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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a young pigeon that is holding his tail down and breathing heavily. His abdomen is swollen, I'm thinking the swelling may be swollen air sacs. But I also wonder if other internal swelling could be pressing on the lungs and affecting his breathing, He does not seem to be pooping much but I did see some watery discharge. A few months back a mature bird died quickly of a similar aliment at my place. Another adult bird recovered from similar symptoms with the help of Baytril. I have given this young bird one and a half drops of liquid Baytril 10 %. Please advise. I can be reached here, or by phone at 708-297-5493.
 

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Superflyer, are you positive that this bird is a male, as if you are 100% sure, this will eliminate the chance this this bird may be egg bound or have other female reproductive issues. There is the chance this bird could have ascities, where fluid is leaking into the abdominal cavity, the pressure from this fluid build up can put pressure on the air sacs, compressing them, and other organs as well, thus compromising breathing and other body functions. Ascities can be caused by some infections, cancer and both liver and heart disease.

If acites is present immediate relief can be brought to the bird by paracentesis, where a needle is inserted into the abdominal cavity to drain this fluid, this will relieve the pressure on the air sacs and other organs and the bird will feel almost immediate relief from this procedure. This would need to be done by a vet of course, with follow up tests to try and figure out what is causing the ascites, there are oral meds that can be given to help slow down any fluid build up, if this is indeed what is occurring.

A bird that has compromised breathing should be considered critical and I recommend that it should be taken to a vet ASAP. If a vet is out of the question the Baytril will cover a good deal of infection issues, but a vet visit at this point may help to save this bird's life.

Good luck with him,

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Karyn, this bird is too young to produce eggs. This bird is critical. Have you seen air sac swelling? What is the procedure when the vent or
intestines are plugged? The parents are with the young bird. They have
tried to feed the but young one flutters but does not open his beak. I have
been feeding by tube and by hand but I will stop until I figure out what the swelling is and how to deal with it. Do you think tetra cycline, or doxy would be better than the Baytril?

Michael
 

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Are you sure its a swelling or its because of the posture ? Variants of PMV can cause similar stance in which the pigeon seems to rest mainly on its tail and the crop/chest portion curved to outside and that can resemble heavy breathing. Your best bet is to get her checked by a vet and run tests and flock treat, else you will only be trying different medicines but not the correct treatment
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This bird does not have PMV. My best guess is Paratyphoid that is attacking the lungs and air sacs. Other birds in my care have had this illness. This young one was born to my flock to immature parents that did not feed long enough. I did not check his weight as things seemed to be going ok. When the illness showed up I was surprised to find the bird thin. I think the young one contracted paratyphoind due to mal nutrition. But of course I'm not sure
he could have some internal trouble that decreased his appetite.
 

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Michael, I myself have not seen or dealt with the swelling of the air sacs, but I have dealt with ascites, where abdominal fluid pressure pushes on everything and effectively blocks and compresses everything in the abdominal cavity. The vent and intestines in this case are not really "blocked" but being heavily pressed on not allowing passage. It may not even be ascities and may be something entirely different, but something is causing massive swelling effectively blocking things up.

Food and water right now, if things are as blocked up as you describe, are only going to exacerbated things, so hold off on these. You need to see the bird eliminating in some way, even urine and bile to at least say things are moving a bit. This bird really does need to get to a vet right now as the things that need to be done to save it requires real training, instruments, support and medicines.

The Baytril would be better than the tetracyclines I feel, but if things are blocked up it's questionable how effective any oral meds right now are going to be, this bird most likely would need injectable meds and immediate procedures to relieve the internal pressure, if this could possibly be done. I wish I had better suggestions for you, but again I can't emphasize enough, a vet would be this bird's best hope.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Karyn I will see if my vet is in town and see if there is any discharge this morning.
I did not see anything online about paracentesis in young birds I will check my books. Do you know where I can find info?

Michael
 

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Thanks Karyn I will see if my vet is in town and see if there is any discharge this morning.
I did not see anything online about paracentesis in young birds I will check my books. Do you know where I can find info?

Michael
The paracentesis procedure is not really a factor of age, both young and older birds could have the symptom of ascites, where the procedure of paracentesis would be done to relieve internal pressure . Michael, as I said, it may not even be ascites, but based on your description of abdominal distension, and your assertion this bird was a male, this is what immediately came to my mind.

There is information on the web on ascites and paracentesis, but mostly found on sites where you have to be a member of the veterinary medical community to be able to access these site's information and not much for lay people. However, here is a link for some information on ascites:

http://www.avianmedicine.net/ampa/19.pdf , go to page 515.

Whether it is your regular vet or someone else, please do get him in ASAP, as I believe time is of the essence for whatever is ailing this bird.

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the page number Karyn. I have the book. I sort of think the bird is female but she is way too young to produce an egg. It's only been a little while since the last of the yellow hair was gone from her head. My vet is out of town. He advised me how to go in the abdomen on the right side and draw fluid but he also said if there is fluid it's about a 99% likely the bird will die and there is nothing much anybody can do. At this point I'm not sure if there is fluid and I thought it best to give more Baytril and wait until I get off work tonight if I am going to draw fluid. I massaged the vent and some discharge appeared. Later the bird made some discharge on her own. She also drank several swallows of water on her own and pecked at seed but she is for sure way swollen. Thanks for leading me in the right direction. I value your advice greatly. Were you a vet? You seem to know very much. To bad your not in Chicagoland I sure could use your help.
 

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She also drank several swallows of water on her own and pecked at seed but she is for sure way swollen. Thanks for leading me in the right direction. I value your advice greatly. Were you a vet? You seem to know very much. To bad your not in Chicagoland I sure could use your help.
No, not a vet, or even a rehabber, just someone who has tried to learn as much as I can over the years to keep my birds healthy and well and not feel too lost when dealing with the vets on matters pertaining to their health, but most days I still feel I don't know nearly enough.

Please do feed her at all right now, as I said, this will only complicate things if she not moving anything solid through. Although I think it's poor, I am not sure I agree with your vet's prognosis of about a 1% chance of living, timely intervention by a skilled vet would greatly increase these odds, and time regrettably is working against us, especially if it ascites and it is being caused by something that is treatable. Michael, I am not even sure I am leading you in the right direction in terms of what's wrong, but I surely do feel the right direction would be to get her seen by an expert. If you can get her to hold on through the night I would much rather get her into a place that could really help her. Here is a reference for your area of a place that could do that:

http://www.exoticpetvet.com

Karyn
 

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Thanks for your advice. I trust my avian vet and myself. I am a rehabber. Why did you send the link? Do you know anyone there?
Michael, I posted the link as your vet was not available and I always feel that critical birds do need to be seen by an expert if at all possible. No, I do not know anyone there personally, I got the clinic reference from The Association of Avian Veterinarians web site, I had a look at a number of clinics in your general area, and there was just something about Dr. Horton's facial demeanor on the "about us" page, as well as her qualifications of course, that sat right with me to chose her clinic to refer you to.

Karyn
 

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Michael, I am sorry to hear that the clinic is not what I thought it was, at least with regards to treating pigeons.

When my bird was suffering from ascites I remember coming across some drawings of needle placement angles with entry site location on the abdomen. I have looked for them to post for you, but so far I have been unable to find them, as this was some time ago, however I will continue to look. What is he passing in the way of droppings, if anything at all?

In all honesty I don't believe I could have ever have been a vet, or really even do rehabbing, much too draining, as I was never was good at emotionally detaching and being objective about things. Even helping as I sometimes do on this site, it really hurts when a bird does not make, whether I am involved in the thread or not.

Karyn
 

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If you decide to take out fluid out of this bird--be careful here--because if you take out too much it will kill the bird....You probley already know this but just in case you didn't I thought I would inject this information.....c.hert
 

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I would certainly bring it to a vet and if you don't really know the sex the number 2 posting and number 7 posting by Dobato is very good advice. It would not cost that much money to diagnose this bird and then you would know how to proceed for the fluid buildup--if it is a female--I would think (maybe) Egg Yolk Peronitis (sp,) a bird can survive this but rarely ..take it to a avian vet and get a diagnosis and medicine if you want to save it. baytril is a good first start until you see your vet...Be sure to tell the vet that you already gave it worm medicine and thinking about canker medicine and this would complicate the issue. But it does not sound very good and I think it is Avian vet time.....c.hert
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the help. I read three chapters in the Avian Medicine book tonight. There is a lot of good stuff there. The young one is better tonight, he/she passed droppings and is breathing better.. The Abdomen is still swollen but I think the Baytril is helping. I have six babies from the streets with me now. Tonight I met a guy who picked up a baby starling after a cable guy threw the nest down from a box on the pole. The other two babies died.Two of the baby pigeons were hit my cars and have broken legs, one of them has a big wound on the wing that is healing nicely. I'm tending others too. I'm not detached and I don't want to become that way.
 

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You certainly have your hands full and your doing a good job just by helping those precious little ones that are left alive. Tragic stories like this all the time and with this much quanity at one time--you in a way become detached and their is nothing wrong with this as long as you do your very best to make good decisions using good judgements
and it sounds like you are really into Avian care. Don't be too harsh on vets--for their are good ones and very bad ones but in certain cases a good diagnosis will save the precious birdies. It is not 1600 dollars to diagnose a bird and this put you in a bad light with me.
I am glad that your bird seems to be improving and we certainly need more people that care like you do...Good luck to you and I sure hope all the precious ones in your care do very well in their recovery. c.hert
 
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