Pigeon Tales

January 22, 2010

The Horror continues – Pina has PMV

From the

Diary as of  11/17 – 11/19/09

11/17 Pina has PMV

The horror continues but in the meanwhile I have no time any more to be in shock.
While Willy seems to be  improving slowly, eating again and drinking,  I am confronted with a new horror: Pina has PMV.

It started on Tuesday evening. She came home, astonishingly quite clumsy when she tried to land on one of her favourite places on the closet. Later on she seemed to be nervous and started to look at the ceiling a couple of times. At that point I was not very worried yet but I found it strange. Also her poop had started to become quite squishy since a few days but I thought this to be  normal from time to time. I have seen this with our other pigeons too.
The next morning – thank heaven before we let her out – she really seemed to have difficulties flying and landing. She strangely moved her head and now my suspicion was alert. I packed her in a box and we drove to the vet. I also took some samples of her poop.

At the vet my suspicion was confirmed after I told her about all the symptoms. I was ready to fight for Pina in case the vet suggested to put her down. But she did not. She said that she was going to make several tests on Pina’s poop and would send it in for Salmonellosis test.
Pina received an injection of a 24 hr antibiotics. The vet gave me some good advice what to do now – keeping her warm, giving her vitamins etc. And she was quite convinced that Pina could heal again. This at least was the positive side.

Home again my head was swirling. And although I had read so much about PMV already I felt somehow lost – especially as Pina started to have really bad cramps, moved her head crazily around, standing nearly on her head and so on. I was shocked to see her like this. Reading about PMV and having a little darling pijjie having the same sickness are two different pairs of shoes.

So I set up a big cardbox with really thick walls – strangely I had one the right size at home already. On the bottom I put several layers of newspaper, on top of that a big plastic bag in case she would spill her drinking pot, then a thick layer of towel and on top several layers of soft kitchen paper. Additionally I put a flowerpot saucer wrapped up in kitchenpaper which additionally functioned not only to rest her head on but also kept the food and water pot from tumbling over. I also gave her a paper roll wrapped in kitchenpaper as another support for her imbalance.

In the meanwhile I am adding two hot waterbottles – which I change every 2 hours or so. I have put them in 2 edges of the box beneath all the layers of stuff so that it does not become too hot and also this way Pina has still enough space to escape if it is getting too warm for her.

11/18 The next day – Wednesday – she still was able to pick up some seeds at least and she drank a bit by herself. The night was terrible. She had cramps and was behaving like crazy. So I took her out, held her up to my chest – and she calmed down immediately. So I sat in the middle of the night with my little Pina holding her. She was so in misery. Later I put her back into the box and she seemed calm now. Well – I had not much sleep that night.

In the morning she seemed to be slightly calmer but she could not pick up seeds nor drink water any more by herself. So I gave her some fluid with the syringe. We drove to the vet again. The tests for parasites were negative. A new check on Pina and describing all the symptoms from last night revealed that it was quite clear that she had PMV – I had still hoped that not. But the vet told me that with good care Pina was probably going to be okay again. We discussed what to feed her and giving her increased dose of vitamins etc.

Back home Pina got some more water with vitamins and I gave her a mush which was a mix of her seeds and additional peanuts and sunflower seeds which I grinded in the coffeegrinder and then added water and vitamins again. She received 2 x 10 ml of this stuff. Later I popped some warm (formerly frozen) peas into her mouth which she swallowed quite nicely but I had to open her beak each time – she did not take them deliberately. She hates crop feeding and that kind of stuff. I would too!

During the night she seemed to be calmer – at least she had no bad cramps. The next morning she seemed to feel a bit better. I started her day with checking her weight – 315 gr and then gave her some water with vitamins through the syringe again. A little later she received 10 ml of above stuff again. A bit later I tried to feed her some peas again. Same as usual – she did not want to eat deliberately.

In the early afternoon I realized that she was holding her little head quite upright and started to pick at the crushed peanuts in her pot and she actually swallowed them. After eating quite nicely she also drank from the water pot all by herself. I was so relieved. This means for me that if she does not lose weight and I don’t need to force feed her any more.  We will see how this goes in the next days. As soon as the weight comes down I have to go back to tube feeding.

11/18 Today Pina really seems to feel a bit better. She even escaped from her cardbox by making a big jump and landing safely on the soft carpet. I was astonished – so I immediately put the grill from the oven which I am using as a cage cover back on her cardbox. She also started to preen herself from time to time today. Each time when she started to cramp again I took her out to hold her. This really calmed her down.

Btw – I tried a real cage from the vet – Pina hated it. She immediately began to chew on the bars – so I put her back into her cardbox. She seems to feel much safer there – especially as she can see everything through the “roof”. I will make some photos tomorrow. I had not the guts to do this so far but now I think I am ready to cope with the situation. I want to do everything that could make Pina a cheerful little pigeon girl again. I think she’s got good premises for this…

PS. I would never have thought to say this one day but currently I am glad that Peppi is gone. I don’t dare to imagine…

Here are the photos how I have housed Pina at the moment – she seems to like her new home:



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