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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I get these off and on...seem to come in bunches.


When I find what I see is a downer Pigeon, sluggish, not flying well...when I see illness and or Canker is present, injured Leg or Wing, I still try and do a thorough overall examination, and, by golly, now and then I later find I had missed a Puncture caused - far as I can tell - by an air Rifle Pellet.

Usually, a Shot Pigeon, Legs and Wings are easy to notice a Pellet Gun injury or perforation, where, I will find the wound or perforation on the initial exam, but, when on the Body, it is not so easy to find when fresh.

So, I wanted to mention this...these perforations can hide...no blood to speak of, no raised bump to feel, so one does not always see or feel anything to be a cue/clue.


At some point, some Feathers will be slightly standing up, once there is enough scab or plug forming, and this is easier to see or feel, so, be alert for any Pigeon one gets in, for subtle topical clues initially, or, in the following days, for possible Pellet Gun or Air Rifle Pellet perforations.

With this in mind, consider to do subsequent, thorough, overall exams of their whole Body a second time, a few days after getting them in, sides, under Wings, armpits, Breast, Crop, Keel, Tummy, Neck, everywhere...


Phil
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lead poisoning

I get these off and on...seem to come in bunches.


When I find what I see is a downer Pigeon, sluggish, not flying well...when I see illness and or Canker is present, injured Leg or Wing, I still try and do a thorough overall examination, and, by golly, now and then I later find I had missed a Puncture caused - far as I can tell - by an air Rifle Pellet.

Usually, a Shot Pigeon, Legs and Wings are easy to notice a Pellet Gun injury or perforation, where, I will find the wound or perforation on the initial exam, but, when on the Body, it is not so easy to find when fresh.

So, I wanted to mention this...these perforations can hide...no blood to speak of, no raised bump to feel, so one does not always see or feel anything to be a cue/clue.


At some point, some Feathers will be slightly standing up, once there is enough scab or plug forming, and this is easier to see or feel, so, be alert for any Pigeon one gets in, for subtle topical clues initially, or, in the following days, for possible Pellet Gun or Air Rifle Pellet perforations.

With this in mind, consider to do subsequent, thorough, overall exams of their whole Body a second time, a few days after getting them in, sides, under Wings, armpits, Breast, Crop, Keel, Tummy, Neck, everywhere...


Phil
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pellet gun ,eh..they are lead and i believe will cause lead poisoning,,need it extracted,,need xray,meds,avian dvm.//.people,,what can i say,,sincerely james waller:eek:
 

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Lead shot can cause lead poisoning even if not ingested. Over here, we see this often with larger species like swan and geese. Sometimes the shot cannot be removed. In either case, chelation therapy should be commenced either with calcium EDTA or DMSA/Succimer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
pellet gun ,eh..they are lead and i believe will cause lead poisoning,,need it extracted,,need xray,meds,avian dvm.//.people,,what can i say,,sincerely james waller:eek:

Hi jameswaller,


No...


Unless the Lead Pellet is in their digestive system above their Gizzard, so it then gets lodged in the Gizzard and or the Gizzard is trying to grind it up, it does not pose any danger of Poisoning.


Historically, in Human Gunshot woundings, or, in any other Animal, a non through-and-through Bullet which remains in the Body is of little concern, unless it is found to be pressing on a vital Nerve or is lodged in the Spine, Liver, or is literally 'in' an Organ, and, usually this is not the case.

In other words, the Bullet itself is benign, the Body coats it with material which prevents chemical processes, or, the Bullet ends up in a quite neutral PH environ, and, it is not an issue.


Other things respecting the wound channel, are issues, while the Bullet itself, typically, is not.

Bullets which perforate the outer walls of the Chest or Abdomen, are typically loose and not stuck in place, and will settle to a low area by gravity and motion.

Internal Organs are mostly very resilliant, elastic, and downright tough, and may remain unperforated by projectiles which have lost momentum for having punched through the outer Body 'wall'.


The trauma and insult to Tissues which removing such a Bullet entails, is typically vastly worse than the minor inconvenience to the Bird or other Animal's system of just leaving it be.

Pellets which are found in a blind-wound channel, this usually in thick Muscle areas, but regardless, can and should be removed.


Appeal to a suitable Veterinarian or other experienced Licensed practitioner is an appropriate recourse for delicate removal of such Pellets or Bullets, and, forremoval of foreign matter which is pushed in, or, is pushed into the captive wound channel, and this procedure is important for the healing of the injury...as is disinfecting and sluicing out the wound channel or hole or interior area itself, also, which a Pellet or other Bullet has entered.


Phil
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Unless the Lead Pellet is in their digestive system above their Gizzard, so it then gets lodged in the Gizzard and or the Gizzard is trying to grind it up, it does not pose any danger of Poisoning.
This is simply inaccurate. Lead shot *can* lead to lead poisoning regardless of where the shot is positioned. My avian vet confirmed this, and I have personally known birds who were poisoned as a result of being shot. Ingestion is the more typical route of poisoning, *but lead shot can and does lead to poisoning as well,* particularly for birds who have had the shot lodged in muscle for a length of time.

Here's an article on lead poisoning in wildlife:

http://www.nyswrc.org/Getting the Lead Out, Dr. Miller.pdf

It does note that birds with lead shot embedded in tissue are rarely lead poisoned, but that toxicity can occur over time, esp. when the shot is in bone marrow/near joints/near the spinal column or brain. I know of one pigeon who I strongly suspect was poisoned this way.

Here's what my vet says:

"Metal can be anywhere in the body and leach lead - bullets, implants, etc can all do - gi is just most common since birds eat it!"

Jennifer
 

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I believe the location of the lead shot makes all the difference.
If it is in the soft tissue it does not pose as much of a threat. We have many animals that come in for radiographs and find pellets in different areas of the body that had nothing to do with why they were in - broken bones, etc.
When I ask about the pellets being left, I get the same answer "unless the pellet is near a vital organ causing pressure on a nerve or in the digestive track it is left. Pellets in soft tissue rarely cause a problem"
I found that veterinarians are like lawyers - depending on which one you ask, you'll get a different answer :confused:
 

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I found that veterinarians are like lawyers - depending on which one you ask, you'll get a different answer.
So true. Why?, I often wonder.

We rarely are discussing the same things as the other person. It's not that the doctor or lawyer or vet is wrong. In their mentally-delimited statements based on their observations and experiences, they are probably correct. By mentally-delimited, I mean that they are not able to communicate to the other person every single thing that is going on in their mind, every single thought that they have ever had on the topic at hand.

In this discussion of lead poisoning, we are not able to specify and clarify each and every variable. We have to generalize, and talk of possibilities and probabilities instead of certainties.

It's often easier for us to talk about ourselves, as humans, than about other species. If a human is shot by a lead bullet which remains in his body, and we can specify where the bullet is, what the life style of the patient is, sedentary or active, what the patient's diet is, body type, weight, medical history, any other things which may affect the bullet, any other diseases or syndromes or whatever which may counter the lead poisoning, chelating agents in the diet, local climate, weather, barometric pressure, relative humidity, diurnal cycles, then we may be able to say possibly what the outcome probably may be. And then find in medical history a literature of exceptions.

And nobody need be wrong, unless he states categorically that such and such a thing is definitely so and will definitely take place at such and such a time.

LOL

I like to prove my doctors wrong, unless they say I am going to get better.

Larry
 

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I found that veterinarians are like lawyers - depending on which one you ask, you'll get a different answer :confused:
This is true, of course, and the two avian vets I work with often disagree on diagnoses and treatment, etc. But that isn't the point I was trying to make; my point is it's not accurate to state that lead shot *never* poses a risk unless it somehow migrates into the digestive tract. I have personally known birds who had lead shot in them (and you are right that it's not always advisable to have these pellets surgically removed, although there are some rehabbers around here who apparently like to dig them out) for whom blood lead levels confirmed lead toxicosis.

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
My interest in presenting the topic of this Thread, is to recommend to your consideration, that downed or unaccountably slowed or non-typically ill Wild/Feral small Birds, may sometimes have Pellet Gun perforation injuries of their Body, and, to remind that these injures may not be obvious nor easy to locate, especially if one is not thoroughly looking for them, out of complaiscency or non-familiarity.

edit P.S.


A present Blood evaluation which is positive for Lead toxicity, can not be co-related to any de-jur presence of Lead Shot or Pellets, even if one may naively suppose the two to be mutually affirming.

Unless one had a 'negative' Blood Test prior to the advent of the present Shot or Pellet(s) being in the Bird's Body, and a test after the Pellets/Shot showing positive Toxicity, one has no positive or unequivical basis for a determination of the de-jur Pellets/Shot being cause, nor, for attributing cause/source at all...or even then, it is merely a possible co-relation, and not a positive one.
 

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A present Blood evaluation which is positive for Lead toxicity, can not be co-related to any de-jur presence of Lead Shot or Pellets, even if one may naively suppose the two to be mutually affirming.

Unless one had a 'negative' Blood Test prior to the advent of the present Shot or Pellet(s) being in the Bird's Body, and a test after the Pellets/Shot showing positive Toxicity, one has no positive or unequivical basis for a determination of the de-jur Pellets/
So you are saying that if a bird has lead shot embedded in muscle as evidenced on x-ray, is showing CNS signs associated with lead toxicity, AND has an markedly elevated blood lead level, then the lead toxicity and the embedded pellet are just coincidental? The bird must have ingested lead (apart from being shot with it) at some point in order to have developed lead toxicosis?

Sorry, that assumption just isn't logical to my mind. When I hear hoofbeats, I think horses, not zebras.

Jennifer
 

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Jennifer...I appreciate the link to the article in post #6. It would do everyone well to actually read it. I'll save it for reference. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
So you are saying that if a bird has lead shot embedded in muscle as evidenced on x-ray, is showing CNS signs associated with lead toxicity, AND has an markedly elevated blood lead level, then the lead toxicity and the embedded pellet are just coincidental? The bird must have ingested lead (apart from being shot with it) at some point in order to have developed lead toxicosis?

Sorry, that assumption just isn't logical to my mind. When I hear hoofbeats, I think horses, not zebras.

Jennifer


If the Wound appears to be a day old...or only a few days old...the 'elevated' levels could not be attributed to the 'Pellet'.


If an old wound, who knows, the Lead levels revealed in the Blood Test may or may not be from the 'Pellet'.

Many people and other Animals have elevated Lead Levels, and, no Pellet Gun 'pellets' in their muscles or system.


If someone with elevated Lead Levels get's shot with a Pellet Gun 'Pellet', drives to a Doctor, has a Blood Test done, test shows the same elevated level he had before being shot.

Do you think one's 'Lead' related Blood levels skyrocket within minutes of being shot??? Independent of whatever they had been prior?

That one's Lead Blood Levels reset to "ZERO" the instant one is shot, so they can skyrocket instantly with the minutes or hours old presence of a Pellet or Bullet?

Is THAT what you are saying?



If elevated Lead levels revealed by Blood Tests are to be attributed to a Lead Pellet in an Animal's system/muscle, maybe one could pause to co-relate how long the Pellet has been there? or, at least, to see if the wound is only a couple days old, or, is an 'old' long since wound, where possibly abcess, or, however so, enough time has elapsed for the process of Lead poisoning from an involved 'Pellet' to occur.


If, as in your 'example', a Bird has an old Pellet encapsulated or otherwise involved in Muscle Tissue, and show 'elevated' Lead levels in Blood Tests -


Maybe the thing to do is to try seeking competent, Licensed, professional advice about what should be done to alleviate the problem.


If the Veterinary Surgeon believes the Pellet should be removed, and, a therapy began for reducing the Lead levels in the Bird's system, then, you have that option to consider.
 

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That one's Lead Blood Levels reset to "ZERO" the instant one is shot, so they can skyrocket instantly with the minutes or hours old presence of a Pellet or Bullet?

Is THAT what you are saying?
Phil, I don't know if you are being deliberately obtuse, but in any case, I'm not interested in debating this any further. Hopefully others here have understood the point I was attempting to make.

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I never wanted to 'debate' it in the first place.

I was recommending we consider to carefully examine our urban Pigeon and Dove presentations for Pellet perforations, since such injuries are often not easy to notice when present.

You start hammering me about Lead Poisoning with Waterfowl.


What is to 'debate'???


Follow the criteria, regardless of Species:

If there is reason to conclude or suspect that a Pellet or Pellets plural, or a Bullet, is causing an Animal's system to have elevated Lead levels, then you either -

A) Do something about it, or have someone else, such as your Vet do something about it, according to what, in an informed diagnosis and evaluation, needs to be done.


B) Do nothing about it


What do you want me to say?


If there are elevated Lead levels shown in Blood Tests, then TREAT THE ELEVATED LEAD LEVELS.

If there is a 'pellet' or 'pellets' plural, which in the opinion of a competent Veterinary Surgeon can be removed, or should be removed, you have the option to have them remove the pellet/pellets.


What is not to understand with this?




Insisting that you KNOW any elevated Lead Levels are BECAUSE a Bird, person, or other Animal has a 'pellet' in them as of two hours ago, two days ago, two weeks ago or two years ago, is irrelevant and impossible to prove unless you know what the Bird's/person's/other-Animal's Lead levels were prior to getting the recent 'pellet', and or what potentially contaminated dietary or Water or Air sources have contributed Lead to the Bird's/person's/other-Animal's system before, during and after their now bygone pellet-related event, up until the time of the 'test'.

The 'pellet' may or may not have anything to do with a present Blood level of Lead.


Shall you insist also that 'copper' or 'steel' Pellets MUST be WHY a Blood Test shows elevated Lead levels?


Or how about when no 'Pellet' of any kind is suggested or present, and the Bird or person or other Animal has elevated Lead levels?

For the last time - Birds, and people, and other Animals, can have elevated Lead levels with NO 'pellet' or 'Bullet' History.

Millions of people, and other Animals DO.

And...can have 'pellets' or 'bullets' in them for days, weeks, months, years, decades, with no elevated Lead levels.


If you need to insist over and over that ANY pellet MUST occasion elevated Lead levels regardless of reality or the particulars of the actual instance in question, then fine, whatever, I get it...I hear you.

Meanwhile, if this is a real issue for you, why not just nicely, constructively suggest that we consider to have our Vets test for elevated Lead levels, if prior Pellet/Bullet/Shot perforation injury is found or suspected, and, to consider to initiate appropriate remedial therapy as and when needed?

Wouldn't that have been enough?


I'll say it then -


Lets consider also please, in instances of discovering old or recent Pellet/Bullet/Shot perforation injuries, in addition to whatever course of action is deemed appropriate for the Pellet(s) proper, to have our Vet do a Blood Test for determining if there are elevated Lead levels...and, if there are elevated Lead levels, then to consider to initiate a therapy/regimen/treatment for alleviating the problem.
 

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I would just like to add that there are many other reasons for elevated lead levels.
Feral pigeons like to hang out in old buildings and bridges, which alot of still have lead paint - deteriorating.
When my daughter was a toddler, she had elevated lead levels. My ex husband had a body shop. It was determined the paint dust in the shop was the exposure.
 

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Insisting that you KNOW any elevated Lead Levels are BECAUSE a Bird, person, or other Animal has a 'pellet' in them as of two hours ago, two days ago, two weeks ago or two years ago, is irrelevant and impossible to prove unless you know what the Bird's/person's/other-Animal's Lead levels were prior to getting the recent 'pellet', and or what potentially contaminated dietary or Water or Air sources have contributed Lead to the Bird's/person's/other-Animal's system before, during and after their now bygone pellet-related event, up until the time of the 'test'.
Clearly, you have either failed to read or more likely failed to comprehend what I initially wrote and everything I have subsequently stated.

It started with your assertion that lead shot is NEVER problematic unless it somehow gets into the gizzard and gets ground up, to which I simply responded that lead shot CAN and DOES (which does not mean ALWAYS) lead to lead toxicosis and does not have to be ingested to do so.

I linked to an article written by a vet that was presented at the most recent state wildlife rehabilitators conference (which apparently you also did not take the time to read), relayed that my vet has said that metal anywhere in the body can leach lead, stated that I personally knew of animals who had shot embedded and were diagnosed with lead toxicosis based on symptoms and elevated blood lead levels (and that I found it MUCH MORE LIKELY that the lead toxicosis was a result of the lead shot than attributable to a separate incidence of ingestion of metal or paint or whatever).

So please stop putting words in my mouth. Also, for the record, I have done blood lead levels on birds and I have also done chelation therapy with DMSA. So it's not necessary to come at me with your "options" of either seeing a vet or doing nothing.

If you need to insist over and over that ANY pellet MUST occasion elevated Lead levels regardless of reality or the particulars of the actual instance in question, then fine, whatever, I get it...I hear you.
Again, clearly, you don't get it, which is why I've already suggested that we stop this "debate" (or whatever you want to call it). If you feel the need to continue, have at it, but I'm not going to participate.

Jennifer
 

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I would just like to add that there are many other reasons for elevated lead levels.
Feral pigeons like to hang out in old buildings and bridges, which alot of still have lead paint - deteriorating.When my daughter was a toddler, she had elevated lead levels. My ex husband had a body shop. It was determined the paint dust in the shop was the exposure.


That's true and lead paint can cause neurlogical symptoms leading one to believe they have PMV virus when actually they do not.
 

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You are right about pellet wounds being easy to overlook unless you are looking for them specifically...the force of the shot can ram feathers into the wound and conceal it. A good reminder.
 
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