now breast bone when she struggles to make a small step and collapses on back.

Worried not improving after worming whether she is reacting to a bad drug. Tried but don't want to tire out further by checking throat for canker. Not sure if she has coccidiosis.

See pictures of her leavings and video of how she appears. Any help or thoughts with what may be Snowy's issues and what we can do to aid recovery would be very much appreciated, thank you.

Snowy droppings, 1/4 size image

Snowy droppings 1/4 size image 2

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Full size image of above, may take time to load 2

MPG video of snowy
 

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Hi,

I hope she is doing better. Fenbendazole (Panacur) can be very hard on pigeons and toxicity can occur. But pancur is very potent. Sounds like she had tapeworms. Tapeworms may need a different drug if they remain as Panacur treats some, but not all. After she is free from any signs of illness, you can supply some silymarin (milk thistle extract) to her water to help her liver heal after the medication. About 1tsp to 1/2 litre will do.

Also, the dark green droppings are a problem. She may have a bacterial infection like salmonella and/or possibly Trich. Trich, or "canker", can cause green malodorous droppings and issues with emptying the crop hence the hard swallowing reflex. If you see yellow or white spots on her palate or near the tongue, or if the beak area smells foul, it very well may be trich (trichonomoniasis). Carnidazole (Spartix), ronidazole, or metronidazole can treat trich.

If she has paratyphoid (salmonellosis) or avian chlamydia (which are sadly common in pigeons), she may need to have her feces tested and be given antibiotics. Afterwards, some probiotic powder will help. If she needs to be on strong antibiotics or for a long duration (like for treating chlamydia with 45 days of doxycycline), she may do well with an antifungal like nystatin in her food and or water to prevent a candida fungal overgrowth from too much antibiotics. There is a lab in the UK that will test droppings via post and they are reasonably priced. See, https://www.laboklin.co.uk/laboklin/AvianTests.jsp?catID=AviFecal

If you can try to obtain liquid ribose supplement along with water soluble bird vitamins that contain A, B, C, E, and D. This will help her energy levels and aid in her recovery. She also may have vitamin deficiencies, especially having a few diseases. Also, liquid calcium gluconate (sold for pet lizards as a food spray) will promptly restore her calcium levels. It would not hurt if you mixed in some infant electrolyte water into her drinking water in a 50:50 ratio for a few days as well to prevent dehydration.

And the lice are slender pigeon lice and they do not suck blood, but chew on feather down. The spray will work.
 

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(Sorry, I had a bad link and had to fix it in that last post.)
 

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Did you bring her indoors? It may be best for her to be safe and kept very warm (25-30°C) and calm. She may need a dove seed mix. Sunflower seeds are generally too rich in fat. Safflower seed is better and provide more lean omega-3 fatty acids. Pigeons love millet, sorghum, dried peas, corn, and safflower, and need a little fine grit in a seperate dish to help digest the seed properly.
 

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Coccidiosis can sometimes occur along with some worm infestations, especially nematodes. It may be good to check her as she is displaying loads of the symptoms.
 

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Poor lass :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
jonrf

Thank you so much for your prompt response. Your expertise and compassion reassures. We will be following your advice and give updates. I'm selecting a dropping to send for lab analysis.

From this week she's been living downstairs with us and looks quite content despite her troubles.

Can you tell me the check for coccidiosis please?
 

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You're very welcome. Thank you for taking care of her!

Please keep us updated :) I hope she will soon be well on the mend.

To answer your question, a fecal floatation examination is usually the best method to look for oocytes of the coccidia parasite under a microscope.

Symptoms would include severe runny diarrhoea, extreme thirst, and loss of weight among others. See: Coccidiosis in Birds - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Coccidiostat antiprotozoal drugs like metronidazole, toltrazuril (Baycox), ronidazole, clazuril, or diclazuril are commonly used. Ronidazole also treats trich and giralda but may work on most coccidia species as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
:)

After going to your droppings lab test link, the pigeon test LABOKLIN performs seems to be for only salmonella and endoparasites. Could you tell me if you know of a place where I can get a general purpose one done covering coccidiosis as well please?

Snowy is free to go outside when she wants to for eating soil for digestion, fresh air and things.
 

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Endoparasites include worms and protozoans, or "internal" parasites. Both can be detected with the same method and procedure. Perhaps try contacting them or ringing them, as they may be able to detect both and do.

It may be best to keep her totally indoors to limit potential spread via droppings or recontamination by eating droppings or soil. Sometimes soil will harbor pathogens for years. You could provide mineral clay that is often sold by pigeon supply companies or make your own by baking some good clay carefully spread out on a baking pan tray and baked in the oven at low for a few hours to sterilise.
 

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Just be sure the clay is already dry and free from small rocks before baking. The rocks may explode and moisture can make a mess of things.
 

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Maybe this article will help regarding coccidia:

It is written concerning dogs but the pathology is the same for birds. It describes how a fecal floatation test with a microscope is used to see the oocysts. Worms and protozoans will have egg casts or cysts that are visible under a microscope.

The general procedure can be found on The Royal Veterinary College website:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you again jonrf for all your messages.

Sorry, I think I've made more sense of the disease definitions and tests now, in turn what action to take. I decided to give a droppings sample to Laboklin. We posted it today Special Delivery.

I think I'll continue letting Snowy outside if she asks but understand the risks. I wonder what to do for the best, and for Olly and Dovey, the other boy (or girl?) and girl (or boy?) white pigeons we rescued. I would have liked for them to live as they chose freely, but since we witnessed them in danger, we made the decision to help. I am trying to let them be wild but have the support of being domesticated at the same time!

I keep their surroundings as clean as possible, clearing up every dropping. Snowy is also being cared for separately from Olly and Dovey. I hope I'm doing the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I contacted Laboklin today but the conclusion is that the sample is being processed.

I got Johnson's Cage Bird Vitamin Tonic a few days ago. It contains some vitamin B12 which I think will help with Snowy's liver and witnessed her taking a sip of it in her water today.

I have been undecided on whether to give the birds supplementary grit but I have gone ahead with crushed oyster shell especially for Snowy. With her decreasing strength, I feel it is getting too much for her to venture outside for wild grit, hopefully oyster shell provides her with calcium as well as aiding digestion.
 

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She will need Baytril or one of the coccidiostats. Sounded like it could have been that. Now you know and can treat Snowy and get her healthy :)
 

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I am glad they found it, but sad she has it at the same time
 

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You're welcome! I hope that does the trick :)
 
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