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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, me again...

A couple of days before I set Butterfly free, I spotted this little guy, who’s got a pretty large lump on his face/lower jaw that doesn’t look like the usual pox I’ve seen birds with... I grabbed him to take a better look at it, & I’ve still got him inside, with ample seed & vitamin-laden water for the time being. What is it..?

Is it anything I can help him with, or anything I should be worried about, or does he just have some kind of birth defect or something? It doesn’t seem to be impeding his eating at all, although he’s tiny. He’s sparsely feathered in bits in addition to being small so I wonder if he’s a little runt or something, & that’s related to the lump somehow.

I await your expert advice, thanks so much for all your help with these lovely birdos...

Cheers,

Fern
 

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I suspect trich. When you feel the lump with you fingers is the lump hard?

open his beak, look deep into the mouth and see if there is any yellowish growths.
 

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Canker can easily be treated with metronidazole which you can also get from a pharmacy. Sold as Trichazole tablets. 1 mg for every 10 gram birdweight. So if he weighs 200 gram, you will give 20 mg once a day for 10 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I suspect trich. When you feel the lump with you fingers is the lump hard?

open his beak, look deep into the mouth and see if there is any yellowish growths.
Thanks John - the lump is quite hard, but there’s no sign of any growths or lesions inside his mouth. That was the first thing I checked for!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Canker can easily be treated with metronidazole which you can also get from a pharmacy. Sold as Trichazole tablets. 1 mg for every 10 gram birdweight. So if he weighs 200 gram, you will give 20 mg once a day for 10 days.
Thanks Marina, I’ll get in touch with my pharmacy & see if they have it. John suggested it may be trich... will the Trichazole treat that too, just in case, or is there a different treatment required?
 

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The Trichazole is the same as metronidazole. It's a 400 mg tablet and I got it from my pharmacy. Try to get one which is 100 or 200 mg, (if possible) as this will be easier to split into the correct dosage. Dosage will be the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, Marina. Apparently, Metronidazole is prescription-only here in Australia, for people & for animals, so I can’t get it over the counter anywhere. I’m currently awaiting a phone call back from the local vet, whose receptionist is checking whether the vet’s willing to prescribe me what’s needed (which I’m happy to pay for) without requiring a billed consultation, due to the fact that I’m a pensioner, & also because this isn’t my pet - I’m just helping out a feral in need of assitance. Fingers crossed they agree to minimise costs for me...

I’ve nicknamed this little guy Jaws, BTW. He weighs 263g, I discovered yesterday, but he feels so tiny... not sure if that’s just because I’m used to handling big chonkers, or whether he’s actually scrawny.What SHOULD he weigh? Here’s a few close-up pics of his face, too.
 

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You can feel his keelbone. If you run your finger down his breast you will feel the keelbone between the legs. If it is sharp, then he is underweight. What does the droppings look like?
 

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It's surely canker--trichomoniasis. It will grow if you don't remove it and treat him with a trichomoniasis cure such as Ridzol-S, Spartrix, etc. Look up "pigeons canker" in your search engine. Look up "Fish zole" or "fishzole" also. It's a form of metronidazole used for fish--may be available w/o prescription at an aquariam/tropical fish shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Obligatory poop pictures attached, along with a photo of the little fella himself, in his playpen. Ignore the seeds everywhere - he’s been fossicking for his favourite ones, & discarding everything but those. His keel is a bit prominent... should I resort to force-feeding him some peas, as you’ve advised me to do with previous houseguests?

As far as medication goes, I’ve encountered a problem... metronidazole & the other medication I’ve read is good for canker/trich, ronidazole, are prescription-only here in Australia, so they’re hard to find, as is Fishzole. I heard back from the local vet, & found out something that complicates the issue further. Here in Australia, or at least in my state, Queensland, feral pigeons are considered wildlife, therefore if I take him to the vet & they know he’s feral, they’re not allowed treat him, or release him back to me for me to treat him with whatever medication he needs, that they’ve prescribed, regardless of whether I plan to release him or to keep him as a pet, the latter of which is not allowed. Instead, they must keep him, so he can be be placed with a wildlife carer to be rehabilitated. However, there’s also a chance he may be euthanised... if it’s deemed inhumane or too expensive to rehabilitate him, they’ll euthanise him instead. Apparently, that’s also likely if the wildlife carers in my area are over-burdened with other animals in need of help, particularly when they’re natives, & he’s not. I raised the issue of him being a feral pigeon in an attempt to get them to waive the consultation fee as I’m on the pension, so my budget is limited, but now they’re going to know if he shows up with the condition I described in great detail to them, unless I try taking him to another vet.

I’m tempted to rail against the unfairness of the whole thing, cursing the stupid legislation that makes this type of treatment mandated, but instead, I’d rather use that energy to do something productive instead. Any ideas who I could reach out to, to see whether they can hook me up with some medication? I’m thinking there may be other pigeon carers in my area who may be sympathetic to our predicament, or perhaps even the pigeon racing community? I would really hate this little birdo to lose his life because of legal red tape preventing me from helping him. :mad:
 

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You can take him to an avian vet, tell them it's your pet. They have to treat him, as you are the paying customer. Otherwise, start searching for pigeon racing clubs in your area. They will surely stock the meds to treat him.

His droppings looks ok, as long as he is eating well then you don't need to handfeed. I'm just so glad in our country we can buy all the meds from our pharmacies. It also helps if you know the pharmacist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm not sure we can afford to pay if I do take him to an avian vet, & as we're carless I don't know whether I can take an animal in a rideshare vehicle to get to one. I called the only vet within walking distance. I'll ask the pigeon racing clubs nearby - I'm in their FB groups because we've got a few lost racers who have joined my feral flock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I will, thanks again for being so helpful. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update: so I went in search of meds, first trying the Palomacy Facebook group, because they have so many members, then trying interstate pigeon rescue groups, but I wasn’t having much luck... someone on the Palomacy group gave me the names of a few Aussie members, & suggested I message them, so I did. I ended up exchanging messages with a person who used to live in my city, but has since moved, & who has 2 doves, one of whom had a lump on her face once, not dissimilar to my little mate’s (I’ve named him Jaws, BTW), except hers was above her eye.

Casey initially suspected it was canker, but due to the lack of throat/mouth lesions & the skin around the lump being dry/cracked, she decided to go to the vet to get a second opinion. It turned out the lump was in fact an ingrown feather/feather cyst! The vet prescribed some antibacterial treatment due to an infection in the area, & recommended flax seeds be added to the bird’s diet, as they’re apparently good for this kind of thing.

I’d actually been wondering whether Jaws’ lump had anything to do with ingrown feathers - there were a bunch of pin feathers of varying lengths sticking out in all directions in the area in question, & he’s got a weird bit on the back of his neck that has a similarly haphazard feather pattern going on, unlike the surrounding area, which seems to be feathered quite normally. Based on the advice I was given, I immediately added flax seeds to Jaws’ diet, & began applying coconut oil to the areas in question, in the hopes of softening the skin enough to allow any ingrown feathers to come through if I could... I’ve even been gently brushing the area with an extra-soft toothbrush, in the hopes that would help. His jaw is now almost fully feathered, but there’s still a few spikey bits sticking out, & the back of his neck hasn’t improved much at all. I thought the swelling in his face was starting to get better yesterday & the day before, & I started to get excited, but today I noticed the lump had taken on a yellowish tint, which I think means infection, so I guess I’ll have to take him to a vet tomorrow to get him looked at...

I’m thinking I might take him to the second-closest vet, & bull**** that he’s my pet, or better yet, get my partner to bull**** instead - I’m a terrible liar, & I‘m afraid I’ll crack under the pressure & confess everything. :confused: His poops have changed a little too, in the last 24 hours, adding to my worry - they’ve taken on a yellowish tint too - is that liver strain? There’s still no sign of any throat/mouth lesions, or other canker symptoms, as far as I can tell... any suggestions on what he needs, or what’s wrong with him? I’ll post some pictures tomorrow of the various things I’ve mentioned - it’s night-time, so he’s tucked up in bed right now, on his warm rice-sock. Poor little guy...
 

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Update: so I went in search of meds, first trying the Palomacy Facebook group, because they have so many members, then trying interstate pigeon rescue groups, but I wasn’t having much luck... someone on the Palomacy group gave me the names of a few Aussie members, & suggested I message them, so I did. I ended up exchanging messages with a person who used to live in my city, but has since moved, & who has 2 doves, one of whom had a lump on her face once, not dissimilar to my little mate’s (I’ve named him Jaws, BTW), except hers was above her eye.

Casey initially suspected it was canker, but due to the lack of throat/mouth lesions & the skin around the lump being dry/cracked, she decided to go to the vet to get a second opinion. It turned out the lump was in fact an ingrown feather/feather cyst! The vet prescribed some antibacterial treatment due to an infection in the area, & recommended flax seeds be added to the bird’s diet, as they’re apparently good for this kind of thing.

I’d actually been wondering whether Jaws’ lump had anything to do with ingrown feathers - there were a bunch of pin feathers of varying lengths sticking out in all directions in the area in question, & he’s got a weird bit on the back of his neck that has a similarly haphazard feather pattern going on, unlike the surrounding area, which seems to be feathered quite normally. Based on the advice I was given, I immediately added flax seeds to Jaws’ diet, & began applying coconut oil to the areas in question, in the hopes of softening the skin enough to allow any ingrown feathers to come through if I could... I’ve even been gently brushing the area with an extra-soft toothbrush, in the hopes that would help. His jaw is now almost fully feathered, but there’s still a few spikey bits sticking out, & the back of his neck hasn’t improved much at all. I thought the swelling in his face was starting to get better yesterday & the day before, & I started to get excited, but today I noticed the lump had taken on a yellowish tint, which I think means infection, so I guess I’ll have to take him to a vet tomorrow to get him looked at...

I’m thinking I might take him to the second-closest vet, & bull** that he’s my pet, or better yet, get my partner to bull** instead - I’m a terrible liar, & I‘m afraid I’ll crack under the pressure & confess everything. :confused: His poops have changed a little too, in the last 24 hours, adding to my worry - they’ve taken on a yellowish tint too - is that liver strain? There’s still no sign of any throat/mouth lesions, or other canker symptoms, as far as I can tell... any suggestions on what he needs, or what’s wrong with him? I’ll post some pictures tomorrow of the various things I’ve mentioned - it’s night-time, so he’s tucked up in bed right now, on his warm rice-sock. Poor little guy...
Canker can affect the liver. When you take him to the vet, ask for a crop smear to check for canker and yeast. If he has canker, the vet will probably subscribe metronidazole. Ask for Nystatin as well, this will help prevent yeast when on antibiotics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Marina B , you'll be thrilled to learn that I acquired metronidazole, & also, I now have a trustworthy vet. Yay! I confessed that Jaws & Chocolate are ferals, but she's compassionate, so she treated them anyway, & let me leave with them without a hassle. She even happily provided me with some extra metronidazole for future rescues, after I explained my role as the unofficial guardian of the flock. ❤ I'm so relieved... & I'm starting Jaws on the metronidazole first thing tomorrow morning! I've already got the oral thrush treatment I bought recently for Butterfly bird too, to keep any yeast at bay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's great. What is the dosage you need to give and for how long?
The vet prescribed him 0.4mL once a day, for 5 days, & today's day 3. The lump's gotten bigger though, not smaller! The vet tried to aspirate it to see whether it was a cyst or similar when I took him to the vet on Friday, so perhaps that caused it to become more inflamed, plus it was beginning to show signs of infection then too, so perhaps it's just running its course, & the Flagyl's yet to begin working.

BTW, the slide the vet prepared of the aspirated material showed epithelial cells, rather than liquid. What's inside canker nodules if a slide is prepared of the cells aspirated from inside one of them?

Should I start giving Jaws some of the oral thrush treatment, in addition to his Flagyl, to make sure the yeast doesn't take over while he's on it? If so, how much/how often, please?

Cheers!
:)
 
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