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Hi there, I rescued a juvenile feral pigeon from the street 11 days ago; it was standing in the street almost being run over. Upon inspection, I realized it was blind due to growth on its eyes and also had the same growth protruding from its ears. The following morning I brought it to a vets' office, and they diagnosed it with avian pox. The vet removed the growths from the eyes and ears (I believe she used lidocaine first) and prescribed the following:

Veteribac antiseptic spray.
Meloxicam (0.06 cc every 12 hours for 4 days),
Enrofloxacin (0.15 cc every 12 hrs for 10 days),
Ciprofloxacin & Dexametasone eye drops (1 drop every 12 hours for 15 days),
Clorofenacol opthamolical ointment (applied on eyes every 12 hours for 15 days)

Because the bird was in such bad shape, starving, and with bad diarrhea, she left it at that and said if the bird wasn't doing any better in 3 days, to return for a stronger antibiotic.

Once home I was able to review the bird a bit better and discovered scabs at all of the feather bases which most came off easily and I felt ok removing them because the bird also had feather lice, so I was concerned that the lice were hiding under the dry scabs. I sprayed down the skin underneath with antiseptic spray. In the following days, I mixed up a spray of ACV, Alcohol, eucaliptus oil and water and sprayed the wings and behind the neck and after a few days I haven't seen any lice.

We're on day 11 of the regiment now and the bird has improved tremendously. It eats seeds, a dove mix I got at Petco, and I let it have time to walk around each day and it can fly a little bit, onto a chair for example, but not much higher. The left eye and ear are looking very good, with hardly any scabbing, just a few new pox bumps, but so far they have remained small.

The right eye, and ear on the other hand are not doing well. Both the eyelid and ear are completely scabbed over.

After a lot of reading I started to supplement the water with ACV a few days ago. Its poops started getting bigger/ firmer and black & white instead of green & watery. Although I was giving it fresh water at least twice a day, unfortunately, the jug of water I prepared ahead of time grew little transparent/white mold circles in it, and I didn't realize until later that day, but the bird had already been drinking the moldy water all morning. Diarrhea began again and its poops now are green solid-ish with a lot of transparent liquid. Its poops started to get back to normal again yesterday but unfortunately, it was also the last day of the enrofloxacin and today the green transparent poop is back and the right eye appears to be infected and is swollen and seems to be shutting and looks glassy. As a side note, I also have a red eye infection now, as of yesterday so am concerned we may have the same infection in our eyes :(. Obviously, I'm concerned that apart from pox, that the bird had something else, that I have contracted now too. (Hoping it is just a coincidence!).

Anyway, it is Sunday here, so the vets office is closed today, but I'm writing here as I think it is always good to get a second opinion as I know that pox exists all over the world so any help/ advice I can get, the better!

I will include photos:
 

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Hi,

I would definately try to get a longer course of enrofloxacin, maybe 14 days worth. The green droppings look like signs of a bacterial infection. Avian chlamydia, salmonella, E. coli, and coccidiia are some of the more prevalant ones. The loose green masses, polyuric wateriness, and the webby urates seen in the photo are generally clear indications of a systemic internal infection. Antibiotics will also help for preventing any secondary infections while the pox lesions heal. Also, in the past, I use a little betadine (povidone-iodine) on the cankers topically. It seems to really help. Perhaps try to have the vet do a fecal test for salmonella and for chlamydia, or perform a culture. There are rapid antibody strip tests that can provide results in 10-15 minutes. If it is avian chlamydia, a 45-day course of doxycycline is required. Afterwards, you can perhaps use a little crushed thistle seed in the water, as the silymarin in the thistle seed will help heal and detox the liver from all the medication. And perhaps some probiotics too to restore good gut flora after all the antibiotics are through.

I hope your eye redness goes away too. Zoonosis can happen, although extremely rare, from certain pathogenic organisms infecting birds. Human conjunctivitis can be caused by Chlamydia psittaci (CP) in ocular zoonoses. Also, there are rare zoonotic cases of avian mycoplasma species causing an eye infection called mycoplasmal conjunctivitis.
 

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Hi,

I would definately try to get a longer course of enrofloxacin, maybe 14 days worth. The green droppings look like signs of a bacterial infection. Avian chlamydia, salmonella, E. coli, and coccidiia are some of the more prevalant ones. The loose green masses, polyuric wateriness, and the webby urates seen in the photo are generally clear indications of a systemic internal infection. Antibiotics will also help for preventing any secondary infections while the pox lesions heal. Also, in the past, I use a little betadine (povidone-iodine) on the cankers topically. It seems to really help. Perhaps try to have the vet do a fecal test for salmonella and for chlamydia, or perform a culture. There are rapid antibody strip tests that can provide results in 10-15 minutes. If it is avian chlamydia, a 45-day course of doxycycline is required. Afterwards, you can perhaps use a little crushed thistle seed in the water, as the silymarin in the thistle seed will help heal and detox the liver from all the medication. And perhaps some probiotics too to restore good gut flora after all the antibiotics are through.

I hope your eye redness goes away too. Zoonosis can happen, although extremely rare, from certain pathogenic organisms infecting birds. Human conjunctivitis can be caused by Chlamydia psittaci (CP) in ocular zoonoses. Also, there are rare zoonotic cases of avian mycoplasma species causing an eye infection called mycoplasmal conjunctivitis.
Hi Jon, thank you for your reply!

Yes, it has been a day now since the enrofloxacin was stopped and sure enough, this morning its right eye is much more swollen and had a layer of puss over the only part that was still open, although it might have been some of the eye ointment that got caked on. I put a warm compress on and the layer over the eye came off but it is still super swollen and looks pink and irritated around the edges. (attaching pics) I will see if the vet can do the tests or cultures to narrow it down. In the meantime, I still have lots of enrofloxacin left, so I will start giving it again today and hopefully until I can get some lab results, it will help.

I am a bit concerned of zoonosis, but on the positive side, if that is the case and the vet isn't able to do cultures or fecal tests, (it's a donation based vets office that might not have all of the most advanced techniques). It might be easier to get cultures done of my eye and then I will know if it is something that may have been transmitted from little pidgey.

I will look into getting the thistle seeds too, thanks for the tip!. I have been looking for pigeon probiotics here in Mexico but so only found one that is super expensive so still looking. I have only found one store that sells pigeon grit and pick stone etc and is run by a guy who has messenger pigeons but he said that pigeons as young as the one I have, don't need grit for another month. Could anyone back that up?
When buying grit etc, could anyone recommend what I should get out of the following options: I know I need the grit, but do I need pick stone too? And the vitamineral mix? - if so, which of the two?: https://www.colombi.com.mx/category/378413

Thank you in advance!
 

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Hi!
How is your little one doing? You will see from my case that the pox got very bad before they got better. Are you using an anti viral on her pox? (Like Zovirax cream?) its tricky because the vet removed the pox, exposing the live virus I assume? I reckon they will continue to grow as the virus has to run its course! My little one lost vision in one eye, but the other is now almost back to normal!
 

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Hi MissAEG,

You're welcome! The pick block contains both grit and clay. And I agree, juvenile pigeons do not need solid grit until about two months old. Rock grit may be too hard on their tender gizzards until they become a little older. The pick pot does not contain vitamins, so I would recommend NATURAVIT (same brand as the pick pot). It is a water soluble vitamin solution that is added to the drinking water.

I hope they can test for paratyphoid(salmonella) and chlamydia. The test strips are relatively inexpensive and easy to use without having to send samples out to a major lab for the more expensive PCR analysis.
 
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