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Hello everyone.
I rescued a pigeon about 48 hours and it died two hours ago while it was on my lap and I was wondering if anyone knows why and what I could have done better.
Context:
I found the pigeon at my local train station, sitting by itself in the place I usually find sick/unwell pigeons. It was barely able to fly away, but it pooped what looked like pure water so I knew something was wrong. I picked it up, brought it home, gave it some water and put it in a cat carrier cage I have. I later noticed that it seemed to have a small amount of blood in its droppings, which also were very watery and looked like diarrhea. The next day searched this up and found this post which said it was likely caused by either coccidiosis or worms, so I got medication for both and decided to just give it some worm medication first.
Later that day, I picked up the pigeon to try to get it to drink some more medicated water, however, it seemed uninterested. I then realised that the pigeon didn't want to try to run away when on my lap, so I let it sit there hands free and it seemed to be content to just sit there. It then made a strange grunt-like sound, and I got my phone to film if it did anything next. It then proceeded to keep opening its beak, larger and larger like it was going to vomit (a known side effect of the worming medication) until it made a final wriggle and I realized it just died before my eyes.

I am very upset right now and want to know if anyone knows what it died from, what I could have done to help more and what I should do to prevent this from happening to the other pigeons at my local train station + my pet spotted dove (who was in the same room but never in contact).

Rest In Peace
Brook the pigeon
15/09/2022
Cloud Bird Comfort Thigh Grey

(A photo of Brook 5 minutes before it passed away)
 

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There are so many diseases out there it's really impossible to say what was wrong. Next time you find one, first check inside the beak and back of the throat with a flashlight. Canker is very common amongst pigeons and one of the symptoms will be yellow cheesy growths in the beak and throat. A yeast infection can also kill them. Then you get bacterial infections. What country are you from? Can you get meds from a pharmacy?

Did you handfeed him while he was with you? They can't survive for longer than 3 days without food. Always give them water with natural unfiltered apple cider vinegar. 5 ml acv to 1 litre of water. This will change the ph of the crop and will keep them going till you can figure out what is wrong.
 

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The simple fact that it was pooping clear fluid tells me she had some type of blockage with internal organs.
It's possible her death was caused from being eggbound or some other obstruction.
If that's the case there's not much you could have done except for taking her to a vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies guys.


There are so many diseases out there it's really impossible to say what was wrong. Next time you find one, first check inside the beak and back of the throat with a flashlight. Canker is very common amongst pigeons and one of the symptoms will be yellow cheesy growths in the beak and throat. A yeast infection can also kill them. Then you get bacterial infections. What country are you from? Can you get meds from a pharmacy?
I made sure to check for canker in the pigeon throat when I first brought the pigeon home, but could not see any.
I live in Australia and should have access to pharmacy meds

Did you handfeed him while he was with you? They can't survive for longer than 3 days without food. Always give them water with natural unfiltered apple cider vinegar. 5 ml acv to 1 litre of water. This will change the ph of the crop and will keep them going till you can figure out what is wrong.
I tried to get the pigeon to eat, but it wasn't interested. I placed the pigeon on my lap in a towel, with a cup of seed close to its face and stroked its head. I found that technique worked with another pigeon I found a few weeks ago and that if it didn't eat, it just shouldn't. Do you think it it would've been better to just gently open it's beak and slip some food into it's mouth?
I've heard that loft pigeons are sometimes given apple cider vinegar, but never heard it for rescue pigeons. I'm interested, why does changing the ph of the crop make them last longer without food? Definetly sound like something I should do in the future

The simple fact that it was pooping clear fluid tells me she had some type of blockage with internal organs.
It's possible her death was caused from being eggbound or some other obstruction.
If that's the case there's not much you could have done except for taking her to a vet.
Maybe, I thought the pigeon was male as it was bigger than the other ones I've rescued and it occasionally grunted at me when handling it, but all that could just mean nothing.
 

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Apple cider vinegar makes the gut acidic, the parasite that causes canker can't survive in that environment. Acv also helps for minor yeast infections.

He might had a serious yeast infection as well. Pooping plenty of liquid with very little fecal matter. Drinking excess water. Advanced yeast cases will show as whitish growths inside the beak and throat.

Handfeeding him might have helped, but only if the food was digesting. It's no use handfeeding them if the crop is not functioning.

I don't think you can get meds from a pharmacy in your country. Try to order online and have this ready for when you find the next one.

Medistatin for yeast
Metronidazole, ronidazole or Spartrix for canker
Synulox or clavmet for bacterial infections
 

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I rescue many pigeons and release them. SALMONELLA has killed so many of my rescue squabs, in a test I did, out of 15 squabs that I found, 4 lived to be adults and where released, FREAKING 8 died of salmonella and the others died of things like canker that had gotten to bad or PMV. btw ten of them had lice but that’s usually treatable. So don’t be to upset, you tried and thats what really counts, you didn’t ignore the guilt and walk away Like most.
 

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A vet has told me there is a different disease that causes pigeons to poop blood, and can only be treated with antibiotics. I forgot the name, but I will find out. I also had a pigeon who used to come to my balcony to eat and pooped blood once. He seemed very distressed and after that day he never returned. I always remember him and felt the same way, could I have done something back then to help him! But there is also Mother Nature and you are trying your best. At least he died with you by your side! Blessings to you for caring and bringing him home! May he rest in peace!
 

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If a pigeon has coccidiosis in upper part of its intestine, it has chocolate color poop. It that parasite is in lover part of its intestine you can see clear blood. There are different medications for coccidiosis , some are better than others, but even the best are useful it treatment starts very early.
Once i found a very sick young pigeon. It had little blood in its stool few times. I treated it with antibiotics and feeding it from the hand for a very long time. And it wasn't getting better. And one day I saw a magnetized hematite necklace ball in its poop. It had all that time that metal mineral ball in its intestines. The poor youngster thought it was food, so it swallowed it. After it pooped it out, it recovered very fast and completely. Maybe your pigeon also ate something that is not good.
 
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