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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
One of our latest youngsters, we currently have nine pigeons in our back kitchen, has been injured. We heard a thud and found him on the ground unable to stand. When picked up he will kick with his feet and push against you but topples over when trying to stand. I had him on my lap giving him water and seed when he suddenly flew away. He was perfectly coordinated in the air but landed with a big thump on top of our chinchilla cage. We have had him on metacam and cage rest in a tea towel donut for a week. He is very perky and sits with his head up, feeds and waters himself from bowls in the cage. When changing the food and water he will 'wing whack' us and seems fine in every other way. I suspect that he has some kind of pelvic injury and need to know what to do to aid recovery, if indeed he can recover. Sometimes he topples forward, sometimes sideways, when he is lying he normally has his legs extended straight forward rather than underneath as a pigeon at rest would. He seems to be more upright than a week ago when he would be lying almost on his side. The vet we saw originally said although they could not find any broken bones they would need to x-ray to double check. As the bird has just fledged they felt it would not survive the sedation to carry out the procedure, so to give it 48 hours and if no improvement they would euthanise. As the bird does seem improved,if only slightly over the week, we want to give it every chance possible.
 

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Hi GB,



Legs tend to be 'stright forward'?


That seems pretty odd.


Rigidly forward? Wiht heavy pushing tension?

Or..?



See if you can feel the length of both Legs between finger tip pads, looking for swelling or places of injury however so.


Check his actual Hip Joints, where his upper Legs meet his lower Back, on the sides...feeling them, and seeing if the Hip Joint is in fact in place, or, if there is any dislocation, or any broken splinters of fractured Hip Sockets...checking then for ease of mobility and orbit, being very gentle and mindful of how the Leg articulates from there, and what a normal range of motion is.


Here is a reference illustration -

http://pwp.surfglobal.net/rmangile/Pigeons/PigeonSkeleton.jpg


Have his Legs under him in a normal sitting position if possible...rather than allowing him to have them directed 'forward'.

Rolled or folded Towelling can be used to improvise supports if he will oblige it, for him to be sitting with his Legs under him in a normal way.


If it is not overly hot where you are, some sheer stretchy Fabric - such as Cotton T-Shirt material - could be arranged into a Sling, with Leg Holes ( making sure they are not pinching or binding against his upper Leh areas ) , so his Legs can dangle down unencumbered...and, the Sling suspended from above from two points ( I use 'Bull Dog Clips' - any Office Supply Store with their Loops suspended by a Dowel Rod ), so he is in a normal attitude.

Seed and Water Bowls can then be evelated and placed within Beak reach...the rear of the Sling allowing poops to fall free so no poops are trapped.


I am sure he will recover, but it can take a while, weeks...months sometimes.


Find a new Vet...ideally, a competent one.

X-Rays will not help anything in this context, other than to continue to mask how a bad vet charges a lot of dough for incompetence, for providing nothing of any use and nothing for an intelligent diagnosis, or worse, having not even given you anything of value or use for what is to be done now, other than euthenasia. Nor would any competent Vet insist to use a Global Anaesthesia for an X-Ray. One merely holds the Bird according to how one needs the Image to be taken.

X-Ray might show swlling of the Kidneys if present, but, this could be allowed as a possible condition anyway without X-Rays, and, meanwhile, the management of recovery or treatment would be determined on various impirical cues anyway...since his Kidneys could be swollen FROM the injury rather than being cause of the Weak Legs...so...


Anti-inflamitories may help...


Green Fractures ( the kind of 'cracks' which would show up on an X-Ray when a Bone is not broken in half crosswise ) would tend to be accompanied by discoverable swelling...and would be highly unlikely, though not impossible, for both Legs to have in a young Pigeon.

Does his Beak seem firm and 'rigid'?

Either way, a Sling, if you can manage it, would be best...allowing the Legs to dangle down, and for the Legs not to be in an un-natural position which could adversly effect them while whatever is injured, or is causing this, is healing.

Landing hard with weak Legs can also cause their back to suffer a sort of bending moment, which can contuse their Kidneys and Sciatic Nerve, making the Legs then useless, pending a protracted recovery phase.


It is possible his Legs were weak from an injury to his Back by other preceding cause, or, from something causing his Kidneys to be swollen, or somehting effecting his Sciatic Nerve...which then made take offs more difficult, and landings much more difficult...which could have preceded the original 'thud'.


It is possible his Legs were weak from a B Vitamin deficiency, or, a Calcium deficiency...an infection, or a Virus.

Can you post some good, in focus close-up images of his Poops?



So, all we really know, so far, is that his Legs are weak and uncomfortable to him...with cause as yet undetermined.



Phil
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Is he pooping OK? Are his legs warm to the touch?

I have seen that stretching the legs forward before,I associate it with back injury that has inflamed the nerves of the spine.

These injuries take time to heal. You have already seen an improvement, so I would give him time and rest. IMO the metacam is a good choice of treatment and if he is content to sit in a towel donut then that is fine too.

I took one of the pigeons that was suffering a similar injury to the sanctuary and they treated it with Devil's Claw, which they said had an anti-inflammatory effect similar to steroids.

They also rigged up a cradle made out of a margerine tub with holes in it for his legs and hung it within reach of his food and water.

The last time I checked they said that it had improved enough to be in the aviary with other birds and that they expected further improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Phil,
Many thanks for your quick response.
Straight forward was probably misleading. At first he would push with his legs and then keep the leg straight either behind, or to the side whilst he toppled forward or to the side. He now has the legs more or less in the right position but has his feet forward of what I would say is the normal at rest position. If I turn him upside down he 'paddles' with his feet.If I put anything in the way of his feet he will push against it. My wife is far better at handling the birds and I will get her to carry out an exam as you suggest as soon as she returns, she's out with the dogs, and then has to give the abandoned duckling his hydrotherapy. In the meantime I will get some pics of poop and of the leg position I am trying to describe and post them asap.
I feel it unlikely that there is a vitamin deficiency as he has the same food as the rest of the birds. They are allowed to roost and have free run of our back kitchen where they get fed on the best quality seed daily.
Similarly the close proximity with the remainder would suggest that if he had a virus I would see it among the rest, who are all fighting fit.
They do free fly however and apart from an abandoned hand reared pigeon/rock dove and a rescued Birmingham roller, who are the parents to the rest, have never been handled.
This youngster had only been out and about for three days with the rest when this happened and it is possible he may of eaten something he shouldn't. The parents were in the process of keeping him apart from his sibling, something that they have done with each pair of young when they first fledge, and were not allowing him back to the roost where the nest was, and I do feel it more likely he crashed either into something or landed heavily in a squabble.
His beak is firm and rigid and he will peck if you get a hand too close. I love the sling idea (no it's never too warm in northern england,lol) and will make one immediately. Your assertion that an injury could take weeks or months to recover from is very encouraging as I thought we might just be putting off the inevitable.
Cheers Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Feefo,
Thanks for your concern.
Yes his legs are warm and he is pooping ok.
I think I prefer Phils sling more than a tub, as I don't want him to injure a wing flapping in the cage but will keep it in mind for later especially as it may allow for a bit more wing movement for comfort.
Ken.
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Hi Ken,


Okeydoke...sounds good then.

Hard landing hitting the side of the Keel area, where no marks would be found, can injure the lower Back. Birds actually hitting their Backs on anything is quire rare, unless falling impaired from a mid air collision of some sort or shot.

Seeing strength in the Legs when extended, may suggest a nerve related position sensitive issue.


I have a similar one presently...when laying on his Back he enjoys to 'Bicycle' and has some strength in doing so...legs show no sign of breaks or cracked Bones, Hip Joints seem alright...but, he can not stand nor sit for want of strength in his Legs.

Mine is a young one also, found by a Road by a kindly person and brought to me.

Mostly, mine has abided in leaning onto folded or rolled Cloths, and, spends time on his Back also, which he is comfortable to do.

Mine would not abide any Sling I could devise, while, others I have had, would.


These 'Leg' ones, one has to look in on constantly, and, aid them in finding comfort, making sure the Legs do not end up in bad positions.


Phil
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Hi Feefo,
Thanks for your concern.
Yes his legs are warm and he is pooping ok.
I think I prefer Phils sling more than a tub, as I don't want him to injure a wing flapping in the cage but will keep it in mind for later especially as it may allow for a bit more wing movement for comfort.
Ken.
x


Indeed, whatever methods you may wish to try, it is important to make sure the Pigeon does not spoil his Wings or ruin his Primary Feathers too much, nor Break a Wing, which they can do in frustrations and flailings and so on.

The Sling is ideal in theory...a 'Tub' padded with some soft Cloths can be very good also...soft cloths arranged on a surface which has a hole or holes for the Legs to dangle through, all can be very good, all may be used to advantage.

Holding the Pigeon in one's Palm so they are comfortable, Legs tucked into a normal sitting position, for ensuring they are indeed eating enough, letting them peck Seeds from a Bowl as one hold them, is also good, and, allows the Pigeon to feel less annoyed then for being fussed with other times. Same with Water, making sure they are in fact drinking enough...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here is the picture of the position he is holding his legs. Although when I took this he has pulled his right back a bit further toward normal. Also a picture of poop, the seed in the picture is not part of his droppings but some loose seed from feeding. He does like to flick the seed to find his favourites.
 

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Do the poops look like 'Spinach Dip'?

Swirled urates in dark green fecal material?

Are the Urates clearly White?

Or, slightly yellow-ish?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi,
The youngster was non too happy about the sling so rather than stress him with too many attempts we resorted to the donut towel method. He settles quite well like this and as long as we have a towel draped over the top of the cage he doesn't flap.
My wife gave him a thorough examination and could feel no breaks or swellings. His legs seem to be fine in range of motion. As he has been in a deeper donut I have managed to get some better shots of droppings that had not been sat upon. The urates are very slightly off white, a pale cream I would say and the fecal matter seems to be a very dark green and quite firm. I also took another shot of him on a flat surface whilst creating his new sling and donut. 5.jpg

4.jpg

6.jpg
 

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Hi GB,



Deep 'Do-Nut' Towel arrange is good...anything which will provide comfort and a resonable position for the Legs.

Maybe have his Water be the famous 'ACV-Water' -

Say, three Tablespoons of raw organic unfiltered apple Cider Vinegar to a Gallon of good Water, and have this be his drinking Water for a week.


Poops seem to be within a normal range of alright...a little 'green' maybe...suggesting his system is making a little extra Bile, but, they can do that, and who knows why, but, they sometimes do.


Best wishes!


Phil
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Hi Phil
Many thanks, I will give the ACV a go. We did use this once before when the droppings of a few turned very watery, and it seemed to help. Opinion seemed very divided about how beneficial this is,amongst those we had talked to, although no-one said it would do harm.
As I mentioned the pigeons we have aren't really a domesticated flock. A chance pairing between a hand reared squab, handed to my wife and an injured tumbler she rescued. We were fascinated by the first young they produced but very quickly realised we could not let them breed unrestricted in the kitchen. So started replacing the eggs for plastic dummys.
We had never really medicated them,antibiotics and painkillers for the tumbler when first rescued only, and in fact it was only when one disappeared for two days and returned with a plain plastic ring did we intefere. Wherever he had been, he brought back PMV and passed in on to two freshly hatched young, one of whom died very quickly. The other ran in circles and carried his head upside down for a few weeks until the medication did its job. We felt we had to vaccinate the lot at that stage.
We had lost a couple to cat attack and a couple more were injured and had to be put on baytril, some never returned after fledging. We had seen sparrowhawks regularly in the area and so reluctantly relocated the entire flock, numbering ten at that point, earlier this year. Four however decided to return that week to their cushy number in the kitchen, obviously some goodhoming stock in there.
We allowed the two pairs to produce, before a fifth returned after six weeks and this is one of those.

We feel a lot better about his prospects, and our course of action. I will keep posted any developments on his condition, good or bad.
Many thanks again for your help.
Ken.

P.S. If you or anyone you know are interested in our rescued duckling with his bad feet, Charlie, he/she has their own facebook page. It isn't really a public page but send a friend request to Charlie Duckduck for access.
 

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The ACV-Water has many benifits...including that it shifts the PH in the upper GI to discourage many assorted undesirable micro-organisms of all sorts.

Birds who are for the time being less mobile and active than usual, can be a little more prone to some of those micro-organisms getting out of hand.

His poops have some slight suggestion of Yeast issues...so...the ACV-Water may help with that if there is anything going on in that department.

What is his diet? what kinds of Seeds?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We feed Pigeon Conditioner Feed Mix ;Wheat, Red Dari, White Dari, Linseed, Hempseed, Black Rapeseed, Mung Beans, Safflower, Groats, Paddy Rice, Buckwheat, Pellets, Aniseed
mixed with Free Natural Breeding Maxi
17,5 % french yellow cribs maize 10,0 % wheat 10,0 % dari 10,0 % yellow peas 10,0 % green peas 10,0 % maple peas 5,0 % dunpeas 5,0 % milo 5,0 % cardy / safflower seed 5,0 % tares 3,5 % small seeds and grains 2,5 % maize orange 2,5 % mungbeans
with added black sunflower and grit.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi ,
the youngster is definitely on the mend and has now decided he wants to exercise his wings. He has been clinging on to the wire of the cage with one leg which is just big enough for him to allow him to flap. He has also managed to climb up the side of the cage, this only being about twelve inches. Placing my hand inside he has managed to stand on the back of my hand although still unsteady, his right leg seeming better than his left.
His poop has changed to a very dark brown, almost black. He tends to deposit a large amount infrequently, as he would if he was incubating eggs, I think this is because of the relative inactivity of cage rest.
How long after he becomes steady on his feet do you think would be best to keep him caged before letting him attempt a landing on what could be a relatively newly repaired pelvis?
Ken
 

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Hi Ken,



Glad to hear of the good progress! Very good!!


What is his diet, exactly? Seed types, etc?


Caged convelescents when posessing a healthy digestive system will make perfectly nice poops, one every thirty to fourty minutes or so, with relative or entire inactivity making no interference with it.

He should not be permitted to do any flying for a while yet...not to do anything which could aggrivate whatever the original injury was of his present healing progress.


Can you post some in focus close up images of his poops/urates?


Phil
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Discussion Starter #18
Hi sorry for the delay but after his overnight his first droppings were deposited in his water dish. So it took a while to obtain a sample worth photographing.His feed at the moment is at the moment as the manufacturers description below
mixed with black sunflower seeds and a mixed grit with oystershell.
CONDITIONER MIX
An easily digested small seed mix to help build and maintain peak
condition throughout the year. An enticing aniseed aroma helps
encourage trapping on return from racing.
Ingredients: Wheat, Red Dari, Naked Oats, White Dari, Safflower,
Buckwheat,Hempseed, Linseed, Mung Beans, Black Rapeseed,
Aniseed, Groats, Paddy Rice, Buckwheat, Aniseed.
 

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Hi Ken,


Does look kind of big!

Possibly whatever his injury was...had effected the Nerves regulating the muscles of his poop/urate release...as you had noticed, slowing them to be less frequent, and hence bigger in volume for it.

Indeed it does resemble somewhat the poop of when they are sitting a Nest and have delays.

Looks good otherwise far as I could say.


So glad things have been improving!


Phil
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Hi,
One of our latest youngsters, we currently have nine pigeons in our back kitchen, has been injured. We heard a thud and found him on the ground unable to stand. When picked up he will kick with his feet and push against you but topples over when trying to stand. I had him on my lap giving him water and seed when he suddenly flew away. He was perfectly coordinated in the air but landed with a big thump on top of our chinchilla cage. We have had him on metacam and cage rest in a tea towel donut for a week. He is very perky and sits with his head up, feeds and waters himself from bowls in the cage. When changing the food and water he will 'wing whack' us and seems fine in every other way. I suspect that he has some kind of pelvic injury and need to know what to do to aid recovery, if indeed he can recover. Sometimes he topples forward, sometimes sideways, when he is lying he normally has his legs extended straight forward rather than underneath as a pigeon at rest would. He seems to be more upright than a week ago when he would be lying almost on his side. The vet we saw originally said although they could not find any broken bones they would need to x-ray to double check. As the bird has just fledged they felt it would not survive the sedation to carry out the procedure, so to give it 48 hours and if no improvement they would euthanise. As the bird does seem improved,if only slightly over the week, we want to give it every chance possible.
Check for lead poisoning ...
 
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