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Discussion Starter #1
I found a pigeon underneath my balcony. It looks like he's fallen and can't fly back, because he's sick. His eyelid seems to be very swollen. Is this what catarrh looks like?



He can stand up just fine, but flying is another issue. When I was trying to catch him, he got the ground with a lot of effort, but just crashed into the side of the building and fell again. He was very easy to grab after that, didn't even struggle. I noticed the breastbone was very prominent, but I don't know if it is like that on pigeons. I can only compare him to my ringneck doves, and he seemed very bony compared to them.

I have him in a makeshift pen for now, but it's only a shopping cart I cleaned up for him. It's not really appropriate for a pigeon, even though he seems like a small one. I only know one place that takes in birds and helps them out, but they are closed for the weekend.

Does anyone have experience with this? Will he be ok until Monday when I can get him to an expert? Is there anything I can do to help him, or make him more comfortable? He looks so sore, and he's crying pigeon tears.

 

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Guardian Angel
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Hi Fever, and thanks for helping this pigeon out. Make sure and wash
hands before and after handling and keep utensils separate while caring
for this pigeon. One half a cup of bleack to one gallon of water will kill
anything this bird has that is viral or bacterial.

Here's a link to the International Modena Club's Doctor's Corner:

http://www.internationalmodenaclub.com/The Doctors Corner/diagnosis.htm

Is this bird secreting any mucous/pus from the eye that looks affected? Hard to know from a picture exactly what it may be. If you could also post a picture the bird's droppings that would be great. The keel is probably prominent because the bird is sick and has been in a compromised state of health for a while now. Probably not a lot of reserves for foraging for sustanance.

I would tube feeding this bird once it has been warmed and hydrated.
Here's a link to help you get started w/the hydration process:

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showthread.php?t=8822

What if any meds do you have
on hand? Does this bird have any sores/boils anywhere else on his/her
body? Have you had a chance to look inside the bird's mouth for any
growths inside there? Take a close look also at the roof of the mouth.
The coloring should be pinkish in a healthy bird, let's see what you see
for this bird. Any odors when you open the mouth or to the droppings?

And, just your general whereabouts in case we have someone close by
who can help out if needed.

fp
 

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If the pigeon cannot close his eyes, and they dry out, he will go blind. If there is an ointment which can be used to prevent this, it should help. I have no experience in this, but perhaps something suitable for human eyes would also protect his. I would be careful about getting too much greasy or oily stuff on is feathers, though.

It is very late here in Germany, so I can't spend the necessary time on this.

If he is very skinny, check out the resources section. Keep him warm, because he will be using up a lot of his energy to fight infection. Keep him hydrated. Maybe dip his beak into a small container with an inch or two of international rehydrating solution (IRS) if he cannot see it. They drink like horses do from a water trough, with their heads down (and beaks in the water). If you have a small dish of seeds.

Where are you located (city or town?) There may be an experienced member near you.

Larry

Oh .. see you have doves, so know something about them. Was in a hurry, before lights out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I live on the edge of Gatineau, Quebec, which is within walking distance of downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Sorry the pictures aren't very clear. The eye actually seems to be glued shut, so it shouldn't dry out. There is a little bit of pus around the eye, but it isn't oozing too badly. The other eye seems clear but dark (not orange). I've noticed young pigeons sometimes have dark eyes, so I'm hoping that's all it is.

I have seed and a bowl of water in the cart with him, but I'll try encouraging him to drink as well. Unfortunately, I don't have any meds on hand, aside from polysporin. But I do have a Mom in Ottawa who is a pediatric nurse. :D

I'll try opening his beak and looking for the things you've mention, FP. And thank you both for the advise.
 

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Guardian Angel
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Your welcome, Fever. Let's see what another look might bring for information.
In the meantime, please do take a look at the link for saving the life
of a pigeon or dove.....it discusses putting the bird on heat and giving
IRS--International Rehydrating Solution--or a warm cup of water w/a pinch
of sugar and water.

I'd take a papertowel and fold it a bit and wet w/warm water and try and
get the dried exudate off of the closed eye and see if you can loosen that
eye up so it can open.

fp
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll never complain about how hard it is to get a cat to swallow a pill again! It took a long time and a lot of struggling, but I managed to open his mouth and take a very quick look. It seemed normal, not excessively red or any abnormal colour. It was only a quick look though, so I couldn't see if there was any swelling, but he isn't wheezing or breathing heavily.

I'm going to try heating him up before putting any water on him and cleaning up that eye, unless you think it's critical. The nights have been cold lately, and I'm not in charge of the thermostat in my apartment. The pigeon has a lot of fight in him for how skinny he is! We'd probably both end up soaked if I get the wet towels out.

He has only made one dropping, and it looked all white and very thin. He spilled some water on it, but even before that I'm sure it would have been insubstantial.
 

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Guardian Angel
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By all means, do the heat and hydration first, then see if the
eye is being held closed by dried exudate. Do you happen to
have puppy or cat kibble....or bird formula on hand??

fp
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I do have cat kibble, but the only thing I have for birds is my seed mix for the doves and some grit (I'm not giving him any grit just yet). Should I give him some of the catfood? I buy all-natural extra expensive catfood; it's mostly meat and protein, not like regular catfood, which is ground corn and wheat gluten. They pretty much eat better than I do. It's low-fat as well, but I'll give the bird some anyway. He just won't fatten up as fast.

I have a lamp stored away somewhere for growing seedlings. If I can find it, maybe I can take a look at the eye tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found one of the lamps, but it is the brighter of the two, and is actually an old street light. It gets very warm, and no matter what I do, it lights up the entire room. It's kind of noisy, and the bird doesn't seem to like it. I'm also a little concerned it may become a fire or burning hazard if it heats up the metal bars of the cart too much I have two options:

a) I can leave it off and just hope it stays warm enough all night. It's raining, but it's been a very warm, muggy day.

b) I can go in an turn it on for a few minutes every hour. It will disturb the pigeon's (and doves') rest, but he will be warmer.
 

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Guardian Angel
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Once the bird is warmed & hydrated, it would be good to help him
get a meal, but only if he seems stabilized. I would also only give him
a half a dozen kibble to begin with as I'm pretty sure the bird hasn't been
filling up for a bit now.

You can get either a hand towel or dish towel or pillowcase and fold
in half length wise and wrap it around the bird's shoulders/wings and continue
the wrap around the body. Not too tight as the bird needs to breath and
eat, but we want the wings to be immobilized. I use my forefinger of one hand to push up on the upper beak while my other hand is wrapped around the bird's head and loosely gripping both upper and lower beaks between the
thumb and forefinger. When the forefinger of one hand pushes the upper
beak upward, then the other forefinger and thumb holds both beaks in the
open position.

If you soak the kibble then drain and push the kibble to the back of the
throat allowing the bird to swallow, the bird should just swallow it the
rest of the way automatically. Don't know how big the kibble is, you
may need to break off pieces, but they can handle a whole piece of corn
or a capsule, etc., so things shouldn't be too difficult for you in this respect.

fp
 

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Guardian Angel
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I found one of the lamps, but it is the brighter of the two, and is actually an old street light. It gets very warm, and no matter what I do, it lights up the entire room. It's kind of noisy, and the bird doesn't seem to like it. I'm also a little concerned it may become a fire or burning hazard if it heats up the metal bars of the cart too much I have two options:

a) I can leave it off and just hope it stays warm enough all night. It's raining, but it's been a very warm, muggy day.

b) I can go in an turn it on for a few minutes every hour. It will disturb the pigeon's (and doves') rest, but he will be warmer.
Well, you sure are dedicated, Fever....but we might need you in the morning,
lol...Guess you don't have a heating pad? Do you happen to have an old
down vest (yes, very PI), but do you? That would keep the bird pretty toaty. If nothing else, you could just cover the cage and that would help, I'm sure it's warmer in your home than outside. Does s/he seem to have
perked up at all?

fp
 

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Guardian Angel
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If your mom Could get some Flagyl and Cipro, this is a pretty common duet
used in rehabbing pigeons. A needle-less 1cc syringe would also be helpful.

fp

You could also see if Doxycycline and Flagyl is available through your mom.
This might by a better combination for this bird.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Alright, I'll ask my Mom about those items.

I got worried about the pigeon getting cold, because he's sleeping in the water dish. I don't know for sure if he drank any, or just spilled it all, but I'm sure he must be wet now either way. I made kind of a pigeon grow op in my closet by suspending the light from the hangers and covering up the cart with towels. Last I checked, it was pretty warm in there. If only I could get my greenhouse in off the balcony that would be perfect, but it's full of plants and soaked with rain.

It's getting late now and he's sleeping, but I'll try helping him eat tomorrow if he's not doing it on his own. He's definitely got spirit, and if any of that water made it's way into him, I think he'll be ok. He's made some more droppings, and they look almost normal, still a bit smaller and drier than usual.

I never thought to wrap him in a towel to open his beak. It's hard for me to hold him still because he feels so fragile. Is he more delicate when he's this thin?
 

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Hi Fever ~fp has given you great advice and one of our best here.

If the pigeon is roosting in the water dish, move it to a dry spot . Sitting in water won't help it.

The droppings should be green or brown, with a white dot in the center. It resembles a swirl of cookie dough.

He feels fragile because of his lack of weight, but you won't hurt him. Just apply slight pressure when you hold him.If you wrap the towel around him, like a burrito wrap, it will keep it from flapping the wings, which is natural for them. It is good that he has spirit in him.

Thank you for rescuing this pigeon in need.
 

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Uncooked rice in a sock, microwaved for a few minutes, then wrapped in a towel, makes a nice heating pad. It stays warm for quite awhile. Thanks for helping this pij out. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the advise, but despite everything I did, the pigeon had died. I changed everything in the cage that was wet before I went to sleep, and decided to take out the water bowl completely, because he kept getting into it and spilling it. It was nice and warm in the closet, but maybe it wasn't warm enough, or maybe I shouldn't have assumed that since he was getting into the water, he was drinking.

I really don't know what went wrong. Besides the swollen eye and weight loss, he didn't seem to be doing badly. I thought water and food would perk him up. I wonder if something was going on inside that I couldn't see. :(

I'll still see if I can get the needle-less syringe. That way, if this situation ever comes up again, I will at least have a better method for hydrating a bird. I just can't believe he didn't make it.
 

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I'm sorry Fever. At least the poor little thing didn't have to die outside in the cold.
I think it's a great idea for all of us to have a first aid kit for animals just as we would for ourselves and to have it handy. Emergencies seem to happen when we are, OUT OF EVERYTHING or I KNOW I PUT IT SOMEPLACE. They also seem to happen when most places are closed.
 

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I am so very sorry that you lost the pigeon Fever, but please do know that you at least provided a safe haven and that he passed in safety and love.

There is a very good chance another one may come your way. It may sound silly Fever, but they seem to "know" when they are in trouble.

Please continue to remain active here . There is much knowledge that is shared right here in this great forum. I have had pigeons since 2004, and I am still to this day learning new things.

Thank you for caring.
 

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Guardian Angel
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Fever, I'm so sorry to hear about your rescue. You gave him/her a caring and
safe place to be while passing on and that is really quite a lot for the birds.
They do know that you are trying to help and Victor is right that you may well
find yourself helping out more in the future, so you may become quite expert
w/the heat and hydration thing and of course, eventually hand feeding. If in your travels you can pick up a used heating pad, that would be great to have on hand as well. Many folks here own doves and/or pigeons so I hope you will stick around, there is quite a lot of information here for folks on caring for birds.

fp
 

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Fevers been around a while now. I think she will stay around. She's definately a keeper.:)
 
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