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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

Here's what's going on! I took two of my pigeons to the vet because they exhibited strange behavior (i.e. weak body postures, walking in circles then hitting the wall, stretched neck, laying their beak on the floor and breathing with mouths open, looking very dizzy, vomiting, and falling off balance, eyes closed) and this happened quite rapidly. The vet put them on doxycycline, and B6 (both in drops) and they came around fast. A couple days later two other pigeons showed similar symptoms and I started them on the same meds immediately. This time however, as soon as the med was administered both started sneezing and coughing up a storm. Also one of them started wheezing and making a gurgling sound as soon as the meds were in. The new symptoms lasted hours, and on the follow-up doses became progressively less severe and lasted shorter. Now, both have since looked better (I have two more days to administer the meds). One of them started breathing with its beak way open right after the treatment, and it's not going away, though it's now less noticable. The initial symptoms seem to have disappeared but new ones have come on. So I referred to a pigeon book that stated some pigeons may develop asthma and asthma-like symptoms right after a respiratory infection and a course of prednisolone can clear up the problem. So I started them on this new treatment, and it's still on their second dose but no complete recovery is being observed yet. I found nothing on the internet on this, but my question is that can they be allergic to doxycycline? The vet diagnosed the first two as having bronchitis. I am not positive on his correct diagnosis, nevertheless, the meds cleared the symptoms and those two initial birds are fine now. I've started doubting if putting them on the same meds was poor judgment on my part, since I'm not positive that they have the same illness. Still, they look better than they first were, just show extreme irritation to these meds. I'm gonna keep them on prednisolone, and see if there's any progress.
 

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Doesn't sound like something they would have been on Doxy for to begin with. How long were the first birds displaying that behavior? How long did you treat them? Were they able to feed themselves?
But are you sure you didn't get any down the wrong tube?
Any sick birds should be segregated from the others.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi Jay3,

Doesn't sound like something they would have been on Doxy for to begin with.
Be that as it may, it worked on the first two, and worked fast

How long were the first birds displaying that behavior?
Not too long, I got them on meds soon. The symptoms came on twice actually. In the first round, medicated them for three days, they got well, but the symptoms returned. Called the vet and he told me to repeat for 5 days. Symptoms haven't come back yet.

How long did you treat them? for 5 days

Were they able to feed themselves? At first with difficulty but all have been feeding on their own

But are you sure you didn't get any down the wrong tube? Not sure, didn't have a problem with one of the other ones. Now that you mentioned, I remember that their throats got filled up rather, before swallowing and that may have caused some to go down the wrong tube. I guess I ought to take it slow these next few times.

Any sick birds should be segregated from the others. They are now, but I let them see their mates for some time after the symptoms started to go away.

What illness do you reckon the symptoms described are from?
 

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When you treat with any antibiotic, and don't treat for long enough, it just gives the bacteria or whatever it is you are treating, to build a resistance to the drug. Then when you treat with that drug again, it is harder because the bacteria have built up resistance to it and it doesn't work as well.

Sounds like they may have aspirated some of it. Be sure to get it way back, over the tongue and down the throat.

Weird symptoms. Sounded like PMV, but didn't last. Could also sound like Paratyphoid maybe. Sounded neurological. Could have been several things at once. Just didn't sound like just respiratory, although that did seem to be involved.
Please let us know how they do. We be curious to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
When you treat with any antibiotic, and don't treat for long enough, it just gives the bacteria or whatever it is you are treating, to build a resistance to the drug. Then when you treat with that drug again, it is harder because the bacteria have built up resistance to it and it doesn't work as well.
(The two recent birds had not been on the antibiotic before. The ones that I'd originally put on these meds and stopped, and back on them again are strong now and seem to have completely recovered)

Sounds like they may have aspirated some of it. Be sure to get it way back, over the tongue and down the throat.
Maybe like you said I'm not getting the drops back and down enough, though I made an effort this time.

Weird symptoms. Sounded like PMV, but didn't last. Could also sound like Paratyphoid maybe. Sounded neurological. Could have been several things at once. Just didn't sound like just respiratory, although that did seem to be involved.
(The funny thing is that I had also thought it was paratyphoid, based on the neurological symptoms I had read in my book (e.g. tremor), but the vet said it wasn't it.

Please let us know how they do. We be curious to know.
This morning when I walked into our home's central heating room (that's where I kept two of them over night just to keep them warm), one of them made a loud gurgling sound. I looked into his throat and saw what looked like some white paste. Is that candida? I just don't get why he's been getting worse being on all these meds and all! I took them both out and gave their meds (doxycycline, B6, and prednisolon). Same as before, they started sneezing. I let them out and they flew with the other birds some and did not seem as lethargic as they had seemed originally; and they feed fine. They are very alert but also want to sit somewhere puffed up.

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If they gave white in their throat it could be candida. Our bird Chloe had candida after taking baytril. Hope your birds are all better soon.
 

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Either canker or Candida (yeast). Giving all those meds is exactly why they would come down with yeast. Antibiotics kill bacteria. That means they will kill the bad bacteria that you are trying to kill, but they also kill the good gut bacteria that the bird needs. It keeps the yeast in check. You have killed off all the good gut bacteria with the meds, so now you need to build them back up again. They do sell probiotics for pigeons, which will replenish them, but the quickest way would be to get a good quality, sugar free yogurt with the live bacteria in it, and give them some in their beak. Put some in the front of their beak and they will swallow it. I would do that for maybe 5 days. Also put a bit of Apple Cider Vinegar in their drinking water. About one Tablespoon to a gallon of water. Good bacteria like a more acid environment, but the bad bacteria don't.
Your birds will probably have to be treated with Nystatin that you get from a vet, or Medistatin that can be ordered online. It will get rid of the yeast. All the birds you have been treating should get these things.

That's if it is yeast, which it probably is, but could also be canker, which is common for a pigeon to get when they are stressed from being down with something else. For that they would need something like Metronidazole, or other canker treatment.
 

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If you can, would ask a vet to culture the white stuff or look at it under a microscope. Ideal would be for the vet to check out the bird. How are they doing today?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm not sure if they sell probiotics where I am staying at...so, is it safe to say that any sugar-free yogurt I can get my hands on has live bacteria in it? I have apple vinegar, and I'll try that. I am not sure if there is apple cider vinegar where I am. On the note of building up immunity, is there any natural supplement I can add to their diet or drinking water to achieve it? I put some tetracycline in their drinking water to ward off any diseases, as the vet had told me. I am just wondering if in the winter there is something I can give to protect them against the cold. Nystatin? That'll probably mean more costs. Tonight they had their last dose of meds, except for prednisolone, which is to treat them for the wheezing they've come down with. I guess I'll just hold off on Nystatin for now. I'll post more pics tomorrow, of their throats.
 

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If they do have Candida, they will need to be treated. The vet should be able to give it to you for just the cost of the med, which isn't much. He shouldn't have to see the bird, as he knows that yeast is very possible when on antibacterials.
Do you mean you are doing tetracycline in the drinking water as a flock treatment to protect the rest of the birds just in case?
For the cold make sure they have a healthy diet, clean water, good grit, vitamins and occasional probiotics. Had corn to the diet to help them put on weight to stay warm. Keep them healthy and they will be okay in the cold. Make sure they are out of cold winds and drafts and the loft is dry. They do need good ventilation though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Do you think it'd be safe for me to get nystatin and administer it myself? I can probably get it from a drugstore without a prescription. What do you think this gurgling sound one of them makes-especially when he's stressed-is due to? I used to have the same gurgling sound coming out of another one a few months ago. I just added tetracycline to their water, and when I came back from vacation he was healthy and strong. I hadn't thought that he was gonna make it actually. So I figured if I do the same to this one, he'd eventually beat it too.

I emptied a tetracycline capsule into their drinking water for all the birds, healthy or not, to protect them against any diseases that's going around. They do already have corn in their diet.

OK, thanks for the advice about keeping them on healthy diet and out of the cold!
I tend to think that mine are kind of on the fat side. Just before putting them on this new pigeon mix, I would get dried bread from the bakery, crumb it up and feed them that. They just love it, but a friend of mine told me that that would make them gassy.
 

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Feeding bread isn't giving them any nutrients. Not good really. Just empty calories. Just adding an antibiotic capsule to their drinking water really isn't either. Without giving a proper dose, if you are under dosing, it helps any bacteria to build an immunity to the drug. When you need it later, it doesn't work as well. Yes, if you can get the nystatin, come back on for dose.
Don't know about the sound as I'm not hearing it. Can't say.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, that's what the vet told me to do-to put tetracycline into their drinking water for around 5 days-um, not sure if bacteria is building immunity to that or not. I just asked and followed the vet's instructions. Granted, I don't think he is an avian specialist.

On the sound, I asked a pigeon fancier, and he told me to put a 250mg tetracycline down it's throat once and it should clear the sound...I've held off on doing that because I just don't think it's a good idea to overmedicate the birds, and today he sounds a tad better, so I am gonna play the wait and see game.

Were the pictures clear in showing the yeast or whatever it was in it's mouth? Last night it looked a little red, but the course is over so I am gonna see if it gets any better.
 

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NO. The links don't work.
Don't ever over dose a bird with drugs that way. You can cause him serious harm.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
OK, here's the latest update. I had said that the last two pigeons medicated with doxy, B6 and prednisolone were sneezing right after administration. I have stopped all the meds (the antibiotic course was over and I stopped prednisolone as well). OK, both birds when left alone want to sit somewhere and look like they'd rather take a nap and not fly. The girl has a mate and they lovey-dovey on each other when together. The mate is healthy. Both birds (the sick ones) are preening, eating well, and there's no sign of diarrhea. Their droppings look normal like the way they looked before they got sick. Both would breath with their mouths open, one would make a sound like humans do just before they need to clear their throat. He's been sounding better since last couple of nights and does not breath with it's mouth open anymore, only when he gets stressed. The girl though coughs and sneezes, and when calm makes a whistling sound or just like what the other one did before he got better. I keep them both in the central heating room. She is alert but she still keeps her mouth open and sometimes I can hear her breathing from the other room, there is this click/gurgle sound. I have looked at their throats and they both look OK to me, compared to the healthy ones. I have tetracycline on hand (250mg capsules). My question is can I give them a recommended dose of that or any home remedies to see if that'd take care of the problem? I don't want to take them to the vet if I don't have to. It's very costly for me.
Can I give them regular plain yogurt as a source of probiotic and apple vinegar to boost their immunity?
Sorry for the long post and asking so many questions!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just to add another piece of update, I just took a syringe and drained a mouthful of plain yogurt down their throats. They didn't throw it back up.
 

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If you give the Tetracycline, you would give 20mg 3 times a day. As long as the yogurt has the live bacteria in it. It's better if sugar free, as yeast likes sugar. ACV one Tablespoon to a gal of water.
 
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