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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

Background info:
A relative of mine has recently found an injured young pigeon (I am not entirely sure how old, it doesn't have too many feathers underneath its wings and it doesn't coo, it just squeaks). It was trapped inside a building and had a few wounds which have healed since then.

I've been taking care of it for 2-3 weeks now and its condition is getting worse.

The symtoms are:
  • swollen eyes, which get a bit crusty in the morning
  • used to cough and sneeze - it sounded as if there was some sort of liquid in its nose
  • gradually lost ability to squeak, due to the respiratory infection

I don't have an avian vet in my area. However, I've been to a vet (the best one I know) many times in an attempt to treat the pigie. He believes my pigeon has a viral infection and therefore cannot be treated with antibiotics. He has given me antibiotics (enrofloxacin) for the eye infection, which I have been using for a little over a week. I've stopped the treatment, because the condition of the bird was getting worse.

What I've tried so far:
  • eye drops with vitamin A and chloramphenicol, prescribed by the vet
  • currently using eye drops with gentamicin and dexamethasone, which are helping a little bit
  • pigeon vitamins, half a tablet daily, as recommended by the vet

I've called the vet yesterday because the poor pigie's eyesight seems to be affected by the infection and he recommended some eye drops meant for humans, which contain corticosteroids. I am reluctant to use them, but I really want to help this poor little fella, he seems to be suffering due to his eye condition.

I don't think it's canker, I didn't see yellow in the back of its throat, but I could be wrong.

Please help me, I am desperately trying to save him/her.
 

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If this youngster has a respiratory infection (sounds to me like it is), it needs to be addressed immediately with appropriate antibiotics and correct dosage to knock it out, because pigeons go down very quickly with it. Incorrect treatment with inadequate dosage can cause rapid resistance.

Please check this link for symptoms, and there is another link on to click for treatment products: http://siegelpigeons.com/asked-respiratory.html

Doxi with Tylon works well. If you cannot find those product, aureomycin with tylan works well.

Use nano/colloidal silver drops for eyes, one drop per day. The bird still needs the above antibiotics asap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've prepared an antibiotic solution, which replaces its drinking water. It contains 1g of a drug which has 500mg tylosin and 0.3g of another drug which contains 100mg doxycycline. Both have been dilluted in 3l of water, according to the instructions on the packaging.
It is hopefully a good replacement for Doxy-T.
 

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Be very careful about dosage.

Does the bird have white dots in mouth? ? If so, it could be yeast. If bird has been on drugs it is possible for them to get yeast issues. You need to get the PH back on track.

Add a drop of organic apple cider vinegar to the drinking water, and make sure you hand/force feed bird if it is not eating.
 

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I would treat for canker. Metronidazole tablets down the throat. How old is the bird? Canker can cause symptoms that resemble respiratory.
Treating a bird in the drinking water doesn't work very well, as you cannot control the dosage. If he doesn't like the taste, he won't drink it. With tablets, you give down the throat and you know what he is getting.
Why does the vet feel it is a virus and will not respond to meds?
This isn't a bird vet is it? If it were, then he would test for different things, do swabs, and come up with an answer as to what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No it wasn't a bird vet, I cannot find one in my area.

I wouldn't give it Metronidazole yet, I've already started this new course of antibiotics. I could only find them in powder form and while I agree that you cannot control the dosage very well, pidgie seems to be drinking plenty of water.

I'm certainly not an expert, but I think it is a respiratory infection.

I'm not sure what to do next, I'm very worried. I've started hand-feeding, since it lost its apetite.

I appreciate all the support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have been researching his symtoms further and I think it is possible that the disease is canker. The reason I think this might be the case is the fact that he doesn't have many feathers underneath the wings and around it's completely bald around the beak. The skin around the beak is exfoliating and falling off as well.
I will post a picture tomorrow morning.
Should I switch to metronidazole? If so, how many milligrams a day should I give him? I will weigh him tomrrow.
I can't help but think his issues are due to a respiratory infection though: he used to sneeze a lot, but doesn't do that anymore. However, poor thing cannot squeak anymore, he just makes a faint wheezing sound. As of today, he's been shaking his head thoroughly after drinking water, which could suggest that he has problems breathing.
Could it be both canker and a respiratory infection? If so, what should I do?
 

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Canker can cause sneezing. Also rigorous head shaking can mean he is trying to vomit. Also a sign of canker. Not saying for certain that it is. But very good chance.
How old is the bird?
 

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We lost our squeaker Chloe last summer to circovirus. She had several infections at once and it was like whack-a-mole...every time the vet treated one infection another would become apparent. Yeast apparently may respond to acv but an anti fungal might be required. Can your vet look under a microscope or do,cultures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't know how old the bird is. It has been in my care for almost 3 weeks. If I remember correctly it was rescued 5-6 weeks ago. It only started showing symtoms 2 weeks ago.

I don't know how much the vet can do at this point, I've been going to this vet for a very long time with various pets, so I think he would've done cultures if he could (I've been to him with other pet pigeons, so he knows I care enough to pay for cultures and blood work).

I think candida is the smallest problem at this point. Should I switch to metronidazole? I don't want to make the wrong choice here. I'm going to weigh him and post a few pictures soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went to check on pidgie and he died there, as I was watching him. I couldn't do anything. I feel very guilty and I wish I knew what got him so I can help other birds in the future. I'm sorry, it was my lack of experience that killed him.
 

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I'm so sorry. I know you did your best. When we know more, we can do more. Your vet isn't an avian vet, so though he does help, he doesn't know enough to be of a great help here. A bird vet would probably have know what was wrong, and would have known to take samples and check them. I really believe he had canker, which is easily treated. I'm really sorry you lost him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all very much. I wish I knew more about pigeon diseases because I come across injured or sick pigeons rather often.

Jay3: I've been reading more about canker and I think you are right. I guess I just blindly believed my vet that it was a respiratory infection.

I will contact my vet to find out if he can do any kind of blood cultures if I ever need that for another bird.
 

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You don't need cultures. You just take a swab from his throat and look at it under a microscope. Of course you need to know what you are looking for.
Other illness will often cause canker, so treating for it is not a bad idea. You can buy Metronidazole and have it on hand. Canker is common with pigeons.
 

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If you keep pigeons a few good things to have on hand would be
a good and safe wormer
Metronidazole for canker
A good Cocci treatment
A good antibiotic
Probiotics
calcium and D3 supplement
These can be collected a little at a time. Better to be prepared. If you store them safely, the tablets will last for years past their expiration date.
 
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