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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. My "Bigboy" wouldn't fly down from his nest and greet me this morning. He was fine yesterday. He is a bit weak and not flying around in his coop as he always does. I reached up and set him down where his food and water is and he wouldn't eat as he always did. I'm very concerned. I hand raised him 4 years ago. Is this the end of our journey ? I am saddened. Should I get a light bulb for some heat ? What can I do. He was a solitary pet.
 

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he needs to see the vet, as something does seem wrong with him. pigeons can live if healthy 10, 15 years, sometimes in their to their 20's... oldest I have heard 30 something.
 

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Yes, give him a heat lamp, that way he won't use up essential energy trying to keep warm. Try to make certain that he has something to drink, you don't want him to get dehydrated.

I also treat them for cocci and worms if they go lethargic, and give them probiotics. The vet told me that cocci and worms can take hold when a pigeon is under the weather. I am not saying that these are what are causing his problems, just that they often make matters worse.


Can you check his poops and also the inside of his mouth?

Are you certain that he is male?

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
His poops have been a little loose lately, but not runny and watery. The owner at the feed said if I have never given him grit,which he has never had, to do so. He's lived in my basement all his life, it may be damp but not cold, as it is heated. He has never come into contact with another animal, only me.
Would it hurt to put him on probotics, and or, some vitamin ??????? Thank you all so much for the quick responses.
 

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The mouth should be clean and pink...no white dots, cheesy growths or blue tinge to the tissues.

Cynthia
 

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does he have access to diret sunlight? ... Pet Birds Need Exposure to Natural Sunlight ... Just as humans do, birds need vitamin D to aid in nutrient absorption. not sure if that is what is wrong with him, but he needs direct sunlight to bask in anyway, and in a basement that is hard to do, unless it is a walk out basement. he still should go to the vet to get a fecal check and exam.
 

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He's lived in my basement all his life, it may be damp but not cold, as it is heated
As Spirit Wings says, he needs sunlight and vitamin D3...also, damp is not good for pigeons and doves.
 

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Dovetail,

I am sorry to hear your "Bigboy" is not feeling well.

You have received some good suggestions, and supplementing with multiple vitamins that contain D3, for an indoor bird, from time to time, is a good idea.

I have a little feeling though, that it may be more than a lack of vitamins going on, as suggested by the nature of the more or less sudden on set and usually when they are not getting a balanced diet, they start to look "ratty" looking well before they loose their ability and desire to fly. Plus, I do not like the sound of the "loose" droppings you mention.

A vet would be your best bet, but on the chance this is not possible I would start Bigboy the med linked below, and see how he responds. The active drug in the medicine will treat for a possible coccidiosis infection mentioned in another post if present, plus a good number of other infections our birds can come down with. It is available at many pet stores, call around, it is meant to replace his water as his daily source of fluids.

http://www.arcatapet.com/item.cfm?cat=809

If he is not drinking well, get a small syringe or eyedropper and administer a few drops at a time to the side of his beak, unless you know how to medicate by tube, if you do, give him 5ml, 5-6 times a day, and leave his regular water in for him. With using a syringe/eyedropper it is going to take some time to get him dosed doing it this way, but it can be done if you find he is not drinking enough. The goal with the concentration that the active drug in this med is at, is to get about 1 once of this med each day into him, so you will have to monitor his fluids well to ensure this.

Good luck with him ans keep us informed,

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
He has never gotten sunlight. He has gotten a bit perkier, prancing and cooing, but not flying around like usual. I just came back from the feed store and the owner emphatically stated that he needs grit. I feed him a wild feed that contains whole kernels of corn and whole peas. Which he RARELY eats his corn and peas. The owner said that like children, they will always prefer the candy. I spread some grit on the floor and he just ignores it. I suppose he will peck at it. He now has heat, and tomorrow I will start putting him outside in a cage for sunlight and fresh air( what's fresh about the inner city ?) I will also get what you say and moniter his water consumption. He has always drank his water. Thank you, thank you, thank you, all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He is not ratty looking, on the contrary he is quite a handsome speciman. He was great yesterday. I was thinking of holding off on the antibiotics as of yet. Perhaps some vitamin tonight ?
 

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He is not ratty looking, on the contrary he is quite a handsome speciman. He was great yesterday. I was thinking of holding off on the antibiotics as of yet. Perhaps some vitamin tonight ?
Dovetail, now that you mention that he is in apparent good condition, I can only tell you what I would do, and that would be to start my bird on a course of the med (or one very similar) I mentioned. Sudden loss of flight desire and on set of loose droppings, as I said, are not good indications and more than I think a dose of vitamins may fix. The active drug in this medicine, Sulfadimethoxine, is a very safe and well tolerated drug, I usually err on the side of caution, and in this case it would be to medicate or have a vet have a look ASAP.

Karyn
 

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Sorry to hear he's not feeling well. It would be best NOT to start putting him outside at all until he is back to normal. Sudden exposure to sun light is not going to "fix" him, unfortunately. :eek: That's not what's wrong with him for him to suddenly get sick like you described.

Get some Raw Apple Cider Vinegar--they'll have it at health food stores if you can't find it at your regular grocery store. Give him a capful of that in his water bowl; that will help him feel better. Do this every day for awhile. Can you bring him into a regular bedroom where it isn't damp until he is normal? Keep a heating pad on for him (on low with a towel over it) or if still using the heat lamp make sure he can move away from it if he's too warm.

Damp breeds disease and is hard on pigeons. They really need a dry environment even more so than most animals, it seems. The best thing would be to get him to a vet and have them do a fecal. You could even just bring in some of his poop and have them test that if they will. It can tell you a lot. Hopefully with some extra TLC and warmth and Raw AVC he will respond and get better.

Like you said, he will start eating the grit sooner or later. AFTER he is back to normal health, you can start giving him a scoop of his food and leaving it until it is almost all gone. Then give him more. My indoor pigeons (as well as my more disabled outdoor pigeons) have access to food all day.

I would measure what he's eating now, and keep a close eye on his weight, and if possible I would weigh him daily. They can lose weight rapidly which is bad. If this happens you will need to feed him to keep his weight up which it sounds like you know how to do! Hopefully it won't need to be done. Keep us posted. Others will have more to add. :)
 

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Hi Dovetail, you have been given some great advise from our membership. I first thought of the lack of sunshine at the beginning of your thread. Warmth and sunshine very key elements in a happy healty bird. You should be able to readily find the grey calcium grit at most pet shops and even some of the better grocery stores. Pleae provide a separate dish for it to get grit from. Never mix it with the pigeon seed.I have heard of some people tossing it on the bottom, but it can get unsanitary with the droppings.

I do also use the raw apple cider vinegar made by Braggs which can be found at any health store for a few bucks, and it goes a long way! I put a teaspoon and a half in a gallon of fresh water, shake it all up and I do this twice a week and is a great health booster.

A good balanced diet is also important. I add lentils, small yellow pop corn, green peas, brown rice(all raw uncooked of course) and treat them with safflower and sunflower hearts as a treat.

Please do keep us posted.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Victor. I didn't know who you were until I saw tooterville. I know who you are now and read last year the story of Tooter getting lost. I was glued to that story and my heart went out to you. Also, not giving up the search and then he came home. I was elated and the first thing I thought was , now this would be the guy to take Bigboy. Thank you for the advice . I will make a bee-line to the petsmart when they open and the health store. Do I just open up hes mouith and give him a squirt ? Thanks.
 

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His poops look good.

Do I just open up hes mouith and give him a squirt
No,:eek: if you do that he might aspirate and die. You replace the drinking water with the water tyreated with ACV.

Cynthia
 

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Can you bring him in a cage into your house or somewhere he gets some sunshine ? Or if there is any opening to the basement which allows sunshine directly in, that will work too.

He may be running down on his vitamins and nutrients and losing his energy but you mentioned four years, thats too long a timespan to witness such a condition if it was only due to lack of nutrients and sunshine. A week on vitamin supplements, calcium grit and adequate sun shine, he may turn as cheerful if not better than he was before :) but I would not miss an appointment with the vet here in this case
 
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