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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm new here and as such an unfamiliar with procedures etc but I need some advice regarding a sick feral pigeon I've been feeding and keeping an eye on for weeks.

It first appeared with what seemed to be an injured left wing, it was limp and the bird was unable to hold it in the usual resting position. I fed it daily and after a few days the wing seemed to heal itself and to my joy the bird could again fly...another few days passed, each day it came back for a feed...by now bringing several of it's pals...the next day there it was again...this time I noticed it's right wing was in a terrible state, much worse than it's left one had been. It didn't appear to be broken as it could stretch it from time to time but it was hanging very low and once again my wee friend was unable to fly.

Since then he/she has walked everywhere...each day returning to feed. As the days have gone on it's feet have suffered....first it's left...now it's right. The poor thing has been limping to a fro from it's resting place to come for a free feed around 5pm each day....I've watched it go down hill as each day has passed....I decided it was time to catch it but...as all scared creatures do...it escaped my feeble attempts.

Tonight....right on time...it appeared...hobbling across the road in obvious pain....if I was going to catch it...it had to be now for I feared one more day would be it's last. As usual I throw a handfull of food for it's buddies...and it joined them...I made sure he/she got it's fair share before trying to net it....it made a bid to escape by hiding under my car....then to my horror I saw it trying to cross the road only to be attacked by another bird....it was pinned to the road...almost helpless....I made a dash and managed to grab it....at last!!!

I've placed it in a box with food and water in a dark quiet place....now what to do?

It seems to have enough weight to it....feathers are in good order...but it's feet...Oh my they are in a terrible state...no obvious signs of anything being tangled in them...tho I suspect in the far distant past it's encountered some trauma as it has 2 toes missing....the immediate problem is a huge absess on it's right heel....do pigeons have heels? Anyways...I suspect the fact it's had to walk everywhere for weeks has inflicted unatural wear on it's feet....it can stand but appears to be painful....what can I do to help it?

I feel confident enough to burst the absess and treat with anticeptic spray...but will this be too much for he/she to cope with?

I doubt my vet would be interested in treating it even though I'd be willing to meet the bill...is there anyone in Blackpool who treats injured birds?
Any advice or help would be appreciated.
Thanks for taking the time to read this :)
 

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Hi

Well done catching this pigeon. I'd be careful of what appears to be an abscess, though.

These places are not in Blackpool but not a vast distance - check the entries for Lancashire:

http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/rescuecentres.htm

Can't help with vets, unfortunately. It's usually a matter of checking their policy on pigeons, making it known one is prepared to provide the ongoing care after examination and what on the spot treatment they can or will give.

John
 

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Thank you for rescuing him..whatever happens now, don't let anyone persuade you to have him PTS, he can be treated and if he is not releasable a new home will be found for him.

Laura at Steele at Springfield Vets. 144 Redlam, Blackburn. Tel: 01254 54654 Fax: 01254 677329 is the vet closest to you that I have had treat my pigeons and she is excellent, but try ringing Gwen on 01704 543391, she lives in Southport and has a better knowledge of the area than I have so may know of someone closer to you.

Can you provide a photo of its feet, wings etc?

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks





Thanks for the link John, there's a place in Lancaster on the list....I'll give them a call tomorrow.

There's no way I'll let anyone put him...to sleep...I've decided 'it's' a him and is now called Peter...mad I know but I've been watching him for weeks now and feel a connection.

I'm thinking he'll never fly again so I'll be making him a box he can live outside in tomorrow....he'll have food, warmth and water for as long as he lives.

I'll try and take some pics of his feet in the morning but I don't want to stress him too much...his heart was racing when I grabbed him and I'm worried too many shocks will see him off.

I've just checked on him and he seems to be quite happy resting...though he doesn't appear to have moved....I'm hoping a good nights sleep will help.

I'll keep you posted on any progress and thanks so much for responding. :)
 

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Doesn't have to be a dark place for the box; do make sure it is warm...more importantly, make sure the bottom is covered with something very, very soft...fluffy towel, or lambswool or such under paper towels....my avian vets use bubble wrap under paper towels.

Thanks for saving him....he surely would have been a goner. Does it appear he has been attacked ? Any wounds or scabs or abrasions or scrapes on the damaged wing ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've put some shredded paper in the box, along with food and water....there's no obvious signs he's been attacked....as I said I've been feeding him for weeks now...probably around 2 months.

I think he's just old....his wing isn't broken as far as I can tell...he's able to stretch it but it hangs low and trails on the ground as he walks. He's been unable to fly for around 3 weeks but has remained strong, even guarding his food that I've put out for him...but tonight...he seemed very weak..that's possibly why I was able to catch him.

I'm hoping the rest will help heal his feet enough so he can live without too much discomfort. I'm more than happy to keep him forever and let him see out his days with me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've managed to take a photo of his feet...but have no idea how to upload it...any suggestions?

To keep you updated...my sick friend had a good night...ate all the food I gave him and had lots to drink. We've spent the day constructing a home for him...it's not exactly the Ritz but I'm proud of what can be achieved in just a few hours...he's taken to his pad very well.

Having looked at the photo close up....I've noticed something seems to be tangled in his feet...it's not anything I've spotted in all the weeks I've been feeding him...so I'll investigate what it is tomorrow and see if I can untangle whatever it is.

I think it's probably too late to save the badly infected toe....but I don't want him to suffer so any advice on how to treat once I've untangled the problem would be appreciated.
 

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Poor little thing, his feet look very painful but they are salvageable.

Before you start, buy a seam splitter (they sell them at Sainsbury's), some Bach Rescue Cream and if you can one of those things with a magnifier and a light that you put on your head. THat really helps when you are working on deeply embedded fibres.

Rub the cream into the foot, that tends to loosen the thread. Then use the seam splitter to lift the thread away from the foot to cut and unwind. It might take several sessions, but it should go well.

If you can get some F10, then rub that in afterwards. I can send you a couple of sachets of F10 if you like as I have a tub of it.

This is a link to a page on our Pigeon Aid website that deals with thread injuries. It goes into more detail than I have here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

I've examined his feet with the help of a friend...and the problem is human hair not thread/string.....I've tackled the better of his two feet...he was so good bless him...hardly flinched as I snipped away.

The problem is...hair is so fine...I've removed the mass that was tangled in his palm....not that he has a palm but I'm sure you get my drift...two of his toes have hair wrapped around them....but they have a good blood supply and arent swollen as such.....his other foot is another story....I started to work on the most swollen and his attitude to my nursing change somewhat...it's obviously very painful....as I'd been working on him for over 30 mins I decided to let him rest and wait till tomorrow before the mammoth task of sorting the mess.

I'm slightly concerned as he's not eaten since Weds....he had a good appetite when he was contained in a box but now he's in a cage and outside he doesn't seem so interested in his food....which brings me onto another topic...what should I be feeding him?

The feral birds around here eat anything they can find...chips, chicken....anything anyone leaves on the pavement.....I'd been feeding him and his buddies general wild bird seed....but I suspect it's not ideal....any suggestions?

I'll get the seam splitter tomorrow...but where will I find Bach rescue cream and the F10?

It's very kind of you to take the time to talk me through this...and to offer such advice and help....it's very much appreciated :)

Last question....as it's human hair and very fine....is it ok to dig into the badly swollen toe with the seam splitter? It's going to be very uncomfortable for him and I'm worried in case I cause his to bleed...what then...apart from panic!?!
 

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If you can get him some wild bird seed that will be fine.

How are his poops? They are the best indicator of whether he is eating or not.

Human hair is the worst because it is so strong and so fine. Also, the creams won't loosen the hair though they will loosen any muck that has stuck in the grooves made by the hair. Boots and Neils Yard sell the Bach Rescue Cream. I got the F10 from the internet so I am not certain where it can be bought but if you have a Pets at Home with a branch of Companion Care at the back, Companion Care might have some or another anti bacterial barrier cream that uis suitable for birds. The seam splitter has a plastic "bead" at the tip so it won't dig into his flesh, but it will still be difficult and painful because of being deeply embedded all the way round. A friend of mine swears by the scissors that are used to trim nostril hairs, or baby scissors, she has a lot of experience of dealing with pigeons with fishing line around their toes. So has Pigeon Queen, so I will ask her to look at this thread.

If there is a bleed put hold the foot upwards and apply direct pressure to the cut. You can also use cornflour, I keep some available and put whatever is bleeding into a container of cornflower. There is also a styptic powder called "Four Paws" that can be used on birds, but I don't remember where I got that.

I don't know if ice wouold reduce swelling and numb the foot a bit so it is not so painful? Maybe someone else can advise on that.
 

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Hi there. Thanks for helping the pigeon.

Please try to remove the human hair from the pigeons foot. It is not as difficult as it seems and the pigeon will be alot more comfortable and the healing process will then begin.

Use the scissors 'flat' just taking bits off. A seam splitter is a great tool but you can remove this hair just with scissors. Keep at it and you will get results. I find using a magnifying glass with a light helpful as you can see more clearly.

If you want me to talk you through removing the hair please call me on 0203 0871813. Best of luck Jayne
 

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New to the site....in United States. You go Phoenix. You have to keep posting. I must know how Peter comes along. All the luck. Rehabbing anything is wonderful and rewarding, but sometimes all we can do is offer comfort. If Peter doesn't make it understand that he would have had a miserable painful dying without your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi folks....well where do I begin....Peter is doing fine. We tackled his second foot yesterday. Leaving him to rest for a day helped, the swelling was considerable less which made the job of removing the hair much easier. As he hardly flinched it was obviously less painful as we poked and prodded with various tools. Another 30 mins and we had all the hair untangled.

He'd not eaten for a couple of days....I don't know if that's normal or not but I was concerned so I tempted him with a treat I'd given him and his street buddies from time to time....Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. He polished them off in no time!

His cage has a bed area which he prefers to be in for most of the time....much to my disappointment as I'd like to see him enjoying the sunshine but he's got nice soft straw to lay on and appears to be very happy just dozing the days away.

What I'm about to tell you you really would think I'm making it up....I wish I was! On the day of constructing Peter's cage another pigeon landed in the yard and hung around for over an hour....getting very close to our feet and in the way so I got some bread thinking the wee mite was just hungry and knew we supplied endless food and could be trusted.

It soon became obvious there was something not quite right about this chap....he let me get very close to him before scuttling away...I made a pile with the bread and stood back...the wee thing approached the bread and attempted to eat but kept missing the target. After a few mins he'd go round in circles as if frustrated then try again...every now and again he'd manage to grab a mouthful but it was more by luck than judgement.

What was I to do.....another poorly pigeon, it was as if he knew to come to us for help. As Peter's home was still under construction we didn't feel we could do much for our new patient but felt he needed a good feed so we caught him...not an easy task despite his blurred vision but catch him we did. A huge pile of seed was placed in a corner of the box and he was happy for a while playing his hit and miss game. Once his belly was full he wanted out...and made a lot of fuss about it so we decided we should let him go and take his chances. He flew off missing all obstructions along the way....that was that...or so we thought.

This morning, I got out of bed....went to open the curtains and was just in time to see he was back....he made a crash landing into the yard...hitting the gate and landing with a thud. We dashed to the yard to find him stood in a corner, no obvious damage but very shaken. I got more bread for him and approached him quietly thinking it would be a repeat of his previous visit...alas not...his vision is much worse. Totally blind in his right eye and very limited sight in the left.

So....we caught him, this time without any struggle. He's currently contained in a makeshift cage which consists of the tops of two tables leant against the yard wall with a clear plastic cover and a layer of Peter's straw in case he decides to attempt to fly...at least he'll have a soft landing.

Another cage is being built as I type......but how will a blind pigeon cope with being caged? We're making him a bed area where he can hide and feel safe and we're adding a wired area so he can walk around the yard. Not ideal but better than dying on the streets. Poor thing is going to be very frustrated.

Any advice for this poor chap would be appreciated...apart from putting him to sleep of course! We did contemplate that but neither of us is brave enough to end his life.

I have a few questions if anyone has time to answer....firstly...how do you sex a pigeon? I suspect Peter might be a Petra and the new one (Billy) is a male. Peter has no colours around his neck...Billy looks like a younger bird and is just getting his colours. Do the colours mean Billy is male?

Next question...how long do pigeons live?

I'll post a pic of Billy as soon as we've finshed making his new home.....thanks everyone for taking an interest in Peter :)
 

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He is very beautiful!
 

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I think so too but his sight is really bad....totally blind in the right eye and very little in the left. I've put his food in a shallow dish hoping it will help with his hit and miss feeding.

We've built his cage....a covered bed area lined with straw with an opening that leads out on to a wired run. He's remained where we placed him....just inside the bedroom opening. He's just sat there looking out....it's very sad to see him caged when he's able to fly and my concern is how confused and frustrated he must be feeling. We've decided if he can't settle and finds being contained too much then maybe the kindest thing to do would be to have him put to sleep. I'd be interested to know others views on this...has anyone any experience of caring for a bird with such bad sight problems?

I'm hoping this is the last of the poorly population for a while....we're running out of wood lol!

I'm still in shock at finding yet another mite in need of help....you really couldn't write it!

Do you think they would be happy living together? I've no idea what sex they are so I guess it could cause problems especially if they are opposite sexes....I don't think I could cope with having eggs and babies to care for.
 
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