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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a pure white pigeon in my care ( I do not know much about birds but have had some success with rescuing them from time to time). He was found in a friend's garden in the night, we suspect he had flown into their patio doors and was concussed. I picked him up next morning, he has good balance on his feet ONLY, when walking he looks normal but is not balanced enough to fly. He was very light and his feet were very cold when I picked him up. I got home and put him in the shed in a large run about 3 feet off the ground with a perch and a log and an overhead heat lamp and pigeon corn, oyster shell grit for calcium, and spring water. Shed door open for fresh air and sun in the day, closed almost at night (although have had no sun for few days here now). He seemed bright and inquisitive at first (never can tell with wild birds though..), I've opened his mouth and there are no signs of redness or white lumps. He has Vionate on his food, along with a vegan probiotic powder.

But he is not making good progress.

Main reason being although he eats, since day one he has had difficulty eating ANY size feed. He throws his head back and rolls it to get the food down it seems, tossing it in the air, a classic sign of PMV..OR a neurological damage of sorts perhaps, it's hard to tell. He has a voracious appetite (or at least he tries) and was drinking lots for the first week. BUT for the past 2 days he has lost weight, I have not seen him drink, he is still eating and walking around cage but NOW his crop seems to be a bit lumpy and larger than normal. My immediate concern now is to make sure he is comfortable and that his crop is not blocked? He tells me off sometimes when I change the newspaper but recently he has sounded burbly, only when his voice is used. I have gently massaged it and given warm water. Should I give drop of olive oil too? On his food? Is he warm enough? I cannot bring him indoors as I just don't have the room for the run and it is quiet where he is. I am worried oil would give him loose motions as they are already loose during the day and he has already lost weight (can feel his breastbone all the way along now :(). I am so worried about him, he is such a bright and feisty lad and is not ready to leave this earth yet.

I have consulted 2 vets but it is not ideal as one who will see him not an avian vet. Advice given to keep care up for 6 weeks to see what lasting damages possible PMV leaves, at least he is being given a chance. Recent advice to give a drop or 2 of warm olive oil and watch for dehydration. But how? And is he warm enough? I have since put an electric bar heater (not fan) to come on a timed interval to keep the shed 'warm'er, but feel it could perhaps be warmer for a poorly bird?..or dry his sinuses?

Sorry for all these questions, only he is a life, and I feel such a huge responsibility for him.
(Also if he does recover but still cannot fly properly despite having nothing obviously wrong with his wings can he be with a sanctuary. I live in the South East UK. I know vets say 'no' but it would be a shame to not consider this option for him).
 

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Ok so sounds like it may be two things going on, both pmv and trich or canker. AND more importantly START FEEDING HIM BY HAND. Now if it IS canker you have to go the the one vet no matter what and get the meds for that. Metronidazole, thats what the crop lump may be. Also yes if PMV then he will need time and may never recover enough to be released or he may, time will tell.

NOW, go buy some frozen corn and peas and even carrots, whatever the mix is and hand feed this bird daily about 30 peas or so at a time. Then offer him a drink and I mean put the cup up to his beak and gently hold his head and put his beak into the water, careful not to put his nose in it and wait until he drinks and he will, do this 4 times a day in his weak condition. Also if you have pedialyte at the drug store, get the no name brand and use that as his source of water for a few days. If not, then put a half of teaspoon of sugar in tap water with a pinch of salt per cup and have him drink that. He is weak and thin from lack of food. Most times when a bird is sick its the starvation that kills them because they are not getting what they need, you have to assist him. So get him warm first, hydrated second and fed. Call the vet and ask if he will give you the meds for canker. Without them he will die.

Google on youtube how to feed a pigeon peas and corn, even if it is dry but you MUST have a water chaser after every meal.

Now to address the shed thing. You will have cats and other critters that can kill him. He has to be in a place that is predator proof and I mean locked in a place where there is no space larger than half an inch gap to get thru or he is at big risk by *****, mink, hawks and cats. Dogs too if they re around. If u can post a picture of him and his living arrangement.
 

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Follow these basic steps immediately to save its life: http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f108/basic-steps-to-saving-the-life-of-a-pigeon-or-dove-8822.html

The bird needs to be kept warm inside, and definitely needs hand feeding or it sucumb. You can use a bird formula if it is incapable of swallowing seed, until it regains strength. It is no doubt not able to fly due to starvation.

Here is a UK link on hand feeding peas or corn, there is also information on rescue resources and more: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/peasandcorn.htm
 

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Hard pigeon corn really is good for him now, as that is hard to digest. A regular seed mix would be better, but if he isn't eating, then hand feeding him would be needed. As was mentioned, frozen peas which have been defrosted and warmed under warm running water would be easy to feed and to digest. You hold the bird on your lap and against your body and open the beak, put in a pea and push it to the back of the throat and over the tongue. Let him close his beak and swallow. Start with 30 peas a few times a day, and work up to 50 per feeding. Check his crop and make sure it has emptied before feeding again. He does need to be kept inside and warm. He may be ill and need antibiotics. Can you post a picture?
 

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Whereabouts are you, dove2? I am also in the S.E. but that covers a wide area of course.

PM me if you don't want to share your location on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Went to hand feed yesterday but there is no room in his crop it is full of food!, crop stasis or something is going on..he needs to empty his crop. Can I gently flush it?
I am in Hampshire area.
I kind of know how to hand feed, and giving water with each mouthful is vital.. I've had success in the past with oatballs and fresh warm peas several times a day and rehydrating fluid initially after leaving bird in a warm dark room for at least 12 hours first with nil by mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
CBL, Thank you. Can't post pic at mo of run set up, all I can say is it is 3 feet off the floor with a perch, a log, a heat lamp, approx. 5 ft long and 2.5 ft in height, x same in depth with secure latch to lift up lids to clean as section at a time, it was hand made especially for my quails to be in at night when I had them. It is safe from all predators, including foxes here, that is all there is to worry about getting in shed, I keep it ajar but not able to be forced open at night. No mice or rats that I know of.

I have cats which live indoors and are too old to do anything other than sniff the shed door, they really are not interested. Cats live mostly indoors, my house is cold as I am one of those living in fuel poverty, my cats and I stay in one room and heat that with the gas fire at night which I would have though would not be good for the bird.. So he is warmer than the rest of the house most of the time..but I will ramp the heat up to room temperature now.

.. here is rough photo of set up..with young WOOD PIGEON in the summer (successfully released after 10days).



OK, here is white pigeon, taken 2 days ago before crop got big..
 

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He may have canker which is causing a blockage. A small amount of warmed baby applesauce and gentle message may help it to pass. Other than that, you can't feed him with a full crop. Corn is very hard. Would not have filled him up with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I daren't put anything like that down him Jay3, he is not accepting anything and I'm afraid of choking him as he is so blocked. I have only ever fed him 2 times, never corn, the rest he has fed himself to sustain himself but the oatball would not go down when I last tried as there was no room!
The question please is do I flush it out? or let a vet do it?

CBL I you are right about what is going on, there has always been an issue with him eating and I have always suspected a blockage or pmv. Having said that he eats on his own with difficulty but most recently has got an impacted crop. Either way I need to act fast, I just can't rest until it is alleviated for him. :(
 

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Well he sure looks GOOD in that pic lol. Ok so here is what I would do. Get a very thin formula of either baby food cereal as you said oat or wheat. I mean literally NOT in his mouth but at the side or tip of his beak by dropper, put a few drops of the liquid to osmose into his beak multiple times a day and allow him to swallow. I worry about syringing anything INTO his mouth as if his breathing hole is open, literally a drop of fluid can kill him.

I would keep pedialyte or gatorade water mixed 50-50 and dip his beak in every hour for the entire day, he may or may not drink each time but that is important for you to DO it so that if he is hungry or thirsty, he will drink to the level of NOT drowning right. Do you have any of that ???? I did this with a bird that was so weak, he was literally staggering and appeared drunk. He was a downed racer on the highway. By the end of the day with the sugar water I made him drink, he starting pecking at the seeds candy mix or canary mix on the drive home.

So for now, keep warm, hydrated, dark for rest and I would put like a candy mix in front of him and see if he goes for tiny seeds himself, he only needs but a few a day, even a half ounce of food for a sick bird not excersizing is good enough. If you cant find candy mix, just go buy a small bag of finch breeding mix and that is close enough to the recipe. Good luck and keep us posted, also of course you need the canker meds asap.
 

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One other thing I wanted to mention, do you have grit down anywhere, have you seen him eat food OR grit. I ask because are you 100% sure he did not gorge on seed or grit when you were not watching? When I rescued another racer that was eating well. He was eating crap wild feed for three weeks and when he saw the racer mix he gorged himself on it for two days, so I had to pull the food and only give him warm water in his crop until I felt it soften. He then settled down and ate normally after that.
 

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Applesauce mixed with a little warm water helps to move things through the crop. Other than the applesauce, you never feed a pigeon till his crop has emptied.
Don't let him eat anything till he has passed what is in his crop.
Is he passing anything? Any droppings? If not, then a vet may need to flush him. For drinking water, just use plain water with a bit of vinegar added to it. Not much, just a few drops to 1/2 cup. It helps to change the PH in the crop, as you want it a bit on the acid side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
CBL He is not weak but yes, I need to prevent dehydration, from what you have said it looks like he has gorged himself on pigeon food just prior to this incident. I explained to a vet over the phone that he had difficulty eating but is still very focused on food!, vet said to just give him small seed and he will stop throwing his head back every time he eats, well, he was still throwing head back and tossing seed even on the tiniest of seed, I figured he will get NO food like this and he got very thin so I put in the pigeon mix again :/ I have taken that out now. He is one of the most difficult birds to hand feed, he is very very wriggly boy! which makes me very suspicious he has something wrong with his neck. He keeps turning his head away and does not like being picked up at all so I have been trying to maintain as little contact and stress for the guy as poss.

Do I stop putting food down for him until his crop empties? I still feel he is thin, but he will eat all of the seed I put in front of him, including linseed so should I just put linseed down and drizzle warm water into him with perhaps some applesauce (where would I get that, do I make it?) and massage his crop??

Jay3, thankyou, his pooing has slowed down, he is pooing less and mostly at night, it is white and pale brown. I am in two minds to take him to vet today to be flushed? Vet has told me how to do it but I don't think I have the mind or expertise to syringe the little guy myself. I would never forgive myself if I drowned him! I will see how he is today when it gets light, it is still dark here and I can't sleep for worrying about the little guy. I don't want to get in a situation over the weekend where I can't get to speak to a vet or have to get him flushed so if it needs doing it has to be today, and before the rush hour traffic.
This is so difficult I don't know the best course of action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Better news! Here he is this morning, caught standing over his food bowl having eaten.
He has done a few good healthy dollops in the night under his perch and his crop doesn't appear to have been as distended as it was yesterday, certainly not any worse. I think the extra heat is helping his little body to relax and pass things through perhaps. :)




He's a dear little lad but I fear he has so much wrong with him so we are just taking it one day at a time.


Concern still there for CANKER..
How to tell for that, anyone? please? I feel I'm against the clock and want to catch it asap as he may already have had the start of it when he came to me.

I'm assuming I would need to get him swabbed at vet for canker first?
 

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GREAT, and NO do not take him to the vets do NOT flush his crop, just give him warm water in a dish and put it up to his beak and allow him to drink. He may just have pmv and thats it, so as I said with mine when he gorged, I simply FED him daily, his own mix. PUT the PIGEON feed back for him just measure a much smaller amount but u must feed him daily. Dont withhold food, he will regulate within a day or so. He gorged for the same reason mine did, he has been away from home for a bit and when he saw what food he recognized as his food from coop he went nuts and overfed, he will be fine. Just make sure he is eating and drinking so do what I did. I would feed only when I was home from work and before work so I could stand and watch to make sure he got fed. Since he does have pmv give him the LARGE pigeon feed back so it is easier for him to eat and not try too see and grab small seeds with his nerve issues. Also offer a bit of grit right in the same seed dish. This helps break down the seeds and push things thru. So DO NOT flush. Do NOT hand feed as long as he is getting food and I would not bother massaging the crop either as if over full u can push food back up into the throat and aspirate him. So best to wait and observe.

Now regarding canker, just treat for it as a precaution, it wont hurt. I would not let most vets touch birds, they screw up badly. Story: Same friend in vegas, had bird with obvious canker. I said to NOT take to vets and allow them a crop swab as it will make canker bleed and kill bird. She said ok. Will just go and ask for meds. I said DONT let them TOUCH the bird, have them look while YOU hold it, DONT let them do crop wash, tell them what it is and what you need and get enough to do the flock. Dont let the bird out of your sight. What did she do. She LET them take the bird into the back and they handed her back a dying bird with tons of blood coming out its mouth drowning it in its own blood BECAUSE they said they have to do a crop WASH to determine what it was for their own what?, money grab. She called me loosing it crying with the bird, I asked her WHY she didnt listen to me and why did she let them touch the bird. She thought the WORDS crop wash meant they would wash out his mouth of the canker and clean out his crop so he could eat. She never took a bird back again, she got meds online from one of the pigeon supplies and did the flock treat and the birds were healthy ever since. My point being, vets want and need to know all the answers in their own mind before they will take their best guess when we KNNOW exactly what is wrong and what is needed. Often pigeon breeders know more than a REGULAR vet what is necessary and depending how good of a sales person you and if convincing they will help you as YOU are the one paying, so they need to listen and just administer the meds. These same 'vets' killed her little parrotlet. I had a beak injury and they had to remove part of the upper beak, she trusted them, the bird was fine and healthy and still eating but because she didnt like the look of it and it bothered HER to look at it, she didnt take my advice and allow it to fall off or remove it herself like a hangnail. She went to vets, they said they had to do surgery, charged her 600 bucks and get this, LAZERED the portion off with NO protection to birds face and basically cooked the bird alive. His ENTIRE head and eyes swelled up so badly because they didnt use a shield too stop the heat from the rest of his poor head, that bird suffered and died a horrible death for aesthetics. Sorry for the negative stories but what to learn from that is, unless an avian vet, and I DO have another unsuccessful story about that one too. Sometimes less is more.
If anyone wants to hear the avian vet failure story, just say so and I will post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks CBL for your quick reply, I'm so glad I am on these forums, they are so helpful. :)

Such awful events that happened to those poor, poor birds!! Poor angels! I hear what vets say but still make my own mind up, I have learnt from bitter experience to weigh it all up first, at the forefront of my mind is that they are a business..and I won't be rushed into a decision, for me it is a life that needs a voice. Some Rescue places also, through no fault of their own are so busy they just can't offer the casualty one-to-one care and the quiet time it needs to recover, they have to prioritise and so pts a lot of casualties in haste that are in that 'grey' area, that given time could have a chance so that they can concentrate on the ones that are short-stay and quick release. There is ONE vet that I trust who has helped me out on wildlife issues before but he is away at the moment. I'm so glad I didn't let the crop wash happen now!

Dove has, however, been to a vet today who tells me there is no canker, but yes, a lump (but as you say the canker could have started way down and that wouldn't be seen). We don't know what it is but he is still throwing the food back as usual while eating, bless him. His weight is good I'm also told, so that's good. He did the most adorable wing stretch when he came 'home' from the vets then proceeded to have a good draft of water and tuck in to some seed, followed by a good preen of 'one's ruffled feathers'! What canker treatment should he be on, and will it upset his system/side effects? I try to stick to natural remedies wherever I can for animals. I think I mentioned he is currently on vegan probiotics. Yes, he has had grit from Day 1 sprinkled on clean newspaper and in dish. I am reticent to try the whole pigeon mix, at the moment, but will try a little of the chipped (smaller) corn and wheat, smaller pieces (dove food). As you say I will get him back to the bigger mix gradually, and regulated, over the next day or so, because yes, he is looking at the small seed for a while before deciding which bit to pick so that could be a bit time consuming and frustrating for him. I have learnt my lesson the hard way and now give a little at a time so he doesn't gorge on it! (P.S Big Sis went to Canada recently, loved it so much she wants to go back to her birthplace soon!)
 

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If a pigeon s crop isn't emptying, You do not feed him more. That just puts new food in with old, and can cause a lot of crop problems.

Also, CBL's advice NOT to go to a qualified bird vet is really bad. If his friends have had that much trouble with vets, then I don't think they are avian vets to begin with. A good vet knows what they are doing, and know how to take a swab for canker without harming the bird. You cannot tell for sure if the bird has canker or not just because you can't see it. The vet would have to do some tests. A swab of his throat, or checking the contents of his crop. If none of this was done, then you need a different vet. At this point, you can't be sure what is wrong with the bird, so you are just guessing. If there is a blockage, and you keep feeding him, you are going to make him very sick. And if there is an illness that goes untreated because you wouldn't find out what it was, then he will probably die. So keep taking bad advice, and you will end up with a dead bird. Good luck.
 

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"If a pigeon s crop isn't emptying, You do not feed him more. That just puts new food in with old, and can cause a lot of crop problems. "

Jay3 is correct.
remember the Crop is just for storage, and must empty out or problems arise. Some people have massaged or manipulated the crop(gently)
to free up a blockage.
A blocked crop, in my opinion would be the only reason that a Pigeon will try to eat food or Grit in excess. (Starving)
also when a pigeon is NOT real hungry,it will act like it is having problems eating. picking up grains, and dropping them ect.
You really do not know if the crop is blocked unless you monitor it for several hours(in Adult Pigeons)
 

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Jay I didnt say NOT to go to a vet I said dont go to a REGULAR vet, and I said go to an avian one but not put a lot faith in it. I have been to BOTH and they BOTH have failed. I SAID that I would tell of the story of the AVIAN vet if anyone wanted to know. But no one cared to know, so believe me I have EXPERIENCE with AVIAN vet and I was able to SAVE the bird they sent home to DIE. SO as you can see I DO have a clue and although I believe if someone has a clue to do a wash without making canker bleed. I am in DOUBT. Better to simply treat for canker and not risk a bleed. Is that not clear???
I stand by my GOOD advice based on experience. Treating for canker will not hurt only help. LuckyT, he did say the crop was a bit more empty, not as large. The bird is getting food in AND out as his poops are bigger and better. I say wait it out and I also said to give warm water to soften the crop AND cut back on the feed AND give PIGEON mix as it is better and what he is used to. Small seed is ok if he can pick it up but sounds like he is having problems doing so as they are small and if he does have neuo issues, is having a hard time picking up the tiny stuff.

Dove, dont give cracked or small corn bits to this bird, IF it is canker and he has issues, that is too scratchy for his throat and crop. I would just feed the whole corn and peas that are round and easy to eat.

Dove email me so I can send you information thanks.
 

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Jay I didnt say NOT to go to a vet I said dont go to a REGULAR vet, and I said go to an avian one but not put a lot faith in it. I have been to BOTH and they BOTH have failed. I SAID that I would tell of the story of the AVIAN vet if anyone wanted to know. But no one cared to know, so believe me I have EXPERIENCE with AVIAN vet and I was able to SAVE the bird they sent home to DIE. SO as you can see I DO have a clue and although I believe if someone has a clue to do a wash without making canker bleed. I am in DOUBT. Better to simply treat for canker and not risk a bleed. Is that not clear???
I stand by my GOOD advice based on experience. Treating for canker will not hurt only help. LuckyT, he did say the crop was a bit more empty, not as large. The bird is getting food in AND out as his poops are bigger and better. I say wait it out and I also said to give warm water to soften the crop AND cut back on the feed AND give PIGEON mix as it is better and what he is used to. Small seed is ok if he can pick it up but sounds like he is having problems doing so as they are small and if he does have neuo issues, is having a hard time picking up the tiny stuff.

Dove, dont give cracked or small corn bits to this bird, IF it is canker and he has issues, that is too scratchy for his throat and crop. I would just feed the whole corn and peas that are round and easy to eat.

Well when you tell him to keep letting the bird eat when the crop isn't emptying well then you are wrong. Give a bit of warmed apple sauce with a bit of warm water mixed into it. Then gently message the crop. It very likely will help. But don't continue to feed or let him eat until the crop does empty.
Then go slow, and let it empty between feedings to make sure.

I would also start him on Metronidazole, 50 mg. once daily for 10 days.

Oh, and you sure can get a crop sample without causing a bleed. I have done it many times. You just have to know what you are doing. Any good vet could do that.
 
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