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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live on the coast in KZN, South Africa. Laughing Dove (common as anything in SA, but still a birdy!) flew into window yesterday early. Found severely concussed and almost lifeless, floppy neck. I left it on cushion on outside chair in shade, thought would not make it. 20 mins later, still alive and holding head up. Put in cage I had and covered it, gave little rescue remedy in water by pipette but don't think it actually drank much.. to my amazement survived all day and this morning was standing and much brighter, gave seed and water. Tried to give water at intervals. Now only able to walk one or two steps forward, then starts going round in anticlockwise circles. Don't know how it can drink and eat like that? Seen it trying to peck seed on ground once or twice but suspect brain damage. Can see small impact bald patch over left eye, but no big indentation to skull .. but hard to feel accurately, these doves are small.
Should I keep and hope it comes right or is it a euthenase case? Hate seeing these little in such a bad way.
 

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I live on the coast in KZN, South Africa. Laughing Dove (common as anything in SA, but still a birdy!) flew into window yesterday early. Found severely concussed and almost lifeless, floppy neck. I left it on cushion on outside chair in shade, thought would not make it. 20 mins later, still alive and holding head up. Put in cage I had and covered it, gave little rescue remedy in water by pipette but don't think it actually drank much.. to my amazement survived all day and this morning was standing and much brighter, gave seed and water. Tried to give water at intervals. Now only able to walk one or two steps forward, then starts going round in anticlockwise circles. Don't know how it can drink and eat like that? Seen it trying to peck seed on ground once or twice but suspect brain damage. Can see small impact bald patch over left eye, but no big indentation to skull .. but hard to feel accurately, these doves are small.
Should I keep and hope it comes right or is it a euthenase case? Hate seeing these little in such a bad way.
No no no, don't you dare euthanase this poor bird.
Its severely concust,it also may have fractures and internal bleeding .
You need to get this little guy to a vet,
If that's even a possibility .
Don't let it fly or walk around .
Try and find a box to put him in so he can rest.A nest bowl or a towel to keep him comfortable and warm.
It may have been chased by a bird of prey , windows can confuse birds in a panic because of the reflection of light.
Or a possibility is that the bird has PMV and that might be the cause of its in balance.
If it's concussion it will need at least a week just to gather its senseability .But if it's got fractured wings leg or neck bones the bird can die from shock alone,also because the bones are hollow infection can set in very quickly.
So please if you can take him to a vet if it's got any chance to recover 100% please do.
This bird is in a very serious condition.
 

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He might have paramyxo virus. A while ago, lots of laughing doves in Cape Town were affected by this. And then cases were recorded in Port Elizabeth, so the virus probably spread further.

Is he tossing the seed backwards when trying to eat? Does he hold his head in an upside down position? These are a few symptoms. It's all neurological, they are not in pain. A rescue centre or vet will probably put him down, as this is highly contageous for the next 6 to 8 weeks.

You can put seeds in a deep bowl, he will make a mess but hopefully will figure out a way to eat. Get some vitamins and calcium from a petshop, this will help with recovery. Also minimize stress as this can make the symptoms worse. Also check his droppings. Should be brown and plenty, then you know he is able to eat.

Keep us updated plse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Don't worry about euthanising, I won't unless I know it's hopeless.
It's doing better but I never see it eating.. I watch from a distance but it just sits or goes round in circles. And these Laughing Doves are very nervous little birds so trying to keep it calm. Yesterday put outside in cage mostly covered with towel in shady corner on bench in garden, where it could see its friends but be quiet. Knocks seed out of bowl with tail when it circles around so hard to see if it's eating, but cage floor now covered in seed so it has seed available, wherever it sits. Will see how it goes tomorrow.

I have a great vet but no other rescue/rehab bird places to take it to down coast here, and he is so busy. I can predict my dove's future if I take him there. It's hardly a unique species! If it was one of our Crowned Eagles, would be different.

Body seems fine, was fluttering short distances when I caught it initially. Checked wings etc, all good and not diseased.. just totally 'discombobulated'. Taken a mega knock on head above left eye, I think it must have flown into corner of half open window. (Curtains were closed, it was 5am!) Obviously had a fright and flew up in alarm, as they do. They feed on our stoep in front of the windows all the time. Lots of youngsters this time of year.. we feed a huge number of these doves, canaries, weavers, mannikins and other little seed eaters.
My main worry is this circular walk to left all the time and always in same direction. Might also just be reaction to confinement in cage? Rest of body including head held normally, but head slowly turns to left then it adjusts it all the time, when it's sitting dozing. Wondered if anyone had come across this with head trauma in birds.
 

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Maybe it's just a concussion. Keep him out of sunlight and don't give additional heat. His droppings will indicate if he is eating or not. If green and creamy, then he is producing starvation droppings. You can try to handfeed, although it's very difficult with these tiny doves. Try to get some frozen baby peas from a supermarket. Defrost in warm water and put one at a time deep inside the beak over the tongue. Easier if you have him on your lap, cover his body with a lightweight cloth and only have the beak sticking out. Feed about 45 to 60 small peas per day divided into 3 meals of 15 to 20 each. Peas also have a lot of moisture.

I once kept a neurological dove alive by feeding him red sorghum seeds. I opened the beak, tilted the head upwards and threw one seed at a time down his throat. Dipped the beak in a small bowl of water (not over the nostrils) to drink. After a couple of days he started eating by himself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
🕊:)
Progress today. I fed the Little Pidge this morning with some seeds.. quite a job, but it swallowed as soon as I got them into its beak. By lunchtime it was starting to walk in a straight line sometimes... and had started eating on its own. And pooing – great sign! But as soon as agitated or more active, spins in anticlockwise circles again. Half closed eye on injured side of head looking more open. All good. Going to keep until this spinning thing has gone or nearly gone... no point releasing until it's got a fighting chance out there... Thanks for your help Marina, and Rockin Roller.
Will keep you posted, am feeling much more optimistic! Am determined this little bird will rejoin its buddies.
 

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Hi, welcome to PT and thanks for helping her.

Recovery from concussion depends on the severity of the blow. It could take a few days or take a longer ttime.

Here is a link about concussion in birds and a general one about concussion in pets:



I cared about a dove who hit his head and he recovered in some days. He seemed a "doll". I had to offer him water and to hand feed him.
I don't have any experience with laughing doves but I know that it's very complicated to hand feed doves because they hate to be handled... Leave a mix of seeds always available and check the poops as suggested. In case she is not eating on her own you have to hand feed her.

My blind pigeon Geordi had a stupid but dangerous accident (he fell from my dad's hands to the floor) and got a head trauma. He could not stand, walk and so on. I brought him to my vet who gave him some tablets called candilat. I had to keep him in a box on a soft but firm cushion. He recovered very well but needed a long time.
So please be patient.

Keep her in a comfortable place, in the dim light (birds who suffer from a head trauma are very photo-sensitive), in a quiet and cool place (it's very important to not keeping birds suffering from a concussion on a hot waterbottle or a heatpad because warmth could make the situation worse. The suggested temperature should be around 21 degrees Celsius /70 degrees Fahrenheit). She needs a calm and peaceful environment. Try to avoid as much as possible all stressful situations, all frights, etc because any increase of blood pressure increases the brain swelling.

Does the eye look injured?

About internal injuries my vet told me that usually you could rule them out after 48 hours. If she has them unfortunately there is nothing you can do.
In case you will have to hand feed her check the color of the mouth mucosa (mucous membranes), if it looks pale it could be a sign of anemia (which could be caused even by an internal bleeding).

If you can get a complete vitamin supplement you could add it to his drinking water.

Please keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Colombina. Eye actually looks fine when eyelid open. I think it will be ok. but the impact was just above it so its probably bruised and sore. Hope poor thing isn't having hectic headaches...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Better each day, now very alert and wants out, but still has a peculiar circular head motion periodically, and tendency to spin, so will keep another day even if it doesn't like it.... Tomorrow I think will be release day, just hope it will be OK... can only hope and send with love.
 

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Thanks for the update! I'm very glad to hear that she is improving every day! Good job 👍!

I know that surely she doesn't like the idea but maybe it would be better to keep her another couple of days instead of releasing her tomorrow. Just to give her time to recover from the residual neurological symptoms. Outdoor life is so complicated. Just my own opinion, of course!

Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I tried a trial release this afternoon and let her out of cage, as was going frantic trying to get out all morning... but unable to fly properly.. kind of took off then hovered mid air and fell to ground. Have horrible suspicion might be blind in left eye... maybe would account for circling to left and inability to judge landing... think I must take to vet tomorrow... I have no aviary and don't know of anyone who does, or would care that much about a humble dove... and it's miserable in a small cage... :cry:
 

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Poor thing. There's a FB group "Broken Wings" and the admin are located in Durban. Don't know how far that is from you. There are 2 cell numbers. If you are not on FB, I can PM you those numbers.

I know a lot of these birds get send to CROW, and he might get euthanized if he is blind in one eye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Durban is a good 2 hours up the coast... I think I will hang on til Monday and if not 100% by then, take to vet. (My vet in Margate is excellent with birds and very sympathetic to wild birds.) Poor little laughing dove. They are so pretty.. I have revived several which have flown into windows, but this one.....:cry:
 

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Partial or complete visual loss could be a consequence of head trauma (as well as other visual issues).
We rescued a dove hit by a car: because of the collision he became blind in one eye. But it's not necessarily the case of your dove. Maybe proper eye drops could help.

Or maybe she only has residual neurological symptoms. My blind pigeon Geordi needed a long time to recover from the head trauma (he could not stand, walk, etc).

In all cases a bird blind in one eye can live a good life, in the bad case you can look for a home for her. I understand that it could be complicated but it's worth it.
If you are on Facebook you could even post on Palomacy, there could be members located in your area:


Hopefully she just needs time to recover.

Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
:ROFLMAO:Marina, Its difficult here.. no local rescue organisations for wildlife that I know of on KZN South Coast... nearest is Durban, CROW as you mentioned.. or for raptors, Michelle Pearson in Uvongo. She used to take all the birds, but it got too much for her on her own.

I am on FB (sporadically!) so will look at the Broken Wings page. Thanks so much for the info.

If anyone else knows of wildlife rescue people on the South Kwazulu-Natal coast in South Africa, for birdies or other beasts, please let me know. I'm on Facebook under Chiz Judge. (I love all the birds and beasties – except for cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes. But even they deserve a life, just not in my house. :giggle:)
 

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There used to be another FB group: Helpless Wings, with members all over the country. But I'm not sure if they still exist. If he is going to be unreleasable, why don't you just build him a nice aviary. You might find more doves in the future that will need help.
 
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