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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am a high school teacher and a pair of pigeons recently raised a baby on the pillar outside of my classroom. I'm a bird lover by nature and obviously became attached to the little family as baby bird grew. I noticed right before Thanksgiving break while baby bird was still in the nest that his eyes looked swollen. However, my students did not agree and I thought I might be overly concerned. He was several feet above me and hard to get a good look at.

Two days ago, baby bird fledged. I was excited until he was unable to get off the ground and when I investigated, he definitely appeared to have pox. The pox is bad enough that he has trouble seeing. He has stayed grounded since then. His parents are staying with him and feeding him but his condition is worsening. This morning he was huddled by a doorway which is a bad spot for a bird at a high school. I moved him and when I did, he regurgitated. His bottom is very soiled from loose stool and his beak has some dried blood. He is resting now in a spot where the kids will not disturb him, but I am really worried and sad. I prefer to leave nature alone, but I have already interfered with this bird and am afraid his chances of survival are getting slimmer.

I have chickens and I have been trained to raise abandoned/rescued by other people baby blue jays, crows, and black birds. However, I have never rehabilitated a bird this apparently sick. Should I leave him? Should I try to seek assistance from a rescue? Should I take him in myself? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I've read a great deal in the last two days about pigeon pox and the other infections etc. he may have. I'm honestly not sure what course of action to take.

The bird is in Independence, Louisiana. I live in a nearby city. Closest large cities are Baton Rouge and New Orleans. I am also pregnant and not supposed to be handling wild birds generally.
 

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Thank you for caring about him. Poor little guy. His parents must be upset. Someone expert should be answering soon.
If you google pigeon rescue, there are some near you but you need to make sure they treat and do not just euthanize pigeons. There may be others.
https://www.facebook.com/KasiasArk/
http://bird.rescueshelter.com/Louisiana
http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/rehab
http://www.lsu.edu/vetmed/veterinary_hospital/services/wildlife_hospital/index.php
If he is getting worse, you have the options you suggested. He needs warmth and care and protection from predators. Since you have experience, you may want to take him in and care for him. I don't know if any problems with pigeons and pregnancy, although others may know about this. Please if you take him to a rehab center make sure they will help him. He may be old enough to eat force fed defrosted peas which isn't hard to do. The pox should resolve over time.. If you adopt him to care for him please post a photo so people can make suggestions. Thank you again for your kindness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks Cwebster! I've sent an email to the nearest avian rescue and hope to get a response. I will expand my inquiries to a larger area. From my observation of him and his size, I think he would be fairly easy to feed defrosted peas.
 

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I would rather take him in if I were you. Pox is highly contagious to other birds and often fatal, so a rescue centre might not even bother to reply. Plse post a photo once you have him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Marina - Are my chickens safe if a isolate little guy in the house? I read that pigeon pox is not communicable to other bird species anyway. True?
 

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Hello there!
Pigeon pox is actually communicable. You can isolate the little baby from the rest of the birds to prevent further transmission of disease. Can you tell me the size of the pox? Is it like warts or just a small one? Also check for secondary infection like canker or any other bacterial infection because first we have to cure the bacterial or protozoan infection and then move on to the pox virus.:) it would be really helpful if you can post a picture of him:) and by the way don't worry no pigeon disease can spread to humans:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Rosequartz - they are wart size. They obstruct his vision. One eye is totally obscured and the other has very limited vision. His feet are completely free of pox - isolated to his head. I will try to get a decent picture as soon as I can.

Regarding a secondary infection and treatment, should I try a farm supply store or seek a vet? My concern is that I live in Louisiana and many vets either will not treat wild animals or if they will, have a habit of recommending euthanasia.

My OB said I should be concerned about histoplasmosis, primarily. What do you think? No?
 

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To be honest I am just 14 years old :) but I will try my very best to help you. Mam can you tell me is the baby having any secondary infections like canker or any protozoan or bacterial infections?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rosequartz - observable symptoms of secondary infection (I've barely handled the little guy): dried blood around beak but he can receive food from his parent birds, severe loose stool and very wet bottom from it, regurgitated a LOT when i picked him up.

I have not looked down his throat. I also believe he has bird mites as they are all over his nesting area.


Other than all those things, he is strong, large, able to fly, walk and eat. He is slowly declining and starting to sit with ruffled feathers in an agitated state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I understand that pox is a virus but I'm being told by my doctor that the particular fungus referenced is very common in wild pigeons. I guess that wasn't clear in my post - sorry. Is that true to your knowledge?
 

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Mam to help the little baby to feel better, can you place the baby in a heating lamp with regulated temperature or expose him to a heat lamp and make sure that the lamp is not to near otherwise it can burn the baby. Is he eating seeds? Or is he still consuming baby mix? Because seeds give extra energy compared to baby mix. Make sure heat is in the baby's body otherwise the situation can become serious. There is no medication for pox but I can give you some help to prevent it from spreading and make it fall off. Do not irritate the pox nodules or warts or blood can start coming. And please check down the baby's throats for canker.
Here are the instructions:
Potash (Potasshium)
Chun
Water
Cotton pick or match stick
First separate the pigeon from others.

Now take 1 teaspoon chun and take a little potash and mix it.

Add a very little water to make a paste of potash and chun carefully. After making paste use the paste on pox of the pigeon by using cotton pick or match stick. Do this 1-2 days once a day . After applying the paste on the pox keep the pigeon under sun or hot weather for 5-10 minutes.

Hopefully this will cure the pox of the pigeon. If you see the result stop applying paste. Usually it will take only 2 days to recover from pox. The paste will kill the bacteria thus the pox pawn will melt gradually.
If it is in a wart state I guess you can apply Salicylic acid. But please let a more experienced person give his/her suggestion because the pigeon is a baby and we have to think a lot before starting any medication.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thank you. Can I get a temperature suggestion? I have an old brooder that I can use for him. It has a heat lamp and thermometer. I just want to make sure his temp is correct. My lamp can be adjusted.

I do not believe he is eating seeds independently yet.
 

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Man histoplasmosis is nothing but the fungus the comes from bird droppings when not properly cleaned. The bird poop gets dryed off and gets mixed with air causing disease dangerous to man. They can cause mycoplasma. But don't worry if you clean it no harm will come to you and your wonderful baby:)
 

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I am not sure of the temperature because I till not yet used a heating pad. U can you use hot water bag as well.
 

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I checked on the net so the temperature is 85-90 degree Fahrenheit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I do not have the baby right now and so I have not provided food. It's about noon where I am and I will leave in about 3 hours and can take him with me. The suggestion was defrosted peas. I've had success with other birds and a cat food mash. Do you have specific suggestions? Thanks!!
 

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Why didn't you say so it is so happy to hear that hear he is eating peas:) continue with the peas it is very good and give him vitamin water. You can get bird vitamin drops from pet stores. And try making him eat seeds:)
 
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