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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Monday afternoon I saw a pigeon on the side of the road while driving. He didnt look dead because his feathers were still puffed up and was sitting upright so I stopped and picked him up (he was alive). It looked like his top beak had been smashed because of the blood that was covering it. He was also not using his right leg. I didnt have much time that night to inspect his wounds very well but I saw that he could only breathe through a small hole in the side of his beak. So I put him in a box with some warm heat and waited to see if he would make it though the night. The next day he was still alive so I started cleaning up his beak to see what had happened. After a few minutes I could see that his top beak had stabbed completely through the middle of his bottom beak where the skin is! I had never seen anything like this. After a long time trying to figure out how to get his beak unstuck (knowing that he would die for sure like this), a friend and I managed to get it out! We tried to let him drink but im sure after all the pain he had just gone through he was not wanting to. He wouldnt drink at all yesterday even after trying to dribble water in the side of his beak.

This morning I gave him some water mixed with a little bit of gatorade and he drank about an ounce. Right leg is still not functioning. I havent tried to give him food yet either, since I figured water was the first priority. I was wondering if any of you have ever seen this happen before? He must have been hit by a car but I dont know how his beak got in this position. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of before we got the beak unstuck. But I have attached a drawing of how it looked. (It was hard to see on the bird anyhow.) I am wondering where I need to go from here. Leg does not appear or feel to be broken but I dont have any experience with fractures. I have experience owning a few roller pigeons quite a few years ago but I never had to deal with any injuries like this. How soon does he need to be eating? He has been in my care for 42 hours and I do not know how long he was on the side of the road. He seems lively though. I will try to post some pictures of him and the feces. He is a nice looking blue bar. Thanks for your help. I actually started this account back when I had rollers! This pigeon is making me miss those days.
 

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Thank you for rescuing him, I am always afraid that people will see a bird with bad injuries and decide that deathis their only option.

Make certain that he is warmed through on a heat pad set on low or under a heat lamp and let him drink more warm gatorade before feeding him.

There has been at least one similar injury on this forum and as far as I remember the beak healed well.

Injuries and fractures are not my strong point so I will e-mail Pidgey and Dobato who will be able to advise you on the leg. For the time being it would be best to place him in a towel donut so the leg hangs in as natural a position as possible.
 

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Yeah, these things occasionally happen (beaks like that). They pretty much have to be hit head on for it to end up like that. That should heal okay in time. As to the leg, some pictures might help. However, if the leg is hanging rather loosely then it's more than likely broken. If you can give some more information, it'd be real helpful. In the meantime, I'll go find some old posts to copy and paste.

Pidgey
 

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Repost:

It's possible to splint a broken leg on any bird with masking tape and it's pretty simple as well--that's what most vets do if it's not too complex of a fracture. You can take a look at this page and study the skeletal drawings to help you figure out the applicable anatomy:

http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/skeleton.html

In any case, you can roll up a towel into a donut that the bird can settle into the middle of in such a way as to take any pressure off of the leg easily. Sometimes, you can bring them in the house and treat them like the Queen of Sheba with food and water right in front of them and they'll behave pretty well. About the only thing they'll stand up to do is poop and if you dutifully keep that cleaned up and then gently put them back down, they can learn to take it real easy and heal up just like that.

Otherwise, you sometimes have to clip the feathers of the leg closely with scissors and use masking tape to immobilize the leg as shown here:



...and it might come out looking like this:



The break on this bird was high enough on the tibiotarsus that I extended the tape up and over the back to help it immobilize it--otherwise, following the drawings above wouldn't have gone high enough to actually do the job. I clipped all the feathers short where the tape went, too.

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Feefo! I just gave him some more gatorade mixed with water. It was room temperature but I can warm it next time if that is better. What would you suggest trying to feed him first? I didnt have any bird food so I put some whole grain rice in front of him and he pecked a couple of times at it, but his aim is off. He gave up pecking after that. I tried using the towel ring but he kept falling out of it so i used some packing peanuts in the bottom of a box and made a little hole for him to sit.

Pidgey, thanks so much for these pictures and instructions! Looks like a very good idea and easy to do as well. I will have some pictures up in about an hour.
 

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Being a Tulsan, of course, I shouldn't be helping you. Any OTHER fellow Okie, no problem...

...but seeing as how you're helping a pigeon, I guess you can't be all THAT bad!!!:eek:

Just kidding!:D

You can give them wild bird mix but they're usually most interested in the whole kernel corn at this point in the year due to needing to bolt food down quickly in order to avoid hawks. Given the fact that there's all the time in the world to eat now, you can give him some stuff in a small bowl and he won't miss. Make a mess he most certainly will, but miss... not too likely.

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haha is there something wrong with us OKC people? Maybe its something in the water. :rolleyes:

I did try a small bowl after, but I think the first 2 pecks probably hurt so he stopped. I have been letting him rest for the past couple hours and will go out again in a bit and start with the bowl first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here are some general pictues of the bird. Couldnt really get any good pictures of the leg. He keeps his left one extended all the time and he moves it. His right one is slightly bent and he wont move it. You can kind of see in the second picture.
 

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Thanks for caring, and saving the Pigeon.

Can he/she open and close the beak OK ?

If not eating on her own, you are really going to have to start handfeeding her/him...because a Pigeon cannot go on many days w/o food...and if his ability to peck is badly comrpomised...he won't bother trying.

get some frozen peas and corn...thaw it under hot tap water, let it cool to lukewarm (make sure the inside isn't hot) and gently open the beak and pop a morsel into the back of the mouth. They usually swallow.

Do about 7-10 morsels/feeding (you can actually do as many as 15-20 but to start out, I usually do less for the first few days). He will need about 24-30 pieces/day, maybe divided up into 3 feedings....in order to maintain weight.

I do not mean to be a naysayer here....but...are there any avian vets in your area ? A likely broken leg and crushed beak are conditions which home remedies may not really be able to properly address.....also questions of infection begin to arise.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It can open its beak a little bit but I havent seen it open very wide. Maybe 1-2 millimeters. It is drinking great now. Beak looks normal but im sure its still sore. Thanks for the advice on the food. I didnt know how long to wait before needing to start handfeeding. Sounds like today I will start since it has already been a 2 days in my care without eating.

No youre not being a naysayer at all. Im sure that would be the best situation for him, but honestly I'm not really prepared for a vet bill right now. I really want to do what I can for the poor thing, and I want to give it a good chance though, so I will call around and get some information. I will see how feeding goes today and go from there.
 

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Brad, thanks for helping this little one out. Here is a link to a clip that Feefo made on how to hand feed a sick bird: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU1SO0ZJoow. With this kind of injury, and since you say he can open his beak a bit, it may be best to see if you provide him with a dish of smaller seeds whether he can self feed. You may be lucky enough to have a bird as cooperative as the one in the video clip, but many are not and sometimes the beak has to be grasped firmly to get it open and hold it open for a moment to get the food in, which is problematic with the kind of injury he has. This may need to be done, but it may be worthwhile to at least see where he is at with eating on his own. Also, you can try very small pieces of torn up whole wheat bread as well, to see if he will try and eat these. The bread, for a few days, may also be an alternative food in hand feeding, as if it is fresh it can be compressed a bit and made a bit flatter where his beak would not have to be opened as much to get some food into him, if hand-feeding has to be done

I understand about the vet bill, so we will try the best we can for him.

If you do provide him seeds to try and eat he may not let you see him eat, so if you could post a few photos of what he is producing in the way of droppings, we can tell if he is getting any food at all (it will take a number of hours for food to start to work its way through him). That he is drinking great is a good sign and they can go a number of days without food if they are staying well hydrated and especially if the were in half decent body shape at the time of injury/illness.

Good luck with him,

Karyn
 

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I understand the situation. We all understand about vet bills...but, again, this isn't a typical injury situation. Opening of the beak a couple of millimeters may be because of soreness, or it may be because there's something fundamentally damaged which a layman, or even an experienced Pigeon person, cannot ascertain....but an avian vet possibly can.

I am just saying this might be a case where there's a window to avoid permanent beak damage which would allow your pal to be treated and heal to a better condition than if not examined....but nobody here can possibly examine and determine whether more needs to be done other than supportive care.....

In such instances, we have to do right by the Pigeon.

If you can find someone to look at him, make sure they will not confiscate him and kill him. Sometimes it's necessary to tell them the pigeon is your pet or a hand-raised, human bonded companion or loft bird.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just an update:

The pigeon is doing great! He started eating on February 24th. His beak is working perfectly normal. His legs are getting stronger, and from what I am seeing, I do not believe that his legs were ever broken. He is getting around way to well (even a week ago), unless pigeons just heal really fast. His grip is not very good yet, and so his balance is lacking when walking. He hasn't tried to fly yet, but he extends both his wings at times while walking to keep his balance. Things are looking very good for him and I am so happy you all helped me make this possible. I have been taking him outside every day to walk around and get some exercise. He seems to like this a lot. Here is a link to a video of him on his first day eating (Feb 24th). His legs are MUCH better now than they were in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHARHdw6y5g
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
He is a lot more comfortable around me now. He has starting grunting when I try to pick him up sometimes, but my rollers used to do that. Its good that he's making some noise at least. I can walk around him on the ground and he dosen't run or anything unless I try to actually touch him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Now that you mention it, I do remember the females were the main ones to do that. I should start calling "him" a "her" I guess! Shes eating quite a bit. Body feels skinny but not too bad. Filling out more than the beginning. I will give her the option to go back to nature when/if she becomes COMPLETELY healthy. If she wants to stay I will be glad to take care of her.
 

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Might look into worming her--that's often an issue with the ones out in the wild. Make sure that you don't overdose her, though, as some wormers can cause great harm or death. If you've got any, you can check with us here before giving it and we can verify the dosages.

Pidgey
 
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