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Pigeon found... possible bullet wound

2643 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  maine123
Not sure if post went through............

Hi I found a blood trail this morning and then I saw a beautiful pigeon next to my home. The bleeding had pretty much stopped by then. I noticed it still had dry blood on breast under wing area. So I figured it might be alright. Later in afternoon he was on my front porch. (I had given him water and bread earlier). He was drinking. Blood was dried by then. I called someone in my area and he said to read band numbers. I picked it up (very gentle and loving bird) and my thumb went into a very large deep hole. It did not bleed but very slightly after I put him down. It looked like a bullet hole but shotgun would have been multiple holes not a large chunk gone. It was about an inch deep and size of a quarter round. The bird walks, eats, drinks, and is very tame and quit bleeding. The guy told me to have it put down. But I cannot do that- no way! I did put a report online for the band numbers I could read without picking him up again. Hope the owner calls. I have him/ her in a very large dog crate in garage with bread and water. What are the chances of this healing? What can I do? Especially if owner does not come forward? Also I am in the Tooele, Utah area but go to Salt Lake often if anyone would like to help.
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Thank you for saving this poor baby, please be aware that the owner might take it back but just to kill it if its winning potential is hampered and it has no value as a breeder. Ask careful questions about what will happen to the bird before making any decisions.

Can you examine him very carefully on the side opposite the wound, to see if there is any exit wound? Because of the size of the wound and the possibility that he has been vitten he should be on an antibiotic, preferably Clavamox.

Even though he is calm (pigeons usually are) there is the possibility of shock because of blood loss. Put him on a heat pad, away from any draughts and while he is warming through make up 1/2 pint of warm water with 1/2 tablespoon of glucose, honey or sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Encourage him to drink by dipping his beak in the liquid.

When you and he are up to it, go around the very edge of the wound with a pair of sterile eyebrow tweezers, tweezing the very edge "blindly". This will usuall yield a few feathers that have been rammed into the wound by the force of whatever caused the wound (ie bullet, claw, tooth).

Then use sterile saline to flush any remaining debris from inside the wound.

At this stage I usually cover the area of the wound with something like Intrasite Gel or even KY Jelly, to protect the wound and keep it moist. I wash the wound with sterile saline every day removing any debris that is being pushed to the surface while the wound heals from the inside.

Because of the area of the wound there is a possibility that the crop has ruptured. If you see anything like seed or water let us know. A photo would help!

He will need some proper pigeon food if he is in your care for any length of time, but for the time being wild bird seed would be good. White bread has little nutritional value, although it is a good filler, and a racing pigeon would not necessarily identify it as edible.

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Thanks so much for the reply back. It is very helpful. Vet said over phone that they would put it down or have a dispatcher do it. I will check wound a little later as I do have to go someplaces. But looks like he does not lay down. Only stands and was in the same place all last night. It does not eat the bread so I will stop by later and buy pigeon food while in town. Do you get that antibiotic from vet? Last night I did not see any seed in the wound and feathers were not in it at the time. I did not see any damage to right side of the bird only the left just under the armpit area. My better half said if I wanna play with a bird then fine so I will doctor it for a few days. But hopefully he does not find out I spent money beside seed. But I am willing to try it. Also what kind of threat does a bird pose to me handling my 5 month old baby also? I do not want a disease to spread to him. I will post pics when I can have someone take pictures while I hold him. He is a very sweet birdie and hope he is not in pain. There was some chunks on my sidewalk and with the hole I am so suprised it has clotted up......
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There are no diseases transmissable to humans from pigeons. Just take the typical precaution of washing hands and arms, and chaniging you shirt after handling the pidge.

At this point I'd agree w/ Cynthia, if it's banded and you contact te owner, the owner will either not want him back or will just put him down when he gets him back....

Where are you located ? if there is no exit would, then there is one of two possibilities: it is a puncture wound caused by an attack from another animal...or...whatever hit him is still inside.

I dunno if you would be up for doing this, but...it would be of help if you could flush the wound with water, at least....get out any detritus and see if there's anything in there (without probing too aggressively).

In either case, antibiotics w/i the next 24 hrs. is a must....I believe the only over-counter antibiotic is metronidazole (called "fish-zole" at pet stores and usually in the aquarium dept.; must be used in it's pure state with no other additives such as chelating agents, etc which some brands of aquarium metronidazole contain) but in this instance, I am not sure that's the correct antibiotic to give. I would be inclined to give cipro or amoxycillin....which is why if you can give us your location, perhaps someone nearby can get some to you quick.

Thanks for helping...
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Thank you so much for taking this guy into your home and caring enough to not have him put down.

As others have said you'll likely need some type of antibiotic - though I'm not the person to give advice on which one.

For over the counter treatment you can pick up some neosporine (if you don't already have it) to keep the wound moist (as Cynthia recommends above) after flushing with the saline.

I am in the Tooele, Utah area but go to Salt Lake often if anyone would like to help.
I'll search around our site & see if we have any active members in Utah near you.
Thank you for taking care of this pigeon. The heat will help him stay stable. I hope he does well!
Ok I will be home tonight and bought some over the counter antibiotic for birds(can't remember name). Also some pellet food for pigeons. I appreciate all the help and will let uyou klnow the name of biotic. Thanks all! I will post in a few hours.
I am in SLC. The president of the Utah racing club lives in Grantsville, not far from you. I will send you a PM with his phone number, and he might be able to help you out a lot more than I could. I found a bird and gave him the band numbers and he said yep that is so, and so's bird, so he might know the owner of this bird. But like others have said they might not take it back.

Ok I gave him arethomyacine.... out in garage. It goes in water dish and some feed also. He is acting fine for the most part. He are storming bad and will check wound in the morning when i might have more help. I don't want to stress him out to mych by poking and prodding but I did not see anything protruding out and no feathers in there. Still a bit moist with blood but not bad or dripping at all. I hope he doesn't get infection. I have sleeping bag over most of crate in garage..... front is all open and hope it doesn't get to cold. I have towels in there also... can't find heating pad.
I went out there today and put some more old baby blankets in there. It does not look like he has been eating and has drinking a little if any. The antibiotic is in the water. I left a message for the gentleman in my area also. I did pick him up and looks like wound is healing a little better I think but he is holding his leg up. He will walk on it. I tried putting his beak in the water gently but did not want it. I was not able to get pictures of the wound as he is favoring the area. Also I noticed a hawk flying around my house while out there and am now curious on if they could do that much damage. I would think so. Maybe with beak at a slam hit. Not sure. It is deep and wide into breast. I did not see feathers around it and he won't let me wash it with water or anything. I cannot keep wing up to do it. By the way the first pigeon I found in my window well hurt survived and flew off after 3 weeks. I thought he would stick around. lol. but we know better. I hope we have same outcome and he will still be able to do his journey's. I am not working so I cannot afford a vet visit for him unfortunately. He would not eat corn kind and now am trying pellets. No go either.
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Alrighty! I named him Champ! Champ is now in a new home where he can get proper care from people who know about them. I want to tell everyone that I appreciate all your advice and was greatful I found this site. Thank you. It was a hawk attack just like I thought. They are everywhere here. He lloks like he was healing and I hope they do nurse him. Thanks everyone and hope all have good outcomes.

Grau Geist: Thanks! It worked out great! Thanks for finding me help. Your wonderful!
I'm very glad to hear it. Thanks for helping him out.
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