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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so I posted in the general talk forum about a pigeon that had a brown growth its leg and only has one claw. Someone suggested that the pigeon had gangrene and I was wondering if 1) that was correct and 2)bringing it to the Aark foundation would be a good idea. (More information http://www.aark.org/aark/Home.html). I feel really terrible for the animal and if I can bring it some kind of comfort by getting it veterinary help i'd feel great. Hopefully someone can answer my questions.
 

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Many wildlife rehab centers don't take pigeons and if they do, the euthanize them. Before you make the trip, do call and ask the feral pigeon policy. If they don't take pigeons, do ask of a referral to someone that does. Follow the trail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alright, i'll first call and ask them though, we've had many positive experiences with them before in taking care of birds we've found so we assume that they'd treat a pigeon the same. Any tips on catching the pigeon?..It seems to be able to walk okay on the one leg. Should I bait it into a cage with bird seed or what? I'm not really experienced with birds. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)
 

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Oh...the pigeon is not secured?! Do you know where he roosts? I always try to catch them after dark when they can't see very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The pigeon is at the 30th street train station in Philadelphia. Septa does allow pets on the train as long as they are in a carrier so I was thinking of taking it back on the train (which I normally take to get home).
 

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Is the pigeon able to fly?
 

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I am so glad that you decided to take care of the pigeon. In the previous discussion i noticed you felt sorry for it, but i wasn't too sure you wanted to catch him.Catching a pigeon is most of the time very frustrating situation especially if pigeon can fly.
I tried for 3 days in a row to catch a pigeon with the legs/ toes tied. Thorow seeds close to you and you can use a butterfly net ( i failed at this one since the movement is too long and pigeon had quick reaction) or just throw a box on top of him if he is close enough.
 

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Hi L,

It is very unlikely that the bird has gangrene, that is a bacterial infection that gets humans quite frequently but birds rarely and almost never bird's feet. It is more likely that the bird you are looking at is the victim of a string injury. They get their feet tangled in hair, thread, fishline, hairnets and just about any other kinds of string which they try to pull off and usually just tighten in the process. Over time the string will cut down into the bird's foot and leg, cutting off circulation and as a result the bird loses the foot and/or toes. Above the string ligature you usually see a lot of swelling that sometimes is two or three times the size of the foot or leg. That is a result of the blood being blocked off by the string and accumulating.

So if you are able to catch it you will need to make contact with someone with some experience dealing with string injuries. Do not take it to a rehabber because they do not spend time and money on birds like pigeons. They just kill them as soon as you are out the door.
 

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Well actually string injuries can cause a form of gangrene. Same thing, and looks the same. Lack of blood supply, and the tissues can die and turn black, then fall off. So yes, what you are seeing could likely be a string tangled around the feet or toes of the poor bird.
 

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Yes, that's what i thought. Loss or low blood of circulation would cause that. I have same problem with bird from being tangled/tied on toes. Even though you remove the string, it forms, as Jay3 said in other posts, a new string-like growth from the skin. I found a way around with the scar tissue that keeps forming. I clean it, apply ointment, then bandage it. He is comfortable with it.It doesn't swell to the point of limping anymore. I alternate every other week with and without bandage.

I wonder if the bird can be caught.
 

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Yes it is the formation of that callous under the string that contributes to the loss of circulation more than the string does. It can easily be removed by simply covering the entire wound with petroleum vaseline and letting it sit for a few hours. The vaseline works down into the wound, softens the string and the callous so that the whole restriction will usually come right out with a good pull with sharp tweezers. The best part is that it very often results in no bleeding.
 

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Yes it is the formation of that callous under the string that contributes to the loss of circulation more than the string does. It can easily be removed by simply covering the entire wound with petroleum vaseline and letting it sit for a few hours. The vaseline works down into the wound, softens the string and the callous so that the whole restriction will usually come right out with a good pull with sharp tweezers. The best part is that it very often results in no bleeding.
Petroleum vaseline is a very good sugestion. But even the callous is removed, that part of the skin/wound never gets back to its shape and it keeps forming back again.
 

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Petroleum vaseline is a very good sugestion. But even the callous is removed, that part of the skin/wound never gets back to its shape and it keeps forming back again.
I know. Someone else had the same problem. The scar tissue just keeps coming back. Don't see how you can stop that, as every time you remove it, it will cause more scar tissue to form. Very frustrating, I know.
 

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I have found that Neosporin applied to the wound after the callous is removed promotes the growth of new skin and tissue. It is true that new callous will begin to form over the top of the wound where the string cut existed, but if that area is kept soft with vaseline or Vicks camphorated ointment, the new callous will peel away until brand new skin tissue is in place. It is a time expending process, but at the end you have a leg or foot with brand new shiny skin where the string cut used to be. The process can be hastened a bit by simply using a wooden toothpick to remove the new callous as it forms after applying vaseline.

The main point is to restore vascularization or circulation to the leg or foot. Otherwise the leg will just turn black and drop off. Some people have used hemorrhoid cream to reduce obvious swollen areas, or any good cortizone cream for insect bites and cuts will also do it. Sometimes just holding the bird's feet under warm running water for five minutes will get red color back in the affected part of the leg or foot.
 

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Can you tell me that if i keep applying ointment, discussed previuosly, the skin will grow and the toe would look normal?I've been doing this for the last two months and bandage his toe. True that the callous doesn't form anymore since is covered with bandage, but i do not see the toe in better shape yet.
 

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Hi Dima,

First, the toe is red in color which means that it is still getting blood and that as there is no swelling the blood is not accumulating it is circulating. Pigeon is going to keep the toe.\

If you separate or open the string cut, you may see skin rather than callous. It is the callous that grows in response to the string that causes the problem. Removing the string does not remove the callous, but in some cases you are just not going to get full repair growth of skin in the string cut. The best you can do is spread the ligature opening so you can see right down to bottom; take a wooden toothpick and gently probe. If you find skin, that is the best you are going to get. If you find callous, try vaseline and toothpick to remove it. Remember if you open the wound and provoke bleeding, it will only heal once; the second time the bird loses the toe or leg.

Frankly I would just leave it alone. The toe has blood and therefore will continue to grow and remain a useful appendage for the bird. More picking and probing may well result in the lost of vascularization and the loss of the toe.

EOM
 

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Hi Dima,

First, the toe is red in color which means that it is still getting blood and that as there is no swelling the blood is not accumulating it is circulating. Pigeon is going to keep the toe.\

If you separate or open the string cut, you may see skin rather than callous. It is the callous that grows in response to the string that causes the problem. Removing the string does not remove the callous, but in some cases you are just not going to get full repair growth of skin in the string cut. The best you can do is spread the ligature opening so you can see right down to bottom; take a wooden toothpick and gently probe. If you find skin, that is the best you are going to get. If you find callous, try vaseline and toothpick to remove it. Remember if you open the wound and provoke bleeding, it will only heal once; the second time the bird loses the toe or leg.

Frankly I would just leave it alone. The toe has blood and therefore will continue to grow and remain a useful appendage for the bird. More picking and probing may well result in the lost of vascularization and the loss of the toe.

EOM
I saved this bird a year ago, i removed the string and was all fine until 2 months ago when he start limping from the toe. That is when i thought there was more hair/string on. I checked it and was the callous was there tight like a ring, i used peroxide to moiture it and removed it, with a tooth pick, put some natural cream for skin made with propolis and he was fine, then two weeks after was limping again.This time i cleaned it again and used antibiotic cream and bandage it. I change the bandage every 4 days and use cream, but for some unknown reason his toe is much swollen now (the pic is from 2 months ago) and does not have that purple color, is pale, the swelling is not only where the string was, but all the way to the tip of his toe. I am not too sure if he has any feeling. He doesn't limp as much as first time but he is cautious when stepping.I wonder if he will loose his toe or the problem will go up to his leg, as i seen once that his foot coushion was swollon too.

Thanks Grimaldy.

This post was ment to help a different pigeon; my apologies i took over this post with my problem.
 

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I saved this bird a year ago, i removed the string and was all fine until 2 months ago when he start limping from the toe. That is when i thought there was more hair/string on. I checked it and was the callous was there tight like a ring, i used peroxide to moiture it and removed it, with a tooth pick, put some natural cream for skin made with propolis and he was fine, then two weeks after was limping again.This time i cleaned it again and used antibiotic cream and bandage it. I change the bandage every 4 days and use cream, but for some unknown reason his toe is much swollen now (the pic is from 2 months ago) and does not have that purple color, is pale, the swelling is not only where the string was, but all the way to the tip of his toe. I am not too sure if he has any feeling. He doesn't limp as much as first time but he is cautious when stepping.I wonder if he will loose his toe or the problem will go up to his leg, as i seen once that his foot coushion was swollon too.

Thanks Grimaldy.

This post was ment to help a different pigeon; my apologies i took over this post with my problem.

Dima, using peroxide can actually damage healthy tissues. Rinsing with a saline solution would be better.
 

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Dima, using peroxide can actually damage healthy tissues. Rinsing with a saline solution would be better.
I thought peroxide is for cuts/wounds. I will not use it anymore if it harms my pigeon.This may explain why the color of his skin is pale. Thanks for letting me know. I soak his foot in epsom salt also, once a week.Epsom salt is good; right?

Thanks Jay3.
 

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I thought peroxide is for cuts/wounds. I will not use it anymore if it harms my pigeon.This may explain why the color of his skin is pale. Thanks for letting me know. I soak his foot in epsom salt also, once a week.Epsom salt is good; right?

Thanks Jay3.
Salts won't hurt.
 
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