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My daughter found a pigeon flopping around on the street several hours ago in Bilbao Spain. We are from the US and do not know if there is a place to take sick and injured birds here like we have in Florida and have no idea how to even begin to find something like this out here. We gently wrapped it to limit its movement so it can rest the night and it is safe in a cushioned box with air holes. It just seems to flop around and it appears not to be sick, but injured although we cannot see anything yet as we did not want to stress it out any more today. I highly doubt there is a place to take it here in Bilbao and having owned cockatiels and a parrot in the past we are avid bird lovers and protectors and we can attempt to help it if someone can just tell us what to do. We live here in Bilbao and have ample room to nurse it. We need to know how to check her for injuries without x-ray. Is there some way we can narrow this down? We will attempt to check it out in the morning once it has had time to relax and rest. It does not appear to be a baby but also does not seem very old. Anything from anyone is greatly appreciated.
 

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My daughter found a pigeon flopping around on the street several hours ago in Bilbao Spain. We are from the US and do not know if there is a place to take sick and injured birds here like we have in Florida and have no idea how to even begin to find something like this out here. We gently wrapped it to limit its movement so it can rest the night and it is safe in a cushioned box with air holes. It just seems to flop around and it appears not to be sick, but injured although we cannot see anything yet as we did not want to stress it out any more today. I highly doubt there is a place to take it here in Bilbao and having owned cockatiels and a parrot in the past we are avid bird lovers and protectors and we can attempt to help it if someone can just tell us what to do. We live here in Bilbao and have ample room to nurse it. We need to know how to check her for injuries without x-ray. Is there some way we can narrow this down? We will attempt to check it out in the morning once it has had time to relax and rest. It does not appear to be a baby but also does not seem very old. Anything from anyone is greatly appreciated.
I'm probably not going to be much help, just wanted you to know that someone who CAN help will be along. I'll see which members are on line right now and alert them to this post.
Hang on..................
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bilbao pigeon

I will keep checking for messages. thanks for any help. I think the legs are broken but as I mentioned I just didn't want to stress it out more today. It is 11:30 at night here and I thought a good rest tonight and then I can check it in the morning. I can take photos and do anything and post them tomorrow, Do you think the morning is okay?
 

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Thank you for rescuing this poor bird.
Several things could be wrong with him, he could have PMV (don't know how prevalent it is in birds in Spain), could be some other neurological disease, he could have been hit by a car, or he could have been poisoned, who knows.
Do you have a heating pad? If you do place it in the box and with a towel on top of it so he can be kept warm. A quiet, dark room will help.
A pic would be great.
When he stops flopping you can start giving him some water. See first if he drinks on his own by placing a deeper bowl of water in his box. If he is not drinking you will have to give him water with a syringe.


Reti
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks. It is safe and warm in a box and resting now. We are going to bed it is 12:15 Tuesday morning so I will check it in the morning and try to get it to drink or eat something. I suspect it was hit by a car in the city, but not sure about PMV, I am not familiar with this. If the legs are broken I am sure I can tell if it is unable to walk on them. I don't think its wings are broken, but not sure of any internal injuries. It appears fine otherwise as its eyes look good and it really does not appear to be sickly. I will do a better assessment in the morning and post what I have found so far. Thanks again.
 

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Hello birdgirls,

I see from Google Earth that Bilbao is near the northern coast of Spain, close to the corner where it joins France.

Pigeons racing northerly to Britain set out from Barcelona, not so close to you.

I see that the airport of Bilbao is named La Paloma, which means "pigeon" or "dove" in Spanish, so apparently someone there liked pigeons at one time.

One of my neighbor ladies, Fr. Brunner, here in Cologne, started an animal shelter somewhere in Spain years ago, and the local city kept it going. I met her when I took over bird-sitting a beautiful pigeon she found exhausted on the roof of a car, with a broken wing, on which she spent a lot of money at the vet's. I will try to contact her when she is home to see if she has any advice for Spanish contacts. Probably not, but doesn't hurt to check.

I'm from Texas, living in Cologne. If you would care to PM (Private Message) or email me your phone number, I can call Bilbao for 0,015 Euro or 1-2 cents a minute from here. Same time zone as yours. I sleep late, until noon-ish.

Keep pigeon warm, as you know. If it has nerve damage, drinking water might be dangerous. But it does need to stay hydrated. Resources section lists IRS International Rehydrating Solution formula. Pigeons drink like horses from a water trough, heads down, beaks in water. Opening to the trachea or windpipe is at the base of the tongue, on the topside; not near the roof of the mouth.

I rescued a pigeon last June, Mister Fifty, with PMV (ParaMyxoVirus). If he tried to pick up a seed it would throw its head up and toss te seed any which way, and would push its legs straight, effectively pushing itself upwards and backwards, and flapping its wings at the same time, so that it looked like it was flying backwards a few feet. Imagine yourself on a diving board wanting to do a swan dive, but doing a back flip instead, and you get something of the picture. He tried to pick up a seed, but would hit the ground near the seed. If he wanted to see what was behind and above him, he had to turn his head upside down. I kept him in a quiet, dark, pet carrier at first, where he felt safe; force fed him and used a hypodermic syringe with a baby bird feeding needle (curved needle with a blunt, bulbous tip) for water and medications, and after five weeks with us he flew off to chase te local females. His voice changed while he was with us. My wife saw him a few months back, acting like a normal healthy male street pigeon. She recognized him partly because he had been scalped before I caught him.

I won't advise you to do this, because I am not an expert on breaks, but if I recall correctly, someone (fp/feral pigeon?) told me back in March that if you pull the wing out gently and the pigeon can retract it, then it is not broken. But I will let someone else advise on that. We have a female pigeon Osk-gurr who was hit by a car or by a raptor whom I rescued on March 20th, who had "soft tissue" damage (to nerve or muscle, and who cannot use her left wing). She had all of her tail feathers missing, many secondary feathers on the left wing missing, and feathers on her upper back from being pecked by other pigeons. Quick on her feet, and very healthy now.

Big question: do you speak Spanish? (I don't, but sister in USA does). There are some PT members who do, such as Victor, if this is necessary to find help.

Even if for some reason she cannot eat on her own, a bowl of seeds and a deep jar (1-2 inches deep) of fresh water in front of her will be a psychological boost.

When you loom over a bird, you are in the predator position. The "Hand" is always an enemy (even to my rescued-as-a-baby and hand-raised two-year-old macho male pigeon Wieteke). I know you know this, but even I tend to forget this at times, all too often. It is always much more convenient to have them on your lap or on a table when you handle them, and they are often scared stiff and very, very vulnerable. I need to work on my care-taking skills and attitude.

Larry
 

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Here is a link to the website of PACMA, Partido Antitaurino Contra Maltrato Animal,
against bullfighting mistreatment of animals. They did a demonstration against killing bulls in bullfights yesterday, in Bilbao.

http://www.pacma.es/

They might be able to help you find suitable vets, if necessary. Best links to animals or pigeons I could find so far in google.

Larry
 

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My daughter found a pigeon flopping around on the street several hours ago in Bilbao Spain. We are from the US and do not know if there is a place to take sick and injured birds here like we have in Florida and have no idea how to even begin to find something like this out here. We gently wrapped it to limit its movement so it can rest the night and it is safe in a cushioned box with air holes. It just seems to flop around and it appears not to be sick, but injured although we cannot see anything yet as we did not want to stress it out any more today. I highly doubt there is a place to take it here in Bilbao and having owned cockatiels and a parrot in the past we are avid bird lovers and protectors and we can attempt to help it if someone can just tell us what to do. We live here in Bilbao and have ample room to nurse it. We need to know how to check her for injuries without x-ray. Is there some way we can narrow this down? We will attempt to check it out in the morning once it has had time to relax and rest. It does not appear to be a baby but also does not seem very old. Anything from anyone is greatly appreciated.

Hi birdgirls,


Wow...thanks for trying to see what you can do...


Can you post any images?


Illness, injury, privaiton, or whatever combinations of these can result in a Pigeon 'flopping'...whether young or old.


It is fairly easy to determine if their Legs are 'working'...or if only one is.

If one or both legs are not working, they can have a hard time then with moving around.

If a Leg is not working, it can be from strain/sprain, cracked or broken bones, or back injury or illness which is swelling their kidneys.


What do the poops look like? Color and consistancy and size? and how many so far all tolled?


Be nice if we had some members there in Bilboa...!


Phil
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Discussion Starter #10
It was so nice to see these messages this morning. The pigeon slept well I think and this morning I took a good look at it. There is tension on the legs and they appear to be fine when it tried to walk. One of the wings has tension when I tried to lift it every so slightly, the other is limp, so I think its wing is broken. If one wing is broken will this cause the bird to be unable to walk very well. It has no balance, but the legs are good. It has pooped 3 times since last night when I when to bed. Mostly normal green and white and another that was left in the box where she slept was yellowish. This morning they appear to look more like my cockatiels just green and white. I wrapped the one wing around the body to keep it immobile and it did drink a bit this morning as well, but not too much. It is back in the box resting and I will give it seed and a bowl of water once I get to the local cooperativo to get a small cage. Larry, if you get in touch with the women who set up the rescue facility in Bilbao, let me know.I am going to do my homework today to see if there is any other facility for birds. I will get photos posted today as well. If theres isn't a place for me to take it, what is the best way to treat the broken wing?
 

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Hi Birdgirls,



A Wing can sag from being strained, bruised, sprained, or from a cracked bone or a broken bone or a pulled muscle or pulled tendon.

If you hold the Pigeon more or less upright and with his underside facing you, and tilt him back away from you a little, he will naturally spread his wings somewhat, and you can visually look at the bones, as well as ( with an assitant ) open the Wing fully and use your finger tips to feel them gently for any swollen, discolored, injured, abraded or broken places. Bones which are actually broken across, or broken in two, will not be hard to determine.

Bruises will usually appear 'Green'...


Anyway, if nothing seems broken, you can merely tape together the tips of the long Primary Feathers...tape them together over the small of his back...and this will support the Wing somewhat well.

If his legs are not strong enough, this will not be a good measure, since if he falls over he will not be as able to right himself if his Wings are taped in that way.


If you tape his Wing tips like this, see if both Wings hang the same, or, whether the injured one is 'low' in it's front area, which might mean he has an injury or break close to the Body there, which can be harder to see or feel.


He should be provided with Bird Seed, and small kinds are fine, such as Parakeets or Finches eat.

And Water too of course...


If his poops which were 'green'...if you can take one and rub it into some white paper with your finger tip...if it is merely like paint, it is 'bile' which suggests he has been starving.

If the poop is fiberous and not like a dye or paint, then he had managed to be finding some food recently.

White Urates are what we like to hear about...

'Yellow' Urates are understood to signal a Kidney infeciton or illness of some sort, with 'Canker' being a usual one for the association, at least here anyway where I live.


If you can check in his Throat under a good light...once you have him stabele, you can gently wrap him in a small towell to restrain him, and spigot him between your knees as you sit...and opening his Beak, look down into his Throat and see if it is entirely pink, or, if not see if there are any yellowish sorts of things in their on the sides or back area.


Check his little Butt - aka 'Vent' - also to make sure the Feathers there are clean and not clogged up or stained 'yellow'...



Best wishes!


Best wishes to your little Spanish Pigeon Buddy too...!


Phil
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Hi birdgirls,



...all in all, a healthy Pigeon, even with the worst Broken Wing, will be walking around just fine ( unless his Legs, or lower Back are also injured) .


Starvation and dehydration, resultant of injury which prevents forraging...or when privaiton leads sometimes to mild or transitory illness, also, can cause them to be quite weak or un-coordinated.

Probably, if you have any of those little Salt and Sugar packets...dissolve a good pinch of each into a small Glass of tepid Water and use that for his drinking water.


If you can get some Apple Cider Vinegar, add a few good drops of that also to the small Glass worth.


Oppps...gotta run...

Phil
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Discussion Starter #13
Well I am a bit more confused today. I really observed it this morning and at first I thought one of the wings was broken, but it did move it so it just may be very fatigued. I am going to look at the other things that were just mentioned and thank for the advice. When it did eat seed this morning, it did tend to throw its head back although not every time it pecked at the seed. I don't know what this means. Maybe PMV as several have mentioned. I don't know if this is the case but I will continue to see what I can do and take the advice you all have given me thus far. If it is a virus or PMV what type of medication is needed?
 

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Hello birdgirls,

Thanks for the info, Phil. I learned something new.

Birdgirls, I don't think Fr. Brunner and her animal shelter was in Bilbao, think it was more southerly, but don't know conclusively. Just thought since she had been in Spain she would have some names of organizations and such for leads. This has been a while ago, so she may not have many suggestions. She is now active daily in a hospice for terminally ill, and rescues stray cats and has them spayed and neutered and adopted out.

Can you determine the age of the pigeon? Is it an adult, with white nares (the part over the upper beak, near the eyes?

When I rescued my male pigeon Wieteke as a baby two years ago last week, he had no use of his legs. They seemed totally dead, and I didn't know if he would ever walk again, or have any use of them whatsoever. He was affected by paratyphoid/salmonellosis as best as I can determine, treated with antibiotic cotrim for 5 days, and now he walks okay, just can't lift his left foot for grabbing, but can grab with it. Walks on the outer part of his left ankle, with his foot turned under. Pays no attention to it. I mention this because this disease can affect the wings and the legs, paralyzing one or all of them.

In our time zone, there is Miriam/myrpalom in Belgium, who speaks English; a person in South Africa, and of course the English and Irish, one hour later in time zones. Phil/pdpbison in Las Vega is a night owl, and other Americans pop in during the wee hours of the night in the continental U.S.

I also have Skype on my Mac (for those who don't know, Skype is for free computer-to-computer telephoning over high-speed internet connection) , but have used it only once.

Larry
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Birdgirls,

If you cup the pigeon with one hand, and hold another hand over its back, so that its wings are free to move, and you "drop" the bird so that it instinctively raises its wings, you can see if it wants to use them. You can do it very gently at first, and proceed to do it a bit more strongly if necessary. This would tell you if it can lift its wings.

I do not know if this would be advisable to do if it has a badly-broken wing; but if it is a bruise or a sprain it might tell you something.

I did this maneuver with Osk-gurr, and determined that she had no use of her right wing (links to my videos below).

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1567000137573379789&hl=en

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-461956628065102672&hl=en


This is a YouTube video "Some Symptoms of Pigeon Paramyxovirus" by PT member Cynthia/cyro51 in England.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWC58llOBzQ

Since it is a virus, I don't think there is much you can do against the virus except let it run its course. Keep pigeon warm, feed it by hand and make sure it stays hydrated, keep it in a quiet, dark enough, restful place. I put white paper towels underneath our PMV pigeon Mister Fifty to monitor quantity and quality of poops, and weighed him with a digital kitchen scale daily, usually before his first big meal or feeding of the day. He also appreciated a warm moist towel over his head at times. (I posted on him quite a bit, last year).

On short distance flights around the house requiring some accuracy, Mr. Fifty and Wieteke would crash into things. If Wieteke tried to make it from the floor to a wardrobe, he might not attain the required height, and would spiral down. Or he would fly headlong into a spot lower than his goal. On longer flights outside, the PMV was not so noticeable. Wieteke would fly a bit higher over a level rooftop landing spot, then let himself down gently. Broad level target area for landing, no roof edges, he could be a foot or so off target and one would not be able to tell without scrutiny. When PMV was worse, flying was almost impossible. Wieteke's PMV was of short duration, and on only one evening did he he rest with his upside down, top of head touching floor, while he slept. Mister Fifty held his head upside down, occasionally, over a longer duration.

Larry
 

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Hello Birdgirls
I posted to all my Spanish contacts to find a vet in Bilbao who would treat your pigeon and not immediatly and innecessarely euthanise it.
If you suspect your pidge could be affected with PMV, I recommend you NOT to consult a vet, because they easily freak out when confronted with PMV and wrongly conclude the bird has no chance to recover.
Most birds do recover from PMV.
You have to keep him warm and safely, keep him well hydrated (their poop is very watery when they suffer from PMV), make sure he eats enough on its own (they have problems in picking up seeds) and support him with vitamins.
If the poop is very watery, it may affect the kidneys, and then you should give him low protein seeds... I know wich seeds they are in Dutch, but not in English, so you would have to Google it.
Myriam
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Bilbao pigeon

Hi Larry and everyone,

I took a look at the Paramyxovirus video and for sure this is what this one has. Only this case is much worse. It cannot even hold its wings up and they just tend to be down low. It cannot walk without appearing to be drunk. It even just sort of flips over when it is walking. Very sad. It is eating from what I can see and I am giving it water. How much water should I be giving it at each attempt and how often? As far as food goes, it is pecking at seed and even though its head does that backward sort of thrashing thing, it is eating as the seed is being depleted. Several times a day I take it outside with seed and it eats and I also give it water. After it eats, it is so exhausted that I just wrap it up (it seems to like this) and falls asleep. It has absolutely no energy. Given the fact that by simple deduction it probably has paramyxovirus I guess it has to run its course as I don't think there is anything to treat a virus as Larry mentioned. I will do my homework now and look up more on the virus, but from everyones help, I think I can safely say this is the problem. Poor thing, it breaks my heart to see this. It seems young as I don't see white nares near the beak so I guess this means it is young. Well the good news is I don't think it has anything broken but the bad news is the virus so we will just take care of it and hope it survives and get it back to where we found it. It is in good hands with us and I am so thankful for everyones help. The info given to me and the videos (thanks Larry) and all of the resources have made this much easier. I don't know what we would do without the internet. I found pigeon talk on a google search so this was a good result. I will keep everyone posted on the progress and get some photos once I find my camera.

many thanks!
 

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Hi Birdgirls,




Hello again...!


A Pigeon can move or lift a broken Wing, to one degree or another, or depending on which bones are broken...


PMV wise, or PPMV wise...if he is having troubles with pulling his Head way back when eating, or pulling it back and then walking backwards that way...you can make it a lot easier for him by doing this -


Drape a towell flat over your lap...have him on your lap in the low area where the towell is slightly depressed between your thighs...have a small Seed Bowl tilted toward him which is resting on one thigh...so it is at his chest level.

A good Seed Bowl for this can be made of the bottom inch and a half of any to-go Cup...it nees to be deep for it's width for the length of his BEak to be able to peck and not hit bottom.


And, steadying him with your left hand on his shoulders gently, and your palm on his back, so he will not be skooting backwards, have your right hand make a sort of loose finger 'cage' around his Head, even grasping the tops of the sides of the small Seed Bowl with your finger tips to keep his Head down so he can peck without lifting his Head much.


This is a gentle co-ordination of course, but they will usualy understand it fairly quickly and appreciate it.


Once he and you get the hang of this ( and that can happen right off the Bat, too) he will be able to peck 'Like a Jack Hammer' without suffering all those extra head and neck movements, and, in fact, can get a good sized meal under his belt in no time, so if anything, be careful he does not over eat, especially since he is still young and might tend to. Two Tablespoons worth of Seeds sholuld be fine for any given meal time, and two or three of these meal times a day would be plenty.

And offer Water often, and when you do, simply gently grasp his Beak between finger tips and guide it into the Water for him to drink...if he wants to drink, of course he will, and if not he will wish to pull back out. Just guide his beak in to 3/4rs of it's length is all...not deeper.


Water wise, he would likely appreciate 'tepid' water rather than cool or cold...


He might have PMV and a strained or injured Wing...


If he has made it this far, most likely he will indeed live, and, to whatever extent, recover...and he might recover fully.


If PMV, this can take`weeks, many weeks, months, or ultimately years...and those showing such symptoms as the radical Neck and Head 'Star Gazing' episodes, may never recover sufficiently to be released, even though they can manage very well as beloved 'House Birds' who live with people and are kept indoors or in Aviarys when able.


Time will tell..!


What do the poops look like?

And, what kind of Seeds have you been able to get for him?


Best wishes!

Phil
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Hello Birdgirls,

I remember that PMV juvenile pigeon Mister Fifty liked to nuzzle his head into a warm, steamy washcloth (which I had used to clean him off after a messy meal). Perhaps the warmth made him feel like he was snuggled under the soft downy feathers of his parents again, where he was safe and cared for. I always let him control how much he wanted, by letting him be the one to move his head into the covering cloth. After a week or so he didn't want the steamy warmth so much. (He had also been scalped, so I didn't want to overheat his brain).

From a December 8, 2006 post:
He [Mister Fifty] liked to tuck his head into a steamy-warm washcloth, and I replenished the heat from a lidded pot of hot water nearby. I tested the temperaure on my inner wrist first. It seemed to relieve some of his symptoms. He recovered quickly. After the first few days, there was no question but that he would survive, would recover.

Mister Fifty was a real sweetie. If I had a personality, an outlook, like his, I think I would have achieved being the type of person I most admire. I miss him. I think, I fervently hope, that he is still out there, enjoying life.

Also, the credit for the informative PMV video belongs to Cynthia (PT member "cyro51"). I merely pointed a finger to it, because I remembered someone had posted a video. Also, I had downloaded a video on a PMV pigeon a year or so ago, but this video was easiest to locate.

Also, you say that the pigeon is eating, since the seed is being [visibly] depleted. Make sure the seed is not slung across the room, to where you may not perhaps see it. If you weigh the pigeon daily, you can assure yourself as to whether he is at least maintaining, and perhaps actually improving. Also, I held Mister Fifty a lot in my cupped hands, and spoke calmly and quietly to him. Made slow and smooth motions; nothing to startle him. Tried to have a relaxing and reassuring tone of voice.

Sick pigeons also have flesh-colored nares, not only young ones. Also pigeons who eat greasy foods look temporarily flesh-colored at the nares, as though the white chalky look of the nares turns transparent like dissolved sugar or dissolved chalk. Our dominant male from the nest across the street digs into a greasy Bratwurst tossed out by a neighbor, and his nares changes appearance for a day.

Larry
 
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