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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a sick pigeon that displays the typical tell-tale signs of PMV - spinning in circles, head tremors, staggering, missing feed when pecking and thirst. However my pigeon is also very reluctant to move and needless to say she's not interested in flying. She sleeps all the time and her head is hunched down to the side. When I found her she didn't smell good and although she doesn't have any canker growths in her mouth it can't be rulled out that it's further down her throat or in the crop so I've been giving her canker medicine. She's been on it for four days and although much of the smell has been eliminated, she's still a very depressed bird. My question is do PMV birds have an activity level of a healthy bird and it's only the neurological issues that present themselves? I appreciate that paratyphoid and PMV have very similar symptoms but are there any specific differences that I should be looking out for?

Thanks!
 

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Please post a photo of the bird and the bird's droppings if possible. Diarrhea (loose unformed fecal part of droppings) generally indicates bacterial infection of the intestines. Polyuria (too much liquid urine) could be either due to bacteria or paramyxovirus. If neither, then more likely physical injury of the central nervous system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Please post a photo of the bird and the bird's droppings if possible. Diarrhea (loose unformed fecal part of droppings) generally indicates bacterial infection of the intestines. Polyuria (too much liquid urine) could be either due to bacteria or paramyxovirus. If neither, then more likely physical injury of the central nervous system.
Hey, thank you for the speedy reply. I've attached some photos below. Her droppings are generally well formed, perhaps too stringy sometimes and the amount of liquid varies according to how much she's had to drink but the liquid is always clear and never tainted. If she hasn't had much to drink then her droppings look normal to me - dark green/brown with with urates on the top.
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That dropping looks like polyuria which by itself doesn't necessarily indicate an illness. The other symptoms combined with the polyuria definitely sounds like Paramyxovirus. Most birds survive PMV as long as they have safety and supportive care (ensuring that they get food and water.) There is no "cure" for the virus -- antibiotics don't treat viral infections, but there are naturally antiviral foods that lessen symptoms and reduce reproduction of the virus. PMV symptoms can continue for weeks, even a couple of months. This might be a great time to add some natural remedies to the bird's diet to help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. Plants such as neem, licorice, aloe vera, yarrow, thyme, cumin, and chicory all have beneficial effect against PMV. Others such as cloves, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, ginger, elderberry, garlic, fennel, chamomile, and honey are also natural antivirals. Adding a bit of lemon juice or Apple cider vinegar to the bird's drinking water every other day will also help to provide electrolytes, and to help keep bacteria in check while the viral illness runs its course.

Very cute bird by the way, and looks well!
 

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Snakelike droppings in a pool of water are PMV droppings. Apparently the kidneys gets affected by the virus. Salmonella droppings will be greenish slimy droppings. A pigeon with PMV will be eager to eat, a pigeon sick with salmonella won't be.

Just curious, what meds are you giving for canker? Overdosing on Metronidazole can also cause neurological issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That dropping looks like polyuria which by itself doesn't necessarily indicate an illness. The other symptoms combined with the polyuria definitely sounds like Paramyxovirus. Most birds survive PMV as long as they have safety and supportive care (ensuring that they get food and water.) There is no "cure" for the virus -- antibiotics don't treat viral infections, but there are naturally antiviral foods that lessen symptoms and reduce reproduction of the virus. PMV symptoms can continue for weeks, even a couple of months. This might be a great time to add some natural remedies to the bird's diet to help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. Plants such as neem, licorice, aloe vera, yarrow, thyme, cumin, and chicory all have beneficial effect against PMV. Others such as cloves, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, ginger, elderberry, garlic, fennel, chamomile, and honey are also natural antivirals. Adding a bit of lemon juice or Apple cider vinegar to the bird's drinking water every other day will also help to provide electrolytes, and to help keep bacteria in check while the viral illness runs its course.

Very cute bird by the way, and looks well!
I'm inclined to think it's PMV too, just wasn't entirely sure as I haven't had a chance to observe a PMV and a salmonella bird to make my own conclusions. Was just wondering if activity levels differ between the two as I've heard that a PMV bird can be otherwise normal. I have some turmeric and cinnamon so I'll sprinkle some on her food. I have to feed her by hand so I gave her a bit of a pineapple. I tried adding lemon juice to water but she refused to drink it, perhaps I put in too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Snakelike droppings in a pool of water are PMV droppings. Apparently the kidneys gets affected by the virus. Salmonella droppings will be greenish slimy droppings. A pigeon with PMV will be eager to eat, a pigeon sick with salmonella won't be.
Just curious, what meds are you giving for canker? Overdosing on Metronidazole can also cause neurological issues.
She finished a course of Spartrix, which has carnidazole but I'm currently treating her with Harkers 3 in 1. It doesn't have metro. She was regurgitating food and my friend said that worms also can make them throw up so I'm doing that just in case. It does look like she's got PMV.
 

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Put her seeds in a deep dish, will be easier for her to pick up. I have 3 pigeons that recovered from PMV and they were all able to eat by themselves.

Also minimize stress as that can trigger the symptoms. Even moving the cage can affect her. Do you have her cage on a table? They feel safer when off the floor. Put a perch like a brick inside her cage. All these small things will make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Put her seeds in a deep dish, will be easier for her to pick up. I have 3 pigeons that recovered from PMV and they were all able to eat by themselves.

Also minimize stress as that can trigger the symptoms. Even moving the cage can affect her. Do you have her cage on a table? They feel safer when off the floor. Put a perch like a brick inside her cage. All these small things will make a difference.
She's unable to eat on her own presently and don't think she particularly wants to try either as it's frustrating and takes forever. Her cage is on a sofa so it's quite a bit off the floor. I have a platform in there that other pigeons have enjoyed before but she's just not interested in exploring anywhere. She has a heating pad in her corner and I have covered her corner of the cage with blankets to give her better privacy. I think she feels comfortable around me because she was already familiar with me outside and will take food from my hand and doesn't get frightened of me. Good to hear your pigeons recovered! I'm hopeful despite the long recovery time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Martha weighs about 230 grams, which is on the light side. We're currently aiming for about 80kcal per day as per the formula in The IWRC Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation 1AB manual. How many calories roughly would she need to put on some weight? What is a safe number to aim for?
 
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