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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Two days ago I took in another feral. He came in for food but could barley jump into the seed container. I can't tell what is wrong with him except that he is very weak, looks very sick and now his head keeps slowly sinking down as soon as he makes an attempt in lifting it up. Last night I gave him about 10 cc of water from the side of his beak. I am also giving him Baytril.

I've made appointment with rehabbers at 1PM today but I am afraid that he is not going to make it till then. Couple of months ago I had a similar situation and that pigeon died very quickly before I could do anything. Also several days ago I found one pigeon dead on my terrace, so I am afraid there might be a virus going on around. Right now I am also taking care of two feral pigeons with PPMV. However, except for star gazing symptoms, they eat on their own and are fine otherwise. BTW, two PPMV victims I was taking care of last year have fully recovered and became a mating couple.

Any advice or suggestions for this unfortunate fellow? :(
 

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I would suggest offering him supplemental heat.
Either place him on a towel lined heating pad, set on low or place him under a low wattage lamp.

When they become ill or injured they lose their body temperature rapidly. More times than not, supplemental heat makes all the difference in the world.

If you are offering plain water, I would also suggest replacing that with rehydrating solution (to a cup of room temperature water add a pinch each of salt and sugar). This will help give him the electrolyte boost he needs.

Please let us know how the visit with the rehabber goes.
Best of luck to you both. :)
 

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Ante...the bird is likely suffering from more than just 1 thing. I suspect canker, coccida and worms and maybe more. It would be a good idea for you to have medicines on hand to treat all those things as most ferals are predisposed carriers.
As Cindy said...keeping the bird warm and hydrated is critical. Good luck to you and the bird. I really hope the bird makes it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The fact that I am writing this is a good sign. This means that he is still alive. When they die on me and some have, I tend to blame myself and have difficulty to speak for a while.

Anyway, We made it to Animal General here in NYC and he got three shots: vitamin B, iron and fluids. It is not clear what is wrong with him, although now I am starting to think that it must PMV. I was told to tube feed him very thin mixture of Kayatee formula and keep him warm. I pulled out a heating lamp but it's been around 79 degrees in here so I am concerned about too much heat. I thought I was becoming an expert on tube feeding but with him at the beginning it was a struggle which left him barely alive so I stopped and have fed him organic dry puppy chew soaked in water for few days. Last night I tried tube feeding again and it worked.

His condition has gotten worse but I think it's stabilized. At the begging he was able to move a little and lift his head and had tried eating with some success but now he can't move without losing balance circling and falling; his head is hanging on the ground all the time and twisted to the side. I have rehabbed several pigeons with PMV and I think I can recognize the symptoms although haven't seen it this bad yet. It is definitely the beginning of it. Two other pigeons with clear PMV symptoms, star gazing, etc., are eating on their own. I keep them in my bathroom separate from the rest. I wish I could find somewhere some facts about how and how long is it that the PMV virus is transmitted from the sick individuals to healthy ones?
 

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Hi Ante,

I wish I could find somewhere some facts about how and how long is it that the PMV virus is transmitted from the sick individuals to healthy ones?
Pigeons with PMV continue to shed the virus and infect other pigeons for 6 weeks from the time the symptoms start to show. I usually keep them isolated from other pigeons for at least 8 weeks, allowing them plenty of baths, as the virus survives in the feathers that have been soiled by fecal dust etc for a lot longer.

The source of this information is Vindevogel and Duchatel (1986), but you will find it confirmed in other sources such as the BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association) Manual of Raptors, Pigeons and Passerine Birds which states of Pigeon PMV: "Unlike certain other diseases, infected birds do not become lifelong carriers but stop excreting the virus within 6-8 weeks of initial infection"[/I] (I am being very specific here because I know Rita is erroneously convinced that they carry PMV for life).

Cynthia
 

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just another thought i would like to add, could it be possible someone is putting out avitrol?
it's make me think it could be because you have found a dead one in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you Cynthia!

I guess it would be safe to assume that once they had it and have survived and are free of symptoms that they are immune from it? I have three of them who come here daily sleep and nest here who have fully recovered from it last year. It did take a very long time for symptoms to disappear. With one of them I think it took almost a year.
 

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Ante,

I think tube feeding a bird with severe PMV symptoms can be risky because if they are spending a lot of time in an upside-down position, they might aspirate.

One alternative would be to feed the Puppy Chow you mentioned or else peas and corn from a pigeon mix or some other type of pelleted diet (like Harrison's).

Jennifer
 

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Hi Ante,
Once pigeon goes through PMV it gains immunity for life. I had several cases like yours. Difficulties standing, circling, loosing balance, head hanging to the floor while sleeping even between legs. I came across information about calcium and vitamin supplements administration during PMV. Tried it and it works. You can give bird vitamins and calcium in the drinking water. Sometime I use tube and syringe to put straight in the crop when bird is unwell and stops drinking. 10 ml dose once a day beside mixed formula and fluids in it.
My latest discovery is Medimmune tablets. They boost immunity and speed up recovery. And yes 6~8 weeks is for PMV bird to recover and stop shedding viruses.
 

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Hi Jennifer,
When you tube feed PMV bird, there is no risk of aspiration unless you overfill the crop and choke bird. During PMV water consumption of sick birds increases. They drink water continuously and they loose a lot of fluids through feaces. Either way through tube feeding or giving bird water in drinkers you need to keep bird hydrated.:)
 

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Plamenh,

When I said they risk aspiration, I don't mean during feeding; I mean by the fact that some of them turn upside down after feeding. If the crop is filled with fluid (as it would be if you were tube feeding), the fluid can back up through the esophagus and into the trachea, just as can happen if you turn a bird with a fluid-filled crop upside down.

My preference would be to feed dry foods and hydrate via SQ fluids for PMV birds in bad shape.

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One more quick question. This morning at around 5 AM I found a squeaker. He can't fly yet and was standing in the open on a concrete fence on a corner of a very busy street so I had no choice but to take him home. How he got there beats me since there is nothing around there from where he could have fallen down.

I have two other squeakers here in the nest. They are being taken care of by their parents. I've been trying to replace all the eggs but something happened and two hatched. These two youngsters maybe a bit older than the one I just found but not much older.

So my question is. Do you think if I put this new guy with the other two will their father a mother also feed him?

Thank you!
 

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i can't answer the will they feed them, but i worry that the baby may give your guys something, i wouldn't risk exposing my birds to a wild bird
 

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he may feed him or may just try to kill him, but as altgirl said risk if disease and lice and things from a wild bird is too great. treat him seperate and you be his adopted parent and he should be fine if he is healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies.

He seems to be healthy and I found him half a block from where I live and this is where all the rest of wild pigeons who come to visit me live so they are all exposed to the same bugs and parasites — more or less and freedom also. I don't believe in cages and keeping nonhumans in captivity unless they're disabled.

But anyway, I suppose I can try and introduce him to this family nest — high above my bad on a shelf — and see what happens since the last couple of feral orphans I had to hand feed seem to be missing something which I see in wild birds who are raised by pigeons.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry, I think you're right this isn't going to work. He was expelled immediately. Oh well, If I were a pigeon and had a beak there would be no problem but I'll try my best again.

Also, I was just told that the sick one, with his head hanging down, could have meningitis. So I was told to try Baytril again. What do you people think?
 

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Ante,

What are his other symptoms (sick bird) and what have you treated for already?

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, as I said, we visited rehabbers five days ago. They couldn't tell with any certainty what is going on. They gave him vitamin B, iron and fluid shots. Before I took him in, I gave him couple of doses of liquid 2.27% Baytril solution for dogs but rehabber had told me to stop with Baytril. However, at that time his head was not always hanging down the way it is now.

Let's see... his other symptoms: He has practically no body mass. His feathers are ruffled. He is very uncoordinated — can barley walk, let alone fly. His head does seem to tilt to one side. Most of the time he is standing ruffled with his head down on the ground, usually but not always, turned on the side (his head). He is standing though most of the time.

I'm worried about other pigeons that come here, sleep and nest here. I keep him in a plastic cat cage in my kitchen and keep washing my hands but it's hard to think of everything and I don't know how easily these deceases transmit.

Sorry, I am a little overextending myself right now and getting exhausted.
 
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