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Four months ago I rescued a two week old pigeon from a train station. I nursed him to health, and now he flies around the house in a flight suit (awesome product btw). At about the same time I got a small kitten, who is now four months as well. The pigeon, kitten and my dog get along well, and all drink from the same bowl.

A week ago, my kitten started limping, and yesterday couldn't get up at all; when he tried getting up he would wail in pain. The vet did an x-ray, and didn't find any fractures, and suspected it could be Myelitis, which can be caused by a parasite that first lives in the stomach, and then moves into the cerebral fluid in the spine, causing severe pain and limpness in the limbs.

A neighbor told me that birds carry a parasite that affects cats but not dogs in this way, which may explain why my dog is fine (since they all drink from the same bowl). I tried doing some research online, but couldn't find anything about that. Does anyone know anything about this topic?

I was going to keep the pigeon until spring, and then release him into a flock of pigeons, or keep some food on my balcony so he could come back to eat, but not let him into the house. If it was, in fact, the pigeon who infected the cat, how/where should I release him? It's January now, and I don't want him to freeze, and not be able to fen for himself. Please help!
 

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I would call your vet and ask him..........and at the same time ask what alternative ways the cat could have got it just to be sure. I am not a vet and I am not familar with that but I would certainly talk to the vet first. BTW if you have the bird that long it will be difficult to reintroduce him to the "wild". Already he thinks humans, dogs, and cats are friendly and not a danger. Similar to taking in a baby feral kitten, raising it as a house cat, and then "setting it free" to live in the wild. Better you keep him as a pet or if you really can't find someone else willing to adopt him/her (there is an adoption forum on these forums).
 

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I don't believe that your cat caught anything from the pigeon, but keeping them together like that and even letting them drink from the same bowl is more dangerous to the pigeon. Cat saliva can infect him and make him very ill. And if in playing, your kitten just gives him a little scratch, then the pigeon can get a really bad infection, and can even die from it. Not a good idea to let them be together.
 

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Hi

Unless your neighbor is some kind of expert on animal diseases and their transmission, I would take it with a 'pinch of salt'.

The chances of a pigeon kept indoors harboring a parasite for four months, which then was transmitted to your kittie are miniscule. Also, parasites are mostly host specific, so an internal parasite of a pigeon would not be adapted to other animals.

Was your kittie allowed outside in the backyard, garden or whatever? If so, it would be entirely conceivable that kittie could pick up a fungal parasite (for example) causing toxoplasmosis, myelitis and maybe other illnesses, from plain old earth.
 
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