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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A juvenile wood pigeon hit our window and stunned itself. After resting in a dark carrier, I tried to let him go twice - a couple hrs after hitting the window then in the morning (as it was getting late). He walks normally and goes straight out of the carrier but cannot fly. He holds his wings normally when walking and there aren't any obvious breaks. But when I looked inside his mouth he has quite a bit of canker at the back and it was bleeding. I've offered oral rehydration solution but can't be sure if he has drank any. I haven't used a crop feeding tube before and know you have to be very careful not to knock the lessions. He was feeding in the garden before the accident and his crop was quite full when I picked him up but he hasn't eaten since then. Waiting to here back from a rescue. Think the vets will likely pts. Anything I can do in the meantime?
 

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You can dip the tip of his beak (not over the nostrils) in a small bowl of water. They get very thirsty when they have canker. He will need metronidazole for treatment. In petshops that sells aquarium supplies, this will be available as fishzole. It's the same as metro. So maybe you can get some and treat him yourself.
 

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Hi, welcome to PT and thanks for helping him.

As he hit against your window he could maybe suffer from a head trauma (in addition to canker), that could explain the inability to fly.
Here are two links about concussion in birds and a general one about head trauma in pets, you can find there many useful info:




Regarding head trauma, the best thing is keeping him in a comfortable place, in a soft light (birds who suffer from a head trauma are very photo-sensitive), in a quiet and cool room (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). He needs rest. Try to avoid any fright or source of excitement, etc because that could increase blood pressure and so brain swelling.

I was wondering if the bleeding is somehow related to the blow. Did you see the blood inside his mouth shortly after the collision? Or the following morning (I hope that he does not have any internal injuries because in that case there is nothing you can do)? Maybe the blow dislodged a piece of the canker growths? The blood looked dry or fresh? Have you noticed if the mouth mucosa looked pale or pink as usual?
I would give him a complete vitamin supplement containing iron and even B-complex vitamins, it will help him to replace the lost red cells. You can show him water by dipping his beak (not over the nostrils) into a small bowl of water.
Have you checked his mouth again? Do you think he is able to swallow? If yes, as I suppose it's been hours since you saw the bleeding I would try to leave available a bowl filled with small seeds (avoid all sharpened seeds) and see if he is able to eat them on his own.

I'm used to treat canker with spartrix (carnidazole). I'm also used to apply topically Betadine but in this case I would not do that (because of the previous bleeding).

Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can dip the tip of his beak (not over the nostrils) in a small bowl of water. They get very thirsty when they have canker. He will need metronidazole for treatment. In petshops that sells aquarium supplies, this will be available as fishzole. It's the same as metro. So maybe you can get some and treat him yourself.
Hi, welcome to PT and thanks for helping him.

As he hit against your window he could maybe suffer from a head trauma (in addition to canker), that could explain the inability to fly.
Here are two links about concussion in birds and a general one about head trauma in pets, you can find there many useful info:




Regarding head trauma, the best thing is keeping him in a comfortable place, in a soft light (birds who suffer from a head trauma are very photo-sensitive), in a quiet and cool room (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). He needs rest. Try to avoid any fright or source of excitement, etc because that could increase blood pressure and so brain swelling.

I was wondering if the bleeding is somehow related to the blow. Did you see the blood inside his mouth shortly after the collision? Or the following morning (I hope that he does not have any internal injuries because in that case there is nothing you can do)? Maybe the blow dislodged a piece of the canker growths? The blood looked dry or fresh? Have you noticed if the mouth mucosa looked pale or pink as usual?
I would give him a complete vitamin supplement containing iron and even B-complex vitamins, it will help him to replace the lost red cells. You can show him water by dipping his beak (not over the nostrils) into a small bowl of water.
Have you checked his mouth again? Do you think he is able to swallow? If yes, as I suppose it's been hours since you saw the bleeding I would try to leave available a bowl filled with small seeds (avoid all sharpened seeds) and see if he is able to eat them on his own.

I'm used to treat canker with spartrix (carnidazole). I'm also used to apply topically Betadine but in this case I would not do that (because of the previous bleeding).

Keep us updated.
Thank you for your help. The blood was fresh and there was a smell. But it could be something from the collission and in the process of examining and trying to feed the clot got knocked. I unfortunately didn't do a thorough exam straight after the collision to minimise shock - just left him in a box with soft lighting, room temperature and no heat because of the head trauma.

I assumed it could be canker as he was struggling to swallow food and thought I could see some sort of obstruction in the back of his throat. But I took him to the vet and they couldn't find any injuries and said they couldn't see canker lessions. They thought the blood could have been from a cut linked to the hitting the window.

So I'm not sure what the issue is with his throat. I checked in his mouth when I got back and the bleeding had stopped but still looked like something at the back of his throat affecting swallowing - looked like a pea he'd tried to swallow earlier was still there. Tried dipping the tip of his beak in oral rehydration solution but he would not drink. Left a bowl of it in the carrier and he has been sitting on top of it so he knows it's there and I'm really hoping he might have had some when he's on his own. Also a good seed mix with some nice small round seeds in case he was able to peck at them. Can't tell if he's had some or just stood in them and spread them round. It's night here at the moment so will have to leave him to rest overnight and hope he's had some fluids.
 

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Can you post a photo of his droppings? This is usually a good indication if something is wrong. I use the torch of my cell to check the throat. Tilt your cell in such a way that you can check deep inside his throat. If it's something he ate that got stuck, try remove with tweezers. Will be easier if you have someone to hold him when doing this.
 

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Thanks for the update.

How is he doing today?

So maybe the bleeding was related to the collision (I'm just guessing, maybe a small capillary got broken and, as you said, the clot got knocked while you were checking him). Blood has a ferrous/iron smell. You noticed a smell: did that smell seemed blood smell? Canker and yeasts have too a bad smell so it would be helpful to identify the source/nature of the smell (I know, it's not easy...).

I would carefully check again his throat. If there is a pea or some "dirtiness" stuck in the throat you could try to gently remove it with a wet q-tip (the smallest that you can find). Of course, it will be better if someone could help you.

I attach a link, give it a look, it could help you to understand if there is something wrong into his throat (like a swelling, etc):


If you can get a vitamin supplement containing iron and B-complex he will surely benefit from it.

In case you can get some spartrix you could give him a tablet (as you suspected canker when you first checked him). Just in case... Spartrix is very safe for birds.

Keep us updated.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can you post a photo of his droppings? This is usually a good indication if something is wrong. I use the torch of my cell to check the throat. Tilt your cell in such a way that you can check deep inside his throat. If it's something he ate that got stuck, try remove with tweezers. Will be easier if you have someone to hold him when doing this.
Thanks for the update.

How is he doing today?

So maybe the bleeding was related to the collision (I'm just guessing, maybe a small capillary got broken and, as you said, the clot got knocked while you were checking him). Blood has a ferrous/iron smell. You noticed a smell: did that smell seemed blood smell? Canker and yeasts have too a bad smell so it would be helpful to identify the source/nature of the smell (I know, it's not easy...).

I would carefully check again his throat. If there is a pea or some "dirtiness" stuck in the throat you could try to gently remove it with a wet q-tip (the smallest that you can find). Of course, it will be better if someone could help you.

I attach a link, give it a look, it could help you to understand if there is something wrong into his throat (like a swelling, etc):


If you can get a vitamin supplement containing iron and B-complex he will surely benefit from it.

In case you can get some spartrix you could give him a tablet (as you suspected canker when you first checked him). Just in case... Spartrix is very safe for birds.

Keep us updated.
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Thank you for your help. These are 2 of the droppings from this morning. The first one he did when I approached the cage and he was nervous so is smaller than usual. I'm amazed there are still solids in the droppings as didn't think he'd eaten much if anything yesterday. Yes - would definitely say it looked like "dirtiness" stuck in the back of the throat. Could definitely smell blood when it was actively bleeding. But later when I checked could tell there was another smell I thought was the canker. He was still very alert this morning and wanting to perch - not lying down on the floor of the cage. Sorry I didn't get chance to have another look in his mouth this morning before taking him to the rehabber. They had a look and could see an issue at the back of his throat and canker. So he's started canker treatment with them and been given fluids. If all goes well he'll be coming back to be released in the garden once recovered. Thank you both for the help and information. The website about visible indicators in the throat is very handy. I'll order the meds and supplements so I have it if needed in future - this is the second young pigeon I've had in a month with canker (and from different areas). What can be done to get fluids, meds and nutrients in when they can't seem to swallow and won't drink - is careful crop tubing the only way?
 

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Crop tubing will be dangerous if the canker is so far advanced that they can't swallow. This can start bleeding which can be fatal. A 1 ml syringe past the breathing hole might help getting fluids into them. One can also mix the metronidazole powder with water and put this on the cankergrowths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Crop tubing will be dangerous if the canker is so far advanced that they can't swallow. This can start bleeding which can be fatal. A 1 ml syringe past the breathing hole might help getting fluids into them. One can also mix the metronidazole powder with water and put this on the cankergrowths.
Thank you. With the syringe do you use anything like critical care formula or just international rehydration solution to keep them going until the meds work and they can swallow.
 

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I've never had a pigeon with canker so severe that they can't swallow. Getting them hydrated will be the first thing to do followed by the meds. Check if the crop is full or empty. If there's food inside the crop, rather concentrate on getting the food digested. Warmed up diluted baby applesauce works well, followed by massaging the crop. If the crop is empty, then start giving small amounts of food and when digestion starts (you will notice a change in the droppings) start increasing the amount slowly. If they produces a yellow blob of watery droppings, then you know they are starving due to either food not digesting or not eating for a couple of days.

Try to order Medistatin online. This is powdered Nystatin for yeast infections. Yeast can produce the same symptoms in the throat as canker, difficulty swallowing. But will appear whitish where canker will be more yellow.
 

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Thanks for the update. I hope that he will make a full recovery and that he will come back to the garden soon 🤞!

You could try to ask to the rehabber to explain you how to care about a bird with very severe canker. If you have some free time maybe they could show something (like how to tube feed, etc.).
Here is a link with helpful info (maybe you have already read it):


Regarding medications, when the bird is able to swallow I cut the spartrix tablet into 4 pieces and I give a quarter of a tablet one at a time (I always check the mouth/throat before giving the other piece because I want to be sure that the bird swallowed the previous one). When the bird can't swallow I crumble each piece into several small fragments, then I put one fragment at a time into the mouth. Sometimes I take a wet q-tip and I dab the fragment near the canker until it becomes a "mush" and the bird is able to swallow it. I learned about direct contact of spartrix with canker from one of our members (but he talked about a different method, he suggested to make a paste and to dab it directly on canker). I think that direct contact helps.
In other cases, I push the fragment down with a q-tip. I decide on case-by-case basis.
I'm also used to topically apply Betadine 10% (povidone iodine), I find that very helpful because it helps to dry the canker. I explained everything about that method here (post. # 11).


In 2017 my pigeon Caterina got a terrible yeast infection and she had great difficulties in swallowing: I had to feed her small amount of bird formula in a super slow way. I mean, I gave her a very small amount of formula by syringe, I gave her time to swallow it then another bit of formula and so on (same thing for nystatin). I literally spent my whole days (from morning to night) caring about her. Each syringe took a lot of time.
I cared about some pigeons who had bad canker (I called one of them Cheddar... A friend suggested the name, guess why 😉😝). In some cases I had to feed (for some days) a small seed one at a time (I gently pushed them down with a q-tip)... I had to choose the safer ones (rounded and small... Like red dari for example), I counted them so I could get an idea of how much they were eating... It took a very long time but that kept them alive until the meds started to work.

Anyway, keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've never had a pigeon with canker so severe that they can't swallow. Getting them hydrated will be the first thing to do followed by the meds. Check if the crop is full or empty. If there's food inside the crop, rather concentrate on getting the food digested. Warmed up diluted baby applesauce works well, followed by massaging the crop. If the crop is empty, then start giving small amounts of food and when digestion starts (you will notice a change in the droppings) start increasing the amount slowly. If they produces a yellow blob of watery droppings, then you know they are starving due to either food not digesting or not eating for a couple of days.

Try to order Medistatin online. This is powdered Nystatin for yeast infections. Yeast can produce the same symptoms in the throat as canker, difficulty swallowing. But will appear whitish where canker will be more yellow.
Thanks for the update. I hope that he will make a full recovery and that he will come back to the garden soon 🤞!

You could try to ask to the rehabber to explain you how to care about a bird with very severe canker. If you have some free time maybe they could show something (like how to tube feed, etc.).
Here is a link with helpful info (maybe you have already read it):


Regarding medications, when the bird is able to swallow I cut the spartrix tablet into 4 pieces and I give a quarter of a tablet one at a time (I always check the mouth/throat before giving the other piece because I want to be sure that the bird swallowed the previous one). When the bird can't swallow I crumble each piece into several small fragments, then I put one fragment at a time into the mouth. Sometimes I take a wet q-tip and I dab the fragment near the canker until it becomes a "mush" and the bird is able to swallow it. I learned about direct contact of spartrix with canker from one of our members (but he talked about a different method, he suggested to make a paste and to dab it directly on canker). I think that direct contact helps.
In other cases, I push the fragment down with a q-tip. I decide on case-by-case basis.
I'm also used to topically apply Betadine 10% (povidone iodine), I find that very helpful because it helps to dry the canker. I explained everything about that method here (post. # 11).


In 2017 my pigeon Caterina got a terrible yeast infection and she had great difficulties in swallowing: I had to feed her small amount of bird formula in a super slow way. I mean, I gave her a very small amount of formula by syringe, I gave her time to swallow it then another bit of formula and so on (same thing for nystatin). I literally spent my whole days (from morning to night) caring about her. Each syringe took a lot of time.
I cared about some pigeons who had bad canker (I called one of them Cheddar... A friend suggested the name, guess why 😉😝). In some cases I had to feed (for some days) a small seed one at a time (I gently pushed them down with a q-tip)... I had to choose the safer ones (rounded and small... Like red dari for example), I counted them so I could get an idea of how much they were eating... It took a very long time but that kept them alive until the meds started to work.

Anyway, keep us updated!
Thank you both so much for the help and advice. Struggling to find Medistatin/nystatin to order in the UK. But one med I've looked at - dac ronistatin - treats yeast and canker. It contains nystatin and ronidazole (instead of metronidazole)? Still tricky to order as don't seem to be any suppliers in UK so have to order from EU. The rehabber also mentioned about applying the meds in a paste directly to the lessions - like you mention getting direct contact with the canker. Will let you know how he's doing when I get an update.
 

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Yes, ronidazole is for canker but I have never used it (years ago the vet gave me dimetridanazole but honestly I didn't like it).


Also I have never heard of that "combination product" (nystatin plus ronidazole).

In France it is needed a prescription for buying nystatin (I think even in Italy but I'm not sure) so I don't know if you can order it online from these countries.
I don't know if that could help but maybe you could try to give a look at these websites:



Anyway, keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, ronidazole is for canker but I have never used it (years ago the vet gave me dimetridanazole but honestly I didn't like it).


Also I have never heard of that "combination product" (nystatin plus ronidazole).

In France it is needed a prescription for buying nystatin (I think even in Italy but I'm not sure) so I don't know if you can order it online from these countries.
I don't know if that could help but maybe you could try to give a look at these websites:



Anyway, keep us updated!
Thank you. The meds are arriving today so I'll have them in stock if I get one with canker/yeast again.

UPDATE: The pigeon finished his canker treatment with the rehabber and now clear. Came back for a flight test in the aviary. Struggling to gain much height at the moment so was going to give him a few days to build his flight muscles up. Have noticed he's starting to get a droopy wing. Vets checked him for breaks after his initial trauma of hitting the windows 2 weeks ago. Could he have sprained a muscle trying to fly in the aviary?
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He is still very young. Keep him for another 2 weeks or so. He should be able to fly well and eat all types of seeds. Only time will tell if the wings are ok. When you release him, keep on supplying him with food. He will probably stick around.
 

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Thanks for the update.

Glad to hear that he recovered from canker 👍.

Agree, I would keep him for a while and see how he is doing. Before releasing him you must be sure that he is able to fly in an excellent way (because he will have to escape from predators, avoid cars and so on).

Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
He is still very young. Keep him for another 2 weeks or so. He should be able to fly well and eat all types of seeds. Only time will tell if the wings are ok. When you release him, keep on supplying him with food. He will probably stick around.
Thanks for the update.

Glad to hear that he recovered from canker 👍.

Agree, I would keep him for a while and see how he is doing. Before releasing him you must be sure that he is able to fly in an excellent way (because he will have to escape from predators, avoid cars and so on).

Keep us updated!
Thank you for your help. He has tried to fly but not able to maintain flight or gain much height at all. Seems to be able to pull and hold the left wing up at times but it's dropped most of the time so not sure if it's a deficiency, sprain or something else. Tried to move different height ledges closer together so he can get to the highest perch in little steps but he still tries to go for a high ledge all in one go (and not manage it). Before the window strike/canker he was flying well and was self feeding (his family visit the garden every garden so I've been watching him grow). It's good as he knows the garden, but when he saw his mum/dad yesterday he was trying to work out how to escape and get to them. These are the seed mixes I have (the pigeon mix I bought last year but the bag is still sealed so hoping it's ok to use or best to get a fresh bag?). Was also going to start adding vitamin drops to his water.
 

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Seemed to be flying stronger and further today but left wing definitely still drooping. He pulls the wing up then it gradually slips back down again. Have also seen him stretching and exercising it (flapping with both wings while stationary). But he seems to flap the bad wing a bit lower than the other. Sadly my vets aren't open till Monday so don't know if I should be letting him be in the aviary or limiting his exercise till then - really don't want to stress him further with catching and strapping the wing if not necessary. Have read droopy wing can also be from an illness including paratyphoid?

Also he is just coming for food once a day. He has food available all day but only comes down at midday. He forages from the bowl and from the seeds he's thrown out of the bowl for quite a while. As the days are short and it starts getting dark at 5pm he doesn't come for another feed before nighttime. I'm sure pigeons I've had before used to come to their feed a few times through the day?
 
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