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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an approximately 8 week old pigeon who was found in a horse stable and rescued after he had been down for about a week. He was bitten by a horse and we thought his wing was broken. He was starving and dehydrated and I gave him pedialyte with a little added Karo syrup , then started syringe feeding him with kaytee baby bird food ( made with pedialyte, not water. ) He had huge , hard balls of dried droppings on all his toes and couldn't stand. I got his feet all cleaned up, and took him to the vet a few days later for his wing. The vet found large swellings under his wing. Sort of where the wing joins the chest. She wants to operate to remove these masses, but I stalled and she gave me a sulfa trimethoprim suspension to give him twice a day. He improved for one week, and was even eating on his own, the yesterday he stopped eating and is so lethargic and sick looking again. I am keeping him well away from my other pigeons and doves ( they are house pets ) and I change my clothes whenever I leave the quarantine room. I am so worried about saving this little guy and not carrying whatever this is to my beloved pets. I followed a link you gave someone else, and just ordered Baytril. Is it ok to switch antibiotics in mid course ? he has been on the Sulfa for 10 days of a 21 day course. Does this sound like paratyphoid ? The vet tried to aspirate from the mass but didn't get anything to culture. His general health was improving so much and this sudden downturn worries me. Could the medicine be making him feel sleepy and loss of appetite ? I will go back to syringe feeding him, but I don't understand why he suddenly has deteriorated. I started adding yogurt to his food. Have you ever heard of a case like this ? Is surgery a solution ? i would appreciate your insights. Thanks !
 

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Yes, as soon as you mentioned wing boils I thought paratyphoid. Baytril would be the best, not sure if switching will hurt.

It is possible the medicine is causing the issue of sleepyness, not sure I don't use medicationsmuch.

You can hand feed peas (defrosted, warmed and drained) It is easy to do and you don't have to hydrate after and less stressful on the bird. Feed one pea at a time up over the tongue and allow bird to swallow. Also give him a dish of pigeon seed so he can try to feed himself when you are not there.

Keep bird warm at all times, especially when feeding.

Yes, probiotics would be very beneficial or a little tiny bit of plain, no sugar, no fat yogurt with cultures in it. A drop of Organic apple cider vinegar in the formula or water will help keep gut flora on track too.
 

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Yes...the medicine could be making him feel sleepy and also make him not feel like eating.
I would switch him to baytril but wait 24 hours after the other medication before doing so.
How much does the baby weigh?
I think syringe feeding a meal once a day combined with feeding the defrosted peas would be a good plan. He will probably need 40+ peas each feeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He weighed 178g when I got him ( 2 weeks ago ), then was up to 227 and two days ago, 244g. Then he stopped eating. I will get some frozen peas and try that. I have been giving him Kaytee baby bird food . Before he weaned off from that I was giving him 15 to 20 mls, 4 times a day. Then when I started him on the antibiotic, he was already eating seeds on his own , so I just gave him 5 mls after the medicine to help get the taste out of his beak. ( The syringes are 2.5 mls. ) He is getting .3 mls twice a day of Sulfa trimethoprim suspension that the vet made up for him. Until Friday ( day 7 on the medication ) he was steadily improving and becoming a feisty happy little guy. Lots of peeping and wing flicking when he saw me. Now he just barely peeps and is so glum. He hates being syringe fed, but I have to I guess. While he was eating seeds, his droppings were perfect looking. The vet checked a sample for worms and saw no ova. Since starting the medication, the white of his droppings has seemed a bit yellow.
 

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Until the baytril arrives, try giving him the medicine 1 time a day. The dose you have been giving him of, TS, is high for his weight and very likely that does have something to do with his decline. The instructions I have, from a wildlife veterinarian, is 0.001 per gram weight one time a day and so for his weight, [244gms] the dose would be, o.24 cc, 1 time a day.
Which baytril did you get?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I ordered it from All Bird products and it just says baytril 10% liquid ( 25 ml ). The printout with the TMS says each dose contains 14 mg TMS. She made the suspension from Trimethiprim Sulfa Tab 480mg. I am supposed to give him a dose every 12 hours for 21 days. The printout clearly says each dose contains 14 mg TMS. Is that too much ? I have trouble converting the dilution /concentration factors. I am just following her instructions, but he is getting worse. He is so apathetic now and seems miserable, and he was so playful. He is just lying on his hot water bottle most of the time, although he does preen a lot when I get him out to feed him.
 

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Okay...the baytril you ordered has 100mg per every cc. Once you get the medicine, give the baby .05 cc [ half way between 0 and .1 cc or one twentieth of a cc] one time a day.

If each dose of TMS is 14mg, two times a day... that is too much. The dose is 10-50mg per every 1000 grams, one time a day. So even if you were dosing on the high side, the dose should be no more than 12mg, 1 time a day.
I would try discontinuing it for one day and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I tried the peas with him tonight and I got 20 into him. He hates having his beak opened, but he swallows them well and it seems less dangerous than syringe feeding. Thanks for the tip. Any thoughts on the surgery that the vet wants to do to remove the masses/ lumps under his wings ?
 

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Are the masses on the joint? Can you post a picture of them? Are they on both sides, or just one?

If they are paratyphoid wing boils, then they will clear when the paratyphoid is gone, and there's no need to remove them surgically. I've never seen one under the wing, but they can happen on any joint, so it's possible -- although generally a paratyphoid boil would be liquid filled and able to be aspirated.

Where are they in relation to the horse bite? They may be swellings related to the bite itself, if the trauma was great enough. Have they developed recently, do you know? Or have they been there all along, since the bite?

I'd keep handfeeding the peas -- syringe feeding isn't dangerous if you do it carefully, but it is a bit scary until you get used to it, and it's also a bit unpleasant for both the human and the bird.

Personally, I'd want a second opinion on the masses before allowing surgery -- it doesn't sound like the vet knows what the masses are, and therefore I question whether surgery is a good idea.
 

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Also, you mentioned yellow urates -- that may well be from the medication, but it could also be indicative of canker or yeast. Antibiotics often cause yeast infections, and so can formula feeding. A yeast infection can make a bird feel really sick, and definitely makes them unwilling to eat on their own (it causes the throat and mouth to get sore.)

Can you look in his beak with a flashlight? (It helps to have two people when you do this -- you hold the bird, someone else shines the light). You'd be looking for any mucus, or any white or yellow masses in the mouth or throat.

Can you post a picture of his droppings?

That would actually be helpful in diagnosing possible paratyphoid, too -- the droppings from that often have a characteristic green color and are slimy (though since he is on meds that will affect how they look.)

Poor little fella -- I hope decreasing the med dose makes him feel better very soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
His mouth looks fine, no mucus or canker. I treated him with spartrix when I got him. The swellings are kind of like if you had badly swollen glands or huge blisters under your arm and down the side of your chest. My other concern is that his left leg is getting worse . The part above the scaly part is swollen and a bit pinker than the other. At first I just thought that he was missing some feathers there so I was seeing flesh, but the "scalped " section is the entire length of the leg now and he doesn't want to put weight on it. He can stand on it, but it obviously hurts. After he tries to fly, he can't put any weight on that leg ( same side as the wing problem ). I have a nagging feeling that the leg inflammation reminds me of something I have seen before, but what ? The vet never even examined him, really. She looked at his wing and found the masses and doesn't know what they are but says they need to come out. She didn't check the rest of him , so I don't know what his leg was like then. Could the TMS cause the leg to get worse ? He lies down most of the time now, instead of standing.
 

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His mouth looks fine, no mucus or canker. I treated him with spartrix when I got him. The swellings are kind of like if you had badly swollen glands or huge blisters under your arm and down the side of your chest. My other concern is that his left leg is getting worse . The part above the scaly part is swollen and a bit pinker than the other. At first I just thought that he was missing some feathers there so I was seeing flesh, but the "scalped " section is the entire length of the leg now and he doesn't want to put weight on it. He can stand on it, but it obviously hurts. After he tries to fly, he can't put any weight on that leg ( same side as the wing problem ). I have a nagging feeling that the leg inflammation reminds me of something I have seen before, but what ? The vet never even examined him, really. She looked at his wing and found the masses and doesn't know what they are but says they need to come out. She didn't check the rest of him , so I don't know what his leg was like then. Could the TMS cause the leg to get worse ? He lies down most of the time now, instead of standing.
Have you talked to the vet about doing a culture before going in to remove the lumps?
How about prescribing metacam for the pain and switching to baytril? I'm concerned that the baytril you ordered will be delayed due to the storm.

It's very possible that canker is an underlying factor in his decline. Many are under the misconception that if yellow crusty things are not present in the mouth and throat that the pigeon does not have canker. The yellow crusty things are just one variety of canker. The internal variety is much more common.
Also, I have discovered canker in I receive here to be resistant to spartrix and even if it is not resistant, spartrix for 5 days in a row is often necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The lumps don't look like the photos I have seen of wing boils. I skipped one dose of the TMS and he perked up right away, then stayed ok for a few days and now is miserable again. I skipped this morning's dose , but he has not improved this time. The Baytril has not arrived and the vet will not return my calls. I have an appointment at a different vet's on monday, but he is not an avian vet. I am really on my own, and feel I may be doing more harm than good. He has had the TMS for 14 days ( 28 doses ). I feel it is weakening him . He won't eat at all anymore on his own. And I know Baytril is rough on them, so weakening him first seems bad. I am desperate to help him. I keep a hot water bottle in his carrier. And I shove food into him 4 times a day. He doesn't even peep at me anymore. His leg seems worse, and his wing, but oddly enough, he flew a short distance today. He was in obvious pain in his leg and wing afterwards. I am giving him plain nonfat active greek yogurt twice a day , but maybe he needs more ? I appreciate your help. I am panicked because I am all he has and that is not good.
 

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The lumps don't really sound like wing boils to me, either -- I'm actually wondering if they are more of a localized infection from where the bite happened, if the bite broke the skin.

Is it possible you could take a picture of these masses and post it? I think that would be very, very helpful. A picture of the bird would be helpful too -- sometimes visual indicators go a long way.

Baytril is hard on a bird -- you're right about that -- particularly the youngsters. It is, however, a very effective treatment for many things, so sometimes the usefulness outweighs the risk.

I think I'd stop the TMS, if I were you -- it doesn't seem to be helping much, and the bird has been on it quite a while. It seems like it may actually be making things worse.

The main reason people suggested Baytril was because of the suspicion of paratyphoid -- even if this isn't paratyphoid, Baytril is a very broad spectrum antibiotic, so it may well hit whatever infection the bird has. The wing and leg lameness are pretty suggestive of paratyphoid or perhaps ecoli, and Baytril is effective against both (at least with most strains of ecoli).

For paratyphoid, a course of baytril is given for a minimum of 14 days -- (I actually treat for 21 days if I know for sure I'm dealing with paratyphoid). For other infections, 7 to 10 days is generally the recommended course.
 

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Have you checked to see if the baytril shipped? I imagine that it's late due to the storm earlier in the week and may have been lost.

I have been using baytril since the mid 1990's. I use it on adult pigeons and little baby pigeons.Many say that baytril can cause a baby pigeon to be small, but I've not found that to be the case. I've literally used it on 100's of pigeons with out any problems. Like any other antibiotic, it can make a pigeon feel like not eating but that's rare. Then antibiotics I have noticed the most extreme side effects are TMS and doxycycline.
The usual course of baytril is 10 days...14 days for salmonella cure... shorter amount of time and the bird will remain a carrier. Longer than 14 days isn't necessary. It is one of those antibiotics that is notorious for causing a yeast infection and so if you can get nystain to give at the same time, it would be a good idea. They don't always develop a yeast infection though.

If you can find a heating pad or borrow one, the pigeon would benefit from consistent direct heat. the other option is putting a low watt bulb over her. You don;'t want her to get too hot so put your hand on top of her and adjust the height of the bulb until your hand remains comfortable after holding it there for 3-4 minutes.

I've sent a message to Waynette to see if she has any baytril. She's way, way south in the Kittery area. We'll see.
 

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I've also used Baytril on youngsters without any problems, myself. I've also found it to be pretty much free of side effects, except yeast infections -- and a very effective drug.

I have personally encountered paratyphoid that isn't cured after two weeks on Baytril (more than once) -- so I tend to treat for 21 days, which does seem to knock it out most of the time.
 
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