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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi sunday i saved a young pigeon not a baby praps a youth 7mnths or so. it was being attacked by another larger pigeon who i now realise has killed others i found on my balcony by taking their heads off. so the back of this poor soul is picked clean of feathers and skin right down to the final thin layer next to its skull. she/he has survived so far (monday night) i have been as gentle as possible and used the sterile water from inside a syringe to run over the open area and am trying bit by bit to remove the torn feathers but what i want to know is am i being cruel while thinking i am kind and should i take her to the vet to be put to sleep?

a friend has given me one of those blister covers that stays on and then dissolves. as it isnt easy to remove and would be too much trauma on top of everything i havent applied it yet. i am hoping someone might be ableto help me know what to do next.
i am keeping her in a cat carry basket with water and sunflower seeds with a shade cover but lookiung out of the window, she is still alert but gets so distressed when i try to help her.
i have had experience with unfledged pigeons feeding teaching to peck etc but this is something i have no experience of.

i know she would be unlikely to regrow any feathers etc so am prepared to make her part of the family.
the flats are covered in vile pigeon netting so my open balcony has at least four pairs and thinkshe was probably an earlier eggthan the new lot and so the 'main ' male has been killing them off. we previously had kestrels in the area and i had thought it was them.

they even scared off the duck who laid and raised her eggs there last year.
(10thfloor balcony less thqan 2foot wide)
SO AFTER ALL THIS WAFFLE ... Doesanyone have advice /experience of this?
of course i need to act as quickly as poss'
and excuse bad spelling etc the keyboard jumps....
 

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no, please do not put to sleep, first off, where are you, we may have a member nearby that can help.
There are things you can do, so hold on, more experienced members will be along shortly, in the meantime, where are you, please explain the condition further of the pigeon, is he awake and aware or sleepy and groggy? Eating? Pooping? Drinking?
Do you have some seed to offer it? Anything, like brown or white rice? Offer water, maybe put it on a heating pad on low, but leave room for him to be able to walk off if it gets to hot, if he is walking, is he?
Can you get pics of the area please?
7 months old? Are you sure it is that old?
Oh, i see, you have offered seed/water, sorry. And he is awake enough to act irritated, there is hope, Just hold on, help will be on the way very shortly, i have contacted another more experienced member to come have a look...
Pictures will be the biggest help, if you can try to do that??
 

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thank you for taking in this pigeon. First of all, pigeons do fight sometimes and sometimes it can get pretty bad, but I've never known one pigeon to kill another and I'm SURE that they don't take each others head off. So, something else is killing these birds.........and it's not another pigeon.
As far as the one you have now............is there any way that you can post a picture?
We've seen some pretty bad things happen to pigeons and the majority of them survive. There is no need to put this bird to sleep. If you are willing to take the time and effort, I'll bet between you and our members, this little guy can pull through.
If you can post some pictures, that would be great.
Please tell us about where you are. We've got members all over the world.
Someone can help you..........just hang in there.
 

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I agree with Moxie, it would be very helpful if you could post a picture of the injury.
I have had several scalped pigeons in the last and they do recover although it takes a long time. I'm thinking that this bird may be younger than 7 months because it always seems the aggressive males pick on young birds that wonder into their territory. The other kills probably were made by the Kestrel.
It's good that you have a safe place to keep the bird. Is there a place where you could buy some pigeon seed mix or seed mix for Doves? I know that pigeons love sunflower seeds but sunflower seeds alone are not an adequate diet.
 

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Same here! I had 2 baby birds that were nearly pecked to death in their head. It was a horrific site and I thought for sure they were going to die. It sorta looked like you could see the inside of the head. I don't mean to be graphic and I apologize. We actually took them inside and wiped the blood away. I don't know if what I did was right or not but it healed them. I put neosporin on the wounds. All the feathers did grow back and they lived to be healthy birds. Also very tame and friendly. They were only a few days old. I would think a older bird would have a better chance pulling through. Don't put him down yet. PLEASE
 

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Hi...and thank you for coming here.

I am gonna guess that the killer is a small hawk....hawks decapitate their avian prey. Rats do not always do so. I would also doubt another pigeon would do so. Also, a hawk will start to pluck it's prey before devouring. I agree w/ Charis...a small hawk...kestrel, coopers, the like. They are merciless....kill and devour on-site...while larger hawks will catch and take their victims back to their nest.

Little guy probably somehow managed to put up a good fight and escape...or perhaps the hawk was spooked away by a sound or a human.

Then, as healthy adults tend to try to drive away sick/injured/odd-behaving birds from the flock....the bully adult probably started picking on it and would do so regularly...which is what you likely witnessed. I don't think a full adult would really try to kill a fledged adolescent.....

Regarding the cranial injury. It CAN survive. I have seen ferals as you describe....blank spot on their heads, showing underlayers of skin w/ the skull clearly visible below. Amazingly, the junction of the bald spot and the rest of the feathered head was solid. Poor thing just had a big blank spot on it's head, skull covered w/ some skin. As long as it's not at the eye, she/he can make it. I wouldn't do the stick-on patch thing.

Best thing to do is as you are doing. You have flushed it out, that's good.

You are keeping him warm, that's good.

You are feeding...that's good (the sunflower seeds are out of the shells, yes ? Can you get some safflower seeds....pidgies love those, too).

She is alert and scared of being handled....in a way, this is good.

He's gonna need some meds, likely. Antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories at least (avian-friendly). You don't want an infection to take over...it can be more lethal than the injury itself.

I would NOT use neosporin, though. Silvadene is a better choice, as it's base is non-petroleum. But I dunno if it's available over counter. You could also try an antiseptic, water-based rinse. But if the wound site looks clean and is not bleeding or very raw/swollen/angry looking, you are in OK shape for the moment.

But the birdie needs some knowledgable medical attention.

Here is where it gets tricky. If you bring to vet, they may just decide "it's just a pigeon" and it's injuries warrant putting it down (although it DOESN'T sound like she has terminal injuries at all). Same w/ wildcare facilities.

1) So, if a vet....call first and get their word that they will not put her down; nor will they try to take the bird from you w/o your agreement.

2) Tell us where you are and hopefully we can find someone nearby....perhaps w/ the experience, knowledge, and ability to treat/medicate.

Keep an eye on him. Keep us posted. And thanks for your save !





 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thank you

thank you all so much for your prompt replys a nd advice. today as i tried to change her water she made a break for it wich gave me a nasty fright but also gave me heart as she's still there if you know what i mean.
i am in england in southend on sea essex. i havent put a patch on as thought it might be better to the air, i wasnt particularly brave when i washed her head so perhaps i should do it again. i have some witch hazel. could i try a very weak dilution as an antiseptic ?when i say weak i mean 1:10
i am not as sure that she is eating as quite a bit was left from yesterday when i checked this a.m
as i am in u.k i dont know if the names of medication are the same.
after her break for it i thought she would be better having a day off from further manhandling as she is very scared and i thought perhaps a bit of trust building would help make it less traumatic for her.
i will attempt to photograph her tomorrow and post them.
also i'll make sure i get her some varied seed for wild birds as i dont drived and specialist shops are a long way out. i was feeding the pigeons in london on the wild bird seed and they seem to have prospered.
as you may have gathered i found phoebe in london and brought her with me for my stay in southend, she/he is a plucky bird and spends time looking out of the window nd into the tree when she,s not keeping her eye on me!!
am returning to your advice now. thanks again xx:eek:D
 

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Hi D,

Yes I have seen pigeons like this. I volunteer at a Wildlife Hospital near Croydon ( shame you can't take him there as it is quite far!!) and we recently had a pigeon in, Dennis, rescued by Jayne ( CanaryJayne) with his skull quite exposed. 5 weeks on he is making a remarkable recovery with the skin slowly growing back.The main thing here is to make sure that infection doesn't creep in. Keeping his wound clean is paramount, but he could probably benefit from some oral antibiotics too, which if you could get him to a vet, could prescribe.

The wound should be treated daily with something like Intrasite gel which would encourage the skin to start growing again although this will take weeks possibly months. You can buy intrasite gel off websites such as Medisave.

I have had a quick look at rescue places in Essex who can perhaps give you advice and maybe take the bird off you, unless of course you want to keep him. If you surrended him to where I work at London Wildcare, we do take them on the condition that we release them back as a wild bird and not as a pet so if you want to keep him, then perhaps a vet is your best bet.

Anyway those rescue places are as follows. Some may or may not still be in existence. You will need to check first.

1. Benfleet
Rescuers Wildlife Sanctuary
01268 752923

Rescues, vet help

2. Chingford
Bird Aid
020 8524 3425

All wild birds

3.Colchester
Wildlives Rescue & Rehab Centre

www.wildlives.org.uk
All wildlife; treatment, care, rehab and release

4. Colchester
(birds)
01206 579207
Berechurch Road
Birds only
5.Grays
S. Essex Wildlife Hospital
01375 893893

any wildlife

6.Ilford
(medium birds)
020 8518 5899
Perth Road
Birds up to crow size only. Help & advice

7. Ilford
(birds)
020 8478 7722
Westbury Road
Birds only


8. Loughton
(all wildlife)
020 8508 2840
Church Hill
Hedgehogs, mammals, birds

9.Southminster
E. Essex Wildlife Rescue
01621 773323
01621 785052 / 0702 712519.
Wildlife hospital. Vet help
 

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Hi,

The Intrasite Gel can be purchased from quite a few pharmacies or some vet's dispensaries. Ain't cheap, but it's good for wounds. It can be covered with a very light dressing, which I can't recall the name of, but a vet would know. I'll ask someone who I know has used it.

I'd suggest that possibly, either this young one is younger than you may think, or else was unwell to start with - pigeons aren't usually that defenceless if they are well grown and fit.

John
 

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If you surrended him to where I work at London Wildcare, we do take them on the condition that we release them back as a wild bird and not as a pet so if you want to keep him, then perhaps a vet is your best bet.
One thing to keep in mind w/ wildlife rescue places (sorry to sound like a broken record) is that many have the policy of euthanizing if they feel the birdie cannot make a full recovery and survive in a completely wild/feral existence. I dunno if UK centers are like this, but around here they are. definitely something to ask about, and that may well color how you choose treatment.

Anyway...am glad to hear the squeaker is still lively...I'd consider finding that topical medication...and keep up the good work !
 

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The dressing I couldn't recall would be a sterile swab covered by 'micropore' to protect the area

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
so far

so far so good i hope thanks for the product names .have taken pics abd trying to upload some of them.... it may take some time so back soonish?!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
here are the photos

today i noticed that on the left handside of the head toward the neck the flesh is loose and if nved a little it bleeds but i cannot see any bad skin at the moment thank goodness. her appetite is so far so good as is her drinking. she is alert and stretching her wings grooming etc. of course she is still frightened.
after the photo i trimmed off some feathers but one is firmly stuck on the skin. i dont like to be too rough trying to get it off just a little each day.
i did mention witch hazel as an antiseptic and hope this is okay.
i have taken the grays address .thanks for the info, i am going to sign in tomorrow night to read what you all think is the next best step.
and shall endeavour to get the intrasite gel.
i am grateful for your time and hope i can be successful but do not worry i will take her to the vet andcheck their policy first! :)

i have just seen how the photos come out i didnt realise theyd be so huge, i hope they dont offend anyone but at least one can see whats going on -gulp
 

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Poor lil' sweetie...she got it bad, didn't she ?

I doubt witchazel on a swab or towel would do any harm....but just dab gently so as not to reopen the wound. Or just wait until you get the intrasite.

It is quite an area, though. It's good that she still seems alert and all...but I would venture to say that she needs intrasite immediately...and then a vet ASAP; besides attending to the immeiate wound, this pidgie needs antibiotics and anti-inflammatories...likely w/i the next 24 hrs. Those would improve her condition immensely. Also, probably needs some tube/hand feeding to keep her weight up. Perhaps also some hydration.

It's good you were able to clear away some feathers, and yes...you were wise not to force anything else off. But if the wound still bleeds when moved, this lil' baby really needs some professional care.

Keep it up.
 

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Well, it's more of a nuisance than anything else. Some of the skull is showing but it'll eventually heal a lot. Frankly, it's just about as well off if you don't even mess with it yet. It will probably heal up a lot in about a month or so.

Pidgey
 

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Pigeons are tough...but I would still be very worried about infection.... as well as just general inflammation and pain it's causing.

Pigeons ae very tough...but what could be a very slow spiral downward in condition can oftentimes be misinterpreted as the bird "hanging in there" and actually fighting an injury off. It actually can take a cruel amount of time for a bird to actually die. I think a lot of us have probably had this experience, no ?

When one finally realizes the bird is not getting better, it may be too late.

Remember they have evolved a tendency to hide their illness, NOT act injured or sick, lest they be booted out of a flock.....

Plus, the more discomfort the birdie feels, the less likely she'd eat well and maintain weight/strength, no ? It's a pretty large area, actually.....

I don't wanna be an alarmist, but I really think that since there is the opportunity to act, please do something now.....
 

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I agree with Jaye that the bird should be on an antibiotic for infection. Last summer, I happened on a pigeon just laying by the side of the road. Didn't look right so I stopped and picked it up. Like this one, it had been scalped and escaped a Falcon [they nest on the bridge above where I found it].
There wasn't enough skin to stitch and the scalp was showing. As per the vet's recommendation, I did put the bird on a 10 course of baytril.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
hopeful

i must admit to a big phew as i wsnt sure what you all would think about it.
today i examined the bird andshe /he has not worsened has an appetite and is drinking. the bit i was concerned about sems to have dried out and doesnt bleed though of course i'll keep a look out . gave the wound a saline bath just running water over it and letting dry . managed to move a few more stuck bits and trim off a little more. fingers crossed for a good day tomorrow. thanks for your feed back :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
taken note

didnt see the two later posts when i wrote the last one. comments duly noted and action will be taken.. (havent used the witch hazel)
 
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