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I found an injured bird today. When I first saw him I was driving and I saw him flapping his wings trying to get up the curb. I turned the car around and it took me a while to find a place to park but he had gone either over or around a small wall before I was able to park and find him again.

I have not examined him very closely as he is scared. He does not appear to have use of his rear legs and they seem to drag behind him. His wings seem OK. His rear is dirty and full of poo.

I had a small dog crate in the car so I put him in there. When I got home I put him on a heating pad and towel. I rolled the towel around the edges so they would help hold him up like they would do when roosting otherwise he falls over.

All I have is bird seed right now from our small parrot. I put a bowl of that along with some water with sugar and salt in it.

What else can I do? What injuries should I look for? I can't afford to take him to the vet and most vets and around here won't look at him anyway. Wildlife rescue would probably feed him to one of the other animals! Around here they try and get rid of pigeons not save them.
 

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Hello and welcome to Pigeon-Talk! Thank you so very much for assisting this injured bird. Where are you located? We may have a member nearby who could assist you with the bird.

Sounds like what you have done so far is right on the mark. You can replace the sugar/salt water within an hour or so with plain water, but that was a very good initial move.

You want to look under the wings, on the chest area, and on the back for injuries .. those are the most likely places where predator attack wounds would show. Also gently feel the length of each wing and the entire leg to try and be sure there are no breaks. Also gently open the beak and have a look inside .. the mouth and throat area should be a healthy looking pink with no cottage cheesy looking growths.

If the vent area (backside) is completey encrusted with poop, then get an old washcloth or similar and use warm water to try and get the poop off.

Please get back to us with your location and what you found or did not find when you examined the bird.

Pictures are always helpful and welcome if you are able to post some.

Look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Terry
 

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I'm in north central Iowa.

He does not seem to be in shock anymore. He was trying to get off the heating pad so I turned it off as it seems very hard for him to move. He tries to get away from me if I reach for him - but is calm when I hold him. I'll go give him a once over and see if I can find any injures.

I can photograph him in the morning when the kids wake up to hold him for me.
 

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I think the wings are ok as far as I can tell. When I pulled one out he would pull it back then flap it as I tried to look at it - he did this with both wings and they seem strong. He keeps his legs curled under him now - when I first found him they were draging behind him. If I offer him a finger he does not try and grasp it. When he is laying in the cage the feet/toes are curled up he does not stand on his feet. They are very red and look scabby - maybe this is normal? I thought maybe it was from dragging his feet on the pavement behind him. Because when I first saw him he was trying to get out of the road my first thought was that he was hit by a car.

He started to get scared while I was looking at his wings - he opened his mouth a little and "panted" I didn't want to stress him out farther so I just looked in the little bit he showed then and it looks pink to me.

Before I left him in the cage I dipped the tip of his beak in the water while I was holding him. Just the very tip and he could move his head out if he wanted to but he drank a ton of water. When he took his beak out he made the same motion he made while he was drinking and spit a drop or two out - then drank some more and held that in.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply and the good job of describing what's going on with this pigeon. The red, scabby looking legs are normal. It's purely a guess on my behalf, but I would guess that the lack of use of the legs is due to trauma and probably from being hit or clipped by a car since you found the bird in/near a road. This may or may not resolve, but we need to give the bird some time to recover. If you are not seeing any obvious wounds or injuries, then only time will tell. Are you able to care for this bird for as long as several weeks or would you prefer that we try to find someone to take over the care?

You've done very well, and we are all very grateful to you for this.

Terry
 

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I can care for it for as long as we need to. My daughters are very excited to have him here. I was a vet tech for 8 years and 4 of them were with a vet who worked with birds. It was all nail, beak and wing trims though. No major injuries the whole time I was there.

We do have a green cheeked conure and I am keeping the pigeon far away from him incase of illness - also washing well after handling him. Is there anything I should treat him with - like mite dust or whatever they have at the petstore for bird crud. ;) I know very technical of me but I was a tech a LONG time ago and we never really had any major problems with the birds we treated.
 

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Also the poo did not seem to go high enough to block the vent - but he is so full of feather I didn't actually see the vent. Also the poo is covering part of one leg - very dirty little bird and I don't think just a wash cloth will do it and I don't want to hurt him by rubbing. Can I hold his rear side and legs in luke warm water and soak him for a little bit? Or will me holding him above water scare him?
 

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Also the poo did not seem to go high enough to block the vent - but he is so full of feather I didn't actually see the vent. Also the poo is covering part of one leg - very dirty little bird and I don't think just a wash cloth will do it and I don't want to hurt him by rubbing. Can I hold his rear side and legs in luke warm water and soak him for a little bit? Or will me holding him above water scare him?
Well, if there is a lot of crusted on poop, let's get it off .. warm running water or a short soak and using fingernails is good/ok .. let's just get it done and then dry off the bird and make sure it doesn't get chilled. Blow dryer is OK if needed to get the bird warm and dry again.

Pet store mite spray or Sevin Dust is OK for possible external parasites, but I kinda think this is the least of our worries at the moment. It is truly wonderful that you understand about hygiene and are being so careful.

We are very grateful to you and your family for caring for this bird and being willing to go the time it takes.

Terry
 

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can I keep feeding the bird the food for my green cheeked conure of do I need to get something for it? The food is mostly small seeds with a couple different kinds of sunflower seeds a little corn and a few split peas.
 

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The small seed, corn and peas should be fine. I would take out the sunflowers as pigeons have a hard time digesting them. Keep the fresh water handy. Thanks for caring for this little one.
Edie
 

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Hi there! Congratulations on your new friend .... and congrats to HIM for finding such a perfect care-giver!! Sounds like you're doing a GREAT job. The seed sounds great - especially the corn & peas (I agree re: the sunflowers). You could also pop some (thawed) frozen peas and/or corn down his throat. He does need grit in order to digest the food - available at many pet stores or maybe you have a local feed store with pigeon supplies ???

Keep up the good work! I'll bet you see a great improvement in the little one very soon!
 

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My BFF is having a bit of a fit that I am caring for this bird. I take tysabri for crohn's and am recovering from a long stretch of active disease. She is worried because I am immunosuppressed that the bird will make me sick.

Because the bird does not move much I have had to wash his bum under running water a few times a day.

Is getting sick something I really need to worry about or is it just a bunch of pigeon hater hype?
 

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My BFF is having a bit of a fit that I am caring for this bird. I take tysabri for crohn's and am recovering from a long stretch of active disease. She is worried because I am immunosuppressed that the bird will make me sick.

Because the bird does not move much I have had to wash his bum under running water a few times a day.

Is getting sick something I really need to worry about or is it just a bunch of pigeon hater hype?
It is a bunch of pigeon hater hype!
 
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