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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I took in a young feral pigeon three weeks ago. It seemed to be doing fine the first week, taking a turn for the worse in the second. It's still quite active, eating, drinking and flying around the bathroom a little bit, while also exhibiting some worrying symptoms. I'll write them out in a list so they're easier to read.
  • Droppings were perfect the first week but have turned green, watery and diarrhea-like, and have been like this for nearly two weeks now.
  • Occasional whistle-like wheezing while breathing (mouth closed).
  • Occasional sneezing/coughing (not sure but sounds like "angry spitting"). Extends the neck a bit while doing so.
  • Occasional excretion of clear yellow gelatinous mucus from the mouth or nose (not sure which).
  • No canker-like growth in the mouth or throat.
I've been giving the pigeon DAC Combi tablets (for canker and coccidiosis) for the past 5 days now, the maximum time advised on the bottle. Not seeing any improvement in symptoms though.

Going to an avian vet isn't a guaranteed option, haven't been able to find one that would treat a wild bird yet. Really hoping to get some opinions on here. The gelatinous mucus alone seems like a very specific symptom.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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Is the bird done with the course of medication? Both amprolium and dimetridazole can cause diarrhea, or in this case may be exacerbating and prolonging it. In powder form the medication can also cause irritation of the respiratory tract.

What diet is the bird eating?

Feral pigeons tend to be deficient in vitamin A specifically. Lack of vitamin A tends to lead to illness including upper respiratory tract diseases. Daily addition to the bird's food of a few chopped bits of carrot or bell/chili peppers will supply a lot of vitamin A in a safe form without worries about overdose or side effects.

Since amprolium and dimetridazole resistant strains of bacteria and protozoans such as trichomonads have been known for decades, it is still possible that the bird may have any of the diseases that the product is meant to eliminate. There are a variety of naturally anti-biotic and anti-parasitic foods that are safe for the bird to eat, won't cause side effects, and don't result in new resistant strains. Add to the bird's diet some daily fresh chopped bits of garlic and ginger, sprinkled with a bit of black pepper. Fresh or dried thyme (the herb) would also be a good addition. There are also various seeds like fennel, cumin, coriander, and so on, which the birds actually enjoy eating, and which also have positive effect on the immune system, and negative effect on a variety of harmful pathogens which cause illness.



"Diseases of the upper respiratory tract
Rhinitis and sinusitis are often associated with low humidity, foreign bodies, neoplasia or choanal atresia in birds. Rhinoliths can form in the nares, particularly in African grey parrots. Frequently fungal organisms (e.g. Aspergillus) are associated with rhinoliths in this species. Infection of the infraorbital sinus are challenging to treat, due to the complex anatomy of the infraorbital sinus. Frequently surgical access to the sinus is required to removed larger amounts of inflammatory debris, to collect diagnostic samples and to administer medications directly into the sinus.

Hypovitaminosis A has been suggested to be a common cause for upper respiratory diseases in birds. It is likely that insufficient dietary vitamin A or beta-carotenes will predispose animals to the development of URT diseases. Therefore, in all avian patients diagnosed with URT disease, the diet should be reviewed and vitamin A supplemented, if considered appropriate.

Nasal flushes in birds are frequently used to aid in the treatment of URT diseases. The flush removes inflammatory debris, rehydrates the nasal mucosa, and therefore aids in the healing of URT disease.""
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for both your replies!

The birdie is done with the meds for now. Its droppings are still poor, they've been less diarrhea-like lately but still far from ideal. Attaching a photo of what it had dropped over the night and one with a recent dropping. Its droppings are usually either green and mushy like in the photos, or mostly clear and watery with a bit of green solid in the middle.

The pigeon is also still exhibiting all the other symptoms I described - occasional wheezing, occasional coughing and/or sneezing, and excreting the clear yellow gelatinous mucus. Attaching a photo of that too.

As for vitamin A intake, I've been adding a couple drops of vitamin supplements for birds to its water every day since I took it in, so vitamin deficiency shouldn't be the problem. The supplement includes most every vitamin, including vitamin A. I'll try and supply vitamin A through food too from now on - thank you for the tip! It's been eating a mix of grain and seed ever since it learned to, so for a couple weeks now. Things like oats, wheat, buckwheat, barley, millet, quinoa, split peas, pumpkin seeds.

Thank you for linking the PDF about avian respiratory diseases - very informative! A URT disease is definitely still an option, maybe whatever it is just didn't take to the antibiotics I had. From what I've read online, infectious catarrh sounded close in terms of symptoms. The pigeon also occasionally scratches its head which is also in line. Another possibility would be some kind of fungal infection?

I did manage to find an avian vet that agreed to examine a wild bird, we'll be seeing them Sunday morning. Not sure how competent or familiar with pigeons they'll be, or what kind of meds they'll have on hand, so still welcoming any type of advice here. Wild bird rescue and rehabilitation isn't really a thing where I'm from, there's really no support system unfortunately.
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Those droppings are not so bad. The droppings in the lower-left look like they do have fairly good form. Urates are bright white, which is good. Fluid urine seems clear of color, also good. A bit mushy on a couple of droppings, or perhaps they were trampled on afterward. The one on the pedestal looks like a typical first-poo-of-the-morning from a nesting bird. If the bird has a digestive tract infection, it isn't an impressive one at all. The respiratory infection producing the yellow goo glob on the other hand, is not so good. I'd feed that bird a bunch of anti-fungal foods like garlic and ginger. If the bird has never had them before, he may avoid eating them and in which case you could literally squeeze the fluid out of the garlic and ginger and mix it onto some seeds. Once he is accustomed to the scent and flavor, then he may eat chopped bits. Some birds even like them.
 
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