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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
btw: Sorry I didn't post this in the 'sick pigeons' forum. I'm so used to posting here on behalf of Chauncey, I spaced. If the message needs to be moved, let me know.

We have our existing racing-pigeon rescue, Chauncey. This week, we agreed to help out with another rescued racing pigeon that couldn't be traced (listed owner doesn't know where his sold birds ended up). The pij couldn't be held any longer at a vet's office.

When I picked her/him up this afternoon, I requested a fecal and got the results: positive for coccidia. I've got meds to give, so no problems with that.

When I read the brief charting for this bird, it also showed a drooping right wing. They said she looked fine on exam. They had her for a week at the office. I've seen posts here about wing-droop and bacterial infections. Should we have also run a more expensive culture, or would most of the bad stuff show up in the fecal? From my research here, I believe salmonella would have been found in the fecal, right?

She/he is beautiful -- a white racing pigeon with black speckles (photo below). We'll get confirmation eventually on whether or not they want her back. She's very scared of us right now, more so than Chauncey was when he came to us. We may be looking for a home for this pij if he/she has a tough time adjusting to indoor life.

We have this pigeon in a separate room, quarantined from Chauncey -- and we'll observe proper cleaning procedures between cages. But we're in a small apartment and I'm wondering if I'm doing enough, or have to be more careful, etc. There isn't complete separation between the two rooms, but we can slide some temporary doors closed.

Thanks for your help. This is only our second domestic pigeon rescue and Chauncey was a very healthy boy when we got him.

Pic of new pigeon:

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/picture.php?albumid=1028&pictureid=12042

 

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Hi Valeri,

What a lovely bird, thank you for rescuing her/him.

I am sure you will get comments from others, but a wing droop is can be associated with a salmonella infection. Since you are working with a vet's office you should raise your concerns with them and see what they say, in terms if they think this could be a possibility and if they could test for it.

Also, a suggestion I have is that while I am not sure what they gave you to treat for coccidiosis, if your vet was willing to prescribe Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, Divet) as the treatment drug for the coccidia infection, it would also work on any possible salmonella infection as well.

http://www.avianbiotech.com/diseases/salmonella.htm

I hope this helps a bit and good luck with your new bird.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks, Karyn. The vet did a fecal. Would salmonella have been found in the fecal if the bird had it? Or does it require a special swab/culture test? Until I came home and researched the drooped wing here on these boards, I had no idea about the wing/salmonella connection.

(The right wing pictured above is the one that droops lower. Poor baby, she's just terrified of us and of being here. Her band is 2008, a young bird. She's apparently been sold once or twice, and not traceable -- or so my husband was told by the person associated with her band. We need to call tomorrow and see if he can tell us his/her sex -- forgot to ask.)

We were given Albon. That's sulfadimethoxine, right? I looked it up and it appears to treat salmonella as well. We're giving three doses this week, then three more doses three weeks from now. Is that standard dosing?

Also -- the link you provided said that salmonella can become infectious, airborne. Can we fully protect our pigeon from it if that's the case? We obviously adore Chauncey and didn't realize the pigeon we were picking up today had these potential issues. That being said, we still want to help. We just weren't fully prepared, having been told she/he was healthy.

We live in a small space and can only separate them so much. They're in two different rooms but there's an open door in between and about 30-40 feet between cages. And we'll be judicious about hand-washing, cleaning Chauncey's place first, keeping all things separate, etc.
 

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Hi Valeri,

I know a lot of us are worrywarts to a certain extent, and we all, at times, can head right to the worst care scenario instead of looking at less drastic ones. There are any number of reasons that your new little one could have a drooped wing, aside from a salmonella infection, starting with an injury, whether it be a soft tissue one, a current bone injury or perhaps one that has healed, but left the wing out of line.

I always try to give a vet the benefit of doubt, and in this case since this bird was at their office for a while before your rescue, I would like to think that the droop wing was of no real concern to them, and your bird is healthy.

That being said, I will give you the best information I have on your questions. Yes, salmonella can be cultured from a fecal test, and they are fairly reliable, but the newer PCR tests (polymerase chain reaction) are quite a bit more accurate, but are a more expensive test run.

Albon comes in a few concentrations, you most likely have 5% Albon, which means that each 1cc/mL contains 50mg of pure medicine (sulfadimethoxine). I myself have never used Albon to treat for coccidiosis, although I have used Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole. The dosing schedule you have been given, three doses this week and three doses three weeks from now, I am unfamiliar with. The dosing I have for coccidiosis, is 25mg/Kg either twice a day or once a day, for 7 days. I also show a dosing of 0.5 g/L in water, once a day, if you figure on a bird drinking 20mL a day of treated water, this would work out to be a similar dosing. Because the amount and the dosing schedule were given to you by a vet, I would trust that this would be effective for the treatment of the coccidiosis, but this dosing schedule would not be effective as treatment for a salmonella infection, if indeed one were present. If by chance it turned out there was a salmonella infection present, the use of Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole would be preferred, as the Trimethoprim does add synergy to the sulfonamide, making it a more effective drug to use.

I think the real concern for any airborne transmission is when fecal matter dries out and thus, when disturbed, has the ability to become airborne, but I don't see this as a huge concern, as I am sure you are changing his/her cage out long before any droppings have time to become super dry. To ease your mind a bit, you could always get a spray bottle, remove his food and water dish, and quickly mist the bottom of his cage before changing (no need to remove the bird), This will help remove any chance of aerosolizing any partially dried fecal matter. Doing this along with good health safety practices, hand washing, no sharing of water or food dishes without sterilization and of course no contact between birds and you should be fine. I will mention that when one of my birds was truly very ill, I did purchase a lab coat to wear when coming in contact with him, I kept it in the room he was in and changed in and out as I entered or left, plus I did use a pair or slip on shoes, besides the coat, to wear only in his room as well and lastly used Purell before touching anything, once I left the room to wash up.

Right now I think the real starting point for you is a frank conversation with your vets, raising your concerns and to take it from there. I know you have real concerns about protecting the health of Chauncey and since you seem so keenly aware that there may be a health issue, I think Chauncey will be just fine.

Karyn
 

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Wing drop may be for different reasons.
1. Concussion
2. Injury
3. Salmonella
4. PMV
5. Bacterial infection
6. Feather damage
7. Stress etc.
I would not stress too much if the bird is acting healthy, eating and drinking well. Rather give probiotics, minerals and vitamins. Keep him separated for at least a month and check poop and general behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
plamenh, thank you so much! For all that info and work.

Our rescue pij got her first dose of Albon today. She is scared of us and will get away from us, but is otherwise lethargic. She did not eat more than a few morsels last night. I don't know if she's drinking water. She's incredibly stressed. She's in our living room, partially covered, which makes it hard for her to be isolated. I know we're not ideally set up for a poor, sick baby.

I took a few photos of her poop this morning which was exceptionally runny -- about a half hour after giving her the Albon. She had some solid poops in her cage overnight, but today it's like pure water with matter in it. I know I've seen posts about this on this board . . . I need to go check into that. But for the time being, here's what it looks like.



 

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Looks like hexamitiasis to me. Make sure he drinks enough. I would use spartrix for 5 days and double check with Vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Hexamitiasis: Is that diagnosed by fecal exam? Would they have seen it? Or should I bring them a new fecal sample?

Also, any special precautions?

Thanks so much. Trying to get the best info possible.
 

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btw: Sorry I didn't post this in the 'sick pigeons' forum. I'm so used to posting here on behalf of Chauncey, I spaced. If the message needs to be moved, let me know.
DONE.

That is a lovely bird.

You should add probiotics to the diet also as it will help alot, if you haven't already.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks for all the help. We have Probios for Chauncey. I added some to her water last night, will continue to give it to her.

I guess my main question at this point is:

Would most of those conditions have been seen in the fecal? Can they see any parasites and bacteria in one sample? Or do we need to submit another fecal sample? (Or get a more expensive culture?)

If the pigeon isn't doing better tomorrow, I'll call the vet. She hasn't eaten today, as far as we can tell and she's traumatized being here, poor thing. She's been standing still in the same spot of her cage for several hours. She ate a tiny bit last night. If we feel her crop, we should be able to feel an obvious stash of seed in there if she's eating, is that right?

Edited to add (4pm): I now hear her rummaging around in her dish for the first time. Whew. Don't want to go look and see how much she's eating, lest I scare the heck out of her. She's not liking us much right now. :)

We gave her the first, SID dose of 5% Albon this morning. She got .39ml and will get two more doses. When I call the vet, I'll make sure that's enough. It seems the medicating schedules I've read about here (and mentioned above) are for longer periods.
 

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Valeri, please take a minute and re-read the first part of my post, number 4, then allow yourself to exhale, as we really don't want to get too far in front of ourselves.

I will repeat my advice again, since there is a vet involved in your new bird's case, I would trust his diagnosis at this point. The dropping I see could be consistent with any number of conditions, but he has been diagnosed with coccidiosis , and the dropping I see would be consistent with that finding. Although nothing is 100%, again I would like to believe that since a fecal exam was done by your vet, any other condition, such as hexamitiasis, would have been picked up as well. Coccidiosis can flare for such reasons as stress and your new one has been under stress for a little while, I would think. Moreover, stress can contribute to droppings being loose as well, so again, I would go with the vet's diagnosis and treatment recommendations at this present point.

I really do not believe any of your other pets are in any real danger (good health safety practices). As I said, before doing anything, I would recommend you bring your concerns forward to your vet and see what his responses are to your concerns. While this bird's health is little off, I do not think he is suffering from something that can not be fairly easily remedied.

Keep an eye on his water and food consumption, when you place in his water dish take note where the water line is and see if it goes down. Same with his food dish, but a more reliable way is to monitor what comes out the back end, just in case you need to support this one for a little while with supplemental feeding. Skittish ones have been known to go off their food for a few days when in new environments, but hunger and starting to feel a little less stressed, usually brings them around.

You did the right this rescuing this little one, and I am sure he/she (we really do need a name for your new one :)) will become a valued member of your family.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thank you, Karyn. I realize that getting too much information, or incomplete information, can be an issue for one floundering in a new world without much hands-on experience with pij. I appreciate your help and consideration.

I didn't know about stress diarrhea, believe it or not. We're pretty sure that's what it is. A lovely bird rescuer -- one of the loveliest I've met -- came over and took a look at our pigeon yesterday. We determined, with her help, that the wing droop is actually an injured wing. She cannot fly or use her right wing. How heartbreaking to see that. I don't know how on earth this was missed at the vet's or not relayed to us. I'm going to be calling today to follow up and make sure she gets treatment if needed.
 

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good for you! it is heart warming to see how well you are helping this pigeon... I hope he/she can stay and be companion for Chauncy...I think that would be great!... time will tell tough.. well wishes to you and your new one!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you, spirit wings. We've been blessed beyond expectation with help from some local bird saints who will help us figure this out! We wish we could help more . . .
 

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To answer your questions:
- Hexamitiasis should be picked up on the faecal sample if your Vet knows birds.
- Bacterial and viral infections cannot be seen under microscope, series of tests should be done and not only poop but blood too.
- Worms may not be seen on the faecal test as they shed eggs sporadically.
What I would do is treat bird for Cocci, Canker and Worms. Treatment of canker for prolonged period will take care of Hexamitis as well as Trichomonas. This treatments I would do no matter bird’s condition and how many Vets swear that the bird is OK.
Dobato’s advice on monitoring food and water intake is very important. Make sure that bird is eating and drinking. If need be supplement feed him.
Your household pets and humans are not endangered as long as you keep bird separated and keep basic hygiene rules as washing hands water and food dishes and cage on regular bases.
You should try to determine what is the problem with wing. What worries me is that Vet did not noticed wing problem. Without being mean here, what else did he missed?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Karyn,

Thank you! Believe me, that was the first thought I had (about the vet). I called back yesterday and got a different tech who was familiar with the bird's case. I didn't see a vet in person. This was a pigeon brought in by a good Samaritan. We have the pigeon because a local rescuer who's just overwhelmed, asked if we could take her. At the time, neither of us knew she was so injured. My husband and I are almost brand new to pigeon care.

Anyway, the different tech with whom I spoke yesterday said they'd x-rayed the wing and didn't find anything. But no blood work or culture was done.

I'm taking this beautiful injured pigeon person to a fabulous pigeon rescuer in our area who's more experienced -- and who is going to look after her for a while. I'll discuss all of the options with her. She's connected with an excellent avian vet as well. I'm praying for a good outcome for this bird. She deserves it after what it took for her to survive on the streets!!
 
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