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Today there was a pigeon sitting beside the water dish outside (I had just filled it a few hours before). I went out and talked to him/her--it didn't try to go anywhere. So, I got the bird net in case it was sick or injured--and it walked away from me but clearly wasn't going to fly. I easily got it. It is either a smaller pigeon or a half-grown pigeon, but is acting sick in that it isn't that scared of me, has green total diarrhea, isn't interested in food or water--he/she is in a cage with the dry egg food, split dried peas and lentils, pigeon grit, and dove seeds (I have a dove). I did get several eye droppers of water down him by putting drops on his beak and he drank it. I can feel that main chest bone down his breast--so he seems very skinny. She/he is very pretty --all black with just white flight feathers coming out under each wing and covering the tail. I checked him for any injuries or gun shots--none. I don't know what to do for/with him/her to help and work full time everyday. Is it probably something that my 15 year old dove could catch (not in the same room, but two rooms away). Thank you for any help.
[email protected] Sherry
 

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Hi Sherry,

If you take care to wash your hands after handling the sick pigeon your dove should be OK, but you can take extra precautions such as wearing a plastic apron when handling the sick pigeon.

Keep the sick pigeon warm on a heat pad or hot water bottle (which will need to be refilled every two hours) or you could put it under an angled reading lamp with a red 40 watt bulb.

Instead of giving it plain water mix 1 pint warm water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 tablespoon of glucose, or honey or sugar (those are listed in order of preference). This is the "international rehydrating solution. Or you could give it Pedyalite warmed to room temperature. When I had a pigeon with green diarrhea I rehydrated it every time it pooped.

If you can get some probiotics they might benefit him by encouraging "good" bacteria and crowding out "bad" bacteria, natural yoghurt is a probiotic. Here in the UK the vets always try giving probiotics for diarrhea before resorting to antibiotics.

Could you open its beak and report on how the inside of the mouth looks?

The US members will be able to advise you as to any antibiotics that could help.


Cynthia
 

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Hi Sherry, thank you for helping this poor little pigeon. Definitely keep him as far away from your dove as possible, wash your hands thoroughly in between caring for them and care for the sick bird last. There are diseases pigeons carry that also affect doves, as they are in the same family, but most are transmitted from direct contact between infected birds.

From your description, it sounds like a young bird that may not have figured out how to find food yet, but it could also be ill. The food and water you provided sound fine. Have you observed it eating and drinking on its own? You need to gently open its beak and see how its mouth looks. If there are yellow or white cheesy-looking growths in its beak, it probably has trichomoniasis, commonly known as canker. It's a very common ailment in pigeons. But there are other possibilities as well. Let us know what you see when you check its mouth.

-Cathy
 
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