Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Pigeon rescue and rehabilitation
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Three days ago I was called to rescue a young (almost fledged) feral pigeon who was being stepped on and roughed up by a large Great Dane. The bird was in severe shock and showed labored breathing with signs of injury and slight blood from one of its nares. I immediately took it home and treated it for shock (as it was severely cold) by warming it next to a heater and forced water/electrolytes/vitamins/liquid calcium into its beak and it drank it. No puncture wounds were found.

It slept most of the first 24 hours. It does have a rather hard lump/swelling on what would be the elbow joint (distal humorous/joint) on its right wing. It can flex the joint and stretch its wings without distress or obvious signs of pain or limit in range of motion, or joint rotation, but the large swelling has me concerned. I did not wrap the wing or immobilize it as it can use the joint, and do not want ankylosis to occur, but am keeping it calm and relaxed. The next day it was showing signs of improvement and was clearly gaining an appetite and breathing normal etc. It was clearly hungry as it was whistling and flapping it wings and eager for feeding. I tried to use a syringe and even tried to pop seeds into its mouth by prying its beak open but it refused to eat in such a unaccustomed manner. Eventually, I coerced it to eat about 7 sorghum seeds, after much effort by hand by enticing it to nibble on it and letting the seed fall to get it to pick at the seed. By the next morning, I found it eating the seed mix with vigor. Today it is more energetic, eating, drinking, preening, standing up some and re-positioning itself, even flutters some while standing, but it keeps put where I have it near the heater.

My hope is to reunite it with its parents as the roost/nest was found under the tile roof overhang of the house.

I will be treating with oral tetracycline in its water tomorrow (with a little apple cider vinegar solution here and there to limit fungal infections) as a preventative (500mg/L), as I do have a rescued Barbary dove here as a pet and do not want any risks with bacteria etc. The pigeon does not surprisingly have any mites or lice and no other apparent signs of parasites or infectious diseases. I will cease giving it calcium gluconate which I have been giving it since day one as calcium will bind with tetracycline. And am giving it about 3 weeks until it should heal its wing and regrows the missing secondary feathers from the affected wing before any possible release.

My question is this, should joint injuries/inflammation in birds feel warm to the touch as in other animals?? There is no redness at all but the joint feels cool and hard as a rock and is rather large (fibrous tissue and or callus). I hope someone here can give me expert veterinary advice/second opinions regarding this question. Thanks!

(I live in Southern California, near Riverside, CA)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Pigeon rescue and rehabilitation
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
NOTE: Species is Columba livia domestica. Parents were spotted within 10' from the nest. One of its parents is a clearly a Birmingham Roller, performing aerial somersaults every morning, and is mottled brown and white in appearance, and the other shows more of a typical Rock Dove plumage. This young pigeon has a white patch on the rump and a few partially white feathers (few of the coverts, and on one thigh). The local population takes wing for nearly an entire hour every morning over that neighborhood, doing mid-air aerobatics typical of tumblers and rollers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
The joint isn’t loose? There’s no wing droop? How does he fly? It sound like the joint could be an old injury. If it doesn’t bother him I wouldn’t worry about it. Usually joints like that are very stiff, in which case you can massage to joint and carefully extent the wing to help.

I question the use of preventative antibiotics, and also putting it in the water. Antibiotics have side effects and can cause resistant bacteria when overused, and the dosage should be precise whenever possible. But to wash their own I guess.

The parents may not even recognize him in 3 weeks, but that sounds like a good release site regardless.
 

·
Registered
Pigeon rescue and rehabilitation
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks cwebster, I did reach out to her and she helped and said that this pigeon is looking much better from the pics. Thank you for giving me her number. I also spoke to a vet today regarding my treatment and care and she advised me to wait and see regarding the joint and said I was doing everything right. I am hopeful that this is no kind of birth defect which may have precipitated in the pigeon being in the situation in the first place. I guess I have to wait and see.
 

·
Registered
Pigeon rescue and rehabilitation
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The joint isn’t loose? There’s no wing droop? How does he fly? It sound like the joint could be an old injury. If it doesn't bother him I wouldn’t worry about it. Usually joints like that are very stiff, in which case you can massage to joint and carefully extent the wing to help.

I question the use of preventative antibiotics, and also putting it in the water. Antibiotics have side effects and can cause resistant bacteria when overused, and the dosage should be precise whenever possible. But to wash their own I guess.

The parents may not even recognize him in 3 weeks, but that sounds like a good release site regardless.
The joint is not loose as the wing is being held in a normal position at rest, nor can I discern any ankylosis or stiffening of the joint. The pigeon can stretch and flutter while standing without any apparent difference between wings.

Perhaps it is an old injury, or a congenital defect, but time will tell if the joint inflammation subsides in a proper time frame. I only started the broad spectrum antibiotic regimen a few hours ago as the droppings started to show webbing in the urates this morning and there has been a slight greenish tint to the urea since yesterday, and was thinking the use of it as a preventative since it had direct exposure with the dog and was covered in saliva, and also to protect cross-contamination. I recently moved to the area I now live at and left my lab microscope and gram stain kit behind (which I will need to have shipped here soon for times like this to get a proper diagnosis for treatment). I consulted several veterinary manuals on the subject for the dosage and duration of antibiotics, and chose another water-soluble oral antibiotic (SZTM) versus obtaining tetracycline, which has no known adverse effects, and treats both gram positive and gram negative strains. I definitely agree that the misuse or improper use of antibiotics (by shortening dose or duration) only promotes drug-resistant strains, and this should be avoided at all times. I calculated the dosage precisely and did research on the use and effectiveness for the treatment in the species with similar internal bacterial infections with this antibiotic.

Otherwise, this pigeon is active and appears healthy despite the droppings, and no decrease in appetite or drinking so far or any obvious drooping or increasing lethargy, so I think I have caught it just in time.

I just want to give this bird the best chances of survival at this point. I hope they will remember their beloved squab, and it will have the chance to learn the vital adult life skills it needs to live a full, free life.
 

·
Registered
Pigeon rescue and rehabilitation
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aside from the joint swelling, I forgot to mention that all its secondaries were pulled out from the wing and I will need to wait for them to regrow to ascertain its flying ability. (It also has the added advantage and vantage point of watching my older rescue, a tame and loving white African dove, fly around and eat from the floor from a distance, so hopefully having it fly on its own will be soon.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
When a bird has been predator caught, you give antibiotics to prevent infections. You don't wait till he shows signs of needing them. By then it would be too late to help him. Predator caught should always receive antibiotics. And giving them individually, in the beak, is always better than in the water, because in the drinking water, you can't be sure that they get the right dose. They may not drink enough.
 

·
Registered
Pigeon rescue and rehabilitation
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have been using the drinking water approach, and fortunately in my case the pigeon has been drinking a regular amount daily, which is great for dosage. I will have to get a oral form and use a dropper for the next time. The pigeon is no longer showing signs of internal infections in its droppings, and has started to regrow the missing secondaries and a few tail feathers, and is gaining strength flying around some (yet is not able to fly very high yet). She is being ultra curious and intelligent. I think she is a female as she submissively crouched down while I was looking at her feathers and handling her affectionately the other day. Yes, I was very concerned with the bleeding from missing feathers covered in dog saliva that she would succumb to a bacterial infection, and her subsequent signs of internal infection, but she is doing much better now. :) Thank you again for all your advice and help!
 

·
Registered
Pigeon rescue and rehabilitation
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After three months this pigeon is doing well

And she rather stay with me despite efforts of being freed.. I think she has bonded with me. Some of my friends recently told me I was being cruel as I wasn't giving it the choice to be free, but as you can see by today's picture, she has the choice - and she wants to be with me. Of course, she has care, food, water and love being here. Any thoughts or ideas on the ethical side of keeping a pigeon who does not want to leave and loves human companionship?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,820 Posts
Our first pigeon was an injured feral, Phoebe, who had a wing injury. She was totally bonded to us. I see no ethical problem in adoptuping a bonded bird. You saved the birds life and she is happy. Beautiful too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
For one thing, because you have had the bird since such a young age, she never had the chance to learn from her parents about how to survive in the wild. How or where to find food, water, shelter, and how to avoid predators. So if released now, she probably wouldn't survive in the wild. She would need to be slowly introduced into a flock and become a part of it to stand any chance at all. And even you taking her out like you are, someday, she may get spooked by a hawk, or just decide to fly. If she goes too far, she may well get lost and will not have any idea of how to make it out there. She would probably end up being a meal for a hawk or other predator. It would be much kinder and safer to build her an aviary where you can let her fly and run around, bathe and sun herself, and still be safe. She's a very cute little thing. Would hate to see her get lost out there.
 

·
Registered
Pigeon rescue and rehabilitation
Joined
·
332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After seven months, the pigeon is doing excellent, flying around all over my home and now wants to build a nest on my lap. This behavior along with bowing at my older rescue African collared dove and protectiveness over me and aggressiveness towards cans and jars, clearly tells me it is a male, and I was mistaken with my earlier assumption that he was a female.

Just wanted to post this update and say thanks to everyone who helped!
 

Attachments

1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top