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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I previously posted on here and received great help and advice when I brought in a young woodie that was injured after being run over by a car. That pigeon (Sam), after a long period of recovery and care has become part of our family. A year old now, he's doing great.

Two and a half weeks ago I was visiting my sister in Norfolk (I live in North Wales). A juvenile woodie turned up on their driveway (much as Sam did a year ago, for us), with one wing dragging. It's condition was otherwise good though. We were due to go home the next day, and my sister and her family were unable to take on it's care, so it came to Wales with us!

Here is the history since then:

I bandaged the drooping wing to let it heal. It didn't have any obvious breaks, but that didn't rule out fractures of muscle damage.

My intention was to keep it strapped for the recommended four weeks to heal.

For two weeks, the new little woodie was kept in a pet carrier, with a newspaper base and some natural wood to perch on.

She ate well from bowls of peas and sweetcorn, with added calcium and mineral powder specifically for birds. I also added avian multivitamins to some meals.

She drank rehydration fluid for the first week and from then on went onto plain water.

I gave her very small doses of children's neurofen for the first week, which my internet research revealed was a safe pain killer for birds. 2.5 ml is advised for a medium sized hen, so I adjusted her dose to 0.5ml for her size.

She did not react badly to the pain relief. I stopped that treatment after the first week because I expected her pain, if any, to be reduced.

PROBLEMS.

After two weeks she began to become very distressed by her bandaged wing (it had been changed after the first week for a fresh one), and spent so much of her time trying to tear it off that I felt she was doing herself further damage.

I removed the bandage and she spent the first couple of days very comfortable and seemed fine. No more distressed plucking and struggling.

I decided the next two weeks could be a rest period to ensure the wing was the best I could get it.

She was moved to a slightly bigger pet carrier to walk around more and exercise her legs, with more natural wood to climb on. She did fine.

Now, after three or four days without a bandage, she has begun to roll onto her back and struggle around with BOTH of her wings (which seem weak and not held correctly in place).

Her poop is normal (for a diet of exclusively fresh food). She drinks well and she's alert.

Unfortunately, due to the rolling about I've had to remove most of the wood from her cage and she has wedged herself into a corner for balance. I've placed her shallow food and water bowl nearby and she is eating.

Does anyone know what's going wrong with her? I'm really worried about this turn around in her recovery.

I've lost two other rescued birds over the past year, on the first day I brought them home (a badly wounded feral squab and a juvenile Carrion Crow with suspected canker), but after over two weeks of this pidge seeming to be on the mend, I don't want to lose her now!

Our vet, who is well known locally to be the best bird vet in the area, has previously told us that it can be difficult to diagnose what's going on with birds when you have this kind of struggling behaviour with no other symptom. When Sam had it he agreed with me that he was dehydrated, but that can't be the case with this bird, since she drinks well of her own accord.
 

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Hi Miloko,


How does she manage if set onto the floor of the House, where she could walk around?


It might be she is exhasperated with a combination of the confines and the Wing limitation.

See how she does if allowed to be out of the Carrier and into some wider spaces, maybe even a supervised foray into the Yard for some scattered Seeds or other treats.



Too, if a Pigeon with one bad Wing falls over, they can then get into some on-theor-back sort of thrashings or be unable to right themselves.

If this is happening, she needs to learn to roll onto the Good Wing, in order to get back up.



Phil
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Discussion Starter #3
Hello Phil, Thanks for your reply.

Since I have her cage in an empty room in the house (a bedroom emptied ready for decoration), I have been able to let her walk about on the floor safely each time I clean her cage and bowls, which I do first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

At first, when allowed to walk about she would simply take two steps and sit down to look around. I expect her legs are quite weak from confinement. I got her to stretch her legs a bit more by scattering sweetcorn and seeds which she would walk about and collect.

This morning when I put her on the floor to clean her cage was when I saw all this rolling about and struggling. I tried to correct her posture by gently replacing her on her legs and putting her wings back in place but she was going back onto her back.

If it is just weakness from confinement and difficulty with the wing, that's reassuring since we can correct that with time.

You don't think it could be anything else?

- Jess
 

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You know, this is very similar to what happened to Freddy, a fledgeling woodie that was hit by a car in Norfolk...I have had him for three weeks.

He still had his bandage on when he lost the ability to stand, so I blamed that and removed the bandage, but it didn't help.

I put him in a cat carrier propped up with rolled up hand towels, put his food and drink bowls just in front of him and gave him some calcium syrup for a few days (Calcivet). He recovered the ability to walk within a few days and his wing has healed but when I put him in the aviary I noticed he is a bit squat on his legs so I am about to give him some more calcium as it helped the first time and the vet thought it was a sensible move!

I have had Freddy on antibiotics for three weeks, so I don't think his weakness was caused by infection, but you could also try antibiotics as a precaution.

Maybe it is something woodie-related, so I will ask Wing and a Prayer (also in Norfolk) whether they have had similar experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your advice Feefo, much appreciated. I wonder if Freddy is any relation to our little Jellybean!

I just checked on our little one. I have her propped up on a layer of tissue in the pet carrier now as well, because otherwise she won't stay upright. My son made a wooden 'T' the other day as a little woodwork project and he has donated it so that I can make a small partitioned off place for her in the space.

I've been giving her calcium but not with every meal. I'll start putting it in all of her food from now on (I have some from the vet which is powdered with other minerals added).

Our vet is closed for the weekend now, apart for emergencies, so getting hold of antibiotics will have to wait. Is there anyone or anywhere else that would supply suitable antibiotics other than a vet?

One thing I've just noticed that I CAN help her with. When I put her on the floor to see if she would walk, she went onto her back immediately. I'm glad she did this though, because I was able to find a discolouration in the feathers under her 'bad' wing. It looks as if all of her struggling about has resulted in her clawing herself there badly, and there is a fresh wound. I'll clean it with salty water.

Do you think the bandage should go back on that wing for a week or so? She's bashing it about a fair bit.

- Jess
 

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Hi Jess,




Ohhhhhh, okay...

Weak Legs can occur from quite a few different things.

Deficiency in Calcium...

Deficiency in B Vitamin complex...


Inflamation of the Kidneys, effecting the sciatic Nerve.


Back injury effecting the Sciatic Nerve.


Virus...infection...when either inflame the Kidneys...



Can you post some good close up images of her poops/urates?



Yes, when having one bad Wing, they can fall over, and end up clawing the bad Wing usually.


With weak Legs, falling over would be more common than if her Legs were strong, but, it happens to strong leg ones regardless, if they try and take off - the good Wing when flapped, flips them over.



Phil
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Discussion Starter #7
Hello Phil,

I've already cleaned out her cage for the night and disposed of the mess, so I'll have to get pictures of her poop in the morning.

As a quick description, they're quite moist, with white urate and softish solid masses that are the dull green colour of the peas and sweetcorn that her diet consists of.

She has thus far really taken to eating the fresh peas and sweetcorn but refuses the sunflower seeds and chopped nuts or bird seed mix that our other resident woodie enjoys.

I've got calcium and B vitamins covered.

When I found her she didn't have any signs of injury other than the wing when I inspected her, i.e no displaced feathers or wounds. She appeared to be in good condition. That doesn't necessarily rule out back injury though...or infection.

I re-bandaged her bad wing tonight. Because she hadn't eaten much either (with all the instability I think she had spent a lot of time on her side or back while I was out this afternoon), I hand fed her some of her food coated in calcium and vitamin drops before she was settled down to sleep.

After propping her in a nest of tissue with her shallow bowls nearby, she went to sleep for the night immediately. I can rest assured she's comfortable until the morning at least!

Jess
 

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Hi Jess,



Sounds good...


Leg Issue Birds can be quite a handfull to deal with, especially if combined with a Wing problem.


By addressing different possible dietary-deficiency causes, at least one gets that possibility of the Leg weakness covered.

If it is from something else, it can still resolve after a while, if maybe not as quickly.


Meanwhile, one has to check on them constantly, or at least, quite often..!


Phil
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Discussion Starter #9
You're right Phil, they take a lot of watching when they're like this! Much trickier than taking care of a poorly baby!

Jellybean update:

She hadn't eaten much yesterday, so I only found one sad little poop in her pet carrier. It was an amount of white urate with a little splotch of yellow substance. Since she's had yellow vitamin drops that may account for the yellow substance.

I've put her in the smaller of my pet carriers now, so she can't go far when she tips over. I've also surrounded her with a 'nest' made from a rolled up shirt with disposable tissues under her rear end. She's staying put in it, so she must have the good sense to know that it's better to be wedged in there than find herself spending most of the day on her back waving her legs in the air!

She's not taking food this morning either, and she's usually a voracious eater. I won't force feed for the moment, I'll just give her regular drinks with a syringe from a mix I've made of rehydration fluid, mineral powder and vitamin drops.

Just checked on her again. We'll be taking her with us in the pet carrier when we go out visiting family today, we feels he needs close watching.

She has had a couple of odd little neck spasms this morning, accompanied with a fluttering of the eye lids, and just did a massive, gooey bright yellow poop, with only a small spot of white urate in it.

 

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Hello, some extremely sad news I'm afraid. Jellybean has died. It must have happened quite suddenly, because I checked on her and she hadn't moved from her previous position, just drooped her head down and passed away.

I would still like to know what happened to her for her to become so ill, so quickly. All I have to go on is that last, very gooey bright yellow poop she did this morning accompanied by leg weakness and loss of balance.

As a close to the thread, and an end to our time with Jellybean, any suggestions about what took her life would be welcomed.

Thank you so much to you, Phil, for your speedy help, encouragement and support. Thank you to all of you at Pigeon Talk for being so invaluable as a support group for those of us that give our time to pigeons in need.

- Jess
 

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I am so sorry! Thank you for caring for Jellybean, she really needed your love. I read about the neck spasms this morning and those are a bad sign with any sick pigeon.

I don't think anyone - even those experienced in rescuing wood pigeons- will be able to give you a cause of death, or even make an educated guess. I have had post mortems on birds that died suddenly, but although they identify the immediate cause of death (cerebral haemorrhage, pleural effusion) they were unable to identify the underlying cause so they didn't help.
 

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Hi Jess,



Very sorry to hear this.


Such a lovely little Bird and very photogenic.



If 'yellow' goo, we can surmise a very serious infection, which could have been inflaming the Liver and Kidneys, thus involving the Sciatic Nerve, which could knock the Legs 'out'...and or also occasion the Bird's demise.


Weak or limp Leg foundlings of any age, can have this sort of risk sometimes, of a Virus or Organ infection under-laying the Leg symptoms, and, sometimes, there is not much to see to guide on into narrowing it down, untill recognisable colors or aspects of the poops or urates occur, and they can be tardy sometimes.


Good try Jess!


Phil
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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you to all of you for your kind messages. I woke up feeling very down about losing her today. She was very tame from the start and responded well to being handled gently. Before she became so ill, she even learned to walk back into her pet carrier for me when I had given her a little bit of freedom. I did wonder to myself whether she had been hand reared by someone and then did badly after being released.

The first bird I rescued, Sam, is now a family friend and it has been disheartening for me to lose the next three birds I took in for help.

As Phil has explained, Jellybean must have had some nasty underlying condition that I mis-diagnosed as simply an injured wing. The best I can make of it is that I've learned from the experience and gained some valuable knowledge that might be of help in the future. - Jess
 
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