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Found pigeon with severe neck wound (a part of the skin is not there) and it is not eating

394 Views 26 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Marina B
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Hi the injured pigeon I found still doesn’t eat or drink by himself after 27h. He only drinks when I bring the water to his beck. I also made him drink it mixed with honey, salt. I was told I should force feed him since it’s been a day so I made him eat 4 small unsalted sunflower seeds but I read that it’s bad for him? Is there anything I can do about it? I just learned about baby bird formula Nutribird and I’ll go buy that tomorrow to feed him with syringe but please tell me anything I should and should not do I’m very worried.
For context I found the pigeon yesterday evening and the wound was fresh there was still some blood drops. I took him home in a box and I cleaned his wound with saline solution. I also read in this forum that the wound should be kept wet (?) so this morning I applied honey (it was holiday yesterday here so I couldn’t go buy anything and I read this in an injured bird research paper I hope it’s fine). He was just laying and sleeping the whole time yesterday but he seems to do better today (cleaning himself and stretching his wings). He cannot fly however and under his wing, on his body there’s a small open wound. His right eye seems blind from the attack he could never close it and it doesn’t seem to move or react at all..
I attached a picture of his droppings (before the force feeding) hopefully it can provide some insights to his state. He also has louse which I will buy a spray tomorrow at the pet store.
I’m a student and I cannot afford the vet cost I’m so sorry..


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The wound does not look too bad. You can put some antibiotic cream on as well. Looked like he got attacked by an older pigeon, there might be something else wrong with him. Can you take a flashlight and check inside the beak and back of the throat for any unusual yellow cheesy or whitish growths? The inside must have a nice pinkish colour.

An easier way of feeding: Mix the handraising powder with a little bit of water to form a soft clay. Then make small peasized balls and handfeed to him by placing one at a time deep inside the beak over the tongue (if the inside is clear of any growths). Easier if you have him on your lap. Feed him about 90 balls per day, divided into 3 meals of 30 each. Let him drink water after feeding. Make sure the crop empties inbetween feedings.
Do you have a powder (Carbadust) to treat the lice? If so, then you can put some powder under his wings and below the body but stay clear of the wound. He will need antibiotics. I could not find a lot of info reg penicillin online for pigeons, but looks as if it will be safe for a pigeon. Unfortunately I can't advise reg the dosage. I always give an amoxycillin based meds such as Betamox or Clavmet to pigeons to treat infections.
I've done some searching on this site. A pigeon weighing 350 g will need 30 to 35 mg penicillin twice a day. I'm sure if you give him 25 to 30 mg twice a day, that will be ok. He looks like a youngster. You can crush the tablet till powder form, split the powder into the correct dosage. Now take one of those formula balls and soak up all the powder and handfeed to him.
Yes, you can put the powder on. Human meds are safe for pigeons. The Betamox I use is also meant for humans.
I just inserted another picture of his current dropping. It’s very liquid and it’s smelly, yesterday they weren’t smelly at all! Is this normal?
Can you repost the photo. Yes, you can rinse with saline water and put some antibiotic cream on.
The wound must not dry out, keep it moist. Can't you get Bactroban from a pharmacy? Otherwise Betadine will also work. Do you have natural unfiltered apple cider vinegar? Add some to his drinking water. 5 ml acv to 1 litre of water. See if this makes a change to the droppings. Are you feeding him the handraising balls?
Yes you can try honey. Will be a bit messy. You can also mix turmeric with water to form a paste and put that on.

How is his water intake? Can you measure his daily intake in ml?
Don't give water by syringe as he can easily aspirate. Continue to offer him water throughout the day.

The wound does not look infected. If the cleaning stresses him, at least try to do the cleaning every second day.

Give the penicillin for at least 7 days. He is probably in pain and that's why he is not eating. Don't give up on him, pigeons are tough. More important now is to make sure you are feeding him enough until the worst is over.
Try to get probiotics specific made for pigeons. You can give while he is on antibiotics and for a couple of days after you have finished the course. Do the acv twice a week.

Rather get terramycin eye ointment to use on the eye. Hopefully the eye can be saved.

Squeaking when you touch him, he is a youngster so probably has not learned to eat by himself. Get small seeds of all shapes and sizes, red sorghum is easy for them to pick up and swallow.

What country are you from?
Blend shelled sunflowerseeds and mix that in with the food. He is a youngster, so will weigh less than an adult pigeon. Weigh him every second day on an empty crop to make sure he gains a bit of weight.

Can't advise reg the eye, but it does not look good. Are you feeding him the balls or more liquid food? They drink quite a lot when getting fed the balls.
He will drink if thirsty. Stick to the balls. Feeding liquid food with a syringe can aspirate him.
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