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Found a Pigeon with Possible Wing Injury

2081 Views 17 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Birdmom4ever
Hello, everyone,

It's been a while since I've been on here, but I found an injured pigeon just about an hour or two ago. Apparently she'd been walking around our house for about two days. She's not able to fly, and from what I was able to observe had the feathers grazed from her wing. It looks rather bizarre - there is no blood or flesh wound from what I can see, but I have not inspected further, worried about scaring the poor thing, which seems to be in a bit of a shock, not eating or drinking. However, she was running around rather fast, looking like a pretty healthy pigeon indeed before we brought her in. Now she just sits there, wide-eyed, and will scoot away from your hand but still doesn't put up too much of a fight if you try to pick her up. I was able to feel a keel bone, but nothing too prominent, however it may have indicated some amount of weight loss.

What do you think I should do? Would it help to examine the bird further, or should I let her rest a little?

Edit: Oops! I accidentally named this topic improperly.
My bad. I'm rather tired.
Could someone change this for me?
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Hi Vasp, welcome back. I changed the title for you. I'd let her rest a bit and make sure she has a good drink and perhaps something to eat before examining her further since there's no obvious major trauma. Once you do take a closer look be sure to check under the feathers for wounds. I had a hawk-hit hen once that looked dirty and beat up when we got her back but I couldn't see any blood. It turned out she had a quarter-sized wound on her back that I couldn't see under all the feathers.

The missing feathers from this bird's wing suggest that something grabbed her.

Thanks for changing the title for me. So far, I'm not sure whether or not she's eaten or drank anything - however, she does not seem to be in bad shape, and rests with one foot up rather than lying down, which I am always glad to see, meaning that she has enough strength to stand. She did poop, but it was mostly urate, with no fecal matter - I don't know whether this is just because of the stress, but I don't believe she has eaten much, seeing as she was unable to fly.

I did get a moment to look at her wing, and it does appear there is no major damage to the wing - I looked under the feathers and did not see any wounds of any sort, but she was not capable of flight so I am assuming it must have been very sore. In either case, I will keep her overnight, hope to get some food and water in her, and see how she is doing tomorrow. Hopefully, she will be able to fly well when there is less pain - no major flight feathers seem to be damaged, so I'm sort of clueless as to why she was just on the ground for so long, and could not fly as I approached her.
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Hi Vasp,

Thank you for the update and your care for this bird.

Is it possible for you to keep her a bit longer then overnight....she just may need more time to heal and/or perhaps you can then remedy any other health crisis that might come up??

It's good to see you here again.:)
Sorry for the delay in replying - I've been up to many things lately.

I tried to let her outside for a while to see if she could fly, and indeed, she is unable to. The wing does not seem to be broken, and she doesn't hold it in an awkward position... She is eating and drinking well, now, and hopefully will put on some more weight.

I'll keep her as long as it takes for her to regain strength.

But is there anything else I can do?
I'm glad she's doing better. I'm not a rehabber, but I don't think you can tell for sure the wing isn't broken absent an x-ray because you might not be able to feel it if one of the smaller bones is broken. It could also be badly sprained. Are you in a position to keep her if she doesn't regain her ability to fly?
Yes, I am in a position to keep her if she isn't able to regain her flight...
Do you think I should bring her to a vet to get X-rayed? I don't know whether I have money for a procedure so expensive.

What I've noticed that has just come up the past few days, is that her wing (on the part where the feathers have strangely been shaved off, it appears, by something) there is a purple/blue-ish discoloration that was not there before.

Does this mean the wing is bruised?

Edit: I have uploaded a picture to show the wing, at a first glance.

As you can see, she does hold it at a bit of an awkward angle, and it is discolored.
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Someone else who knows more about this type of injury, Pidgey perhaps? can hopefully advise. X-rays are expensive so if it's a strain on your budget (and who isn't strained these days!) just do your best to get her back into condition and plan to keep her if she's not 100%. They have a longer, healthier life in captivity anyway. Besides, if it's broken and the break is old enough it may be too late to do anything about it.
Someone else who knows more about this type of injury, Pidgey perhaps? can hopefully advise. X-rays are expensive so if it's a strain on your budget (and who isn't strained these days!) just do your best to get her back into condition and plan to keep her if she's not 100%. They have a longer, healthier life in captivity anyway. Besides, if it's broken and the break is old enough it may be too late to do anything about it.
If she does not heal and must be kept, I'd certainly not want to keep her alone... She probably had a mate and so, I would perhaps buy her a domestic pigeon as a companion.

It would be nice to see what other people have to say, but for now I'm just going to make sure she eats and drinks well.
I have several birds with various wing injuries, a few healed completely and some did not. It all depends on where the break is. There are some real small bones in some areas, and hard to tell where it is broke, but it still can be a crucial break and not allow the bird to fly.

Hopefully it is just bruised and sprained and with time maybe she can fly again.
The area of her wing that is bald is getting prickly, as new feathers are beginning to grow in. I managed to weigh her today, and she weighed in at about 326 grams. However, her keel bone sure feels sharp and prominent.

Is there anything I should do to help increase the weight or let her feed on her own? I am versed in tube-feeding but do not have a tube, unfortunately.

She seems like a rather large pigeon but the keel bone is prominent. I'm not sure that she's eating very much, but is definitely eating some.
I would definitely increase the caloric intake, you should add a few hand feedings of seeds to her regimen or even formula. I find it less stressful for adults who are not used to formula, to just hand feed them a tablespoon of seeds a few times a day in addition to what they eat on their own.

Give her some probiotics too, if you haven't as that will help in absorption and weight gain and even give her an appetite where she will start eating more.
I did give her some probiotics along with hand-feeding formula, a few days after I got her. But her keel bone just seems to be getting more and more prominent. It's like a blade. Is there any possibility that an underlying illness made her susceptible to being injured? Her poops are pretty good now. They have substance, a white urate, the fecal matter is not too green... But the area around them is a greenish tone, sort of yellow-green. I noticed this from the beginning and it's less noticeable sometimes, but I attributed it at the time to stress. In the past few days, rather than hear her pecking and preening a lot of the time, I don't. I think she sits in the corner more than anything else.

If she does have an illness, she's not showing any specific symptoms aside from weight loss and the coloring around her poop. It would really ease my mind if I could at least be feeding her something by hand, and knowing that it's going into her. And I also think that hand-feeding formula is far more rich in nutrients so, if I did have the equipment, that is what I'd do. I'll look around and see if I can find anything. I'll see if I can weigh her again.

Yet again, the keel bone worries me a lot.

Picture of Poops:

They do have a slightly repulsive smell that I noticed from the beginning, but I don't know whether that is simply average.
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I would definitely treat her for canker, coccidiosis and worms. One or more of those things could be causing her poor condition and since nearly all pigeons carry them, it's a safe bet she does, too. A stressed bird is vulnerable to an increase of parisitic organisms. Do you have any Multi-mix or other multi-use medication on hand? If not you can get some from Foy's or one of the other pigeon suppliers. Since Trich/canker is the most likely culprit I'd start her on Fishzole right away if you can get some from a pet store.
Well, I live in Canada... Last time I checked, Foy's didn't even ship to Canada... I don't know where or how I can get any of these medications unless someone specifically shipped them to Canada for me. I'd also need a lot of help with the dosages, as I've not medicated a bird for canker or anything of the like.

Although I wouldn't say she is healthy, she has been moving around a lot more and pecking seed, as well. Just generally eating better. I don't know why this is, but it's probably something small – I poured the seeds on the floor of her cage rather than keeping them in a bowl, and it seems to interest her far more.

I'm going to pick up a feeding tube today if at all possible. I've fed her formula before, but only with a small syringe. It was very difficult, and she struggled a lot. I would feel safer with a latex feeding tube than trying not to choke her, especially if she needs to be medicated.

But I really need to know where to get the medication.
Global Pigeon Supply ships around the world and I actually thought Foy's did too, though I could be wrong about that. But I'm sure Global ships to Canada: www.globalpigeon.com

It's a good idea to have Multi-mix on hand and the dosage is on the package. While I'm not a rehabber I do take in the occasional rescue. I treat any new birds I buy or am given with Multi-mix while they're in quarantine. In eight years I've only had one case of canker (in a youngster) and no coccidiosis or worms. I rotate meds and treat my flock for those things a few times a year as prevention, but Multi-mix is what I always start with when I have a pigeon in quarantine because it covers the common parasitic diseases most pigeons carry.
This is just an update. :)

While I wait to receive the medication, I have been just feeding her hand-feeding formula and a lot of good probiotics that I use with my baby birds. The hand-feeding formula, to me, is preferable over seeds because of its high protein and vitamin content. To me, it is the thing most likely to put weight back on a bird. I fed her about 16cc the day before yesterday, and before that I weighed her. She's now 332 grams rather than 326. I think that's a good improvement. She probably weighs more, now, as it's been a few days and she's really perked up. This morning, I heard her cooing quite loudly, stomping around and pecking at seeds. Her poops also aren't nearly as green, and are not surrounded by green. They look far more formed. The feathers on her wing continue to grow in. Could these improvements infer that she may get better simply with the care I've been giving her?
Sounds good to me. I'm sure the hand-feeding and probiotics are giving her a much-needed boost. Sometimes it just takes them a long time to fully recover when they've been down from injury or illness. My Nun hen that was egg-bound and had surgery was not fully herself for six weeks. It took her a long time to gain the weight back even though she was eating well and we knew she didn't have any internal parasites (my vet tested her). Would still use the meds as prevention once they arrive, but it sounds like your little one is on the right track.
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