Pigeon Tales

August 18, 2009

With Emma to the Veterinarian

From the

Diary as of 7/7/09

I called the vet immediatly in the morning and told the girl on the phone what had happened the day before.  She told me to bring the bird immediately. Now I had the problem of getting hold of Emma. Remember – she is a wild bird and never eats from my hand. She always has been shy although this has improved during the last year. How to catch her without putting her into additional stress?

I waited for Emma and her mate, Pete, to go into their nest for cuddling. They do this quite often when they are not sitting on eggs. So this was my only hope. At the very moment when I saw them going into the nest I went out on the balcony, made myself small and hided behind the little “screen” i.e. half of the nest entry was closed by a piece of cardboard. First this was an additional wind protections, second Emma could hide behind it and third it was luckily my chance to get as near as possible without being seen.

I immediately threw a big piece of cloth over the entry and carefully released Pete from his “prison” so that Emma could not escape at the same moment. I could grab Emma very carefully and put her instantly in a cardboard box which was large enough that she could move but small enough that she could not open her wings in order to avoid any injury. I had cut some small holes into each side so that she could see somethin and breathe of course.

I realized to my satisfaction that the dark box – despite the small holes letting some light into it – somehow quieted her down – or maybe she knew that I was trying to help her – whatever – she sat in her box apparently quite content without any panic and we could drive her to the vet.

The doctor examined her carefully but could not say what the problem really was. She could not detect any signs of canker or any other obvious problem. Probably she had a serious cold due to the very bad weather in the past weeks. When humans get sick from this, why should animals be spared from this? All the pigeons are in moult – so this is additional stress and attacks the immune system. Poor Emma.

So the vet gave her an injection with antibiotics and a pill (which I really cannot remember what it was – I was so worried about my little pigeon lady – I was in biggest panic myself). But I think she said something about potential worms. We took Emma home again. I was relieved that there was hope for her recovery again. I was sooo relieved – I cannot tell you how much.

(Addendum: called the vet today and Emma received following medication:

1 x 5 day injection Doxycyclin antibiotics

1 x Spartrix against canker

1 x Metacam against pain and inflammation – update as of 08/19/09)

Emma improved slighty till the evening, sitting in the second small nest behind the “curtain” nearly all day. So this was the best recipe – getting some rest. Whenever she came out I lured her into eating a few seeds which she did and she also drank some water. I took it for a good sign. When animals eat they are on the way of getting well – no difference to humans!

In the night I heard her “caughing” once for a few times but then it was quiet. She also seemed to breathe a bit lighter which meant she did not open her beak any more so much for breathing – only a little bit from time to time.

So I could go back to bed and try to sleep a bit more….

I just discovered that I don’t have a photo from the nest as it is right now – but you can see that cardboard in the huge black planter? This isThe nest of Emma and Pete. It is covered wirth cardboard and a plastic sheet over it to protect it completely against rain and wind.

These are Emma and Winnie and Jimi (from left to right)  – the second “batch” (find this word terrible 🙂 ) of Emma and Pete.





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