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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I rescued a pigeon I spotted grounded on my lawn; it has the markings of a 'rock dove' pigeon and I have named it 'Sweet P'. She was sat with her feathers puffed out as though settling for the evening. Despite sitting right next to her, I noticed she was falling asleep! She appeared tame - but is not a racing pigeon - she is definitely wild because she feebly attempted to get away from me when I went to pick her up. I managed to pick her up very easily and kept her in a small cardboard box in my warm laundry room over night in peace.

The next day I took Sweet P to be inspected by my vet. I described the symptoms of her being lack lustre and falling asleep often and the vet thought she may have 'sour grain' a problem birds experience when seed lodges or builds up in their throat. I initially assumed Sweet P may have a parasite virus because I read about it on Google and the symptoms were the same but the vet didn't think this.

Sweet P was prescribed medication (I can return to this forum and note the name of the medication later today) but basically I have to give her 0.12 ml of the solution in a syringe. I have enough for 5 days and so far have managed successfully to orally feed her directly and carefully. It is only day 2 of administering medication.

I have noticed she is still sleepy even when I hold her and administer her medication! I rescued her Sat (1st March) evening and took her to the vet yesterday (Tue 4th March) and started treatment that same day. I know it's early days but my main concern is:

A) has she been diagnosed correctly?
B) Could she be sleepy because she's a relatively young bird? She isn't as big as a fully grown adult pigeon but not small enough to be a Squab. I did notice some new young pigeons around but they appeared very lively.

She is now placed in a large (dog) cage with newspaper on the floor, a little cubby hole in one corner of the cage made from a small cardboard box, a plate of mixed seed with fresh corn and fresh peas both slightly squashed. Her droppings appear the normal black and white colour and normal consistency. She is eating and drinking water.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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Thanks for rescuing the pigeon.
How much are you feeding her? Is she feeding by herself? If so, how much?
I don't know how the doctor came to the conclusion of sour crop...if it IS sour crop you can feel undigested seeds in his crop. His crop would be distended and there would be a bad odor from his mouth. Also there would be very little or no poop...but that is not the case here.
What are the symptoms you found, which made you think there is something viral going on?
A photo will help. It will also help to know what medicine you are giving right now.
Thanks for caring.
 

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I think, as Kunju asks, knowing the medication will be useful.

It would be pretty much impossible to give any useful opinion so far, given that it could be an internal parasite, including worms, or equally a bacterial, viral or yeast infection. Unfortunately, the fluffing up is common with a sick pigeon regardless of the problem. He or he would probably benefit from a low-setting heat pad, or a well wrapped hot water bottle to lie on. Sick birds can use up too much internal energy trying to maintain their body temperature without such little extra help. If the poops are quite well formed and 'normal' looking, that would suggest that it isn't one of bacterial problems which usually would cause enteritis (and, yes, that the system is passing waste food as it should).

If the crop area does feel kinda hard or as if it has seed in it, the slow (sour) crop is still a possibility.

Could also be good if you could check her weight in grams - can give an indication of condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for rescuing the pigeon.
How much are you feeding her? Is she feeding by herself? If so, how much?
I don't know how the doctor came to the conclusion of sour crop...if it IS sour crop you can feel undigested seeds in his crop. His crop would be distended and there would be a bad odor from his mouth. Also there would be very little or no poop...but that is not the case here.
What are the symptoms you found, which made you think there is something viral going on?
A photo will help. It will also help to know what medicine you are giving right now.
Thanks for caring.
Hi Kunju,

Thanks so much for your reply. I have just left a saucer of mixed seed with some peas and corn (cooked and cooled). She appears to be feeding herself in small doses, around a couple of teaspoons of seed. The vet did give her crop a good inspection by feeling it with her fingers - it is extended (I will post a photo once I get home, I'm at work at the moment). There is no odour from her mouth and although her droppings appear normal she isn't dropping very much- around 3-4 drops within 24 hours. I will come back to you on the medicine also (still at work as mentioned above.

Thanks again for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think, as Kunju asks, knowing the medication will be useful.

It would be pretty much impossible to give any useful opinion so far, given that it could be an internal parasite, including worms, or equally a bacterial, viral or yeast infection. Unfortunately, the fluffing up is common with a sick pigeon regardless of the problem. He or he would probably benefit from a low-setting heat pad, or a well wrapped hot water bottle to lie on. Sick birds can use up too much internal energy trying to maintain their body temperature without such little extra help. If the poops are quite well formed and 'normal' looking, that would suggest that it isn't one of bacterial problems which usually would cause enteritis (and, yes, that the system is passing waste food as it should).

If the crop area does feel kinda hard or as if it has seed in it, the slow (sour) crop is still a possibility.

Could also be good if you could check her weight in grams - can give an indication of condition.
Hi John,

Thanks for coming back to me. I just replied to Kunju above with a more detailed response if you want to read that but as far as the crop is concerned she does have an extended crop (I'll post a photo shortly once I get home) but I didn't want to squeeze it with not knowing what I'm doing. The vet did inspect her crop thoroughly. By the way Sweet Pea's breath smells fine - no odour so far. I'll post the medication name later too - it is a clear liquid and quite sticky to the touch she's taking the medication fine. As regards to the seed, I have left her to feed herself. I thought the peas and corn may (freshly cooked and cooled) would go down easily (rather than getting stuck like seed can).

Thanks again for your interest and help - I'll post medication and a photo of Sweet Pea later today, you'll see her extended crop clearly.

Regards,
Sarah
 

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Poops are indeed too less. It could be sour crop..Though he is eating, none of the food gets past the crop, hence the weakness.
Applesauce can help change the pH in the crop and get things moving. Alternatively you can add 2-3 drops of ACV in his drinking water.
Medicines given for sour crop are nystatin (for yeast), metronidazole (for canker) and an antibiotic like enrofloxacin. The yeast medication needs to be given separately, and the metronidazole and enrofloxacin can be given together about 4 hours after the nystatin.
Crop massages can also help. Give him lukewarm water to drink, and gently massage his crop to aid its emptying.
Till the crop starts functioning, do not force-feed. Let him peck and eat what little he can, make sure the seeds are small. Giving him a lot of food is not going to help if it is sour crop, since the food isn't able to make it past the crop.
Most importantly, keep him warm.
Hope Sweet Pea gets well soon..
 

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Thank you or looking after him. To be honest small animal vets are not very good at diagnosing pigeon problems, I often find it best to send a poop sample for analysis to see if the problem is caused by parasites or bacteria, which are treatable. This is a link to the tests available at the company I use : http://www.retfordpoultry.com/links/pigeontestingform.pdf

Can you let us know your nearest town? We know a few experienced rescuers that are in the North West that might be able to have a look at him for you but mostly they are around Manchester, Blackburn, Preston areas. A photo could help establish how old he is, which could be relevant.

Another medicine used for sour crop in the UK is Metaclopramide, this increases crop motility. But infant apple sauce can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Hi again everyone,

Ok the medication I've been given is called 'Baytril' I have to give 0.12ml twice daily for 5 days. The label reads "2 x Baytril 2.5% oral". It is only day two for giving her medication however she has perked up today and when I returned from work this evening I noted that she has eaten a great deal of the food I left her this morning. I estimate she has eaten 5 - 6 teaspoons of seed, peas and sweet corn - by the way the seeds are tiny - the type you would feed small garden birds. I massaged her lump this evening (thanks for the tip Kunju) and she seemed quite content, again starting to snooze but I think that's because I was holding her against my warm body. The room she is in is extremely warm, it's my drying room for laundry and very snug so no drafts whatsoever.

I have also given her luke warm water to drink as suggested by Kunju and also plopped a small dollop of apple sauce on the same plate of food.

Feefo: I am in Southport, close to Preston, Liverpool and Manchester.

Thanks to everyone for your support and advice. I haven't taken a picture because I forgot and I didn't really want to go back in and disturb her (she is now resting in the dark). I will take a photo in the morning and post it on here - sorry about that!

I'll update you all in the morning on her progress. Thanks once again :)
 

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Hi

Baytril is actually an anti-bacterial, which treats for a broad spectrum of such nasties. If the vet suspected an infection going on, I can see they might prescribe that, but what Feefo mentioned would be appropriate if it's more a slow moving or non-moving crop. Keep watch for poops. A pigeon's crop would normally be fairly 'fat' after a good feed, but one would expect it to empty overnight. Being warm and restful is good. They do like a bit of luxury :)
 

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There is a bird rescuer in Southport called Gwen, she might be able to recommend someone that can have a look at him. 01704 543391
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wonderful! Thank you for the contact number Feefo :) I'll see how she gets on in the next 24 hours. I'll keep you posted either way.
 

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He won't eat the applesauce by himself. You will have to feed it to him, just a bit at a time. Maybe with an eye dropper. It will help the crop to empty better.
Can you check down his throat, way down, with a small flash light. Do you see anything down there? If he isn't having enough droppings, then maybe he just isn't eating enough.
A picture would be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
*Update* :)

Sweetpea is almost a different bird this evening, she is EXTREMELY perky. She has quite an appetite and is eating a lot of seed in front of me which she's never done before and when I go towards her to pick her up she scurries away which is a great sign - and she hasn't slumped or gone to go to sleep once! Thanks to everyone for your advice - the massaging of the crop I think helped a lot too. She has many droppings in her cage (which I have just cleaned and changed the newspaper) so all in all she is definitely on the mend.

My final question is; now that she's eating and perky should I still finish the course of 'Baytril' treatment with the syringe? I'm wondering if she is 'out of the woods' just yet?

Thanks again everyone for your kindness and support - I have attached some photographs, sorry they're dark, I will take better ones once I hold her.
 

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Well done!!!

Yes, you have to finish the course of Baytril.

She is an adult and definitely looks like a hen to me. Lovely bird...her name suits her perfectly.
 

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Looking good :)

Well cared for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
A bit concerned....

I'm going to have to call on everyones expert advice again.

I went in to check on Sweet Pea this evening when I returned from work and she is still very active in terms of moving around her cage when I try to pick her up however I noticed when she was stationary she gave a wheezing sound once to twice and I also noticed that her beak is open slightly - I will post a photo shortly. I'm not going to be able to open her mouth on my own to check inside so I will take her to the vet tomorrow. The best way to describe it is she sounds like she has a blocked nose. I'm worried I may have spilled a bit of the Baytril on her beak when administering it and perhaps the sticky substance has made her beak stick or got in to her nose somehow. I hope I haven't caused this.

I'm very disappointed, I had hoped to release her tomorrow but after seeing her beak I thought I better get her checked out. I'm very worried it might be 'canker'. I noticed on this website in another forum that someone commented that "Baytril is notorious for encouraging yeast growth." and it's Baytril that I've been treating her with. Poor thing, she was looking so good. She seems happy enough, I'm just worried :(

Photo to follow...
 

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A sneeze or two is nothing to worry about. They also get colds just like us. Keep your ear close to her chest and listen for any abnormal sounds.

As long as the bird is alert, eating and poops are good, I think you can wait and watch. Give her ACV in water, and probiotics and vitamins to build her immunity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A sneeze or two is nothing to worry about. They also get colds just like us. Keep your ear close to her chest and listen for any abnormal sounds.

As long as the bird is alert, eating and poops are good, I think you can wait and watch. Give her ACV in water, and probiotics and vitamins to build her immunity.
Thank you Kunju - where do I get the probiotics and vitamins from? - a pet store? I'll also Google AVC and find out where I can buy it from.

Thanks again for your advice, much appreciated.
 

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It is ACV (Apple cider vinegar)...I'm sure you can find it in shops there. Just add a drop of ACV into her drinking bowl. The acidic nature discourages growth of yeast/bacteria etc.

Regarding the vitamin supplements, I hope someone else can guide you as you are in UK. You can ask at a pet store, for vitamin supplements for birds specifically.
If you can get probiotics meant for birds that's great, otherwise you can use the probiotics available for human use (from drugstores). It is important to follow any antibiotic course( including baytril) with a course of probiotics, to replenish the good bacteria in the bird's gut.

Btw, I forgot to mention....I think you need to keep her for a while longer. Say another week or maybe more... enough time to fatten her up and build her strength back. Before releasing, let her fly around in a closed room, and make sure she can fly well. Once you are sure she is fit in all respects, you can release her right where you found her..
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Kunju, I will definitely keep her in for another week or more - I'm in no rush to release her until she's 110%.

I'll try the vitamins etc and see how she goes. Thanks again for putting my mind at rest. It makes sense that she may have a little cold however today she was alert as before and her sniffle seemed to have gone.

I'll post in a few days and update you on her progress. Really appreciate your feedback, thank you.
 
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