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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!

I use to feed many pigeons on my roof. There is a flock of about 20-30 pigeons living in my attic and then some others come from other roofs of the neighbourhood. In total they are about 50+ birds.
Yesterday I noticed one of them showing a symptom of PPMV. He was twisting the neck strangely and today I saw him doing the same thing and walking backwards, as if he was rubbing his head on the floor.
I read that this disease can be contagious, but sadly I have no idea how I could catch him since if I climb on the roof they will all fly away.
I was wondering if there could be something I could do, some medicine to add to the food..I don't know..
 

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Unfortunately, there is no medical treatment if he does have it. It is a virus, and there are no anti-viral drugs for it. He will probably become unable to fly, which would be when he could be caught if he was in an accessible place. All we can do if we catch them is to keep them in a safe and secure place, and make sure they get food and water, possibly vitamins also. Takes six weeks for the virus to pass.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I managed to catch him. It's almost incredible but one hour ago I went outside to feed the flock and the sick guy was on the floor of my terrace and couldn't fly away. So I caught him and now he is temporarly in a banana box, for the moment I don't have anything better. How much space do you think will be better for him? I put the box in a quiet little room there is on the terrace and put inside water and food in deep bowls and I hope he will be able to eat by himself. Yesterday he was on the roof and I saw that he was able too, I don't know if nerve sickness is going to get worse.
I hope I'm going to find vitamins in some animal shop. Will be ok the liquid vitamins for canary feathers?
I have read about supporting electrolytes. Do they sell them in liquid form like vitamins?
I read that the virus can't affect humans or other animals. Since I have a dog I'd like to be sure about it. Will it be enough to wash my hands with soap?
I never dealt with PMV so I think I'm going to need some help.. :)

Thank you
 

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You and your dog are safe, but handling any wild animal, you should wash your hands well anyway. Yes, soap and water are enough. Eventually he probably will need to be hand fed, as he won't be able to eat on his own, and leave water with him, but in a narrow dish that he cannot fall into and drown, as this is possible with a bird this disabled. If you need to hand feed, frozen peas and corn that have been defrosted and warmed under warm running water is pretty easy to feed. Can you buy some. Try to find the smaller peas if possible. Are you sure he is safe in a box where he is, from hawks and such? Thanks for helping him.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes he is in a closed room so he is definitely safe. So you think the banana box will be ok? If you don't know how they look like you can google it I think they are a worldwide standard. I'm going to buy peas and corn right now in case he needs.
Could you please give me some advice regarding the vitamins and electrolytes?
I think the water bowl is safe. Later I will take a picture so you can see it yourself.

Thank you very much
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
http://prnt.sc/b60vjb
http://prnt.sc/b60vwo

Here you can see the bowls and the size of the box. I think it could be too small? Or maybe it's better it's not too big in case he has some convulsion? I don't know, I'm open to all advices.

He now looks quiet. When I lift the top of the box he was obviously scared and he was just still in that position. But today before I caught him I saw from the window he was twisting the neck and walking backwards and when I went to catch him he could do nothing and just stumbled on his own and stayed flat on the floor.
I guess the symptoms vary from moment to moment.
There is food on the floor so I hope he could eat something. I will check the droppings.
 

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He will need hand feeding or he won't get enough. I would put water in a smaller or narrower container. What do you cover the box with so that he isn't in the dark? The size is probably fine. If you go online you can find vitamins and such, or maybe a pet store. Poor little thing. You can hold a small crock of water for him and see if he will drink from it.
Thanks for the pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I cover the box with a shallow cardboard box (with a weight on it) where I cut long windows narrow enough so he doesn't even think of trying to escape. The banana box has some other openings so light can get inside.

Tonight I sprayed him with parasiticidal so at least he doesn't have to deal with parasites too.
I found a couple of watery droppings and one third which instead looked pretty good.

Tomorrow I will try to handfeed him some peas. I think it will be challenging because when I had him in my hands he kept the neck completely twisted upside-down.. crazy twist.
 

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Yes, feeding him should be fun. Let us know how it goes. Have to try to get him with his head up. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I hand-raised a couple of squabs in my life but this was way tougher :p
I made a test to practice a little bit. I used the sleeve of a tshirt so keeping him still and opening the beak was almost no problem, the difficult part was to get him to swallow the peas and corn because when I put them in the beak he was shaking the head and I was afraid of hurting him so I let the head go.
I really had to pull the peas in his throat to make him eat. I managed to feed him just a couple of corn and four five peas. I know it's nothing but I thought that maybe he was not hungry if he was resisting so much even after he realized that it was good stuff.
In the box there were about five six droppings (not watery but pretty normal) he made from yesterday 11PM untill today 5PM. So maybe he's eating enough by himself?
 

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No, he isn't eating enough by himself. You need to get more into him. He is shaking his head because he doesn't like being fed that way. Not natural to him. He will get used to it, but really do need to give more.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok tomorrow I will feed him properly. I read to feed squabs 30 peas 3 times a day. Is this amount only for squabs or also for adults? I bought organic cooked corn and frozen peas, can I give him 15 corn and 15 peas 3 times a day? Or a little less considering that he also eats something by himself?

Another question, in this season I can easily find fresh raw peas, are they good or is it always better to cook them?

Thank you!
 

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I would give more peas and smaller amount of corn as the peas are easier to digest. Frozen defrosted peas are softer than fresh, and also hold more moisture, which is a plus over the fresh. for an adult, it would be about 50 twice a day, or the 30 or so 3 times daily. But make sure his crop has emptied. If you have problems with that, get back to us. You would have to pay attention to how much he is eating on his own in order to adjust the amount. Try to feel the crop and how full it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The little guy is doing good. He now seems to help me in a sense, by opening the beak even if I grab it with only one hand. He's not totally cooperative but I think we are getting better :D Some days he's eating a lot by himself, some others I just find a lot of food on the floor so I give him more peas. He looks strong so I think he's well fed but I want to be sure about my understanding of how the crop works..
When I give him a pea I wait for it to go down, I can see the feathers moving on the throat and chest and the pea going all the way down, as if it went directly into the gizzard..I don't know if it's how it works. Sometimes a pea takes a little longer to go down and remains for some seconds in the throat. So should I feed him until the peas stop going all the way down and start "storing" in the crop?
I read that the crop should never be hard, but I'm not sure if I can feel the difference between food and bones in that area..
I tried to find some pictures of empty and full crop but I found only photos of youngsters with big fat crops :D can someone show me a full crop in adults?
Thanks
 

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A vitamin supplement will do the bird good. I would get extra Calcium/D3 and B vitamins as those are necessary with neurological issues and they are quickly depleted when birds with neurological issues are stressed.
 

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Not as easy to see the crop full in an adult. You would need to feel it. When you feed, the food is stored in the crop. It will then slowly go through the digestive system. The seeds are ground up in the gizzard.
 

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one of my chicks (that live indoors) came down with PMV-1 at 5 weeks...this hen was still in the 2 nest boxes sleeping in the vacant box next to the box her parents used; i believe it was totally unnatural for this chick to contract PMV-1. It was a mild case of it; i had to hand feed her peas since she could only see "circles"..she walked backward in circles, twisting her head upward. I fed her softgels of calcium/D3 buy cutting off the tip of the softgel and squeezing it into the back of her tongue...this calcium softgel was given once in the morning and at night. I used apple cider vinager (1 teaspoon) in a 1/2 gallon jug of water specially for her to drink...i used a special plastic cup i had in her nest box and used a flashlight, tapping the wall of the nest box shining the led light on the water so she could find it...i made sure she drank water in the a.m. when she woke up and p.m before she went to sleep. The tapping made her understand it was time to drink her water...so she got loads of apple cider vinager; which is really the only cure for ppmv-1 once they contract it.

it took over 3 months for her to finally beable to walk in a straight line without going backwards. She would fly in circles for several months. Now, she is blind in one eye, the tremors of surging energy i could feel as i held her when she was under attack; reminded me of an epileptic attack in humans...her brain was damaged i believe...she is so sweet and loving she is remarkable that she came out of it with such spirit to live!

To all who have ppmv-1 survivors...DON'T LET THEM FLY IN RACES...they will surely get lost...my hen can fly straight for a while, then she begins to fly in circles...i believe it's because under the strain of flying it causes a tremor again and she sees in circles, and flies in circles....if a bird is in a race and this happens, they will surely get lost from the group; which they need to be able to follow the crowd.

My hen, named Jael, is so loving; she has finally attracted a mate; i was her mate for a couple of months, i would rub the top of her head which she loved, and begged for more...then she found a mate and learned how birds mate...she can't get enough! Luckily her mate realizes she is blind in one eye...he has to walk infront of her when she stops following him, he circles around behind her and pecks at her tail feathers so she can find him. It is such a pleasure to see these two interact and how Jonah really takes care of Jael ....it's sweet to watch them together...i can't let Jael ever hatch her eggs...she has laid her first 2...i had to replace them with wooden eggs...when i did, she wouldn't set on them; it's like she somehow knew they weren't real.

Take real good care of your pmv-1 victim; you'll be closer to that one as a reward for caring for it's life when it can't take care of itself!
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Thank you guys for the replies, and thank you LeeLu for sharing your experience. I will definitely get the vinegar. Is it normal vinegar made from apples? I'm asking because in Italy we call it just apple vinegar while cider is something else, so I want to be sure we're talking about the same thing.

I got him some liquid vitamins I'm putting in the water and also directly on the peas. I managed to find this mix of vitamins in a pet store which includes a lot of different vitamins, B12 and D3. I still could not find calcium so I'm giving him grit.

Now when I take him from the box he still protests a little bit but looks way calmer also when I keep him on the feeding table. He's not anymore frozen scared but also looks at me moving the head like normal pigeons and looks around at the room.
A couple of days ago while I was feeding him and taking a pause for the peas to go down, I was petting him and sharing some love :p Then suddently he tried to peck something there was on the t-shirt! So I took some seeds and grit on my hand and he started eating from there! :) I saw that his favorites are hemp seeds and broken corn. Clearly I still give him peas and corn because he's not getting enough on his own but it's nice to have him eating from my hand. I hope that maybe when he will get back with the flock he will still come to eat from the hand..even if I have doubts about it..I'm afraid I still am the bad guy who keeps him in a box :D


Thanks again for your help, I will keep you updated.
Cheers
 
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