Pigeon Tales

January 5, 2012

Emma is very sick – potential Peritonitis after Egg laying Problems

From the

Diary as of 9/22 – 9/30/2011

9/22   Emma laid her first egg #77 – does not look very good – there is blood inside and the shell looks grey and rough – not quite as coarse as before but still not as it should be. Additionally I realized that there is some blood INSIDE the egg when I candled it. I am not worried about babies not hatching because the eggs will be exchanged anyway but I am bit concerned about the blood inside and whether this might be an indicator that something is wrong.

Already since a few breeding cycles the eggs of Emma – our matriarch – do not look any more how they should: the surface is not smooth any more, instead it is a bit coarse and bubbly. So I thought – okay – Emma needs some extra calcium and I put her on Calcivet for the last 4 weeks, twice a week 2 drops. As she is not a loft pigeon – only has her nest on our balcony since 4 years – I have not so much control over what she is eating besides the meals she is eating here in our living room. She has access to grit and crushed eggshells on the balcony etc.

9/23   Gave Emma another portion of Calcivet – she had laid her second “egg” #78 what I did not know on that day.

9/24  Things have turned worse: Emma is really sick. Yesterday the second egg should have been due but every time I looked into her nest I saw only one. Emma did not eat anything yesterday and I could not convince her to come in. I tried to catch her but each time I came near her she smelled the trap and jumped on the balustrade. I hoped that she would return to her nest but she did not. During the night she stayed outside ( thank heaven it was not as cold as in the last days). Several times I looked after her but she seemed to be sound asleep so I did not want to disturb her.

This morning I saw that she had urinated a whole lot with a lot of whites but it was too much liquid and she was puffed up of course. So I decided to catch her by all means. I had a piece of bird net still which she would not be as suspicious about and approached very slowly. I threw the net and had her quickly. What a relief

Upon checking her I felt that her abdomen was quite hard so I was not so sure whether she really had one egg inside still. I brougt her into the bathroom and gave her nice warm bath, massaged her very softly hoping that this would help to get the egg out if there was one still – I was still not sure – wrapped her in a towel and put her in a box, warm waterbottle beneath the box and she seemed a bit more relaxed now. No more puffed up.

Then I went out on the balcony and checked the little nest once more and felt inside that the hay was wet and that there was something slimy inside. I took everything out and what I found was this:

I felt so incredibly stupid that I did not check the nest yesterday properly – I could have spared her another terrible day in pain.
She had expelled the egg but apparently the shell did not form properly and then the contents got all spilled. At least the stuff was out of her body but I was sure  she’s had an infection now so I put her immediately on Baytril. I also checked her mouth and recognized 2 very small lesions – so I knew that canker was on the way or perhaps even inside her body already – I don’t know. I put her also on Spartrix this evening.

My poor Emma. I had the feeling though that she was feeling a bit better already – she seemed quite relaxed today, being warm and in a quiet place. I let her out for a few minutes when Lucky came in – who was desperately looking for her today – and they greeted each other. Then I put her back into the box.

She could watch the other pigeons outside and when they came in of course – so she did not feel left out and lonely. Her poops of course looked awful:

I hope it will be better tomorrow.

9/25  I tubefed Emma 3 times today – so she got some calories and liquid. I pray that she will recover soon again. Fingers crossed

This is one of those cases again where a pigeon apparently looks very healthy and from one day to another things go terribly wrong. I am only glad that Emma is a strong pijjie and has been very healthy for a long time but then the weather started to play games with very cold nights already, temperatures going up and down, Emma getting into laying mode again which is always a problem for the immune system and then apparently she had not sufficient calcium supply although I gave her calcivet twice a week since the last breeding cycle. So what went wrong – I am asking myself? I have no answer…

9/26  I was told by other pigeon rescuers that Emma might have a Peritonitis. (Reti, thank you so much). I really hope it is not egg Peritonitis Not feeling well because this sickness can lead to death. Emma seemed to feel a bit better today. So I let her out again a bit when Lucky came in,  in order to remind him that his wife was still there and Emma greeted him. She preened herself a bit and afterwards I put her back into her box standing on a warm water bottle so that it was snuggly warm inside. This morning I tubefed her again 20 ml of baby rice cereal with vitamins added, a grinded peanut and a tiny tip of honey. For lunch she had 20 big defrosted peas which she liked a lot – she wiggled even a bit with her wing after the meal. So sweet.

Her poops are still awful but the colour has changed a bit from mushy dark green to lighter green. Her abdomen does not seem to be so swollen any more. So I take this as a good sign. Currently she is perching on her belly in a quite relaxed mode – so I assume that she does not have so much pain any more and that the medicine is working.

I pray that she is recovering soon.

9/30  Emma continues to recover.



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