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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found a pigeon as I got off the bus on Monday, picked him up, Vet said he only has minor injuries, so I took him home. He didn't eat and tilted his head sideways, or upside down, really weird. So Wednesday I took him back to the Vet and left him there for observation. He said he didn't eat there either, and sometimes he looks fine, other times he looks like he's on his last leg. Today I took him back again and a different Vet said, well, he's eating now it's a good sign, but maybe he's got neurological damage or a disease? The poop she said looked ok, normal. I took video footage with my webcam and made two videos, the first one, where he does weird stuff and tries to fly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm1r9fCg1Qk
and the next one where he falls off the table, I had to close off the box again after that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StM-ImuEZD8
I just found information on PMV on a site that had your forum under links, and the photo looks like what my little pigeon does. He also seems to eat, but kind of just throws the food around, he doesn't eat much of it, just makes a big mess: http://www.pigeon-aid.org.uk/pa/html/paramyxovirus__pmv_.php
Any feedback would be appreciated. A neighbor offered to lend me a cage for him, will get that tomorrow. And the Vets didn't charge me, because it's a wild pigeon, so I'm very grateful. But WIRES don't have volunteers for pigeons, so I'm stuck with him for a while, I guess. Don't want them to put him down if he's got a chance of survival. But I don't want him to suffer either. It's difficult to know what is best.
 

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Hi Elisabeth

Thanks for saving him, and thanks for giving us so much info :)

I have no doubt that he has PMV after seeing your first video, and what you said about throwing the food about. It is fortunate that the vet did not diagnose PMV, as that may have prompted them to put the bird down.

Unlike any other 'upside down head' problems, birds with PMV try to be 'normal' and active.

The swallowing and throwing the head back is a concern, as is passing whole seeds. The first could possibly indicate an obstruction, maybe a growth of Canker (Trichomoniasis), maybe due to having ingested a foreign body. His poop certainly needs observation.

I think it can be quite difficult to get the right meds in Oz, but ideally he could be given Metronidazole and / or Spartrix (Carnidazole) in case of a Canker obstruction.

For PMV itself, supportive care is all that can be done, plus vitamins in water ... just to try to help his immune system. They do recover from the virus after 6 weeks, though may still show some symptoms.

Will see if one of my pals in Australia is around.
 

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Hi Elisabeth! John D just let me know about this thread, thanks John!

I live in QLD and care for rescued wild pigeons here, so I've been following the development of pigeon PMV in NSW very closely. I have no experience with PMV, as its never been in Australia before. But I can share some important information with you about it that you may not know about .

Firstly, to the knowledge of the government, PMV was erradicted in NSW earlier this year (where I assume you live, since you mentioned WIRES?).

So because of this, the state government has lifted certain restrictions that would otherwise safeguard against the spread of PMV. This is because they assume PMV was succesfully erradicated in the state. You can read this information, here:

http://www.anpa.com.au/uncategorized/pigeon-movements-into-nsw-lifted/

“No outbreaks of PPMV1 have been reported in NSW since 17/7/2012.''


So your finding a sick pigeon with PMV in NSW is VERY important news, in terms of management of the spread of the disease. If I had found the pigeon myself, I would want to report it so that the government will hopefully reinstate their previous safeguards against the spread of PMV. But for the sake of the pigeon itself, I would want to do this anonymously and take care of it while it is sick.

Elisabeth, there is Vet in NSW named Dr Rob Marshall who knows everything there is about PMV and has a a lot of influence with suggesting how to mange the disease . If I was you, I would let him know what you found & show him the video (anonomously).

These are his contact details:

http://www.birdhealth.com.au/contact.html

PS. What area roughly in NSW do you live? Anywhere near the Sydney region where the outbreak occurred before? Or somewhere else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much everybody for your replies. I found it very helpful. Will write more later today, as I am very busy right now making another home for the bird. I am really worried now about what John said about a canker obstruction? Have no idea what he is talking about, tried to google, but couldn't find much, but it was strange to see him open his mouth continuously after eating a big piece of corn. He is not eating much, so the PMV might not kill him, it could be something else wrong. I will definitely get in touch with that Vet you recommended. I'm too broke to pay to find out what exactly is wrong with the bird, my Vet usually lets me pay things off, when I take my old dog, so that's my financial state. It's embarrassing, but what can I do? I've been taking the bird 3 times already to my Vet, they are very good for not charging me, but how often can I take him? Maybe this other Vet will have a good look and give me the medication John recommended. Don't worry, guys, I'm not going to let anyone make me put the bird down, unless of course he suffers too much. I don't want that. I write more later...have to make the little bird house now. Update video will follow! Thanks....Elisabeth oh, by the way, I live in the Ryde area...and I will inform the government too, thank you so much for that info.
 

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Elisabeth, you mentioned that he is not eating. And most likely in his condition he can't swallow. Yawning is weird...
Please feed him defrosted peas, if his crop is empty and you can also pop some pigeon seeds. Also, in his condition, i would put him and the box on the floor, so no other injuries can occur.
Thank you.
Here are some prewritten feeding instruction...

You can hand feed defrosted peas. Run some hot water over them until they are defrosted and slightly warmed. Put the bird on your lap and hold it next to your body. If it helps because you are having a hard time handling the pigeon, you can wrap a towel around it or put it in the sleeve of a tee shirt, with the head out the wrist. This method confines the pigeon without hurting him and makes it easier to handle. Gently open the beak and pop a pea at the back of the mouth and over the throat. It gets easier and faster, with practice, for both you and the bird.
You will need to feed 30-50 per feeding [depending on the size of the pigeon] and every time the crop empties until you know the baby is eating on his own. After a couple of feedings, most squeakers get the hang of it, pick up the peas on their own and naturally transition into a seed diet.
This is a wonderful method for teaching babies to eat because they feel the whole food in their mouth and it’s soft and easy to pick up and hang on to.
The crop is located right below the throat and with food it fills up like a little balloon. The peas make the crop feel lumpy and squishy.
 

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Hi Elisabeth!

I thought you might live in the Sydney area, since that's where the outbreak of PMV was a couple of months ago. Its such a shame it got into the wild pigeons, as there were a lot of hope that the virus had been stopped in time. I'm personally very disappointed to hear it:(

Anyway something to encourage you - I heard that the PMV virus going around Sydney was reported as being not too bad. ie A lot of pigeons in lofts infected with PMV survived it in Sydney, whereas in Melbourne almost all died once a loft was infected. They are saying its a less virulent version.

Like the others mentioned, the main treatment is to keep the pigeon fed when it can't eat, and to take care of other illnesses that occur because the pigeon's immune system is compromised. That's why its good to take John's advice and treat for Canker and maybe give a mild antibiotic too, as pigeons' with viruses are very illness prone.

PS.Just thought I'd mention that PMV is reportable disease in NSW so if a vet discovers your pigeon has it, its up to their discretion to kill or not kill the bird. I'm under the impression that so far most vets are killing all pigeons found with PMV in NSW for biosecurity reasons, and then closely monitoring the birds in infected lofts for a couple of months. So just be aware that you will quickly lose control of the fate of the bird if you take it to a Vet who is able to tell it has PMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My old dog has diarrhea now, I'm in a complete state of panic. I've had her for over a year, and she never gets diarrhea. My vet reassured me that it's unlikely Bonny picked up anything from that bird, but I'm worried sick. I had the bird in here with me and Bonny that is why I was able to take the videos with my webcam. My neighbor gave me a cage, it's like a greenhouse and I fixed it up for the bird, he can't fall down, it's bigger, he can see out and right now he is in there with a blanket over it. I put it on my back patio and left an outside light on for him. Busy tomorrow, but I will send an e-mail now to that Dr Rob Marshall with a link to the video. Thank you Bella! My vet actually knows him, and often refers cases to him, so that's good.
You know I feel very sorry for the bird, but if it needs special medication, etc, I can't afford to look after it. If this other vet takes an interest and thinks the bird has a good chance of survival, then I'll keep it. As long as my Bonny poops normal tomorrow. She's never, ever had diarrhea. Ever. Not whilst living with me. I'm extremely worried. For anyone interested in looking at my dear old dog, her videos are under the same YouTube channel as the bird. http://www.youtube.com/user/PresleyElvis111/videos
I hope I'll be able to report something good in the next few days. Thank you everyone. I took photos today of the new make-shift birdhouse and the bird, and will upload a slide show on that channel in the next few days. Video footage I can't do right now, I'm too scared to have the bird inside the house now, but believe me, he is very comfortable out there. I observed him eat quite a bit today, when my neighbor came over, and he drinks water. Poop looks ok, will take photos as well. (Not for the faint hearted) Thank you all. Elisabeth
 

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Hi Elisabeth,

Sorry to hear about your Dog, that must be frightening:(

Your Vet is right about the sick bird not causing the illness in your dog. This is because birds have much higher body temperature than Mammals, so we tend not to share diseases, or if in the rare cases where we do, we are not affected in the same way or to the same degree. The PMV virus and canker won't make you or your dog sick, so whatever caused this is something else; maybe you picked up a dog virus or bacteria from the Vet's office recently since you've been there so often? You can spread diseases from your shoes or clothes when you're at the Vets...anyway its worth a thought.

Regarding special medication for the PMV, I'm not sure if anyone mentioned to you that PMV is a virus, so there is no medicine for it. What it needs is food (hand fed possibly during the really bad times), water, & somewhere safe to stay for a few months. The medicines we suggested are for possible secondary illnesses, if identified, which at this point they haven't been.

Finally, I'm not sure if I stressed this enough in my original post but if you take this pigeon to Dr Rob Marshall, it will be killed. What I suggested was to report the disease *anonymously*, not to have it seen by a vet and killed! This is a bird that can survive if you can put a small amount of time and energy into trying to save it. If you hand it over to a Vet who knows it has PMV, that will be its death sentence.
 
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