Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My partner and I have been living together along with 3 doves, a cat, and two rabbits for a little over 2 years. Last November I brought in a 4th bird, a feral rescue pigeon.

My partner has always had asthma, since before we met, but a few months ago his breathing started to get worse. It has gotten progressively worse and he is now seeing different specialists to try and figure out what is wrong. It could be an infection coupled with some other problem (they are looking into Vocal Chord Dysfunction as a possibility). Anyway, he mentioned to the asthma specialist that we have pigeons, and he was told that pigeons are the worst bird to have for someone with breathing problems, because their feces grow fungus.

I am skeptical, and looking for more information. Do pigeon feces really grow a dangerous fungus not found in the feces of other birds? What is the fungus called? How does it get started? Why does it favor pigeon poop? Is it the inevitable by-product of having 4 pigeons in the house, or is it more closely associated with larger flocks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
There is something called pigeon lung disease. I don't know if it is specific to pigeons even though that is in the name or because people who keep pigeons usually keep quite a few not just one or 2 birds. I believe it is caused by the dust when a loft is cleaned out. I use a dust mask when cleaning out my loft because of all the dust. Having a couple of birds I would think would not be a problem but if you already have a breathing problem it may be. Have you checked if he is allergic to any of the animals you have. i have asthma also and if I am near a cat for too long I will wind up in the hospital due to not being able to breath. I hope you can find what is causing the problem. Also I believe there is a test to find out if it is pigeon lung so don't let the doctor just say oh you have pigeons that is why. People here pigeon and automatically think diseases when that is far from the truth or everyone in NY City would be sick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,845 Posts
I have hypersensitivity pneumonitis aka pigeon lung, hot tub disease, mold allergy, farmers lung. It is caused by exposure to various substances. Main symptom for me was noisy night time breathing (inspiratory crackles), a dry cough and shortness of breath. It is easily diagnosed by a simple hypersensitivity blood panel. Treatment is avoidance of wghatever substance is causing the reaction. I had to move out of a moldy trailer at work and move the pigeons outside, to get better. I use a simple p-100 mask whenever i have any possible exposure to birds or molds. I had to take prednisone for a year. I am not a pulmonologist so do not know if what i have is what your significant other is experiencing. My GP thought i had asthma but it did not respond to inhalers or breathing treatments so he sent me to a pulmonologist. Would ask for a hypersensitivity pneumonitis blood panel. It may have nothing to do with the pigeons. I think any birds can cause the disease also. Not everyone exposed to birds has problems. I think it is genetic and also anti inflammatory. Would not panic. Just see a doctor and be safe. The problem is usually not a fungus but hypersensitivity to feathers and the feather dust i understand. A lot of things cause breathing problems so would get it checked out. Most people do not have any reaction to pigeons who are not to blame for all the things they are accused of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,797 Posts
It's the dust from their feathers that can cause breathing problems. I have asthma and have had problems if in the loft for too long. People with any kind of birds in the house can have problems, so if there is already an asthma problem, then birds inside can be a problem. Of course the more birds you have, the worse the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,845 Posts
Anyone with breathing problems seriously should consider moving any birds into outdoor aviaries and thorougly cleaning inside the house to get rid of pigeon or other bird feathers or dust. Some people even react to feather pillows. You dont have to get rid of your birds if you have asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis but certainly you shoukd consider keeping the birds outside and using a mask and not breathing any avian proteins. Our pigeons seem to think my pink mask is cool. They seem to breathe better outside too. They are in large flight cages inside a shed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Any kind of animal dander can create problems for someone with asthma (like me) in enclosed spaces. For me, cats are the worst. Rabbits are bad news as well.

Any kind of animal or bird feces, if allowed to pile up in a damp or poorly-ventilated space, can grow fungus. There is one sort of histoplasmosis disease that can be a real problem with any kind of animal or bird droppings that may be mixed into the soil with a tiller, etc., until the droppings are entirely decomposed into the soil. However, the risk of that disease is said to be found only in the Ohio River Valley in the USA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The doctors are finally testing for pigeon lung. We should have results in about a week. I am very stressed. I have a mated pair of ringnecks. Can they be kept in an outdoor aviary in Oregon?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,845 Posts
Hope your test results are negative. Even if you have hypersensitivity pneumonitis, you will be ok. Just wear a p-100mask ( on Amazon) and put the birds outside in a shed. We have an oil filled heater and air conditioner but dont need to use them too often. I took prednisone and my lungs really cleared up. Please dont worry, just be glad you got the tests. Let me know if i can help with any info or support. in CA and the western us people have coccidiomycosis or Valley Fever instead of histoplasmosis but despite exposure most people dont get really ill. The important thing is finding out what is going on and if you have pigeon lung, avoiding exposure really is important but better to have that than some idiopatic lung disease.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not all the tests have come back yet but the doctor is almost certain he has pigeon lung.

For those who have this, how soon did it go away after removing the birds from the house?

I am also wondering if it is possible that his problem was caused by our pigeon and not our ringneck doves. He had been around my three doves for 2 years without issue, but his breathing problems started soon after I brought Charlie into the house. Charlie is a rescued feral pigeon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,845 Posts
Took a year for my lung ct to improve and the night time crackles to completely disappear but i also had to get out of a moldy trailer at work and i am reactive to mold as well as birds. I had to clean the house of all scuff and have worn a respirator when i have any possible exposure to birds or molds. Avoidance is essential. I also took prednisone fora year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Any kind of animal dander can create problems for someone with asthma (like me) in enclosed spaces. For me, cats are the worst. Rabbits are bad news as well.

Any kind of animal or bird feces, if allowed to pile up in a damp or poorly-ventilated space, can grow fungus. There is one sort of histoplasmosis disease that can be a real problem with any kind of animal or bird droppings that may be mixed into the soil with a tiller, etc., until the droppings are entirely decomposed into the soil. However, the risk of that disease is said to be found only in the Ohio River Valley in the USA.
A valid point about any animal dander mentioned here. As I've aged, I've lost some sensitivities (allergy to PCN...suddenly can taken it now), but developed new ones (I've become allergic to our American Boxer dander, but not the Jack Russell). You mentioned other animals in the home, and they could be added irritants to the respiratory system.

We keep a pig also, but when she plays with the boxer, she must also get a shower. This developed in the past 5 years for me, at 45 years of age.

Thankfully the pigeons haven't seemed to bother me, especially with babies on the way and a new hen to really get to know. I still manage my time with our cock, in snuggles and rewards, without issue. (Knock on wood).

I hope clear answers are found and simple solutions able.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am feeling devastated..

One of my four birds is a collared dove that I hatched and raised 7 years ago. He is special needs. He has a neurological disorder that leaves him unable to fly, and he has difficulty walking. He is bonded to me.. I don't know what to do..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,845 Posts
Would move the birds into a shed outside. Ours are in a shed in large flight cages. I wear a P 100 respirator mask and change clothes when i feed them. I also shower and wash my hair to keep any bird scuff or feathers or whatever out of the house. We super cleaned the house, cleaning carpets, floors, walls in the room where the bird lived. We have air cleaners but they are not enough to remove the allergens. The respirator mask plus getting the birds outside seems to be working to keep the hypersensitivity at bay. Not getting exposed to birds or mold plus prednisone fixed me up. You may not have to give away the birds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
My disabled dove is the one I am most worried and upset over.. He is imprinted on me. I hatched him, and for 4 years he was my only companion. He is at least 7 now. He watches movies with us, goes on vacations with us, naps in bed with me, helps me eat my dinner, lol Where I am home I am usually with him. He despises other birds and people. In an outdoor environment, he would be alone. He would not have the ability to move to a different area if he was too hot or too cold. He cannot fly and can barely walk. When he experiences any kind of stress he spasms and seizures until I calm him down. I don't see how he could survive in an outdoor loft. I can't imagine my life without him.. I have suffered from depression for many years, and he has helped me get through so much :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,845 Posts
We put our birds not into an outdoor loft but a shed with large flight cages. We have a heater and air conditioner and the doors and windows of the shed can be opened, to give the birds fresh air and sun. I miss having them indoors and having them next to us but it was move them outside or die or get rid of the birds. Could your dove have a friend in with her to keep her from being lonely? Maybe there is another dove who could first live in a cage next to her then with her. Our birds dont seem to mind seeing me in my pink mask and i am just exquisitely careful to wash and change clothes and shower.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,391 Posts
Hi, I'm really sorry to hear that the tests confirmed pigeon lung. I don't know nothing about this disease so I can't give you an advice or a suggestion but I want to tell you that I'm really really sorry for your situation. I imagine and understand your sadness and your concern about your special dove. I sincerely hope that you can find a solution.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top