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Injured wild pigeon. Birmingham UK. Please help!

2131 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Feefo
Hi everyone nice to meet you, I wonder if you can help me please.

Early evening yesterday we saw a pigeon lying on its back in the middle of the garden with feathers around it. We have quite a few pigeons in our garden that come to our bird table, and I vaguely remember seeing a bit of pigeon commotion yesterday afternoon, so we think basically this pigeon was in a fight with either another pigeon or another bird.

Anyway, so I went out, and the pigeon looked dead with its eyes wide open and its head back, and I looked closer and it was breathing, we couldnt believe it.

So we took it inside into the lounge with the lights dimmed on a towel, and he seemed zoned out, not blinking at all. We also noticed that he has a bald patch on his chest (is this how pigeons fight each other? I know ducks fight this way) and a wound on its chest and on its back. I cant be sure but I was convinced I could hear his breathing through the whole in its back (its a beak shaped/sized hole if that helps) so we think he has a punctured lung (although I cant hear it today so hopefully i was wrong). After about an hour he sort of snapped out of it, like he suddenly thought 'where on earth am i?!'

So we took him back out into the garden onto the grass and he tried to walk/fly but he ended up all over the place, I think there is an issue with his left leg. He wont stand up straight, he flops to the left. Although the leg looks fine, no blood around it or the joint.

So anyway, we have a rabbit hutch that we keep for emergencies and he is in that now in the garage. We have put newspaper down and a towel, a dish of water, and some bird seed. He's not 'zoned out' anymore but he didnt put up a fight earlier when I picked him up to look at his wound, which I guess is a bad thing, but to be expected the state he is in.

So basically, we would like to know what to do next. I kept fancy rats until recently and I used Ashwood Vets in Four Oaks, Birmingham, so I will ring them as soon as they are open to see if they will care for a pigeon and not just euthanise it, I am sure they will see the pigeon as there is one vet who does all the exotic type animals.

We'd like to know what else we can do. I dont like the emergency vets around here, I found them slap dash and careless with my rats and goodness knows what they'd do to a pigeon.

Thanks a bunch, and let me know if I have missed out anything important,
Katie x
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Some of our UK members should be along shortly. I'll alert them to the post. Sounds like to me a hawk got this bird and for whatever reason, didn't finish the attack, which makes this one lucky pigeon. Keep an eye on this thread.

Yes,could be a hawk attack. The female sparrowhawks here will go for a full grown pigeon this time of year. The puncture wound could be from a hawk's talon. Until you can get to a vet, it is a case of keeping the bird warm and safe, and if there is any blood or dirt apparent round the wound(s) would gently wash with a warm saline solution . as most people don't keep the sterile saline, boiled water cooled down till just warm, with some salt (purer the better,like sea salt, but any would do). A very gentle antiseptic gel could also be used. It could just be a claw wound from a cat. Any bird attacked by a predator should receive an antibiotic, though, to be safe - Synulox or Noroclav, which the vet should be able to provide.

It is a difficult one with it being a public holiday tomorrow, unless your vet is open then anyway. I'm not actually sure if there is a recommended wildlife place near you who may help, but will check.

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Hi Katielittle25,

I live in Little Aston and Ashwoods is my vets I use for my dogs. I'm afraid they will euthanise if it's badly injured and will probably farm the bird out to a friend of mine that takes birds from them if it just needs TLC. The trouble is I think it needs treatment of some kind from what you've described. I expect you mean Stuart who is the vet that tends to see exotics, he has seen a pigeon for me before but the receptionists will ask you to leave the bird, and they've told me before they usually PTS most pigeons.

If you want me to help as we obviously live close, I'll send you my number by a Private Message. I have some meds and as the vets won't be there until Tuesday I think this needs some action sooner than that.

Otherwise you can take it to Amerton Farm, British Wild Life Rescue, (about a 40 minute drive from you), they will take pigeons, but again won't keep any bird going if it doesn't stand a good chance of full recovery, but they will be open tomorrow.

Let me know if I can help.

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Hi Katie,

Is this a wood pigeon, feral pigeon or collared dove?

One of our members had a pigeon with a similar injury, the lungs were visible through a hole in the back. It needed a lot of patience but as far as I remember it pulled through. With the meds that Janet can provide, peace, quiet and a little nursing it will probably survive, the question is whether it will be releasable, but there are places it could go if it proves to be unreleasable.

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