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Hi! Newcomer here, in desperate need of advice. :(

I rescued a sick pigeon from the streets two days ago. He seemed hurt, and as it was pouring rain and very cold, I took pity on him. At the vet, I was told he has a neurological virus and is very unlikely to survive, but I was still given some fluid medicine in a needleless syringe with instructions to give it to the pigeon everyday in exact quantities.

Sadly, I’m afraid he really is going to die. :( He doesn’t eat nor drink on his own, and although we’ve managed (me and my mom) to hand-feed him some water, the same can’t be said about food. He’s also increasingly weaker and quickly losing control of his body – he can’t stand on his two feet anymore and his head is constantly pending down. I was actually afraid he wouldn’t survive the night, but he did, and I really want him to keep living!

Have any of you been in this kind of situation? I’ve never taken care of birds before, and as I live in the city and there are plenty of urban pigeons where I live, I usually consider them more of an annoyance than anything else. However, I’ve grown surprisingly fond of this one and I’d be very sad to see him go! :(

Is there any kind of liquid food I can give him through a needleless syringe, like honey or something? We have a spare one, which we used to give him water, and it seems to be the only way to get anything down his mouth as he spilled everything else that was remotely solid! At the same time, I don’t want to give him anything that could be possibly hazardous for his health, and that’s why I’m here – I don’t know anything about pigeons, but you do, so do any of you know of anything liquid that I can feed my pigeon with?

Also, how much water do pigeons usually drink per day?

My pigeon weights a little under 7.05479 oz… I don’t know his gender – I keep referring to him as a boy for the sake of simplicity, and also because I don’t like animals being called an “it”, but for all I know, he could be a girl. We gave him a gender-neutral name, “Águia”, which in my mother-tongue means “Eagle”. He also doesn’t coo at all, and his poop is green and white.

Any advice you could send my way would be greatly appreciated. :eek:
 

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Thank you for helping and caring for this little guy.
Did the vet mention what kind of virus he has? Maybe PMV (paramyxovirus)?
What medicine did he give you.
If he has PMV, they can recover from it, most of the time they do if they are not too far gone.

Continue to give him water, you can also replace water with pedialyte. They should have about 10% of their body weight in fluids.
You can purchase Kaytee Exact from the pet store. It is a baby bird feeding formula. The intructions tell you how to mix it. First feedings should be in small amounts (10cc) three-four times a day, then you can slowly increase the amount up to 30 cc's, twice to three times a day.
If you can't get hold of the formula today you can just buy rice cereal for babies from the grocery store. This has B vitamins which they need especially in neuorogical conditions.
In between you can give him defrosted peas and corn. Just pop them down his throat.
Also keep him warm, on a heating pad.

Best of luck with yiour little friend.

BTW, where are you located? Maybe we have a member near by who can help out.

Reti

Reti
 

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Keep him warm, in a quiet and not too brightly lit place on soft bedding if possible.

That is dangerously underweight, under 200 grams.

I have had birds with neurological problems and hand fed them with thawed out frozen peas and corn - just immersed in hot water for 10 mins or so - and given just warm. This involves opening the beak, which means the head needs to be steadied, and popping the food in one bit at a time, towards the back of the mouth. He may well try to shake it out of his beak, but it can be done. They need to get maybe 40 pieces at one sitting and assuming an adult or well grown youngster, that would be twice a day. He can be wrapped up in a towel to keep the rest of his body and wings immobile.


John

(I see Reti has given some good advice whilst I was posting)
 

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The problem with starving pigeons is that they do not have the energy to digest "real food". I once asked my local wildlife hospital what to feed a starving pigeon and they said glucose or honey in warm water as this is easily digested.

What you could also do is mix half a tablespoon of honey with half a teaspoon of salt in 1/2 liter warm water , gently straighten up the pigeon's head and dip it in the warm water. Sometimes this help them to drink. The mixture is for rehydration, rather than nutrition, but is a good start to building up strength.

Reti mentioned keeping it on a heat pad. Gentle heat is important as it musn't use what little energy it has regulating its body warmth.

Feefo
 

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the glucose and honey will help get his sugar levels up, but shouldn't be the only fed to him longer that 24 hrs, he will need food.
how to tell if he is dyhydrated is too look into his mouth, is should be nice and wet in there if it's dry or he has sticky saliva it means he's dehydrated
with starving animals you want to give them lots of fluids and start with small easily digested meals, and feeding more often than you normally would, increasing them to normal over time.
this where i love kaytee hand feeding formula, you can mix it very thin.
you should go get supplies to tube feed him, it sounds scary but pigeons are the easiest of all birds and mammals to tube feed.
birds are very easy to aspirate by just giving them fluid with a syringe in the mouth.
here's a video on how to tube feed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HulTENCRFvU
also here is how to corn and pea pop
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU1SO0ZJoow


if you can't find a real tube you can pick up one of those big syringes that they sell at pet stores for hand feeding parrots, buy it and open it then go over to the fish section and find the softest air tubing you can find and see which one will fit tightly onto the opening of the syringe.
cut it to the right size when you get home and hold a flame to the end to make it smoother.
make sure when your tubing him to pinch the tube when pulling it out so no food comes out that he can aspirate on.
 

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Welcome MissCelie,
Many thanks for helping this little one. You are a true pigeon angel. :)
Is there any chance of posting a photo of Aguia?

Do you recall how the vet determined a neurological virus, specifically, was the cause of the problem?
I was just wondering as there are many illnesses that can display neurological symptoms.

Please keep us posted on how things are coming along.
 

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I was just wondering as there are many illnesses that can display neurological symptoms.
This pigeon is very ill and has seen a vet.

We need to take it from there now rather than indulge in a long and possibly pointless discussion about what tests the vet did, and all the various - sometimes extremely rare - conditions that include what are broadly termed "neurological symptoms", and the various tests that would be needed to confirm or eliminate "all possibilities".

Let's just concentrate on saving this baby's life now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First of, I wanna say a big THANK YOU to all of you who replied! :-D It really means a lot to me and I'm very thankful for everything you said!

Secondly, I'm not able to publish Águia's pictures just yet because I took them with my cell phone and now I can't find my Bluetooth pen. :( I'll keep looking for it though!

Regarding the virus, the vet wasn't completely sure what it was (he was torn between two possibilities). He mentioned some names, but sadly all I can remember is that he also mentioned the Newcastle disease.

Currently, my pigeon is so weak his head is constantly laying on his side. I'm reluctant in making him eat solids because, given how weak he is at the moment, I'm afraid he would choke on them. I've just bought some honey though and I'll try Feefo's recipe. Afterwards, I'll try to look for any local pet stores that are open on Sunday.

I'm from Lisbon, Portugal. In all honesty, I don't know of anyone who cares about birds around here. My friends actually thought I was silly/crazy for taking Águia out of the streets and providing him shelter. :p

I'll keep you posted as I can. :) Once again, thanks to all of you!
 

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It would appear to me that the vet has covered the two most likely possibilities: Pigeon Paramyxovirus (the pigeon variant of Newcastle Disease) and Paratyphoid. I think that the needleless syringe contains an antibiotic in case the illness is bacterial.

The laying of his head on one side is a symptom of the disease, rather than weakness. You might find that if you help him lift his head he will remain upright for a while, but do it gently so that you are moving the head in the natural direction.

If you can lay your hands on some liquid calcium, a drop of that a day can help.

As altgirl said, the honey is only a temporary measure, tomorrow he will need to go on something more nutritiuous.


feefo
 

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First of, I wanna say a big THANK YOU to all of you who replied! :-D It really means a lot to me and I'm very thankful for everything you said!

Secondly, I'm not able to publish Águia's pictures just yet because I took them with my cell phone and now I can't find my Bluetooth pen. :( I'll keep looking for it though!

Regarding the virus, the vet wasn't completely sure what it was (he was torn between two possibilities). He mentioned some names, but sadly all I can remember is that he also mentioned the Newcastle disease.

Currently, my pigeon is so weak his head is constantly laying on his side. I'm reluctant in making him eat solids because, given how weak he is at the moment, I'm afraid he would choke on them. I've just bought some honey though and I'll try Feefo's recipe. Afterwards, I'll try to look for any local pet stores that are open on Sunday.

I'm from Lisbon, Portugal. In all honesty, I don't know of anyone who cares about birds around here. My friends actually thought I was silly/crazy for taking Águia out of the streets and providing him shelter. :p

I'll keep you posted as I can. :) Once again, thanks to all of you!

I do. I'll email you a phone number.
 

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Do you recall how the vet determined a neurological virus, specifically, was the cause of the problem?
I was just wondering as there are many illnesses that can display neurological symptoms.
This pigeon is very ill and has seen a vet.
I'm fully aware of that. Hense the question I asked (noted above).

We need to take it from there now rather than indulge in a long and possibly pointless discussion about what tests the vet did, and all the various - sometimes extremely rare - conditions that include what are broadly termed "neurological symptoms", and the various tests that would be needed to confirm or eliminate "all possibilities".
It's never pointless to ask questions and/or discuss a situation, especially when attempting to determine an illness.


Let's just concentrate on saving this baby's life now.
And in doing so, the more we know about the situation the better we can help the rescuer help the rescued. :)
 

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Regarding the virus, the vet wasn't completely sure what it was (he was torn between two possibilities). He mentioned some names, but sadly all I can remember is that he also mentioned the Newcastle disease.

I'll keep you posted as I can.
Thanks, MissCelie. :)

We will be looking forward to any updates you are able to post.
Sending positive thoughts your way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Once again, I must tell you just how grateful I am for every single one of your answers, your willingness to help and all your kindness - I'm sure to never forget that - however... I don't know how to say this, I'm not thinking very coherently right now, but Águia has just died. :(

I was getting so excited about him, having read several threads on this forum, having seen the videos altgirl35 linked and basically every piece of advice you guys sent my way! I was so hopeful about him! Well... I guess I failed!... I'm so disappointed right now! :(
 

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So very sorry MissCelie...............you cared when most people would have just walked away. You did the best you could and this pigeon knew he was loved and cared about and died in peace. Thank you for caring and being who you are.

FLY FREE AND HIGH LITTLE ONE
 

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You didn't fail. You did what you could. Sadly, I think by the time you found him, it was just too late. Thank you for all that you did for him. Maybe another bird in need will come your way, and you will be able to help him. Thanks so much for trying, and for caring.
 

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I am so sorry! You did everything you could for him and it sounds as if he had already reached the point of no return when you found him, but we always hve to try to pull them through.

Thanks to you he left this world surrounded by love and protected from the cold and wet fate he woud otherwise have had.

Thank you for all you did for him...fly high in the heavenly flock that has already welcomed you, Aguia!

Feefo
 

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Hi MissCelie,



You gave it a very good try.


This is not an easy thing - Pigeons in advanced stanged of illness, may show what seem to be neurological symptoms from more than one of manypossible causes, and, whether any of them are actually Viral, who knows.


By late stage illness, the Bird very likely has multiple illnesses and problems/conditions anyway, and not merely one and not necessarily even any primary one.


This then makes diagnosis, and, an election of regimen, very fuzzy.


How long a downed Pigeon has been without food, and or, how dehydrated he is, of course are also important factors needing to be addressed before Medicinal regimens would be started...even though one can fudge this in a pinch, by experience.


Very sweet of you to have given it the good try.
 

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I just wanted to also say a thank you for caring enough to take this little bird in.

You certainly didn't fail it, as others have said, it was probably more seriously ill than was evident.

Don't think for one minute that anyone else with more experience, would have been able to do more. Unfortunately we do know all too well how you're feeling right now as we have all experienced the loss of a bird we thought we could help.

You'll always be more aware from now on of birds in need of help and in that, this little bird had a purpose in it's life.

It's flying free from suffering and is safe now.

Take care,

Janet
 

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My sincere condolences, MissCelie. :(

We can't thank you enough for your efforts to save Aguia.
There are some things we pigeon angels can fix and there are some things we can't.

You gave Aguia a special gift, and that was to experience the love of a human. Something not many feral pigeons ever experience. And rest assured, Aguia was ever so grateful for that cherished gift. ;)

"May you forever fly free sweet Aguia"​
 
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