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Mini turned up four weeks ago. I'd seen a small, slightly dishevelled blue bar acting 'suspiciously' on the balcony, and my chance came when she came inside, trying to eat from Capuccino's pot (he's my daily visitor) and managing to stagger backwards and throw food around. Close the door, grab, onto a heat pad in a cage and, later, drip some rehydration mix into her beak just to be safe. Poor little bird weighed only 210 grams. Initially, she relaxed on one leg on the heat pad, but very soon developed the torticollis and was more often standing with her head on the cage floor, falling over in a feathery heap if disturbed. Although she tried to eat, I topped her up her with hand fed peas, corn and a few peanuts, and gave her vitamin supplements. At the end of the first week she was 232 grams. I took her to Cynthia, who tube fed her for a couple of weeks to ensure she got plenty of nourishment.



Then, two and a half weeks ago, I caught Sweetiepidge. She(?) was standing outside and aside from floundering about, made no serious attempt to escape. I had seen her with her neck twisting already, and thought I would have to lure her inside, but it wasn't necessary. She was 269 grams, but still underweight, however. I could see that Sweetiepidge was not eating, and probably couldn't at that time, so another one rolled up in a towel and fed by hand. By the end of the week she was up to around 285 grams (I'd weighed her after feeding an hour earlier, so had to subtract some to counteract the food). She seemed to show no interest in feeding, and frequently stood like a little statue with a fine head tremor (when her head was right way up), but was very co-operative about being hand-fed.



I'm less sure that Sweetiepidge is a hen, though the occasional coo doesn't really prove much. Minipidge is an unknown but probably a hen and still a squeaker, though likely approaching the end of 'squeakerhood'.

Last weekend I was at Cynthia's, so Sweetiepidge made the round trip, and I brought Minipidge home. That meant getting a second large 'hospital cage' (Chinchilla cage), since I didn't want either of them 'doing time' in a Finch cage. The Finch cage is not a bad size, but it's emergency or temporary accomodation for pigeons that shouldn't be moving around too much.

For the past week I've fed them morning and evening, and kept a careful eye on poops. They have had a short course of vitamin supplement in the water, and a couple of days of probiotics to help with the digestion. When I prepare the frozen peas and corn, once thawed I let them stand for a time in some of the water I use for the drinking pots. The theory is that as I feed the birds, they will also get some extra vitamins or whatever with the food. Aside from these foods, they get small pigeon peanuts, and some selected items from a standard pigeon mix.

I am now feeding them in the evening, since both are at least trying to feed themselves during the day. I'll be checking their 'unladen' weight regularly, of course. Currently, Sweetie is 306 grams and Mini is 256 grams. They have had 'out time' from lunchtime on a couple of days. The first time they just stood around. Yesterday there was wing exercise - 'helicoptering' attempts, but without lift-off. There was also some interaction between them which seemed to be because Minipidge has less control and bumps into Sweetiepidge, prompting an irritable response. Today, Sweetiepidge mastered flight again to some extent, since I found her wandering about on the bed - every pigeon's favorite lounging place :)

I'm still hoping to catch PMV suspect number three, who has demonstrated gyrations on the doormat, some disorientation and staggering backwards. This one, however, is still quick when need be, still eating successfully and still flying. With such limited space here, I just hope there are no more!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The two pigeons in 'head stand' position



PMV apartments



John
 

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Hi John,

Thank you for helping these two very needy pigeons, they sure do have sweet faces. Your hospital cages are wonderful and very professional and meet their needs. It sounds like they are doing well with all your wonderful supportive care. You and Cynthia sure do make a wonderful rehab team, I'm sure you would have them all thru the worse part of this disease (if they aren't already) in no time.

I appreciate the picture of the classic symptom of PMV displayed in the two birds, too, as I have never seen that before. That is really strange looking to my eyes.

I hope you can catch the third of this trio with PMV symptoms.
 

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John...You are just the best example of good humanity.:)
Good luck catching PMV 3. I suspect you'll pull it off.
 

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Wow, 2 pmv at the same time possible 3 pmv pijes. Hopefully that's it......
Lucky for them that they knew where to go.
 

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WELL DONE, JOHN! But I am not surprised! Those are two (soon to be 3??) lucky pijies!

I'm so sorry to hear about this seeming "outbreak," though, and hope there won't be more!

On behalf of me and my group, THANK YOU!!

Sending LOVE, HUGS and SCRITCHES

Shi
Squeaks
Dom
Gimie
Aussie
Marlin
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Aw, thank you folks. My main worry is whether it will spread and how. I can stop feeding them outside which would at least mean they don't get in a mass over the food, but then I have little chance of spotting the potential rescues. I do change the pot I have inside after each of the two or three who venture in have eaten, and brush up any stray bits of food, so they don't pick up infection from that source. None of them roosted on the balcony, though, and I wash it down with bleach or a disinfectant anyway. I can minimise the risk, but never eliminate it completely. But then, after several weeks I have yet to see any others with a problem.

John
 

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Great job John. Those two look great.
I like your hospital arrangement too.
Good luck in catching #3.

Reti
 

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Well done - those two look much improved! Great apartment setup, too! Good luck with catching the third pigeon.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Minipidge and Sweetiepidge are progressing at very different rates. Minipidge is not a bad weight, at 280 grams before evening feed, whilst Sweetie was 290 grams at last weigh-in.

Mini seems the most dedicated to taking advantage of a big bowl of varied food and loads of time to eat, having been only 210 grams the day I found her, but needs to be due to the difficulty of her head still being upside down much of the time.

Sweetie has made bigger strides in terms of symptoms. A lot of the time, I almost dare to say most of the time, she stands up looking pretty normal, and is definitely the more mobile. She can part-fly, part-climb onto the top of the cage and managed to fly to the windowsill (and got over-excited at seeing her old flock flying around). Her latest interest, though, seems to be the new pigeon (Sleepalot) picked up a week ago from his finder. Here, Sweetie is investigating the (identical) cage. She (?) spends a lot of time right outside Sleepalot's door, however. It will be interesting to see what happens when I let Sleepalot come out to wander with the other two, but not until next week.

(The third balcony PMV suspect remains at large)

John
 

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I wonder if Minipidge, being younger, might just view the tremors as a normal part of the difficulty of learning to eat. Whereas Sweetiepidge has lived a normal life for a longer time is older so the sypmtoms feel very strange and are more upsetting. Or resiliance of youth could acount for the difference. ;)

In the photo, it sure looks as if Sweetiepidge is showing an interest in Sleepalot (love the names you picked!). Any roo-cooing on either part?

Just curious - what is the white material that you are using to line the cages?
 

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Just curious - what is the white material that you are using to line the cages?
Those are paper couch rolls...the sort of stuff therapists use on their "beds". They were recommended to me some time ago by Les and now I can't be without them as they speed up the cage cleaning process so much, you just roll them up and throw them away.

But either Sweetie or Mini has proved that they are not always the best option. She spins a lot and if there happens to be a damp patch then the towel gets torn and tangles around her legs, real towels have bits of thread that do the same so John is going to try a folded bed sheet instead.

Cynthia
 

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Thanks for the info. Always looking for new ideas. I've been using a roll of butcher paper - brown, comes in three weights and several widths from the craft store. It absorbs most of the liquid poops without breaking through.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
In the photo, it sure looks as if Sweetiepidge is showing an interest in Sleepalot (love the names you picked!). Any roo-cooing on either part?
Well, Sweetiepidge does do an occasional trll, but that is when she is standing on a brick down on the floor, and doesn't seem to be directed anywhere particularly. Sometimes she will give a couple of coos from her cage in the very still of the night, too, when all is dark. Hard to figure what sex any of them is, though there's no male posturing from anyone so far.

Right now the three are looking very relaxed, with only Minipidge doing some headstands.

This shows Mini with the torticollis not really any better than several weeks back. But, she eats fine, with all day to do so, and is still slowly increasing her weight. Poor baby has a dirty head, from getting it upside down - I must give her a little wash soon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkwSxR0pD4U

Sweetiepidge is now just under 300 grams. I have a feeling that is probably going to be pretty much her normal weight. Here she is relaxing on one foot. I fancy she looks kinda sad, so she may be thinking "Now if I look nice n normal, maybe he'll let me out to see my buddies". There is a sheet of cardboard behind her, about 18" high, but she is so small and agile she perches on top of it to look out :)

John

Sweetiepidge
 

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Oh John she looks so content despite the twisting. Even has the will to preen and make sure she's looking good. The PMV's are so special.

Janet
 

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Thanks for the video of Mini - excellent reference to demonstrate torticollis. It's interesting how she is sometimes able to control her head in a normal posture.

Wonderful detailed photo of Sweetiepidge. She's looking quite lovely!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I still have my two plus one. Because Sleepsalot was the last one in, I don't feel I can safely install SweetiePidge and MiniPidge in the aviary until Sleepy has finished his (or her) quarantine. It would be just possible that the PMV virus could transfer 'mechanically' via the feet or feathers of the other two. I now need to mist them , to help with waterproofing, and then bathe them before they go to be with our other pigeons.

Sleepsalot hovers around the 300 gram mark, whilst the other two weigh in at over 300.

Sweetie looks now like a pretty healthy pigeon, flying easily to the highest point in the room. She does not seem to like taking off from the floor, however, and when I open her door she climbs up the outside of her cage before flying anywhere. She shows no discernible neurological signs, though. She can be very difficult to catch at night, although some evenings she will get back into her cage without any prompting.

Mini still does the headstands and seems to drink a lot more water than the others, and her poops are still not the best, so she remains the worst affected. She does try some helicoptering, flapping enthusiastically, but goes nowhere fast (except in circles). I'd like to keep her until she has better control, but that could be weeks or months, if at all. She needs monitoring, however, as she is my 'baby' of the three.

Sleepy is still a little dozy, and shows some signs of seed tossing, but manages pretty well. He doesn't move around much, and often lounges comfortably tipped to one side on a 'plush brick' (towel wrapped in white paper). He developed a wheeze a couple of weeks back, but it went overnight with the first dose of a seven day course of Baytril (one time when an antibiotic was called for in a PMV case). He seems to like to mix with the other two, but he behaves like a karate kid when I go to take him out of his cage for recreation :)

They do create chaos, of course, quiet and mostly peaceable though they be. In this pic, Sweetie (left) and Sleepy seem to be conferring, as if either guilty about jumping in a food bowl and tipping seed everywhere, or wondering who will be grabbed next to be locked up for the night (Mini is already in her cage).

John
 

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Sweetie's cere certainly looks a lot better now!

Cynthia
 
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