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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, everyone, I've just joined and I hope you can help my bird.

I've found a sick pigeon about four months ago, it could not stand on its feet. The vet prescribed antibiotics and vitamins for 2 weeks and again for 10 days, but it did not help. He looked like he might recover for a while, albeit still not standing on feet, but for the last few days he's been really bad.

He's been eating less for a couple of days. I gave him a bath yesterday, since he poops himself, and his condition suddenly worsened, couldn't move even his "good" leg anymore, so I took him to the vet. They said there's no help and suggested to me to consider euthanasia, but I could not and took him home.

Now he is panting and looks really bad. He can't eat or drink by himself anymore, he is extremely skinny, he is mostly keeping his eyes closed... I'm giving him water+pinch of salt and honey, with a small syringe. Is there anything more to be done? How much water should I give him? He looks like he is dying, please help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Honestly, they didn't tell us what it's called, and we never thought to ask. They just said that it is a very contagious and widely spread bird virus, and that this spring/summer many people saw birds actually fall down, drop from the trees, and people brought the pigeons to this vet, but sadly, most of them died.

The virus manifests itself with the birds not being able to stand on their feet, being week overall I guess. Our guy had one good foot and the other dragging. But since the bath I gave him yesterday, his good foot is not working anymore.

When we brought him in yesterday, the chief vet was appalled at how thin he was, and that's when I realized it too. He's always been skinny, but apparently it is quite bad now. The vet said that his chest muscles atrophied from not being able to walk or fly. He is a young bird.

There's this one guy who works there who is a bird specialist, but tonight he was operating on a pet, so I'll call him again in the morning. Right now it's evening where I live (eastern Europe).

I'm attaching pictures. The puffed-up one is from this morning, and the other one right now. He is missing all of the feathers below because they were covered in poop all the time, so the vets trimmed them. Luckily we've had warm weather so far and he's been in a softly padded enclosure on the balcony. I've brought him inside tonight, just in case he is cold.

He seems to be sleeping. What's worrying me is that he is also panting since I've brought him in, although it isn't that warm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I realize now that he looks so bad, poor guy :'(
I should probably take him to be euthanized, but I just wanted to try for a day or two more, maybe he can recover if I find some powdered / liquid food to give him through a syringe.

The thing is, I couldn't find such food in regular pet stores and pharmacies today. At the vet they said theirs is past the expiration date, and to try tomorrow with parakeet breeders, they should have it.

It is 21.25 where I live, so I think I should let him sleep. I've given him around 4 or 5 ml of warm water tonight, with a pinch of salt and a bit of honey and baking soda, as I've read on this forum. I think he's had a few seeds and around 4-5 gulps of water earlier today.

If you have any advice on what to do and what to feed him, it would mean the world to me.
 

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Looking at the picture, I think euthanizing would be the kinder thing to do. Why make him suffer for longer? Maybe he hasn't been getting enough nourishment, or maybe just too ill. But giving a panting bird water is very unsafe, as it is so easy to aspirate them and send it down into their lungs. He looks as though he is going to die anyway, so it may be kinder just to euthanize. Sometimes, if they are suffering a lot, and for so long, it is just kinder to let them go. They live in the moment, and his life is pretty bad right now. Sometimes not being is better.
 

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Does he have any yellow growths in his mouth? Am wondering if he has canker? Poor bird. Is he able to swallow food, such as defrosted frozen peas? Am not sure what vet might have said was wrong. PleSe ask the vet what they think is going on in case other birds get sick. If it is a virus and they are young birds i hope it is not something like circoviripus.
 

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Cwebster, this is Serbia And Montenegro. The vets aren't really into birds and don't much understand them. He thought it was a virus. But this bird is just to sick and weak to come back now. Kinder not to prolong his suffering.
 

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I am very sorry to know that your pigeon is in distress. If he is not taking anything, can dilute baby formula be tried through dropper or feeding tube? I fed cooked, mashed and strained rice & pulse liquid mix to my rescued pigeon as he was unable to digest solids. Of course, it is risky and one has to be very careful and confident. I can relate to your desperation and the thought of euthanizing is gut-wrenching. Sending my blessings his way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello everyone, thank you very much for your kind words and advice.
Sadly, our Googie passed away yesterday (Sunday) around noon. He died in my hands.

The day before, on Saturday, the vet advised me and I gave him some boiled egg and nutritional baby biscuit, mashed with water+electrolytes into a paste, and then some crushed sunflower seeds and tried feeding him with a hand-made bottle feeder as the vet said. After a couple of hours of trying gently to feed him, he finally was eating again, and drinking water, by himself. He mostly ate wheat seeds (those were by far his favourite), though I made sure those were mixed with the egg and sunflower. So, he perked up quite a bit, and was looking around and even his fingers started moving again when I touched them. He fell asleep much more peacefully than the night before.

Sadly, next morning (yesterday) he began panting again and couldn't eat or drink, and didn't even seem to be trying. I gave him 1 ml of water carefully, but he was breathing so heavily, and heaving his head. So I held him in my hands and soon he died.

My husband and I put him in a box and buried him in nature. We are so sad we couldn't make him get well, but we tell ourselves that at least he isn't suffering anymore.

Thank you again for your kindness. If and when we find another sick animal, I hope we'll be able to help it recover.
 

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I'm sorry you lost him. You never give a bird in breathing distress like that water in his beak, as it will likely aspirate him.
 
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