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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I started feeding pigeons on my balcony. At first they were only 1-2, and now they are many. I noticed a sick pigeon a week ago. He is coming and going with the flock, but when they fly away by getting scared he doesn't. He was able to eat though (grain). Yesterday however I observed him and he cannot seem to grab the grain anymore, he keeps trying desperately but he cannot, and it is heartbreaking. I wanted to know if anyone could identofy the disease and tell me if he can be cured if I catch him. The problem is my apartment is small and overcrowded and the other family member are already after me for feeding the birds on the balcony. He tried to come in, but i did not let him, I feel very bad and wish to save him if it is Gods's will.
He looks kind of weird around the eyes, like strangely ruffled. The beak was normal I think 2 weeks ago but gradually became crooked from the top. It seems always open and I think I see his tongue. Actually, it is the 3rd pigeon I see in this condition over the last 6 months and even if I cannot save him I want to know if I see another one next time arlier on if I could do anything.
 

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He might have canker. This causes yellow cheesy growths inside the beak and back of the throat. They starve to death eventually. Antibiotics for treatment will be metronidazole or ronidazole. You will need to catch him and treat him for about 10 days. What country are you from? You might be able to get metronidazole for humans from a pharmacy.

Can't you make him a secure spot on your balcony? This is highly contagious to other pigeons as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, thanks for answering. I have a spare cage as I have a parrot inside the apartment. I am in Bulgaria and here tepreratures are around 0 or -3 at night but it may get colder. I may be able to find the medicine, Everyone is after me for feeding the pigeons and they want me to stop. The other pigeons come and eat on this balcony and they may disturb him. Are there any other possible diseases with this kind of looking beak?
 

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You will need to catch him and check inside the beak and throat. If you notice the yellow growths, then you know he has canker.

Best will be to gradually stop feeding the pigeons. The numbers will just increase. Or find a spot away from your apartment to feed them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I tried to feed them in a green small garden area whihc is public and the people started threatening me that they will pison them. I am waiting for winter to be over to try and stop them from the balcony. The pigeons just get more in numbers, but it is an emotional issue as I got attached to them. I tried stopping them by putting cardborad on the balcony and right away out of stress one of them got sick and died eventually (maybe even more). They know where they live and I still give them in the small garden but some of themkeep coming to the balcony also. If this is canker do I have to try and remove the things from inside his throat? There is only one vet in Sofia who deals with pigeons an he is not working on weekends. I will try my best! What about apple cider vinegar or human trihomonazid pill which contains ronidazole?
 

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Don't try and remove the growths, this can cause bleeding which can be fatal. Apple cider vinegar in the drinking water keeps them healthy, but won't cure canker. Can you get metronidazole? I've never heard of trihomonazid. An adult pigeon needs 40 mg of metronidazole once a day, but in severe cases the first dose can be double.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, thanks. Trichomonacid is a commercial brand for female infections and contains metronidazole (I found in another forum) that they gave 80 mg of that. I hope I can find it in pharmacies. Thank you for your help! God bless you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello, Marina! Thank you, I was able to catch the pigeon. He has indeed a huge white things inside the throat. I bought metronidazole 1/4 piece of 250 g. I was able to hand feed one corn and one pea. He is in a cage now resting. Do you know if I need to give the medicine daily?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello, I gave him 1/4 piece and he seems better now as he is able to eat on his own. The droppings are green. I would like to let him go free after 10 days as he is in a cage now on a balcony that is glass covered and I think he may go in depression without his pigeon friends and family. I will post of photo of the droppings tomorrow. You helped me so much onfirming the correct diagnosis - it was indeed canker. I just dont know what to do to ensure his chance of survival longer before letting him go. I am also giving him fish oil and beer yeast in small pearls.
Thank you and God bless you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
He is feeling very uncomfortable though and today keeps moving inside the cage, I think he misses flying. I am not sure what to do. How he will take it for 10 days without flying?
 

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Lots of droppings, that is a good sign. You both will need to be patient. Don't stop treating him now. Can you fasten a mirror to the side of the cage? This will help him feeling less lonely. Can you also put a brick inside the cage for him to perch on. Have the cheesy growths inside his beak shrink since you started feeding him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello, he is better. The cheesy growths have disappeared. I took him to a vet that specializes in birds whom I trust and he gave me another professional medication which is suited for pigeons plus some vitamins in powder to add to his water. He said that canker is the mildest of all pigeon diseases if caught early on as it can be treated unlike other pigeon diseases.
 

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That is great! All pigeon diseases can be treated, although sometimes (in the abscence of an avian vet) it's just difficult to identify what is wrong. You will probably find more in the future, so always make sure you have meds in stock. Thanks for saving him.
 

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About a problem of feeding pigeons:
They are intelligent and they learn quickly. So you can feed them once a day very early in the morning, for example 20 minutes after the dawn (it is different time in different periods of the year). So they will always come at that time, while most of humans are still in their beds, eat what you give them and go away. It is better to give them as much as they can eat, but they can also get used to certain amount of food they get at that place early in the morning. If you don't give them food again later, they will soon stop to come back to you after the dawn. So no one will know that you feed them (also if you clean after them regularly). If you give them quality food, mixed grains, you will help them in that way greatly to live healthy and happily. When you clean, you an use a spray with natural products, like water with apple cider vinegar and baking soda, and wipe with sponge after few minutes. It can also benefit you to get up early and go earlier to bed There are many health experts' recommendations that claim so.

About the pigeon with canker and any sick pigeon:
It is necessary to feed a sick bird from hand if it can not eat by itself until antibiotics treat the condition enough so that a bird can start to take food normally again. Birds have very fast metabolism and can live very shortly with no food or with very little food. It is quite difficult to feed a pigeon from hand by putting a grain by grain into its beak. There is a faster way to feed it from syringe with a pipe. If you are interested, I can explain that later. In any case, you should do it gently and take good care not to push or move cheesy growths while feeding from hand because, as Marina wrote, it can cause heavy bleeding.
If you need pigeon medicines, you can contact some racing pigeons associations. Most of their members know special pigeon shops that have all kind of pigeon medications. And if they use medicines for their pigeons at all, it is certain that ronidazole is among those mostly used.
 
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