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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Squeaks is always wanting to know how Mortimer is doing. Mortimer is an abandoned chick that I found out in the loft on a cold day (March 4th). He was left pretty much within hours of hatching and I don't think he got so much as a first meal. He seemed completely lifeless (not breathing that you could see) and very cold (~50 body temp). I brought him in and held him in the palm of my hand under a heat lamp for about 10 minutes. He started visibly breathing within about four and felt warm and normal at the 10. I then installed him in the incubator and we began the feedings soon thereafter. This is probably the youngest one I've ever had to deal with.

One of the big things that I've noticed (that I never used to pay attention to) is the fact that when he got a little older and bigger (~5 days), his crop never really seemed to get as much smaller after a feeding as I got to thinking that it should. That is, it was always a bit puffy. He never seemed sleepy, he always cried for food and the only thing that ever slowed his crop down (by way of measuring the poop out the back) was me not feeding him because it seemed like he had "slow crop". I made the decision that I'd just pump him full of more food and not worry about the puffiness and see if things speeded up at the back end. They did. I swabbed his crop, looking for yeast growth. None. No weirdness in the poops, either. A tube inserted down into the crop area did not relieve any gas, probably because there wasn't any. What I'm getting at is that in some of these "slow crop" cases we may be advising people the wrong way. That's just something to think about.

Mort's running about 200 grams now. I used to bring him, incubator and all, with me to work but his screaming is WAAAAYYY too loud now--he'll alert you to his needs from the furthest corner of the house. With the vacuum running.

In other news, the pigeon with the broken leg that was given me at the vets' office when I took Unie in for her first nebulized treatment (she's fine, by the way) is right on schedule, using the leg lightly and stretching it normally. That one will be going back out to the wilds within a week.

And in further news, a lady in my neighborhood who originally called me about Big Fella (Ms. Pierpont's hubby), gave me a ring yesterday for a pigeon on her porch that something was wrong with and her dog had picked it up. She didn't put it in a box but she did get her dog to leave it alone. When I got there, the bird had made its escape walking out near the back corner of the fence to one of the neighbors' backyards. I used a ladder to get up on the very old and rotten wood fence, balancing with a hand to the rusted metal building within inches. I made my way to the other yards but couldn't find the bird. On a hunch, when I left I drove around to the next street over and cased the joints, looking for the bird and... Bingo! (need to name the bird that).

Broken right humerus, comminuted. This means that the humerus is so shattered midshaft that you can't even tell there is one anymore. And it's swollen, pretty badly. My only plan at this point is to get the swelling down and then probably trim off the feathers of that part of the wing and shoulder so that I can see if I can put a real cast on it to hold the length while it re-knits itself. It'd be similar to putting broken bones in traction like you used to see. And, yes, the bird's on antibiotics just in case due to the dog. There is a broad area of missing feathers on the other wing that point to a collision with something--they're just rubbed off. Until the swelling goes down, the wingtips are taped together and he's in a small enough pen to restrict movement.

Pidgey
 

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Hi Pidgey,

Thanks for the update and report. Interesting observation about the crop, I wonder if we could get anymore anecdotal reports like your on this. Sounds like you've been real busy between work and the birds, nice hunch on where to locate Bingo.

Please keep us updated and good luck with them.

All the best,

Ron
 

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Pidgey, glad to hear Mort is doing well. To me, some babies just have "fat" crops. We've worried ourselves sick over some whose crops didn't seem to go down, always stayed a little plump, but the poopers worked good and we kept on feeding them with no ill effects. Then you get those in whose crops feel hard and you know there is a problem. Nine out of 10 times these babies had been fed raw beans or peas by the parents and they just sat in the crop until they were able to throw them up. I think the best thing we ever did was include yogurt and Benebac in the formula.

I wish you the best with Bingo but honestly, it doesn't sound good with the crushed humerus.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, at the worst (with Bingo) he gets to live out his days in the loft so it's not THAT bad. At the best, he probably gets to live out his days in the loft with the ability to make it up to a higher nest box. As a fantasy, he'll be able to fly again normally and can go back out. In reality, that might be the worst thing that can happen because the lady told me that she used to get more than 50 pigeons eating there per day (she's a self-proclaimed bird sanctuary and probably goes through 50 lbs. of safflower a week) but now less than 10. She told me that the person next door shoots them regularly and that there have been poisonings. Ironically, Bingo might just have lucked out bigtime.

Pidgey
 

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I think this lady should probably stop feeding them. If her neighbor is that evil, she is just drawing them in to be slaughtered by him. In an idyllic world this guy would "get his" some way, some how, but I sometimes wonder if they ever do.
 

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ahhhh, YES! Whining and pleading CAN pay off!

Thanks, Pidgey, for the updates. Youse a good guy! (By the way, the lady who called you didn't have a weiner dog, did she? You do NOT need more weiner dogs in your life...one is enuf!:p )

In between your "busys," please keep us updated - now that our attention has been activated!

LOVE, HUGS and HEALING THOUGHTS TO ALL!

For those who allow, LOTS OF SCRITCHES TOO! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I sheared a lot of the feathers off of Bingo's bad wing today. That's a chore! Looks like the radius and ulna are broken, too. I see now something that I've often felt on them when they're that way but never thought about before--they often lump up towards the side of the wing away from the bird. It seems to be a problem of both bones bending inward at the break, forcing the break to make a bump outward. It looks like that section will do a lot better if I straighten it out by splinting it with a stiffener like a popsickle stick running along it and then tape it firmly on. That's one good reason to clip the feathers off. It looks like it's going to be best to simply secure the wing to the body after the radius/ulna pairing are secured and flattened. Then, according to the book, it's three to four weeks of cage rest and healing. If the radius and ulna can heal well (don't see why not) then we might luck out and be able to fly. Sure is a lot of swelling all up the wing, though.

I let the one with the broken leg go today, he was doing fine and had plenty of energy.

Mort's pushing 250 now--almost as heavy as Unie. He graduated out of the Pigeonator and is lazing around in an easter basket. He doesn't squeak ALL of the time, anymore, only a lot of it.

Pidgey
 

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Hope for the BEST with Bingo!

And Mort sounds like he is coming along BIG time! Mmmm, if Mort turns out to be a hen, change name from Mortimer to Morticia?

Will you be posting pictures of both cuties?

HUGS and continued HEALING THOUGHTS for both!

Shi & Squeaks

:) :) :D :D
 

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Wow! You do an amazing job of triaging and treating a wide variety of patients. So glad you were able to track down Bingo!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well, things change, too. A few years ago, we had plenty of wet weather and I saw a lot more Coccidiosis birds. Last year was much dryer and so didn't. This winter, the hawk was worse and for whatever reason, I've seen a couple of birds that seem to be suffering from PMV or a PMV-like thing. It seems like my local wild herd has gone from about 80 a few years ago to between 10 and 20 lately. I've heard tell of shootings, poisonings and PMV certainly could take a flock out. I'm surprised that I've only seen the one and gotten the other much earlier from a different place but still pretty close (only one underpass over).

Bingo got the full tape job today and wasn't too thrilled about it. However, I got the stuff forward enough that he can still walk. If you do it like the pictures, they always have a real difficult time standing, including getting their toenails stuck in the gauze. I'll try to post a picture later but I'm running real short on time these days.

Oh, yeah... should mention Mort, too. Mort's funny--he's never convinced he's had enough to eat, even when I loaded him down with 35 cc's of Kaytee earlier today in one whack. Most he's ever had at one time by almost half again and he's STILL squeaking to HIGH HEAVEN that he's STARVING TO DEATH! He's like a kid eating a bowl of ice cream that hears the ice cream truck and begs for a quarter to the point that you don't think he's going to survive if he doesn't get it (they say I did that once but I don't believe 'em).

Pidgey
 

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He's like a kid eating a bowl of ice cream that hears the ice cream truck and begs for a quarter to the point that you don't think he's going to survive if he doesn't get it (they say I did that once but I don't believe 'em).

I am SURE you thought I would never be able to pass that comment up...and you are correct! :p I DO believe 'em....there are still traces of - uh - mmm -nevermind! :p

I hope that Mort is just spoiled and there is nothing wrong! Don't hear about a lot of other babies doing that, at least with any regularity, but then again, I don't have a loft and observe lots of babies.

Since he's doing the good pijie stuff: eating, gaining, pooping...I'm back to "spoiled." Then, again, I KNOW you wouldn't do such a thing...:rolleyes:

Hugs and Scritches to all!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I hope that Mort is just spoiled and there is nothing wrong...
Mort? Spoiled? You've GOT to be joking, Squeaks...

Fun thing today, was in a hurry at lunch and didn't attach the feeding tube well enough. Add to that I squeezed the plunger too fast, and the @%$& thing blew off and went down Morty's throat. While Lin was making sandwiches, I was busy gathering equipment for extraction. When Lin figured out that I wasn't responding to smalltalk, she looked over and... "WHAT'S WRONG!?!"

She stopped the sandwich making long enough to play ER nurse while we tried stretching Mort's neck out straight enough to see where it was (how far down the tube was) while transilluminating the neck. Mort, of course, took it that we must be getting him ready for a REALLY BIG MEAL and squeaked enthusiastically, even while being stretched out like a neck for the guillotine.

As it turned out, nothing really worked except straightening his neck completely out by her holding his body upright and me with one finger in the commisure of the beak to hold it open while I used a head-mounted magnifier to look down his throat with only one eye and use the forceps in the other. The end of the tube was about an inch below the glottis and that was one spooky fishing trip. It's surprising how far down a pigeon's throat you can see with it perfectly straight like that. You'd need four arms to do it by yourself, though.

However, it beat the poop out of opening up the crop to fish it out. Not to mention what a waste of Kaytee it would have been--30 grams. Mort thought it was great fun as it was "coo-ality time" with Lin and I. We won't be repeating that performance, however.

In other news, Bingo is wing-flipping with the good wing, now.

Pidgey
 

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Fun thing today, was in a hurry at lunch and didn't attach the feeding tube well enough. Add to that I squeezed the plunger too fast, and the @%$& thing blew off and went down Morty's throat.
I'm glad that all ended well. I've had that happen once with a stainless steel crop needle and also once with a regular feeding tube. I was able to "coax" both of them back up and out with my fingers. It's a bit of a scary experience for sure (at least for the human(s)).

Terry
 

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YIKES!! Mort is certainly ONE special pigeon to still love and trust you after you almost killed him!

Please give him extra HUGS and SCRITCHES.

Sounds like you might be using too many hi-powered Energizer Bunny batteries nowadays, Pidgey.

Thank goodness Lin was there to help and all went well!

Don't know about other members, but my heartrate is just now beginning to slow after reading that post...:eek: I am really becoming fond of that bird and would love to see him reach adulthood.

LOVE and HUGS to you and Lin for a job well done!
 

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Had the same thing happen and it was boo scary. Course, we don't use the long feeding tubes, just a 1 - 1/2" nipple and Lewis squirted the whole thing down into the crop. He grabbed him up and carried him to our rehabber friend who actually manipulated it up from the crop into the throat and pulled it out. His feathers were pretty mussed up but he was perfectly ok afterwards.

Now we glue the nipples on the syringe. :)

Pidgey, I'm glad Mort is ok.
 

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Some comments and questions on various subjects

Pidgey, and others,

Sounds great with Mortimer and Bingo. As if life weren't exciting enough.

A longer feeding tube would mean
(1) some of the tube still protruding from the crop if the tube popped off; but
(2) more pressure needed to get the food through the tube, and thus more likelihood of the tube poping off, right?, and
(3) more residual food in the tube, and thus wasted, right?

Maybe a black heavy thread through a hole in the tube near the upper end, or affixed with a collae of sticky tape? But then subject to more cleaning and sterilizing and so forth. At an army surplus I once bought a box of a hubdred or more surgical rags (lint-free cotton or linen multi-layer gauze, with a cloth loop for attaching a thread or hemostat to hang outside the incision during surgery, and they had a black-rubber-coated lead filament or thread which would show up under x-ray should one be left inside the body cavity by mistake and the patient complained of unusual pains. Still have a number of them. (Don't do that much abdominal surgery these days. To tell the truth, never have done any surgery other than on warts).

Well, if Mortimer enjoyed the attention, what the heck. Gives me an idea: if I could get my throat widened or distended, I could more quickly eat bigger meals. Call it the "Mortimer Mighty Meal Procedure."

Maybe the neighbor lady would be open to a suggestion that she disperse the food more widely, or at nearby bird gathering places. You've probably done what you can with her, though, and been through the range of solutions without antagonizing her.

Last September I noted a marked drop in the number of pigeons at several traditional pigeon gathering places. The numbers seem to be up recently, and I don't think new squeakers account for the rise. At one place downtown I used to see fifty to a hundred pigeons on the streetcar power lines, then last September maybe ten or fifteen, but the other day I counted exactly ninety, with more in the neighborhod. So, there may be dispersals caused by factors we (or I) am not aware of. Maybe there's a hot pigeon poker game in the suburbs, or some such nonsense.

After reading about sour crop on PT after rescuing two five-to-eight-day-old baby pigeons, Chocolate and Vanilla/Pidgiepoo in 2004, and having Chocolate die with abdominal distress on his thirteenth day with us, I adopted the procedure of giving the squeaker or rescue an initial or an occasional dose of 1-2 millilters of ACV Apple Cider Vinegar purchased from a health food store (with the "mother" sediment in it) with some (freeze-dried powder) probiotics (concocted for pigeons). According to what was stated on PT, the acidity of the ACV would neutralize the alkalinity of the undesirable bacteria, or perhaps make the crop environment more acidic than neutral or alkaline (which would be expressed in pH factors if measured).

Do any of you have any doubts, disagreements or reservations about the 1-2ml ACV with probiotics procedure?

I've read in several places to withhold probiotics during antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics kill bacteria, good and bad. (Fungi and bacteriae are enemies, supposedly compete for the same "territory," if I understand correctly).

I also speculated to myself that if he antibiotic klled both good and bad bacteria, adding probiotics simultaneously would perhaps leave a surplus of good bacteria as survivors, since they would outnumber the bad survivors. (My understanding is that an antibiotic, or even the immune system itself, never totally eliminates every bad germ, but mostly those it comes in contact with, since there are always some nooks and crannies, some small tubes and passageways and cul-de-sacs or dead-ends for fugitive "bad" bacteria. (This impression is taken from the old pre-1980 book which I think was titled Plague, about a fictional outbreak of bubonic plague in Manhattan, and attempts to hoard tetracycline and quarantine and blockade Manhattan island in the ensuing panic. Gave good description of what the "Black Death" does in the body).

Update on Osk-gurr, which I will post in Osk-gurr thread later: still droopy, seemingly lifeless right wing. Tail feathers coming in, half-centimeter-long feathers showing over large area of plucked back.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'd have to go shopping for longer tubes. I went ahead and secured it better and feel pretty good about it now. The extraction procedure wasn't that bad and it wouldn't bother me as much to do it again as to drive across town to get the longer tubing. At least at this harried time of my life, anyhow.

Mort's been pecking at seeds lately. He did pretty good feeding himself today and his poops are firming up (KayTee's biggest problem--very humid poops) so we'll start feeding him less on a continual basis so that he'll continually get better at self-feeding.

Bingo's about the same--won't know much until the tape comes off but he's in good spirits.

Pattie Cakers is in again for the same thing--abdominal. I never did take her in for surgery because it seemed like the lump disappeared last time. It's back but she's still pretty feisty. If she dumps her food over and I have to clean it up, she's mauling the back of my hand the whole time and growling solidly. You've really got to hand it to that bird--she's still got quite a spirit even after all of her problems.

Got a young mourning dove today--meanest little sucker I ever met, wingfu-in' like a champ at only 58 grams. Kinda' does that Karate Kid thing with his wings up in the air, just waiting for you to make your move and then... WHUPPAAHHH!!!

And you pick yourself up off the floor, trying to focus your eyes so you can get the license plate off that truck before it gets too far away...

Anyhow, supposedly orphaned. I'll get him to a dove person in a day or two.

One last thing--was trimming a big shrub in the back yard and found a cardinal's nest before I got it all whacked off. Have to leave the butch job until later, so that they can hatch, grow and fledge. Good thing it's the back yard...

Pidgey
 

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So glad to hear about Mort and Bingo!! Keep hangin' and healin', guys!! :D

Not so glad to hear about Patti Cakers! Warm healing thoughts and hugs for her! :)

Mmmmm, I, personally, am finding your postings veeery interesting, Pidgey...as you seem to attract more "warrior" Wing Fu pijies than just about anyone around...makes me begin to wonder...is it your voice, the frown or the stern look in your eyes???

Oh well, guess it really doesn't matter...GO GET 'IM, GUYS AND GALS!!! :p
 

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Pidgey, if you have never cared for a dove give it a go. You do the same for them as pigeons and they are very, very sweet - after they get to know you. :D

Now I'll have to start worrying about Pattie Cakers again. I do hope she gets ok.
 
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