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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2 weeks ago, I adopted a male ringneck dove. It was a surrender situation - no idea how old the bird is but he's been kept indoors his whole life with no other birds. I am keeping him in indoor quarantine, indefinitely.

He was in great shape until the other day. Very vocal, friendly, and active. However, his condition is declining. He's gone into a fairly heavy moult, for one thing. And he is puffed up and seems somewhat weak. I put a heat pad in his cage and he's been snuggling down on it, whereas he used to choose the top perch most of the day.

I have been extremely careful not to expose him to my other birds. (literally - I sanitize my hands, change clothes and shoes before going from one area to the other)

The first week, I had put him on a course of Baytril - did not want to take any chances. (recommended dosage of 10% baytril for pigeons was 1ML per quart of water so I cut that *almost* in half to treat all of my doves...normally I don't do preventative antibiotics, but since I just had a scare, I decided to do it this time)

He's on probiotics now. He eats and drinks normally. And his droppings are perfectly formed. He's alert but not as active or vocal as he once was.

Does this sound like he's maybe just stressed about losing his former owner? Or does it sound like he is sick? (I don't know much about his situation, but judging from how tame he is, I think he was very close with his previous owner, who may have spent a lot of time with him.)
 

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He's on probiotics now. He eats and drinks normally. And his droppings are perfectly formed. He's alert but not as active or vocal as he once was.
Karyn, that a bird eating eating and drinking normally and making good looking droppings are what I look to for first signs of gaging true illness. Your bird, from your report, is doing these things as normal. After that I would be looking to other things that could be causing a change from normal behavior, a heavy molt plus being in a new strange environment may be enough in some birds to bring about a look of being "off".

The catch here with your new one is that he was vocal, friendly and more active, but this initial behavior has changed. To be cautious I would probably collect a few fresh dropping and take them in for a fecal exam to start, see if the can do gram staining as well while they are at it. I know from my own experience doves seem to be more sensitive to a lack of calcium and vitamin D than pigeons, so a good quality calcium supplement like Calcivet would be recommended and because of the heavy molt I would be looking to supplement with a good quality multivitamin supplement as well right now. I would monitor him closely, as I know you are doing, and if there is a further decline to the negative side, I would have your vet have a closer look into things.

One more suggestion I would make is that I know that with your treating prophylactically with the antibiotic that your intention was, by reducing the dose, to make the treatment perhaps more gentle on the bird. However, there is a risk when running short courses, or sub-therapeutic levels for the correct time of an antibiotic, it can have a negative impact, by killing weaker bacteria and bringing about resistance in the bacteria that survive the treatment course. When treating with antibiotics in the future I would recommend that you run the full correct dose for the specified period of time to help ensure that any resistance is not inadvertently brought about (even if treating prophylactically).

Good luck with him and please keep us informed,

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your feedback Karyn!

I know from my own experience doves seem to be more sensitive to a lack of calcium and vitamin D than pigeons, so a good quality calcium supplement like Calcivet would be recommended and because of the heavy molt I would be looking to supplement with a good quality multivitamin supplement as well right now.
I started him on calcium and a multi-vitamin supplement last night - after it occurred to me that the moult may be depleting him. It came on so suddenly - I was not expecting it this time of year either. Maybe because he is in a warm sunny room, his system thinks it is Spring? I really hope it is nothing more serious, he's such a sweet bird and so vivacious.

When treating with antibiotics in the future I would recommend that you run the full correct dose for the specified period of time to help ensure that any resistance is not inadvertently brought about (even if treating prophylactically).
I used less than the recommended dose for pigeons, because dose is usually by weight, and pigeons are heavier than doves. I'd have done it exactly by weight, but I was treating so many birds at once I mixed up 1 pigeon batch and 1 dove batch per day and filled their drinking water.

8 days was the recommended dose on the label, so I treated him for 1 week + 1 day. And now I wish I had not treated him at all...there was no good reason to do it :(

The birds who were exposed to my loft all got a 14 day course btw. I should've been more clear in my description.
 

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Since he is eating, and drinking he might just be feeling sick because of the moult. Since he has been indoors all his life, chances that he is sick are small, but of course he could have been a carrier of something that now the stress is bringing it out.
Keep doing what you/re doing and hopefully he will be back to his normal self after the moult.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since he is eating, and drinking he might just be feeling sick because of the moult. Since he has been indoors all his life, chances that he is sick are small, but of course he could have been a carrier of something that now the stress is bringing it out.
Keep doing what you/re doing and hopefully he will be back to his normal self after the moult.

Reti
Thanks Reti,
I really hope so.
He's got a healthy appetite and his droppings are textbook perfect. I just don't know what to make of it.
 

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if that is his only symptoms, then I think Reti is right... mine get down a bit when molting, although mine are not molting right now, so not sure why yours is...could be a sign of stress with the new home and change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
if that is his only symptoms, then I think Reti is right... mine get down a bit when molting, although mine are not molting right now, so not sure why yours is...could be a sign of stress with the new home and change.
My other doves are not moulting yet either, but they are in an unheated aviary and it is still quite cold here. I really, really hope he is ok.

I am enjoying having him in the house with us - he is a real character.
 

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I used less than the recommended dose for pigeons, because dose is usually by weight, and pigeons are heavier than doves. I'd have done it exactly by weight, but I was treating so many birds at once I mixed up 1 pigeon batch and 1 dove batch per day and filled their drinking water.
Karen, OK, now I know what you where thinking. I believe that the 1mL per quart of water will also be the same for doves, here's why. With 10% Baytril it means there is 100mg of pure Enrofloxacin medicine contained in each single mL (1mL). This also means that for a bird to receive 1mg of pure medicine it has to consume 10mL of water. So at the recommended dosage for pigeons/doves of 20mg/kg per day of Baytril (think of it as 2mg for each 100 grams of body weight) a dove that weighs in at 150 grams will need to consume around 30mL of water a day to be properly dosed (a fair amount of water). If you more or less half the dose, this means the same dove will need to consume around 60mL a day of water to be properly dosed, this would be one very thirsty dove.

This is one of the reasons why I am not a huge fan of medicating by water, although I do perfectly understand with having a large numbers of birds to medicate, and for varying other reasons, sometimes there is no other recourse. When I use the 10% Baytril, I much prefer just to weight the bird and just draw out what I need, knowing there are 10mg of Enrofloxacin for each line on a 1cc syringe, then add it to a few ccs' of water and tube dose them to their crop. This way I am assured they have received the correct dose for the day.

As the others have chimed in, and I indicted as well, let's hope it's the molt and just a bit of adjusting that needs to done, that is to account for his not being all the way up to snuff.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
a dove that weighs in at 150 grams will need to consume around 30mL of water a day to be properly dosed (a fair amount of water). If you more or less half the dose, this means the same dove will need to consume around 60mL a day of water to be properly dosed, this would be one very thirsty dove...

This is one of the reasons why I am not a huge fan of medicating by water,
I understand my mistake now. Thanks.
I am not a fan of flock medicating by water either. Some birds drink more than others, weigh more than others, etc...just too iffy.

I work fulltime though, and with the number of birds I was treating, I couldn't have done it any other way.

My dove looks about the same tonight - no better, no worse. Keeping fingers crossed! Thanks everyone for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
just an update...

Yesterday when I got home, my dove was still sitting on his heat pad. But later in the evening, he hopped back up onto the highest perch, and stayed there through the night.

He was also vocal on & off through the night. And this morning after his breakfast, he hopped back up to the perch again. He's got more energy and his feathers are growing back in.

I think he's starting to get better :)
 

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My other doves are not moulting yet either, but they are in an unheated aviary and it is still quite cold here. I really, really hope he is ok.

I am enjoying having him in the house with us - he is a real character.
just an update... my doves are molting now...LOL... someone had a pillow fight in my house as it looks....lol... so perhaps he is doing a normal molt..I just do not remember this last year..:)
 
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