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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

My normally active rock dove is not walking or flying. She just sits, like she can't move. When I pick her up, it feels like she weighs twice what she did the last time I picked her up. Her legs move fine. If I balance her on my hands and move her up and down, she will flap her wings ok. If I gently drop her, she coasts to the ground, but doesn't land well. SHe will "row" herself along like she was a row boat. Her crop is very full of seeds. Her feathers are extra thick and fluffy for winter. Otherwise looks ok.

Can a pigeon get too fat to fly or is something wrong?

Peep N Honk's Mom

Additional info: Location Apple Valley, CA. Bird History. I had her since she was a featherless squab. I hand fed her and helped her learn to fly. She refused to move on when she grew up. She now lives outside in a bubble wrapped (home insulation type) kennel with a tin roof. Space for fresh air exchange is provided. She has a perch which she used to use. Her nesting box is a styrofoam container filled with shredded newspaper. She was sitting on eggs in a warm corner of the kennel when I found her. At fist I didn't think anything was wrong. I clean out the kennel. My other bird gently pecked me and said WHooo Hoo WHooo Hooo! (My house get out!). She did nothing. WHen I picked her up, she was heavy and way too sedentary. Very little bird droppings since the last time the cage was cleaned. No off smells.

She just had a runny stool in my lap.. I changed my outfit before finishing this message. Her eyes are clear. She may have white deposits (my eyesight is bad) on her beak.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Primary symptoms that you first noticed: Not active

How long have you had the bird? Since March 2013
Where did it come from? Neighbor's attic
Known circumstances?
Have the cages, food and particularly the water dishes been kept clean? Yes
If a long-standing pet, have any new birds been added? No
When did you first notice the symptoms? An hour ago
Are the symptoms worsening? I will update

Is the bird baby, juvenile or adult?: adult
Weight? 8 ounces
What does the diet consist of? Birds seed blend, split peas, quinoa, kasha
What do the droppings look like (color, odor, consistency)? runny with green and white spots in clear liquid

Attitude and Posture? :still, fluffed (outside), quiet, but alert, wings folded, tail down

Eyes: clear, bright, open

Sinuses?:nares and eyes clean, without discharge, close-mouthed and effortless
breathing


Mouth? Pink inside. Usual dark grey outside. rough white deposits near tip and edges of mouth.

Ears? covered with feathers. can't find them.

Face and legs? looks like usual

Crop area? full of seeds, but not as full as when I first brought her in about 30 minutes ago.

Body mass? plump, with fully fleshed breast area

Feathers? intact and free of parasites and parasite damage. Recently molted. Feathers in very good condition.

Wings: folded over tail

Abdomen? firm, may have egg inside. Vent free of feces, with dry feathers,no protruding mucosa from the GI tract.

Legs and feet? weak grip, otherwise looks normal

Neurological? unsteadiness on feet, able to hold head erect, unable to stand, walk or fly -uncoordination, alert, responsive to surroundings or stimuli

Droppings? (white and dark portions clearly defined, no odor
runny, excess fluid, no unusual odor)
 

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Retained egg? Oviduct infection or rupture? Is there any way you could take her to an avian vet where you live? It is not normal for such sudden weight gain to happen and her change in activity level is not normal. Does her abdomen feel soft and squishy like it is full of fluid? Hope she starts getting better, would get her to a vet if you can.
 

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Ya I would say by description, egg binding. You need to gently feel and see if any poop can come out, if the egg is blocking the hole and she cant poop, THAT can also build up inside and cause the 'water weight'. The sudden paralysis or unsteadiness of the legs tells me most likely egg bound, that said, keep inside, keep her warm, you can OPT to put a bit of oil in and around her vent, but they say if you have warmth and rest, give her sugar water for energy, she may be able to pass egg. If too large tho, you need the vet. If you have any anti inflammatory handy such as medicam, give one full drop in her mouth and she may pass egg, if not, get to vet asap. If not dealt with can be deadly quickly. I have helped many a bird with the warmth, sugar water and a bit of lube. Good luck, it would be GREAT if we could see a short video of her movements.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Too Fat to Fly Pooped

Thanks for the suggestions. I took some photos of her & poops with my phone, now I need to figure out how to transfer them to a computer. I'll work on a video too. She had a few poops since coming in. All watery with green and white lumps.

For now I have her inside. I gave her a bit of vinegar garlic water. I will try honey water and lube her vent. It is midnight where I am. The only anti anti inflammatory that I have is ginger. Will that work for a pidgie?
 

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When did she last lay an egg?

Is she getting a calcium/d3 supplement or calcium grit? It sounds like she may also be calcium deficient.
 

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When did she last lay an egg?

Is she getting a calcium/d3 supplement or calcium grit? It sounds like she may also be calcium deficient.
This is what I would say. But you also said she was on eggs. So did she just recently have 2 eggs? Could be egg laying paralysis. As Skyeking has asked, are they getting Vit D3 and calcium? They need that if they are not getting enough direct sunshine, which they may not be getting, as they have a roof, and right now you said the enclosure was wrapped. Even if getting enough sunshine, they do need enough calcium. The sunshine will supply the vit D3. Without the vit. D3, they cannot utilize any calcium they do get.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Honk not too fat - Vets advise appears to be working

Hi all,

Honk took a few steps this morning!

:)

Thank you for your input. I took your advise. The honey water (actually agave water) kept her going long enough for me to find a vet who is comfortable treating birds. I took her to Animal Emergency Clinic in Victorville, CA. The vet, I wish I got his name, appeared to be familiar with pigeons. Other clients had birds to be seen.

Vets Notes:

Client Instructions -

1) Keep Honk warm and confine inside home.
2) Buy calcium supplement for birds or reptiles and give with food.
3) Feed 2 cc of avian formula every 1-2 hrs until around 8 tonight and then q 2-3 hrs until bed.
4) Water via syringe q 1-2 hrs
5) liquid vitamin mix for avians

Subjective Section

Lethargic, ataxic, not flying; client believes pet is not eating well today; client injected mineral oil in vent, has been giving water w/ agave syrup & lemon & garlic. Owner left bird in the care of roommates for 1 week and when she got home lst night se notices that bird was not doing well. Has 3 eggs in with her. Usually lays eggs every 3 months. Bird has ouside cage that wild birds do come in to get feed that drops on ground. Not sure if other pgeons hang our around cage.

Objective Section

Bird is alert but can not use wings well.. Unable to walk and paddles wings sit in an attempt to move along. Good body condition, crop distended with food owner gave bird, vent area palpated normally, no eggs felt on palpation.

Assessment Section

Notes

1) egg bound
2) viral infection like new castles vs. other causing neuropathy
3) open

Diagnostic Plan

Client Communications

EC: 01-11-15 at 2:08 pm: Dr. C. tto about ddx and possible causes, work-up and treatments. Owner would like home care treatment and advice but can do do work-up or in hosp treatment.


My recollection of Dr's input

When he watched Honk row across the exam table, he said "not good".
He said birds with egg bind typically can stand and are better coordinated. He said that Honk's movements looked neurological. The suspected that she might have a viral condition like new castles. He said that lab work to confirm is expensive and would not change treatment. He told me that he couldn't feel an egg, but would need an xray to confirm. Surgury to remove a x ray and surgery to remove a bound egg would be expensive. Diagnostic work and potential treatment could cost up to or even over $1000. I don't have that kind of money. So I asked how do I help her body heal itself. He told me to keep her at 90 degrees F. with a water bottle. put her on a news paper and change frequently. The told me to purchase diet supplements (previously listed) and give her 2 cc every hour.

I bought the recommended supplies and fed her 2 cc's on the hour until bed time. I put her in a spare bathroom with an electric radiator. Quite balmy. Honk's objections to getting forced fed are getting stronger. This morning when I came in to check her, she took a few steps in a circle and then sat down.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Honk's Housing and Diet

Thank you for your input on housing and diet.

Honk's roof has two panels: 1 tin and one clear plastic. That way she can chose between sunlight and shade.

I occasionally put oyster shell in with her seeds. I can start a new calcium supplement. She was in with her sister. Three eggs appeared within the last week. I don't know who laid what. Usually they sit on their eggs until they poop all over them and kick them out of the nest (no male - I don't need a population). After that, the eggs go to the compost pile.
 

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No idea why the vet would have come up with new castles. Doesn't sound like it at all. And a simple X-ray would have confirmed whether there was an egg or not. I'm not talking about surgery. But if there are 3 eggs, then she could certainly be holding the second egg. So she needs calcium and vit. D3 supplement and to be placed on a heating pad with a warm damp towel under her for moisture. Sometimes moisture will help to pass an egg.
Oyster shell isn't good enough. They may not eat enough of it. And they do need vitamin d3 to utilize the calcium. If you can get that, it would be good. Even a low dose people calcium tablets with vit. D3 would help, by cutting in quarters and giving a 1/4 daily for a few days. I use CalciBoost which you can get online, but a shop that sells birds probably has calcium and D3 supplements that you can get. This is important, as if she is egg bound, she could die. Even if she isn't egg bound, she sounds as though she is depleted of calcium. Without seeing her, hard to say, but there's a good chance that she is. That is usually what the case is when they are acting like that.
 

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Hope Honk starts improving. Agree that a simple xray would show if egg bound. Glad you are feeding her. Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Honk walking and eating oatmeal

Hi all,

Thanks for your help. Honk is up, walking and eating oatmeal (her favorite). She isn't strong enough to fly yet. I am still giving her the avian baby formula with vitamin and calcium supplements every hour. Her GI track appears to be working. Stuff is moving through. Still a bit watery.

This morning I put her in a south facing window and dropped the blinds to make an instant cage. The sill is lined with newspapers. She is enjoying both the sunshine and new view to look at. She appears to be studying every thing she sees.

I'll put a canning kettle of water on to boil. Sometimes I do that for heat and humidity. I'll try the damp towel when I get off work (I telework today).
 

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What supplement are you using? And how are you giving them? It needs calcium and vit. D3. If there are other vitamins in it, then you don't want to over use those. But she does need enough calcium and vit D3.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Honk is flying all over the house - Supplement info

:)

I used Ecotrition Vita-Sol, Fluker's Liquid Calcium, and The missing Link Ultimate Avian Formula. I mixed all of them together (according to ratios in directions) in her water with a few drops of Agave Syrup. I dropped the avian formula once she started eating. I still put the calcium in her water and make sure that she gets sunshine. For now I am keeping her sister in a rather large kennel and she sits on top. After I know who is laying how many eggs, I will put them back together.
 

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:)

I used Ecotrition Vita-Sol, Fluker's Liquid Calcium, and The missing Link Ultimate Avian Formula. I mixed all of them together (according to ratios in directions) in her water with a few drops of Agave Syrup. I dropped the avian formula once she started eating. I still put the calcium in her water and make sure that she gets sunshine. For now I am keeping her sister in a rather large kennel and she sits on top. After I know who is laying how many eggs, I will put them back together.

Sunshine coming through a glass window or screen isn't enough. It filters out the rays they need from the sun. They need to be outside, or in open window to get the benefit of the suns rays.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Peep N Honk Outside - Sitting on Eggs

:) I made an upgrade to both cage and aviary and move Honk and Peep outside. Online videos of pigeons flying about their homes encouraged me open their kennel door and let them loose in an unfinished aviary. The could get out if they wanted, but don't. Unlikely local predators will get it. I modified their cage to improve lighting and made a nesting box out of a styrofoam cooler. They collected up sticks to put inside the nesting box and the last I peeked in, Honk was sitting on eggs. She said to say thank you.
 

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:) I made an upgrade to both cage and aviary and move Honk and Peep outside. Online videos of pigeons flying about their homes encouraged me open their kennel door and let them loose in an unfinished aviary. The could get out if they wanted, but don't. Unlikely local predators will get it. I modified their cage to improve lighting and made a nesting box out of a styrofoam cooler. They collected up sticks to put inside the nesting box and the last I peeked in, Honk was sitting on eggs. She said to say thank you.
Did u say unfinished AND they could get out but dont want to AND no predators. That is a false sense of security I guarantee it. You need to rethink that unelss you want them to be feral and come and go as they please AND be at risk for BOTH day and nightime predators and BELIEVE they ARE there.

Cats
Dogs
Foxes
Mink
Owls and more.

I JUST now opened my back door to show a freind my flight cage and there in the middle of suburban yard 5 feet from my deck and the pigeon coop was a LARGE red fox! Trotted off 20 feet stopped and turned and just looked at me.
Last year a coyote and mink.

Why would you risk it AND the new babies?
 
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