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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I have a 30-day old rescued feral pigeon which has a bad compound fracture involving the major and minor metacarpus bones. I successfully treated the fledgling for shock and for the fracture.

The bird's droppings are brown, which is good, but now becoming somewhat loose, however there is a very strong ammonia smell to the droppings and just a little white urates. I have had a few pigeons, and don't recall the odor of ammonia. I know ammonia is converted into uric acid normally. I have been providing probiotics (Probios) in the drinking water.

Could the high ammonia content be entirely due to the healing process, or something bad like renal (kidney) insufficiency or failure? There are no local avian vets within a hundred miles where I live, hence my post here. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I will be starting the bird on doxycycline 10mg/day today, and awaiting my order of Tony's Treasure Tabs (Vetafarm) 5-in-1. The bird shows no lethargy or obvious infection, but am worried. Should I use Keflex (cephalexin) or stick to Doxy? (The 5-in-1 does contain 10mg of doxycycline.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Beachwood. I will try the ACV with mother route. One vet said to start with antibiotics because of predator attack and because of risk of osteomyelitis or other infection as the injury exposed bones to the open. I have been giving it vitamins and calcium gluconate, calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, potassium sorbate, and a dash of sodium, along with the probiotics to help with calcium and electrolytes. Thanks for the recipe. I will bake some food-grade sodium bicarbonate in the oven to make sodium carbonate tonight. Also add some sugars to what I have been providing. I am thinking of obtaining some D-ribose as well and some Vita-pro.

But I still am at a loss for the strong ammonia content with scant webby urates, and worried about renal infection, as that will cause that. Hoping good gut flora and enteric pH will help. I will have to take the bird's temperature and rule out infection.

I agree with most re overuse of antibiotics and is last resort, but I rather have a living bird with a sensitive gut flora, than one which died from infection.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
At first, the droppings were dark and firm, with no odor. Now, after a few days of electrolytes and calcium supplementation, it is very pungent with ammonia. I have used the same calcium/electrolyte/vitamin formula before with a dove and two other pigeons just fine, without ammonia in their droppings. I never experienced the ammonia smell issue to fresh droppings. I also clean the cage and remove the droppings every few hours because the pigeon is in a small crate for cage rest because of the broken wingtip. The poor thing had hundreds of chewing slender feather lice when I took it in. I was glad they were not the blood sucking sort. I am also making a splint for coaptation once swelling subsides. I will call more vets tomorrow. So far, one said to start antibiotics, and another said it wasn't needed as he was taught 50 years ago birds don't get infections as their body temperature is too high... But he isn't a avian vet and is semi-retired. I'll need to call around more tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm sorry beachwood if you thought I wasn't taking your advice and if I somehow upset you. I didn't mention I was already providing electrolytes when I started my post. I wanted to copy your electrolyte recipe, but you deleted all your replies..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The pigeon did/does have a samonella infection. It developed diarrhea with webby urates and test came back positive. Day two of antibiotics, and she is doing much better! Diarrhea stopped earlier today but will be closely monitoring her. Ammonia gone now as well and better urates. :) I think she will recover and praying her broken wing will heal without complications. She is really sweet and nibbles on my fingers sqeeking away. With her type of wing injury and length of recovery needed, she will be unreleasable, unfortunately. This sweet pidgey will have a forever home with me and my other rescues (another feral pigeon, an African collared dove, and a rabbit).
 

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Just over three weeks later, she is doing great. The wound has healed over the break although there is a bump where the bone was sticking through. The bone will remodel in time and she will be able to fly some but not perfectly. I wanted to post this in case someone here reads this :)
 
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