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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so frustrated, and I don't know what to do.

My pet pigeon has been with me for about 10 years. She is probably around 11. She is a PMV survivor, and that's why she is living with me. The rehabber was going to euthanize her. She doesn't have a lot of visible post-PMV signs that I see. She can fly, eat, etc.

She has been a healthy bird, up until about a year/year and a half ago. Then, she started having blood in her stool periodically. It wasn't a lot of blood, just a drop here and there. The vet couldn't figure it out (it's an avian vet for what it's worth).

Fast forward to this February/March. The blood in the stool cycle intensified. Before, it was spotting, then it would go away, come back a few months later. This time, when it came back, it was noticeably more frequent. Every stool had a tiny drop of blood. And then a big clot came out (all fresh blood, red). She then got listless and started throwing up.

I took her back into the vet. They did exam, etc.,and they did a CT scan as well. They found nothing on the CT. She does have a small hernia, but it's fat only, no organs involved. They stabilized her, she came home much better.

Two month later, spotting started again, big clot came out again, then the spotting went away again. She is not feeling well again. I took her to medical boarding again. This time, I feel she came back from medical boarding worse, not better. She feels more bony, less energy.

She is on Flagyl, just like last time.

I am beyond exhausted and frustrated. The costs of treatment are huge, and that would be nothing if they were able to diagnose her. But here we are over a year later, and no diagnosis. Meanwhile, to me her cycles seem to be getting progressively worse.

If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them. She is a female. She used to lay eggs, but hasn't in years. Vets don't think it's egg parts. They think (and I tend to agree) the blood is in stool, not urine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello,

Sorry for the delayed response. She has been taking a turn for the worse. We went for a second opinion. They didn't suggest much other than redoing imaging or putting her on a hormone. She currently d
Cloud Sky Insect Arthropod Pest

Wood Insect Arthropod Tints and shades Pest

oesn't have blood in her poop (they tested it at the second option; no yeast or anythjng that concerned them either). But she is barely eating. Sometimes she almost seems disoriented. I am trying to feed her critical care omnivore, but she is not taking it too well. She thew some up last night.

Normally, she eats a mix of seeds and Harrison's pellets, plus a bit of fresh veg like spinach and broccoli. I uploaded the images of her worsr blood in stool. Usually, it's much lighter, like literally one drop in a poop. And she doesn't have blood in poop right now, but she is still sick.

Thanks!
Jana
 

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Wood Grey Beige Asphalt Tints and shades
I see a few spots on the paper towels that look like normal green fecal matter except small, with white urate and not much liquid. Does the bleeding only occur with larger / normal sized droppings?


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There are three routes to the cloaca -- the digestive tract, the oviducts, and the kidneys. The red droppings aren't black -- assuming it is blood (rather than dietary) it didn't pass through the majority of the digestive system or it would be black and mixed with normal fecal material.

So the source of bleeding is likely either her kidneys, reproductive organs, or the cloaca, or possibly the very end of the colon, but some droppings do appear to be only green without red at all, so the colon and cloaca seem unlikely and either her kidneys or her reproductive organs seem very likely to be the source.

The CT scan should have made any abnormal growths obvious, but none were found, so presumably whatever is wrong isn't due to obvious tumor growths.

You mentioned that they tested for yeast, did that also include testing for bacteria and parasites?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is incredibly helpful! The smaller drops of blood appear in each stool. It goes on for about a week, now it culminates in a big clot, then goes away for a period of a few months.

The second opinion vet wants to try hormones in case it's a reproductive organ issue. What do you think about that plan?

I do think they tested for parasites, etc., but I don't know how recently - will check.
 

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The second opinion vet wants to try hormones in case it's a reproductive organ issue. What do you think about that plan?
How soon can they start? :) The reproductive system does seem most likely to be the source of the blood and the hormones may confirm that quickly. The urates / solid urine in the droppings still appear to be white, so blood coming from the kidneys seems less likely (because the urates come from the kidneys and ought to look pink-to-brown if blood is mixed with them) although perhaps it could be from some recurring tear in a ureter near the cloaca.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just emailed them asking for a hormone shot for her ASAP. The hormones are really expensive, but if they help I will keep her on them for life. I really want her to get better. I just lost my dog, less than six months ago. I don't want to lose her too. She is such a cuddly bird. It makes me sad seeing her sick. 😞
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update! She just had a Lupron shot. They said again she looked skinny, and kind of pale 😞. I really hope this helps! She is not eating on her own at all. I am hand-feeding Critical Care and thawed peas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have some updates and would love some thoughts.

She has her injection last Thursday. Whether coincidental or not, that same day she started eating on her own. Her weight is still about the same (underweight), and she definitely seems more lethargic, eats less. But she does eat on her own.

The second option vet looked at CT images and said she is suspicious of a soft tissue mass in the coelom, possibly an ovarian cyst or mass. They recommended redoing the ultrasound. Before I redo the ultrasound, I am trying to understand if that would change the course of treatment. If they confirm, what would change from now? Would it be surgery? Is surgery a good idea? I would just like to understand.
 

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she definitely seems more lethargic
One known side effect (in humans) of Lupron is: "Weakness -general loss of strength"

Assuming that the change to feeding herself is due to Lupron, and that Lupron acts similarly in birds as it does in humans, that seems to suggest that the prior symptom of not feeding herself was due to low estrogen, and that Lupron stimulated estrogen production which alleviated the symptom. Since estrogen is produced in the ovaries, that would suggest that whatever the initial cause, it must lead to an effect on the ovaries either directly (growth compressing the ovaries) or indirectly (growth affecting other glands or organs that affect the ovaries production of estrogen.) In which case an ovarian cyst would seem likely. That may require surgery, but it may also be a benign fluid-filled cyst that could be drained easily by syringe.

That all hinges on the assumption that Lupron produced the one notable effect. Another possibility might be that Lupron didn't cause any change, but the stress of the vet visit did. It's been a week though, so it seems unlikely that she would not have reverted to failing to feed herself. How long since the second vet visit?

I think that in essence, both vets may be correct. It is a hormonal problem, and the problem may be caused by a growth. A second ultrasound to compare to the first sounds reasonable, and if it affirms the presence of a growth, then the treatment could be simple, and all done very soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I thought she was doing better, but was just informed by her sitter that she didn't eat anythjng and trew up twice while she was there. So maybe hormones are not working after all.
 

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That's frustrating, and makes it sound unlikely that Lupron had any effect at all.

Maybe time to try something radical to eliminate other possibilities. For example, stop her normal diet and supplements, and try two days of giving her only plain water, along with the entire white of a large hard-boiled egg, and about 1/4 of the yolk, both chopped to seed-sized bits. That is the easiest food for a bird to digest since all the nutrients in it have already been filtered through another bird. Eggs also have an amazingly wide array of nutrients -- literally every vitamin, mineral, and amino acid that a growing baby bird would need. Using part of the yolk instead of the whole thing reduces the total fat and lysine, and too much of either or both might play a role if her bleeding is related to reproductive organs.

If there is a positive change, then the issue at least includes nutritional or digestive factors.
 
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