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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! A neighbor of mine who knows we love birds came to our house a few hours ago to tell us that a pigeon was sitting in the street on the corner and wasn't moving (interestingly enough I was just emailing someone this morning inquiring about pigeon breeders!). I walked to the corner with her and sure enough the little guy/gal was sitting in the street looking around but wouldn't budge.

I petted her back (much to my neighbor's shock) and she stumbled toward me. It seemed her right leg wasn't functioning properly, making her list to one side when sitting.

I took her home, looked her over and couldn't find any obvious injuries. The biggest issue I could find is that her beak is crooked and there even seemed to be a tad of blood in the corner of her beak and maybe even a spot of dried blood on top of her beak.

We gave her some water and she drank freely, seemed thirsty even. We put her in a box with a towel-wrapped jar of warm water to 'warm' her up as I read on this site. After two hours in the box we took her out, took pictures of her poops (two in about 2.5 hours), encouraged her to drink more water and washed her poopy (but not crusty) vent.

Now what? The truth is that we had wanted to adopt a pigeon, but I want to make sure my desire to own one doesn't take precedence over her safety. There's definitely something wrong with her.

By the way, we also looked in her beak and couldn't see any obstruction (we think it could be broken if she fell, given the blood). She also doesn't smell bad.

Photos attached.
Any advice?
 

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Look carefully for any swelling in the Neck, upper Neck, or Jaw area.


It is hard to guess whether this Beak mis-align is from a flying mid-hap, or, from a Canker infection effecting the Jaw.

Obviously a young Pigeon, and without further images, hard to guess whether they were flying yet...

For what there is to go on, I would treat for Canker, and, keep them well hydrated.

Be very careful with the Beak, as it may be broken or injured in the lower Jaw, or in the upper area of attachment if they had flown into somehting to injure it.


Probably that is what happened ( impact injury ).


This then will make feeding, or self feeding ( if they even know how yet ) difficult or dicey.

You could try seeing if they can peck small whole Seeds from a deepish little Dish or Cup.


Finch seed Mix or Canary Seed Mix...nothing larger.

Or, if you are experienced in Tube Feeding, feed liquid Formulas for a few days or a week...being VERY very careful about not making the Beak injury worse.

Not an easy situation.


They are starving and definitely need food/nutrition at this point.


Good luck!



Phil
Lv
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
More pics and other question

Thanks so much for your response! I used to feed my mom's baby cocktatiels by hand but don't know how similar that is. Since the bird is drinking freely, is there anything I can mix into its water right away to give it nutrition? I will go look for baby bird feed at the pet store and try that in the water until I hear back from you. I also put a deep cup of small seeds in with the bird.

It seems to me that her beak may be darkening, possibly a bruise unless I'm crazy and it's not different at all. I'll compare pictures. Poor thing.

Thanks again!
Nicole

ps- more pics attached so you can see her full body.
 

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I had just looked at this thread before I replied on BYC. I thought it sounded familiar!

As for what you can give it in the water - pedialyte is good for electrolytes in case the little guy is low on them. You don't have to mix it with water; you can give it by itself. Assuming you don't have any of that on hand, in the meantime you can put some Apple Cider Vinegar in the water - a tablespoon per gallon or half a teaspoon per cup if you don't want to make a whole bunch at a time :p It'll discourage the growth of bad bacteria while making a nice environment in the guts for good bacteria to grow. It's pretty good for them. Other than those two things, I'm not sure what you'd have around that would be good to put in the water.

Because there isn't any wounds you can find, I'm thinking she ran into something. The leg may be broken rather than paralyzed.

To treat canker, you'll need metronidazole/flagyl. I use FishZole, which is flagyl for fish. They are pills that you may be able to find at a petstore. If you do manage to find them, the dose is 1/4 a tablet daily. You can dissolve it in the water just in case the beak is hurt and not just deformed (scissored beaks or ones that are too short or too long are more common than you'd think). There are other brands of canker meds but I'm just speaking for the one I've had experience with :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fed her a little

Okay, I picked up some baby bird food and have managed to get her to swallow 2 ml of it (mixed 1-to-2). She seems super tired, barely opening her eyes so I'm thinking she's in a lot of pain. The scissor beak allowed me to put a tiny half drop of food on her beak then she would finally swallow it. It took me about 30 minutes to feed her that tiny little bit but at least she has a little food in her now. I've been giving her water with salt, sugar and ACV and she was drinking it heartily but has since lost interest in it. The last poop was completely clear liquid. I'm doing my best but if you have other recommendations (how often to try feeding, how much, leave her alone or make sure she eats/drinks, etc) I'd love to hear them.

Also, she has a creepy fly-spider-looking think living in her feathers that I can't catch for the life of me - it's black and super super fast. Some kind of parasite - ideas?

Thanks so much for your help - I really feel like I have a lifeline!

Nicole
 

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Nicloe...I understand that giving her food is very difficult and you are doing your best but 2ccs for a pigeon her size is nothing. She needs at least 15 ccs per feeding and again each time her crop empties.
I'm sure the poor thing is in great pain. I don't recall if you told us where you are located but if you will, we may be able to find a resource for you to take her to and have her evaluated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Better this morning

Charis, thank you so much for telling me how much a bird her size would normally need. I had no idea at all was was feeding her as much as I could before she'd basically close her eyes and shut down. I knew it couldn't be enough - it's less than our baby cockatiels would eat - but I had to do something.

This morning the bird seems to be feeling much better! She's fighting me much more on the food (which I see as a good sign) and drinking on her own FINALLY! She'll even stand for about 15 seconds on her good leg unto she loses balance or gets tired. I'm hoping that feeling a little better will inspire her to eat some of the tiny seeds (in a deep expresso cup) and softened bird crumble I put in on her own.

I'm in Oakland - I'm sure there must be resources around here and I'll research them today. Let me know if you know of any offhand!

Also, we have some poop with actually poop in it today! Hooray! It's small but better than clear liquid!

Nicole
 

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I'll send you a private message with the number of someone that may be able to help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks!

Thanks Charis,

I left a message. Also called some bird rescue places but didn't get any answers. It may be too early in the morning so I'll try again later.

Also, I was able to feed her 11 cc's of baby bird food this morning mixed about 3 parts water to 1 part powder. I have to mix it pretty thinly since I'm really just using the capillary action of her beak and the little gap her scissor beak offers. She's really way more frisky today but clearly still needs attention for her injured leg.

BTW, I'm calling it a 'her'. Can anyone tell her sex or is she too young?

Thanks to all!
Nicole
 

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No way to tell the sex of a pigeon. You can get somewhat of an idea by watching them interact with other pigeons, but that isn't always definite. Unless she lays an egg. Than you would know for sure that it was a female.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great news everyone! Pidgey let me groom her this morning (mostly picking baby feed out of her feathers) but wouldn't let me feed her much. She really fought me which I took as a good sign. There were more poops in the cage so I thought she was probably eating a little on her own. Just about 20 minutes ago I saw her picking around in the seed dish - hooray! And, just now she's preening herself, which she hasn't done at all since she's been here. I really think she's feeling better. Still not putting much pressure on the bad leg, but seemingly on the mend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Amazingly, our pigeon's beak seems to be straightening itself out, leading me to believe that she did have some type of crash that injured her beak. She's eating on her own now and has figured out how to balance pretty well on one leg. Not sure what to do with her now that the little cage she's in isn't going to be enough room.
 

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Glad she is doing better. Can you give her a larger cage? Do you maybe have one of those dog crates with the metal bars? Petsmart sells them fairly reasonably.
 
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