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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Feral, tail-less pigeon let me pick it up.

This evening, I saw an unusual number of pigeon feathers on the sidewalk, as I made my way home after work. Then I spotted an adult pigeon standing, puffed up, in a parking lot behind a parked pickup truck. It didn't have any tail, but other than that it looked uninjured (no blood, not standing lopsided).

I walked up to it and sat down next to it, and it only opened its' eye to look at me, then closed it again. I finally decided to try picking it up, and it let me. He looked at me brightly, gave me a slight peck, and wiggled only a little in my hands. I knotted the wrist end of the sleeve of my jacket, slipped him in, and carefully carried him home. As though I knew what I was doing, or something.

He is now in a newspaper-lined cage about 12"w x 18"h x 24"l, with water and wild bird seed, and a dishtowel, a heating pad underneath (on low) and a blanket draped over the top. The room he is in is currently used for storage, so it's pretty quiet even though he will surely hear us in other parts of the house.

He's been very docile, so I am concerned he is exhausted, in shock, or ill. He first had a runny yellow dropping, but has had what I think is a normal one since then (hard to tell, he pooped it into the water bowl). I looked him over and found no blood or obvious injuries--just a bald butt. His eyes and nostrils are clear, his feet look like they are in good shape. His wings are folded symmetrically at his sides, so I guess they are good, too, even though he hasn't flapped them for me. But I don't know how to properly hold or examine a pigeon.

I assume the loose feathers I saw on the sidewalk were his (they were the same color he is: classic gray), and that whatever attack robbed him of his tail feathers happened soon before I found him.

No leg or arm bands I could see. The vet I called (trying to find a local pigeon fancier) mentioned an ID tatoo, but I didn't know where to look for one.

Are any of you in mid-Missouri?

Any advice anyone wants to offer would be appreciated! Thanks!

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edit: photos posted to Flickr. See them at http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157607160920249/
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edit: videos are uploading to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=LizTungsten
 

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Hi Mixliz,




Well...my best guess based on what you describe, is that this Pigeon has 'Canker' aka, a Trichomona infection of it's digestive tract, and, possibly elsewhere also, or less probably, some infection occasioning 'yellow' drool-urates or yellow Urates of whatever liquidy sort...and, for being so sick with that, was caught by a Cat or Dog, and, escaped, loosing his or her Tail Feathers, and, using about the last of his or her reserves to get away...


And, that if this Bird can get onto a regimen, injected NOW if possible, and if not, then orally, of 'Metronidazole' ( or kindred, ) for the Canker, and, 'Clavamox' or 'Baytril' for the probably systemic bacterial infection he or she now has from the Cat or Dog getting him...


If he can get on those meds NOW, he might survive...


Tomorrow will probably be too late...


Sorry to have to say that, but, that's my best guess...


Provide definite warmth, so the Pigeon is for sure nice and really 'warm'...and quiet soothing surrounds, a draped Cage even...


Provide a nice little low Bowl of Water...soft Towell or cloth to nestle in...


And, if you can get to a Vet "A.S.A.P." tomorrow, if he is not an Avian Vet, or even if he is, feel free to tell him, that the prospective diagnosis you need medicines for, are "Trichomoniasis-dash-Canker" and 'Pasteurella'...and of course the meds need to be in doses proportioned for the Bird's weight...

An injection of 'Metronidazole' would be best, followed by an oral regimen, if the Vet can do it.


It is a very rare Vet who even knows anything at all about Canker, even many Avian Vets do not seem to have any experience or know how with it, so...




Dose for which, would be 250 milligrames of Metronidaole, per "Kilo" of patient weight, and, if this is an average feral of say 300 Grammes, that would mean about 60 Milligrammes then.


The other meds for the probable 'Pasturella' infection, I do not have the doses handy, but he can look it up...

Usually, if infected by a Dog or Cat, a feral will have three or four days tops before dieing, unless treated...and one already ill with something else, a coulpe days, tops...and this is already possibly day two or three for all we know, so...he likely does not have much time left to hang on unless Meds can be admistered...

So, do your best for tomorrow morning, if possible, unless we have any Members with Meds who could meet you tonight, and who knows, he might just hang on and make out alright...



Good luck...



Phil
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Hi MizLiz,

Thank you so much for taking this piji into your home. If you wouldn't mind sharing the exact town your in we may be able to better locate someone in your area.

Also, check your yellow pages for emergency animal care - probably under Vets. Many towns have 24X7 emergency services - you could call ahead & explain the situation and medication advice Phil provided.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Phil and Deziree for the advice. I'm in Columbia, MO.

This morning he was perked up, no longer puffed up, pecking at the wild bird seed (though it seems only one in ten he actually swallows instead of casting aside). He let me watch him do some grooming and pecked at some seeds in my hand. Will get him better food today.

Poops are two tone, but do have a yellow cast, so to the vets he goes.

I moved him to a cat carrier (had to clean the first cage anyway).Have not seen him drink, but no sign of dehydration.

Can a pigeion fly without any tail? How long until the tail grows back? How lonely will he be without other pigeons?
 

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Thanks Phil and Deziree for the advice. I'm in Columbia, MO.

This morning he was perked up, no longer puffed up, pecking at the wild bird seed (though it seems only one in ten he actually swallows instead of casting aside). He let me watch him do some grooming and pecked at some seeds in my hand. Will get him better food today.

Poops are two tone, but do have a yellow cast, so to the vets he goes.

I moved him to a cat carrier (had to clean the first cage anyway).Have not seen him drink, but no sign of dehydration.

Can a pigeion fly without any tail? How long until the tail grows back? How lonely will he be without other pigeons?
Yes he can fly, but regrow doesn't take long. A few weeks. He will be lonely, but he's more interested in food right now it seems.
 

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When you chek him over later, look very closely for puncure wounds especially around the crop area. They can sometimes be hard to see.
 

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Check inside his beak, in good light or with a small torch shining to the back of his mouth. Should be more or less pink and clear of any obstruction. If there is any yellowish cheese-like growth, that would confirm one form of canker, to be treated with the Metronidazole Phil mentioned or with Flagyl.

Normal poops would be a dark brown to olive green with a topping of white. If the topping is yellow tinged then it could be an internal form of canker. If the bulk of the dropping is yellowish rather than a darker color, and are consistently that color, then it could be another problem. Poops can be a good guide to illnesses but don't necessarily or always in themselves pinpoint a specific problem.

If you can find a vet who will take the time (and has the equipment) then some problems - including canker - can show up from a swab under a microscope.

In choosing a vet, do be aware that too many of them will virtually disregard pigeons or will put them down after little more than a cursory once-over. Check their policy first and make it clear you will continue with the bird's care.

John
 

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Thanks Phil and Deziree for the advice. I'm in Columbia, MO.

This morning he was perked up, no longer puffed up, pecking at the wild bird seed (though it seems only one in ten he actually swallows instead of casting aside). He let me watch him do some grooming and pecked at some seeds in my hand. Will get him better food today.

Poops are two tone, but do have a yellow cast, so to the vets he goes.

I moved him to a cat carrier (had to clean the first cage anyway).Have not seen him drink, but no sign of dehydration.

Can a pigeion fly without any tail? How long until the tail grows back? How lonely will he be without other pigeons?


Hi Mizliz,



Wow...


Very glad to hear..!


Can you post some images?


Make sure the Vet understands right off, that you are going to contuinue taking care of the Pigeon...they can presume it is being dropped into their Lap, and then they appease the person and put down the Bird soon as the person leaves...so, do do not let the Pigeon out of your sight while there, either.



As others mentioned, examine the Pigeon very carefully for any injurys or holes or punctures or scabs under the Feathers...and, if you can, indeed, get them some good Seeds.

'Dove Mix', when it consists of tiny whole Seeds with some WHite Safflower also, is very good, and 'Petsmart' probably has it.


Good luck..!


Phil
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Back from the vet. Vet looked the pigeon over, especially at his bald rump, looked at the poop in his carrier, and declared him healthy. I mentioned that posters on this forum suggested canker, but the vet did not seem concerned (did not look in the pigeon's mouth). Recommended a food especialy for pigeons instead of making do with something else. No mention was made of possible parasites. I asked if he needed a bigger cage while he grew his tail back, and the vet said yes, something larger than the cat carrier he was in. Like a larger dog crate with a perch bar, maybe.

He's putting up more resistance to being handled. So, I haven't had a good look for puncture wounds. His feistiness is a good sign, but it also means I'm going to have to learn the proper way to catch and hold him. Another reason to find a local pigeon fancier, for advice.

I have a wire dog crate, and also a used, tall ferret cage. Which would be better, the horizontal or the vertical?

The smallest bag of pigeon food I could find was 50#. I bought it. The food is in little cylindrical shapes. Will a wild pigeon recognize it as food? How much does one pigeon eat? I'll need to split the bag with someone to keep it from going to waste. If he refuses to eat it, I can find dove seed mix in the local pet stores.

Is taming him possible? Should I try? How?

Photos to come.
 

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Back from the vet. Vet looked the pigeon over, especially at his bald rump, looked at the poop in his carrier, and declared him healthy.

Most Vets are idiots, and it is usually very important to in fact insist they consider the prospective diagnosese when one has an informed one to offer.


It is a sort of delicate thing of course, since they often have lots of 'touchy' pride, and, of course, their 'pride' has never saved one Animal, nor ever will.



But, who knows...

Maybe your Pigeon has fought off his or her infections, maybe they never had any in the first place...

Hard to say without seeing the Bird closely.


Your intitial description was consistant with a Pigeon who had probably 'hours' or aybe a 'day', left...




That the Vet did not even look into the Pigeon's Throat, is certainly disappointing, but then too, very very few Vets know anything at all about Pigeons, anyway, to have any idea what to look for, or why...or how to co-relate whatever is found out about the patient's history, with present symptoms or cues.


I mentioned that posters on this forum suggested canker, but the vet did not seem concerned (did not look in the pigeon's mouth). Recommended a food especialy for pigeons instead of making do with something else. No mention was made of possible parasites. I asked if he needed a bigger cage while he grew his tail back, and the vet said yes, something larger than the cat carrier he was in. Like a larger dog crate with a perch bar, maybe.

Small size Cages are fine, and often best for convelesing Birds whom one prefers to remain sedentary...then, once well, for them to free fly indoors once they are deemed 'healthy' or 'healed' and just needing to grow new Feathers in and regain Muscle mass and so on.


At which phase, a Cage will interfere and hamper them, so, they need room to fly and exercise and so on.


He's putting up more resistance to being handled. So, I haven't had a good look for puncture wounds. His feistiness is a good sign, but it also means I'm going to have to learn the proper way to catch and hold him. Another reason to find a local pigeon fancier, for advice.

For now, having him in a Cage would be best, have white Towelling on the cage bottom, so you can see, evaluate and count the Poops, even making some good images of them to post for us to see.


I have a wire dog crate, and also a used, tall ferret cage. Which would be better, the horizontal or the vertical?

A small Cage would be best...so, if need be, partition off the horiontal one.


Easier to 'catch' them also, in a 'small' Cage...


The smallest bag of pigeon food I could find was 50#. I bought it. The food is in little cylindrical shapes. Will a wild pigeon recognize it as food? How much does one pigeon eat? I'll need to split the bag with someone to keep it from going to waste. If he refuses to eat it, I can find dove seed mix in the local pet stores.

No good...


Go to any Pet Smart, and get a few various small Bags of 'Dove Mix', or 'Canary Seed' or 'Finch Seed' and a bag of 'White Safflower' Seed.


If you have any decent Farm or Feed Stores, get a real "Pigeon Mix"....these are usually 50 pounds, and cost 18 - 23 dollars.


'Pellets' are not likely to prove interesting to any Pigeon, and would be 'iffy' anyway as for their content or quality.

Is taming him possible? Should I try? How?

Photos to come.


For now, just figure to provide general supportive care...and, see how things go.


If this Pigeon did get Pasturella, it will start to appear 'wilty' on about day three or day four since being clawed or bit...we do not know what day 'this' is, but, probably it is day three anyway, or day two.

The 'wilty' lasts most of a day, then they die.


So, if you see any 'wilty' demeanor, you know at that point, you have maybe ten or twelve hours left for getting him onto Baytril or Clavamox, if it can be injected, and even then, it can be too late for the drugs to over-take the degree of systemic infection...so, keep a good eye on him...





Phil
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So many vets are of the 'dog and cat' kind, so their day to day hands-on experience is of the most commonly kept domestic pets. That, of course, is their bread and butter business. I don't have an issue with that if they are up front about their limitations or simply say "We don't do birds". The problem is those who, as Phil says, obviously don't know what to look for, have little knowledge of birds, and then charge us for doing nothing useful.

The bird could have had a brush with a vehicle, which can also result in feather loss including the tail feathers. We've seen this happen. Otherwise, if there are no punctures or scrapes anywhere, it's anyone's guess.

Whatever cage you use needs to be at least big enough that the bird could fully extend his wings in any direction - that's a minimum requirement. Beyond that, height is not an issue, though a guide would be that the bird has head room sufficient for him to be able to stand on a house brick fully erect and have some space above him. Perches are unnecessary, but they often like to stand on said brick. Currently, I have a thick paperback book covered in white paper for one of my inmates, and he seems to find that an acceptable substitute. Ensure that the bird cannot stick his head through the bars of any cage and get caught.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I saw him yawn yesterday. Mouth looked healthy, but did not study with a flashlight.

The food is Purina Pigeon Checks. Which is an odd name since the pellets are cyllindrical and not square.

will hit the pet store for dove mix today. I know bread is a no-no, but what if it's whole wheat bread?

He must be eating something if hes still pooping, right?

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edit: i just went in to check on him. He knocked his water bowl over ( I guess hes wanting a bath?) So now he's back in the cat carrier, with heat on low. I could feel his breastbone when I carried him to the cat carrier. He seemed friendly? preferring to stand on my hand to being held or fleeing. He walked up my arm and let me pet him a little, but he may have been trying to lure me into complacency and make a break for it over my shoulder?

Anyway, his poop is dark, rich green and chiffon yellow, if you can't tell from the flickr photos. Pretty colors, if they don't indicate disease, that is.

Inside the cat carrier, I am offering him the pigeon cyllanders, shelled raw unsalted sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds, and a little piece of whole wheat bread. He has pecked at them all but dropped them. Also his water cup, of course.

I saw him take a nice long drink this morning, then he seemed to stand over the water and splash in it a little. Which is where I got the idea to offer him a pie plate of water for a bath... but he just stood in it. Not deep enough?

Will seek out a real pigeon vet today. Doubt a 24-hr emergency vet open on sunday would know what to do with a pigeon, right?
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Hi MizLiz,

Wanted to catch you while you were still online... if the piji was healthy a little bit of whole-wheat bread would be okay (I've seen that listed somewhere as acceptable food), but since you're still not sure what type (if any) of infection your little patient has I would avoid the bread for now. Sticking with seeds and grains is your best bet.

Don't rule out the 24 hr emergency clinics for avian treatment - just call before taking him/her there. Oh - and tell the vet it's your pet pigeon - many times that gets better attention than a rescue or feral.

Also, worse comes to worse I do have some Clavamox I can overnight to you - but the quickest it would arrive is Tues. [Phil/anyone more experienced with meds - they are 62.5Mg/#14 tabs - MizLiz would need dosing instruction if necessary]. If you PM me your mailing address I can have it already to go if you do need it.

I'm gonna go look at the pix and video now.

Dez
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the offer of mailing meds to me Dez, but I doubt my ability to pill a pigeon even with instruction.

Just got off the phone with the Jefferson City RPA guy. He was very very informative about finding a local vet. So I may be able to find someone!
 

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That's great MizLiz - I also did some looking around -- some options for you:
Noah's Ark Animal Hospital
Veterinary Medicine and Surgery - Univery of Missouri (I think they have an emergency clinic)

do a Google search on "emergency animal care columbia, missouri" and I'm sure you'll come up with some options :)

I'd say he's looking for a bath too :) Do you have something a little bit larger than the pie plate? Maybe one of the long rectangular brownie pans?

Regarding the food - there is a PetCo about 2 mls from you:
2101 West Broadway Suite W
Columbia, MO 65203
573-446-6929
Looks like they are open til 7 pm tonight.

The food you should pick up is Kaytee Supreme Daily Blend Dove food. It comes in a 5 lb bag and shouldn't be that expensive. Here's a picture of the bag so you'll know what you're looking for:


They also sell Kaytee Forti-Diet Eggcite! Canary Food which you can mix in - my piji's love it; more like a treat to them - it may help get your patient eating more.


Good luck!! And keep us posted of course!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
THank you Dezirrae!!!!

Now the bad news. Noah's Ark is where I took him yesterday. I made an appointment for a pigeon, but was seen by my usual dog's vet. Now advice from the experts says that probably wasn't good enough to do the job right. :(

calling MU vet clinic now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Pigeon has been eating the food Dezirrae reccommended for a few hours now. Seems perky. At the moment he is standing in the pie-plate of seed and is grooming himself all over. Have also offered a bowl of cockatiel grit, and a larger, deeper pan of water should he want a bath. Poop is still kelly green.

As I was changing his food bowls, he bit my finger and held on, so I let him, and took a look inside his mouth. Looks clear.

Got a good look at his raw red tail stump while he was grooming, a few inches from my nose. Looks un-infected. No smell.

Still trying to contact a vet in town with pigeon experience. UM vet school does not have anyone.
 
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