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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like some general advice regarding a South African Rock Pigeon which was brought to me yesterday. It had been pecked by an owl, but fell out of the tree in the process. It looks badly injured in its eye and head region only. I washed the wounds with saline solution and took it to the vet after work. He administered Baytril anti-biotic and Kortico. I'm also tube feeding the pigeon 2ml glucose solution every few hours. I've placed the bird in an unused budgie cage covered with a blanket in our bathroom where it's quiet and warm during the day. The eyes look really sore and had mucous around them this morning. Is there anything else I can do for the poor bird? Any type of cream I can use on its head? I would also like to know if it's a good idea to use saline or plain tap water to clean the eyes? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would post a photo, but dear Blackberry is non-functional at the moment...
 

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I wouldn't use plain tap water on the eyes. I know it's normally a no-no with other creatures because it isn't sterile, so I would assume that with a bird it would be the same. (Especially with infection involved.)

Other members should toss in their opinions, but it seems like washing carefully with contact lens solution would be ok, so long as none got inside his nose.

I've also heard of people using medicated eye drops on them, but I'm not sure what kind. Maybe someone who's had a bird with an eye injury can comment on that. For wounds on the skin on the head--not on the eye--I've heard that you can use antibiotic ointment like neosporin.

For his comfort, you might add a heating pad to one side of the enclosure so he can go up next to it. Sometimes when they're sick/injured they have a hard time regulating body heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Libis

Thanks for the advice. I think I have some contact solution at home. We have a wall-mounted panel heater that I've placed his cage in front of. We switch this on at night when we are at home and the temps drop. I also placed a blanket underneath the cage so that he doesn't pick up any cold from the tiles. I unfortunately don't have a heating pad, but will try a bean sack. We are also going into Summer now, so the temps don't really drop below 20˙C, but I take it it is probably essential to keep him warm.

Thanks again for the advice!
 

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Hi Libis

Thanks for the advice. I think I have some contact solution at home. We have a wall-mounted panel heater that I've placed his cage in front of. We switch this on at night when we are at home and the temps drop. I also placed a blanket underneath the cage so that he doesn't pick up any cold from the tiles. I unfortunately don't have a heating pad, but will try a bean sack. We are also going into Summer now, so the temps don't really drop below 20˙C, but I take it it is probably essential to keep him warm.

Thanks again for the advice!
Just be sure that the heater is not the gas type. Gas heaters can release dangerous fumes.

Yeah, I've never heard of anyone using contact solution on a bird, but I have heard of using a salt solution to bathe other wounds so I don't see how using the sterile solution would be a problem. It just seems like it might be soothing to at least get cleaned up a bit.

By the way, how wild/tame is this bird?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Libis

The panel heater runs on electricity - very safe! As for the eyes, someone else also recommended contact solution, or boiled tap water. Any advice on when the poor thing should start eating? Like I mentioned, we are tube feeding a glucose solution, but the vet mentioned Pronutro (a local cereal brand). Not sure if this should also be tube fed?
 

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The glucose solution is OK as a very temporary measure, but over all they do not do well on too much sugars. I had a look at the Pronutro ceral and it looks to be like many baby cereals and should be able to be used to for tube feeding. You are going to want to mix the cereal up so that it flows and is not too thick, cover and let it sit 10 minutes, and then re-adjust for thickness as it will thicken up sitting, you want it kind of like a melted milkshake. I also had a look at an image of a South African Rock Pigeon, and from the look of them, he should safely be able to take 10-15mL of food per feeding, start with 10mL and work you way up to 15mL. You can make your own saline by adding one heaping teaspoon of salt to 1 liter of boiled water.

Good luck with him,

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Karyn

Thanks very much for the useful info. Will definitely start with the Pronutro tonight and see how it goes. Will keep all posted!

Hi Libis

He's pretty wild - definitely not tame, but quite comfortable with us holding him.

Regards, Nicolette
 

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You want to try monitor the bird's crop and feed each time it empties, so you should be looking to get 45-60mL of formula a day into this bird borken up into 3-5 small feedings). Don't rush him make sure you let the crop empty each time, and while not the same concern for an adult, as with a squab, they formula should be slightly warm, 102-104 degrees, when feeding. Also, you can add 1/2mL (0.50cc) of fresh olive oil to each 10mL of the formula (add when initially making) to boost the calorie density of formula.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Karyn

Thanks, will definitely follow that advice. I started feeding the Pronutro last night, but I was scared I might give too much so only gave 2 small dosages of about 3ml each about 4 hours apart, then this morning another 3ml. I'm not too sure how to feel if the crop is empty - maybe if I feed him more I will be able to see / feel the difference. But I will definitely up the dosage tonight.

I've attached a photo of what he looked like yesterday morning, but he's looking a bit better after putting contact solution in his eyes - much less slime and he can open his eyes and I think the moisture eases a little of the pain.

Regards, Nicolette
 

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Oh that poor baby. I hope with your ministrations that he can recover quickly.

The crop is found along the neck. It's like a gritty sandbag or balloon. If you don't feel it, it may be fairly empty. When full it should still be a bit loose (not tight like a balloon about to burst.)

Pigeons and Doves: Adult- (normal diet seeds, grains, fruits). Babies: Feed 1/3 chick starter (available at feed stores), 1/3 GRAIN, 1/3 wild bird seed (pet stores). Mix with water to make slushy gruel. If mix is put into crop dry, add water ever so often. Feel the crop to make sure it always feels slushy, otherwise, if too dry, it will bind up and kill the bird. Only fill the crop about 1/2 full at a time. You should be able to see the crop bulge but not look like it will explode-see the photo of the cardinal at the bottom of the page for a full crop example.
http://www.threeringranch.org/babybird.html

Procedure
Check the Fullness of the Crop
Nature designed a rather unique feature into the digestive system of birds-a widening of the esophagus at the lower pan of the neck This widening acts as a compartment to hold a quantity of food, and is named the crop.

The crop can be easily visualized in young birds while feathering is incomplete. In older birds with a well developed covering of feathers, the fullness can be checked by gently feeling the crop with a thumb and index finger.

The crop should be examined before each feeding. Ideally, in the rapidly growing young bird, the crop should never be allowed to become completely empty. Checking the crop fullness will help determine the frequency and volume of feeding to be given. Normally the crop will empty in 4 hours. A crop that remains full or is not emptying properly indicates some type of problem.
http://www.pet-expo.com/trivia/birds-handfeeding.htm
 

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if you can get your hands on some chloramphenicol eye drops (chlorsig) 1 % OR gentamycin eye ointment both of these are antibiotic ointments which could be useful in this case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice. Just a quick question - should I still be feeding the Pronutro (cereal) or should I be feeding seeds in a slushy gruel?
 

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Nix, thanks for posting the photo. IMO, we need to get this little one started on some oral antibiotic ASAP, like right now, as well as topical. Can you get your hands on some antibiotics, could be for humans, such as Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Keflex, or Septra/Biaxin, could be a few others, but these are a few pretty common ones. I can help you with mixing and dosing, you will need a 1cc syringe, the kind without a needle as well.

The 3mL meals are not going to be anywhere near enough food for him, so it may be best if we go over what you mean by tube feeding, what you are using to do this and how you do it. We may have to move to "pop" feeding, where you can feed thawed and warmed frozen green peas to this little one, 15-20 to start and we can up this once we know they are going through well. However, I do have some concerns about this, as depending how cooperative he is, the holding of his head which may be needed doing the "pop" feeding, may exacerbate the eye area. Here is a link on how to do this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU1SO0ZJoow

The important thing is to be getting adequate amounts of food and water into this little guy, safely, a slushy gruel can work, how where you thinking of feeding this? If you dip his beak into a small dish of tepid water, will he drink?

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm afraid he didn't make it... :'(

He apparently died about two hours after I fed him yesterday morning. I'm really hoping I didn't tube feed him down his trachea?!? But I'm pretty devastated, poor guy.

Thanks everyone for all the advice. Really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Libis

Somehow birds always have a way of finding me... or perhaps I just keep my eyes peeled. Last year I rescued two Egyptian geese and they both made it, but my luck with small birds is very poor. Hopefully all the guidance I've picked up here will help me with future cases.
 

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Thanks Libis

Somehow birds always have a way of finding me... or perhaps I just keep my eyes peeled. Last year I rescued two Egyptian geese and they both made it, but my luck with small birds is very poor. Hopefully all the guidance I've picked up here will help me with future cases.
Egyptian geese are so pretty. I know how it goes with winding up with lots of animals. I always find cats and dogs and get offered birds. I'm sure someone would want me to take a camel if they thought I had the land.

I'm guessing with this one that the infection was too far along for anyone to help when you got to him, or that there was head trauma that we couldn't see. I'm sure you'll have better luck in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm hoping so, as it would really bother me to know I caused it!

All our animals were strays or rescues when we got them - even our 3-legged cat (who is luckily not good at catching birds!) ;)
 
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