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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all. Am between a rock and a hard place. I have a patient, survivor of attempted hawk attack who Ivor found and saved. His external injury is a small gash beneath left eye. I took him home, treated him, washed the wound, applied silvadene to it, and medicated him w/ cipro and medacam. Simple enough, I have treated injured pidgies before...

BUT, I then noticed he was exhibiting symptoms oft associated w/ PMV...star-gazing, floppy head, bad coordination, ability to 'walk' only backwards....flapping wings wildly until he eventually falls over himself and just stops moving (usually with head under body by this point). I prop him up in a "towel-donut-nest"...but thru the night he has these "episodes" which makes him flail about the cage..so I prop him back again, etc....

Now, this also could be result of head trauma/neurological damage, I dunno for sure. But Ivor mentioned that she also saw him do this after she scared the hawk away...so I am thinkin' that the attack occurred as the result of the bird being PMV positive, as opposed to the symptoms being the result of the attack. Who knows, really ?

But I do know that, at first he seemed reasonably with it when I was driving him home, and after giving the initial meds, his condition seemed to nosedive. Very unresponsive, unalert, unable to even come anywhere close to eatng on hs own or recognizing where he is, IMHO.

I have been syrnge-feedng...even that is quite diffcult...I don't wanna get the formula down the trachea, and it's difficult to get more than 1cc into him per feeding. In the past I have had no problems with this method, the pidge recognizes the feel of warm mush in his mouth and swallows. This bird does that for the first few swallows, then becomes unresponsive to the mush. I have to actually gently hold his beak, stretch the neck out a bit and rub under his lower beak to get him to swallow. But even this trick works only for a few swallows. Again, looks to be just fledged, so I know he needs a good 15-20 cc/day to maintain. I can't get him near that. Fortunately, I CAN get Pedialyte into him much more successfully. Have never crop/tube fed...I don't feel confident I could pull it off, honestly.

Have read that antibiotics actually exacerbate PMV symptoms....but am in a tough position. The gash is definitely from the hawk, so skin was broken and contact made...so he needs the cipro to prevent bacterial infection. BUT....if he likely has the viral PMV infection, then I am gleaning (hoping, actually) that the antibiotic is worsening his abilities to remain "with it".

I am handing him off to another member Sunday; someone with a lotta PMV experience, to get him thru the next tough 10 days or so, then I get him back...but I need to keep the guy going thru these next 36 hrs...and he really doesn't look good.....

Doing the typical supportive care measures, on heat, immobilized to a degree, etc....

Have I any other choice ? Think I gotta keep on w/ the meds, although it may elevate his symptoms, yes ????

Do you think I can seed-pop ? Can seed-popping a bird in this condition cause a seed to go down the trachea ? Should I try it ? It'd certainly get some substantial food into him if it works. As I said, he takes pedialyte OK, better than the baby formula....

Help, suggestions.....
 

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Jaye,

I hope someone else gives a fuller response, but as far as feeding goes, do you have a feeding tube on hand? I'm actually more afraid of aspirating a bird using other methods of feeding, although I'm sure they work well for those who are used to feeding that way. If you use something like a 12- or 14-french tube and aim it across the mouth left to right, there would be little chance of threading it into the trachea.

What I do is actually use a magnifying headset with a light on it so I can easily visualize where the tube is going. Another way to do it is to advance the tube down what feels/seems like the esophagus, then wait a several seconds (if it's in the trachea, it would become obvious!).

Jennifer
 

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Hi Jaye,

IMO it would be worse to withhold antibiotics. It is giving antibiotics as a prophylactic that can do more harm than good sometimes because it has been known to aggravate the lesions, but that is not inevitable.

John nursed some of his "balcony pigeons" through PMV, hand feeding them defrosted peas and corn, about 50 twice a day. They did well, gained weight and produced impressively healthy poops. Now I use his method when tube feeding can be risky (as with wood pigeons).

I don't think the antibiotics will have caused the worsening of his condition but some of us have noticed that giving two drops of calcium syrup twice a day can help.

Cynthia
 

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Thank you for all your help Jaye, I really hope he can make it, I can't believe that he survived so far, I'll be waiting for the next hours.

Ivette
 

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D'oh, I should have thought of the peas earlier when we talked, don't know what I was thinking. Even maybe bits of moistened dog food? Might be easier to get down and more substantial than seed-popping if he's so unresponsive. You know I was thinking, with that one sick feral I had, I actually mixed up a blender "drink" and fed to him with a plastic bag (corner cut out) in addition to seed-popping. It made a semi-thick paste with Kaytee, some softened high-quality dog biscuits, avc, and seems like there was something else but if so I'll think of it and add. Made it very easy to feed him with the plastic bag corner; just inserted it into his beak and squeezed gently. He would swallow each mouthful, and he was pretty lethargic too. Maybe this would work for your guy. I hope he's doing okay and I wish I had better ideas. :eek:
 

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BUT, I then noticed he was exhibiting symptoms oft associated w/ PMV...star-gazing, floppy head, bad coordination, ability to 'walk' only backwards....flapping wings wildly until he eventually falls over himself and just stops moving (usually with head under body by this point). I prop him up in a "towel-donut-nest"...but thru the night he has these "episodes" which makes him flail about the cage..so I prop him back again, etc....

I saw something similar once last spring, but it was an egg bound hen, not PMV. She died that night, it was terrible to watch and not know what it was. She flapped her wings a lot before she died, and eventually became totally uncoordinated. I wish I'd known, because there are things you can do for eggbinding.

Any chance its a SHE not a HE?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update

No sign of that and whether he or she, the bird is a very obvious fledgling....I am guessing no more than a week or two out of nest.

Trials and tribulations of trying to feed this guy....up to his same old tricks last night. Took Pedialyte but not much formula. Seed poppong didn't work. Tried to call a few other local members, none of 'em knew how to gavage/crop feed either.

I was out most of evening (my GF's B-Day) and when I got back this AM, he was still hanging in there.

Spoke with a few more members, and Charis in particular ran through with me how to corn-pop/pea-pop w/o the hazard of possibly asphyxiation.

IT WORKED REALLY WELL THIS AM ! Got a bunch of defrosted, warmed corn kernels into him...then I crushed up some Parrot pellets and wetted them down as well...and he took those too ! Finally, for the first time he's been here, I could actually feel some semblance of his crop as it filled with breakfast...


He also seemed to be doing better today, more alert, dfinitely putting up more of a fight...was able to open the eye on the side of the gash, which he didn't do too much before.

Symptoms still persist, head-lolling and backwards walking, etc...but he doesn't seem quite as zoned out as the last 2 days. All in all, a better place than I had assumed we'd be 24 hrs. ago.

He goes to his next caregiver tom'w. Thanks for all the replies...they are very helpful !



 

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Ah I see, what a dummy i am- I see now that you mentioned it was a fledgling in your title.

God, those symptoms would scare me (after what I've seen before). Good on you for continuing to feed it and perk him up a bit. I hope he gets better soon.
 

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I'm glad he is doing much better Jaye, It was already a bad start for him, I never saw a hawk in front of me before, and that was a really scary experience, at least the hawk let the pigeon go after I get there, it was close, but I keep my hopes and this little guy deserves a better life.

Ivette
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Amazing...

Wow...I gotta tell you, on Friday I figured this poor guy wouldn't make it to Sunday AM, given how badly he looked.

He has started standing now, and sleeping while standing. He is holding his head more erect, atop his body, more often...and he is opening his left eye (the gash was on his left cheek) more often as well. Also...wow...he can now step forward and side to side, as opposed to just pushing off backwards.

All in all, stronger...and exhibiting more pigeon-like behaviours, as opposed to the alarmingly limp rag he was on Friday and Saturday AM.....

I think getting him to eat some decent volume of food by popping right down his throat.... really has helped. Gotta go give him breakfast now ;)

 

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That's wonderful. Thanks for letting us know.
You Rock!
 

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Great news, is he out of your hands now? I'm sure the jay is jealous of all the attention the pijie is getting. :D
 

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Pigeons can make an amazing recovery in a very short time if treated properly. I suspect that many vets would have recommended euthanasia, because they will not have had the opportunity to nurse a pigeon through serious injury and are therefore unaware of how responsive pigeons can be.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Of course, vets and wildlife rehabbers would've put this guy down in a NY minute....

I gotta say....he looked absolutely like hell for a day and a half....and I felt kinda powerless.

No, the handoff didn't happen....so he is still here...but given how he's rebounding, I can deal now. Just had to relocate him from my room (but that's another story I'll forego for the moment).

I kinda wonder if it is PMV...the rebound was so very, very fast...I though PMV patients improved more gradually....although, for sure, getting nutrition into him must have helped significantly....

He continues to improve. The left eye is now open all the time, and he does have sight in it, I can tell when I approach him from that side. He is now pecking at seed more normally, not tilting his head to see it. He even drank a huge drink of water from a bowl today (I am NOT leaving the bowl in there, for the time being) and also is gobbling down safflower seeds now. Still need to have him on cipro for another 1-1/2 days...am keeping with one small dose of medicam a day as well...and throwing in some extra Pedialyte, just 2 extra cc's/day, since it can't hurt...altjough may not be required now that he is drinking water on his own.

He seems to be able to navigate very well now....he looks/acts almost like a normal pidge, he even is giving me some attitude when I towel him...just gets a bit tired, quickly, now.....

Yes, jumping back and forth between the Pidge and the Jay (hey, sounds like a TV series)......I guess it keeps me on my toes....(but these aren't billable hours, unfortunately ;) )
 

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That's great George, it must feel good to see such a dramatic improvement. Hopefully someone will be able to help out with the Jay too, he sounds like a wonderful bird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Update....

Hi all. Just wanted to bring the great news...

It was a nice warm afternoon yesterday, and ended up being a relatively mild this evening. He has been recovering strong, his eye is good, and he has been wanting out of the cage. I have been him in his cage on the porch all week since Sunday (during day) and he hung out w/ the ferals who would come to feed. He was doing all the good signs...eating with them, starling when they startled, etc. A lot of times the ferals would just hang out on top of his cage on the porch....

So this afternoon I opened the door during a feeding, and out he came. Went up to the rooftops soonafter, and hung out there in the sun, preening. Was more cautious to come back down than the rest of the feral gang, but I figure, sure...why wouldn't he be ? Anyway, I observed him hanging out there a while, then I had to go out. Think I saw him up on the neighbors a few hours later.

Am sure I'll be seeing him around....he is in a pretty safe area with a lotta pigeons, and seemed quite strong. Will just have to figure out his bearings and the local society and all. He certainly has good food and water sources.

One more pic taken a couple of nights ago.....

OK, so everyone send your best vibes to Pal (or as my GF calls him, Loopy)....
 

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Good luck Pal, you've got your second chance, have a great life out there, (and you know where to come back to if you need some more TLC ;)
 
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