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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The purpose of this post is just to ask for some advice from the more experienced people, so sorry if I missed the correct place to post, I was unsure.

So I have a rescued feral pigeon that due to neurological problems could not be returned in to wild. he was hand fed and happy with humans, he is my pet now, lives in my apartment, even sleeps at the head of my bed.
Recently I got a injured small birds that actually had psittacosis - lab test has proven it eventually. The problem is my pet pigeon at one incident got hold of the feathers of the small bird, from the back of its head, and plucked them. No damage to the small bird just plucked 3-4 feathers, it was a freak accident... Anyway, now I suppose my pigeon is infected.

This all happened 23 days ago and my pigeon has no symptoms - I know it can take much longer. I noticed in last 2 days that his poops are sometimes a bit softer and have yellow urine component. I am taking the poop sample to the vet tomorrow.

Now the question. First this pigeon is allergic to tylosine. Can he take doxy? If he has psittacosis, do you propose I do just the 7 days doxy treatment, not to completely eliminate the disease but just stop him shedding it and then maybe repeat when he has symptoms ever again. Or do the full treatment knowing that he already has weak liver and kidneys... and that 45 days of doxy can just mess him up completely. And was else I can do to help him go trough 45 days of doxy? Btw I only have 10 mg doxy tablets for pigeons....
PS I was reading on line different papers from vets and they say even 45 days of doxy will not always cure the disease and in case of pigeons it is better to treat them until the disease in in a phase that it is not active, just dormant...
 

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Just keeping the bird you brought in anywhere near your pigeon is exposing him to the disease. When you bring in new birds they need to be quarantined for a month to monitor whether they are carrying anything that your pet birds can pick up. You don't even know for sure that he has gotten it. If he does, he likely got it just from them being in the same area, without him even grabbing the feathers of the sick bird. They need to be in different rooms, and if you handle the sick bird, and then handle your pigeon without first washing your hands well, he can catch it that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hello Jay3,

Thank you for your answer. They were separated and I was using gloves and was washing my hands for at least 14 seconds after handling the sick bird. The thing is the sick bird escaped and entered where the pigeon was. It was just a split of second mistake...

The bird I am talking about was a rescue, a sparrow with an head injury - hit to the head. The escape happened after the bird was well enough to fly and managed to escape.

And now it happened, and I am bringing swabs tomorrow for a test, now I have question what would be best for my pet, as he is - cinfirmed - allergic to tylosine, and tylosine is tetracycline same as doxy.

PS due to all this I will actually stop accepting any birds for rescue before the swabs are done and are negative to psittacosis. I did the same with all pigeons, doves and gulls accepted for rehabilitation, but now will do so for all birds. I never expected a sparrow to be infected nor did I find them in studies named as usual vectors... Even the vet was thinking it was pasturelosis of the lung and was surprised when tests came back...

And I really care about this pigeon he is my baby, I am devastated this happened.
 

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I don't know why you are saying that tylosine is tetracycline same as doxy. It is a different drug. It isn't a cycline.
Birds can pick up Chlamydia or psittacosis just from airborne particles if in the same place.
 

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The purpose of this post is just to ask for some advice from the more experienced people, so sorry if I missed the correct place to post, I was unsure.

So I have a rescued feral pigeon that due to neurological problems could not be returned in to wild. he was hand fed and happy with humans, he is my pet now, lives in my apartment, even sleeps at the head of my bed.
Recently I got a injured small birds that actually had psittacosis - lab test has proven it eventually. The problem is my pet pigeon at one incident got hold of the feathers of the small bird, from the back of its head, and plucked them. No damage to the small bird just plucked 3-4 feathers, it was a freak accident... Anyway, now I suppose my pigeon is infected.

This all happened 23 days ago and my pigeon has no symptoms - I know it can take much longer. I noticed in last 2 days that his poops are sometimes a bit softer and have yellow urine component. I am taking the poop sample to the vet tomorrow.

Now the question. First this pigeon is allergic to tylosine. Can he take doxy? If he has psittacosis, do you propose I do just the 7 days doxy treatment, not to completely eliminate the disease but just stop him shedding it and then maybe repeat when he has symptoms ever again. Or do the full treatment knowing that he already has weak liver and kidneys... and that 45 days of doxy can just mess him up completely. And was else I can do to help him go trough 45 days of doxy? Btw I only have 10 mg doxy tablets for pigeons....
PS I was reading on line different papers from vets and they say even 45 days of doxy will not always cure the disease and in case of pigeons it is better to treat them until the disease in in a phase that it is not active, just dormant...
Wow tuff crowd..lol.. I hope the vet gives you the help you are seeking. I would think if you had the sparrow tested then can you test your pigeon?, you might be worrrying about nothing. I hope the best!
 

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Hi Silver Feral. For some reason your post got emailed to me. Just wanted you to know that I read your post and the follow up comments. Noticed that people were being pretty brutal with their responses, not really answering your questions, but getting into judgment and berating. I joined this forum a year ago and found that I got the same cruelty. No one really answering my question just giving unsolicitated opinions. This might not be the place where you get the answers you are looking for. After a period of time getting nowhere on here, I stopped trying. Not trying to discourage you from seeking your answers, just wanting you to not take it personally. It seems people tend to stand soap boxes in here, rather than seeking to truly help.
 

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Hi SilverFeral,

I wouldn't get too worried about it. Exposure to Psittacosis is common, and it doesn't always cause symptoms. Make sure you are using an avian vet though. They can easily take samples for testing for Psittacosis. Many people also treat their birds as a precaution without testing, including myself. If you are concerned about liver and kidney, the vet can easily take a blood sample and run a standard chem panel that will assess their function. I would talk to the vet for advice on treatment for this specific bird.

I am assuming the vet spoke to you about your own exposure. Psittacosis is a human health concern. Though it does not commonly cause serious problems, it can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dear all,

First I did not take any comments as mean or anything like that. I myself am angry at myself. I started with bird rescue 10 years ago telling to my self that I will not keep pets so that I do not risk their health. However, for this disabled pigeon it was either keeping him or euthanasia.

I got to the point where I am even considering to quit rescue work because of this pigeon, and I now test every single bird for ornithosis before I bring it home. I live in a Balkan country where if there is a wild bird with ornithosis it is euthanized straight away - this is by law. Same for pet birds, so I am frozen in fear because of what happened. I went so far to have a deal with vet that we keep it a secret if my pigeon is sick!

Anyway I talked to the vet. He explained that tylosine and doxycicline are not the same and I can give doxy, if I have to. They also have azytromicine if it comes to that. Vet also can not take blood because it is a "small" bird for him. Please note we do not have avian vets in the country and even regular vets are missing quite a lot of equipment and tests. All that we know we learned together during these 10 years.

I did not end up bringing the poop that day because in the same day we had two injured raptor birds, and after that a severely injured magpie. To be completely honest I could have sometimes slip in a pigeon fecal test but I postponed it on purpose, being too afraid to know the results.

In the meantime his poops became perfect and just recently again I noticed a yellow tinge to his urine. Nothing too dramatic but visible if the white paper soaks the urine. I also know urine component can be a bit coloured by the faeces. 90% of the day the poops are normal, and in those 10% sometimes I find very small particles that look like partially digested food or bits of grit, and sometimes yellow or green tinged urine, not urates.

The vet told me that, as he can not do blood, he can do just feces test, but again it doesn't have to show in the feces. As he does not have any other symptoms, acts just normal, eats and drinks normal, etc. I decided that we do a check after 30 days after the last day the sparrow was in the house. This will come in few days.

I have been reading a lot and I saw, in one vet text, that ornithosis can be asymptomatic for as long as 10 years and just tests that are looking for genetic material of chlamydia psittaci can be used as 100% sure. Also we can bring in the pathogen on our clothes or shoes, or in can even arrive on wind... I am really torn between, if my pigeon has it, to give him the full 45 days of medication, and really risk serious harm with kidney, liver damage and fungal disease, or just 7 to 10. Even some vets propose that birds are treated only when shedding the pathogen and just to stop that - until symptoms resolve, because then bird retains immunity. But again, not everyone keeps a infected pigeon indoors and in contact with 4 people of which 2 are elderly.

It is a very hard situation indeed and hard to even give an advice on.I was hoping to maybe find someone who keeps pigeon/s as pet/s in door, as me, to give me his/hers experience and if an infected but asymptomatic pigeon is that big of a deal. Somewhere psittacosis is not shown as something so serious, studies show that majority of pigeon lofts have it, and pigeon fanciers stay in their lofts for many hours or even have multiple infections troughout their life. they have old parents, and kids... and it is all OK... Other web posts show it is a very serious disease, a biological weapon type B and share me to death...
 

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I personally would not find an asymptomatic bird a major concern. I have been a vet assistant for an avian vet for most of the last 30 years, and have been exposed to psittacosis many times and never had a problem. For most people, even if they are infected, it is mild flu-like symptoms, though it can be more severe. It is very rare to have really severe symptoms.

Here, we recommend routine screening for pet birds. Many of the people who board birds do require a negative test within a year of boarding, but otherwise, positive birds are just separated from other birds and treated if symptomatic, or if there are immune compromised people living in the house.

I have treated my loft birds a couple of times with the 7-10 day regimen when I had some with respiratory symptoms. I don't test my loft birds for psittacosis, though I might if I had a bird a was very concerned might have it. If one did test positive, I would probably treat the whole loft with for the 45 days.

If your bird is asymptomatic, I would not treat for the 45 days because of the concern for liver and kidney. Since you know it was exposed to a positive bird, it might be a good idea to treat the 7-10 days, largely because it sounds like you have potentially immune compromised people in the house.

The disease is transmitted by breathing in the dust from the feces of a positive bird. The simplest way to limit exposure to you, is to clean the cage often and spray the feces with a little water to keep the dust down when you clean. Use an air purifier if you can, to filter the dust out of the air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wildlyfe,

Thank you very much for this answer. I gave me some piece of mind.

I will of course not give him any medication unless he has symptoms or chlamydia is found present in his feces.
Is it too late to give him 7-10 day treatment as the last time sick bird was alive was 12th of February? Actually just few days from now it will be 4 weeks since the sparrow passed away after which I have disposed of everything the sparrow was in contact with, disinfected the cage multiple times and leave it outside and disinfected the floor where the cage was. Btw sparrow was in covered cage all the time and paper with poops disposed every day.
 

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Sounds like you did a good job of trying to keep exposure limited. I would probably just wait to see what the test comes back with. If it is positive, then do the 45 day treatment, watching carefully to catch any problems he might have with it. The 7-10 day treatment initially is more to help fight off other infections that would make his immune system less able to fight the psittacosis. With no symptoms, I would just wait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello,

It has been about 6 or 7 weeks from the last possible exposure and all looks fine. However I notice some small things and I was thinking to check after 8 weeks finally.

I just wanted to ask - after a full treatment of 45 days are probiotics necessary, because I can not find probiotics for birds in my town any more? For possible candidiasis do you propose Nystatine treatment in parallel and from how far in to 45 day treatment?

I could not find this data on the web anywhere.

Thank you.
 

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Most do the Nystatin along with the antibiotic to prevent the candida. Especially with such a long treatment, as the chances of him getting it are so much higher with long treatment. Probiotics should always be given after antibiotic treatment as they kill all the bacteria, both good and bad. They have no good gut bacteria to help fight off the bad.
 
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