Pigeon Tales

April 15, 2012

Gino increased his Weight by 30% in 2 Weeks and Micky is free again!!

From the

Diary as of 2/26 – 2/29/2012

2/26   Today is weighing day again including all the other stuff such as vitamins, calcium, propolis etc.:

Micky has her usual 336 gr, Gino has increased his weight to 296 gr!! This means that he has increased his body weight by nearly 30 % in 2 weeks. Oh my!!!! And you can feel it – he now does not feel like a something made of bones and skin – instead he feels like a proper little squeaker with a tummy. I am very happy about this. He looks incredibly content after feeding. And in between he makes his exercises or takes a nap. All things little squeakers do when they have a proper home. He also started to preen himself regularly especially when he can watch Rudi or Pina doing it.

I have changed his diet to thawed peas in the morning (he eats 60 pcs per meal!!!!) and lunchtime and homemade pellets (40 pcs.) in the evening.  Now you can imagine how his box looks like in the morning. I will soon need a shovel to clean his box…

I nearly forgot: Gino has lost his sweet squeaker voice – his voice is now breaking and he rather sounds like a croaky duck than a little pigeon.

Today we also decided to let Micky go on next Wednesday when the weather is supposed to be much warmer. She is slowly getting crazy and so very much longs for being able to fly with the others. I don’t want her to become unhappy and depressed. I love her so much – so I have to let her go. I only hope that she will return for meals. I want her to find a lovely partner and have a long long happy life in freedom. This will be a very difficult day for me and I don’t like to think about it. It makes me incredibly sad and happy at the same time. Sad because she wants to go and happy because we could help her to become healthy again.

2/27   Gini is hammering on everything hard and noisy with his beak. What is he up to??? I think he’s adapted very well to his new home and likes it. Aw – who could complain about luxury service – hey????

2/28   Nothing special – am nervous about Micky. Will she return? I feel sad and should not be…

2/29   This was the day: Micky is flying free again! On one hand I am incredibly happy that she is doing so well, that she is totally healthy again but on the other hand I am crying all the time because I miss her so much. As a comfort – she came in several times today.

Here are some of my favourite photos of Micky in the week before she was free again:

outside again:

 

Pina has left her plaster eggs today and is heavily courting and mating with Rudi again. I think they both are very happy that they have their peace again. The jealousy drama between Pina and Micky caused a bit stress. Gino is not a problem for them at all. He is still a baby and not a competitor.

~~~

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15 Comments »

  1. Hello,

    If you could please help me with some advices regarding a baby pigeon we’ve found.
    We live in Romania and I don’t know if I’m always very easy to understand, so please bear with me.
    About 5 weeks ago my bf found a small pigeon with PMV symptoms: mushy green poo, unable to feed himself or to fly, walking in circles etc.
    We went to the vet with him, we had some prescribed drugs he only had for a couple of days because he started vomiting from them.
    After this, we began to feed him better and his poo started looking better and his whole appearance improved, he started putting on weight, was a bit more active, walking around the house. He was still unable to feed himself or to fly. He displayed some nervous symptoms but not the ‘classical’ torticollis with the head upside down.
    We feed him only 2 times a day as I work and it takes 2 people to feed him.
    Then suddenly Thursday evening, when we were hand feeding him, he started to show the classical signs of torticollis. Since then the nervous signs have gotten worse, he keeps his head upside down or at least tilted, when we release him after having fed him he has difficulties in getting up, he has difficulties in drinking water because of his head position.
    We are very worried and really don’t know what to do. We don’t know what happened because he seemed to be better.
    I don’t know if it’s relevant but last Sunday I noticed he had a bit of a limp but he seemed to be over it the next days.
    Also we have fed him with wheat and frozen peas and corn for the last 2-3 weeks. The day his PMV symptoms got worse we had just started feeding him with dry peas, sun flower seeds (at his vet’s recommendation).
    Also the water he drinks contains a product found here recommended for pigeons (AMINOCOMPLEX – some vitamins and amino-acids from what I understand) and drinkable vitamin B also for animals and electrolytes.
    The vitamins products which come in small plastic bottles and are liquid are kept in the room (should be put them in the fridge)?
    He is just about a few months old (so the doctor said) and we are very worries/almost desperate because he is much worse with no apparent reason.

    Please help us, any advice is welcome.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Seida — November 30, 2013 @ 11:23 am | Reply

    • Hello Seida, first of all thank you so much for caring for this sick bird. If it is certain that the bird has PMV and not Salmonella (Paratyphus) – because this can cause similar symptoms – then it is better not to give any antibiotics to the bird because these can worsen the symptoms. You need to be very patient but with loving care the bird could recover completely. My advice for you is:
      1. the bird should be separated from other birds for at least another 2 weeks or so because PMV is very contagious. After around 6 weeks the illness is not contagious any more.
      2. Absolute hygiene is necessary – because the virus can be transmitted through clothes etc.
      3. The bird should be kept in a safe environment: preferrably in a box with lots of padding so that it cannot hurt himself when it has seizures. Please no glaring light but also no complete darkness. PMV birds are very sensible towards loud noises and direct light.
      4. Please make sure that the bird’s drinking pot is narrow and not too deep in order to avoid any danger of drowning during a seizure.
      5. Be prepared that the condition of the bird can change from time to time – sometimes it can worsen again when you think it is on the way to recovery – don’t lose hope. It takes time.
      6. Check the bird’s weight from time to time. It is essential that it does not lose weight. If that should be the case you need to switch to tubefeeding. A symptom that the bird does not have enough nutrients is when it has cold feet.
      7. Please support the bird with continuous warmth not heat. The best thing is to check his feet. I am always using a warm water bottle which I put against the wall of the box where the bird is in, or underneath depending on what you are using as a housing. This can be exchanged 2 – 3 times a day.
      8. supply with extra vitamins is important. Please keep vitamins always in the fridge because otherwise they are becoming useless too soon. Extra calcium is also important for PMV pigeons as the illness causes calcium deficiency. But please be careful with dosage.
      9. And last but not least – please be patient and don’t lose hope. The younger the bird is the heavier the symptoms can be and it may take longer until the bird recovers. Our Pina needed 9 months to recover completely but then she was as if never anything had happened and she stayed free of symptoms for about a year. From time to time she is stargazing when in stress but this is over soon and does not seem to have any impact on her life. And I thought she would never be able to fly any more. I felt so worried and sad. PMV birds can have relapses from time to time but also might never show any symptoms again.

      I wish you and your bird all the best…

      Comment by pigeonwriter — November 30, 2013 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

      • Hello Seida,
        I forgot something important: it is essential that you try to strengthen the immune system of the bird with f.e. pro-biotics such as Bene-Bac and/or pure joghurt (no fruit, no sugar), Propolis (from bees)on a regular basis such 2-3 times a week. Please be careful with any additional medication other than potential canker treatment as canker is often a bad companion of PMV (with Spartrix=Carnidazole).

        Bless you for your loving care…

        Comment by pigeonwriter — November 30, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

  2. Hello,

    Thank you very much for your answer.
    The pigeon is the only “pet” we have, so there’s not danger in contaminating any other birds.
    We live in a small, one bedroom flat, with no balcony and we keep him in the bedroom (where he sleeps on the floor or in a box he has). During daytime, he walks around the house (well he used to when he was feeling better, now he mostly sleeps or peeks his feathers).
    I’ve checked his feet, they are warm (the apartment is warm enough, though not very warm).
    The doctor said he had PMV (I’ve looked for salmonella symptoms but his poo looks ok and besides the head twisting I don’t detect any other symptoms).
    I have some questions regarding his diet and vitamins, if you could please answer me (you sure know more about pigeons than any of the vets he’s been to). We feed him dry peas and defrosted corn (as well as wheat, but lately he’s having difficulties in swallowing them). I don’t know what vitamins to give him and how: we put the vitamin B in his water, but lately we cannot control the quantity of water he drinks so it could be more effective to give it to him differently (today I’ve hidden pieces of a pill inside the defrosted corn). Also we bought calcium but it’s a sort of a dust powder (should we try buying pills). And what would the proper dosage for him?
    One of the vets had prescribed enrofloxacin and we gave it to him about 2 drops per day for about 8 days (we don’t seem to find a vet who really knows about pigeons – one of the 2 vets he’s been to told my bf to vaccinate him against PMV just few days ago and I was against it).
    So please, when you have time, if you could write a sort of a “prescription ” (vitamins, dosage) and proper diet.
    I hope I’m not abusing of your good will.

    Many thanks again.

    Comment by Seida — December 1, 2013 @ 2:35 pm | Reply

    • Hello Seida,

      first of all – a bird that is already sick CANNOT be vaccinated. You would kill it. You were absolutely right not to allow it.
      It is very difficult to give you detailed instruction from the distance when you cannot see the bird but I try my best. The point is that you have to react to the bird’s condition from time to time differently.
      My question: are you familiar with tube-feeding? This means feeding a bird with a syringe. If yes – then it is easy to give you some advice regarding his diet. If you are not familiar with it – do you have the possiblity to get it shown to you from someone who knows how to do it?

      If you feel insecure with tube-feeding you could do the following regarding his diet:
      it should be as diversive as possible and easy to digest. Dry peas are a bit large and difficult to digest if the bird is sick – better would be to feed him defrosted peas (they need to be hand warm not cold) if he has problems to swallow the defrosted corn.

      Can you get hold of ready mixed pigeon-seed? If not you could mix following: dried peas, lentils, millet, sunflower hearts (without the shell only), canary seeds etc. NO dried beans though – they are toxic for pigeons. When you have mixed this you can put it in a coffee grinder and grind everything roughly. Then add a bit rough corn flower and some breadcrumbs (functions as a “glue”) and mix it with water so that you can form pellets. These are much easier to digest than the whole stuff. You can prepare them in advance so that you need not re-start each time. I did that in front of the tv – lol.

      Regarding the vitamins: you can take any mixture for birds. I don’t know what you can get in your country but through the internet most products are available nearly everywhere. Go strictly with the dosage on your product please.

      Regarding calcium: I can only recommend Calcivet. This is a fluid and contains a Calcium-Gluconate and not Calcium-Carbonate. The Gluconate can be absorbed by the body much easier. Also it is important that Vitamin D3 is going together with the calcium because without the vitamin D3 the calcium cannot be absorbed. Please do not give other vitamins and calcium together on the same day as most vitamin mixtures contain also Vitamin D3 and an overdosage of this will have fatal side effects. Here is a link where you could buy it from – maybe there are other sources in your country:

      http://www.birdcareco.com/English/TheBirdCareCompany/ProductInformation/Calcivet

      Regarding pro-biotic: try to buy Bird Bene Bac somewhere (Ebay, Amazon). This is a pro-biotic that works wonders. Whenever my pigeons have problems with digestion or immune system I give them Bene Bac Gel for several days. This is specifically important after a treatment with antibiotics because it heals the intestinal flora. You can also feed plain joghurt.

      http://www.amazon.com/Bene-Bac%C2%AE-Bird-Reptile-4-Pack-tubes/dp/B00061MROU/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1385915232&sr=8-5&keywords=bird+bene+bac

      Hope these answers will help. Please let me know how the bird is doing.
      Hugs to you…

      Comment by pigeonwriter — December 1, 2013 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

  3. Hello,

    Thank you again for your answers, I’m truly grateful for all your care and concern.
    I knew about tube feeding, we had watched a youtube video with a guy feeding peas through a tube to baby pigeons, however as we have no experience in these matters we are afraid to try as we might somehow hurt him.
    So we feed him by hand everyday, once very early in the morning (before I go to work) and quite late in the evening (when I come back). In his good days he ate about 100 small defrosted peas and corn and about 100-200 wheat grains. Lately he’s been having problems swallowing the wheat grains (I don’t know why, the doctor was not able to see anything wrong in his neck).
    In the last 2 days he’s been vomiting a lot (Saturday I tried to give him Piracetam – it’s a drug prescribed for the nervous system and some vitamins – he seem to have a bad reaction to these), this morning he was still vomiting the corns he had eaten yesterday.
    So I decided to give up the drugs and to try to give him the liquid vitamins in his water.
    I prepared in a mixer a paste as you said with dry peas, sunflower hearts, lentils, wheat grain and bread crumbs. Instead of water I added some kefir (instead of yoghurt – a very well known Romania vet who specializes in pigeons recommended kefir as the best natural probiotic). I made about 10 small balls of this pasta and gave them to him and apparently he’s eaten them with no problems (will try to give them to him in the evening).
    We also went to the vet today. Seeing his head upside down the vet said he has no chance of recovery(we were saddened of course, but somehow expected this). Anyway, we will still try to do our best for the time being.
    I was able to find neither Calcivet nor Bene-Bac in Romania (we will try to order them from amazon.co.uk through a friend as they do not deliver to Romania).
    One question, how bad was Pina’s condition? Was her head also upside down? I saw a video of Pina and Willy on youtube, but I was not able to tell from that the gravity of their cases.
    He (we haven’t named him yet) keeps his head upside down when he’s nervous or when there are people around (we included, he is still very scared of us). Today after the vet he was so stressed and so tired, he was not able to lift his head from the ground, so I lifted his head and held it against my hand and stroke his head.

    Many thanks and hugs from Romania,
    Seida

    Comment by Seida — December 2, 2013 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

    • Hello Seida,
      thank you again for taking so much loving care for the little pigeon. I am glad that feeding the paste worked for the little one. This will help him to become stronger. Good idea with the Kefir. Don’t you listen to the vet when he says that the pigeon will not recover. This is not true. So far I had 7 pigeons wih heavy PMV symptoms in my care who all took many months to recover but they ALL did to an extent that I could release them into freedom again.

      Pina’s symptoms were extremely bad at the beginning. The video you saw was from a time where she had few seizures. It was much worse at the beginning. To be honest it was a horror to watch and I spend many nights in tears because at that time I was new to the problem and really did not know how I would ever be able to help her recover. But she did. At the beginning her seizures were that bad that she could not even stand on her feet. Her head was everywhere but she could not lift it at all. She was falling over all the time and I was afraid that she might hurt herself inside the box – I used a strong cardboard box then – and put towels on the bottom, lots of kitchenpaper and made some soft rolls with a thick layer of kitchenpaper from those cardboard rolls of empty kitchenpaper rolls just all around the box so that she was able to lean against it so find some support. When the seizures did not want to stop I took her out of her box, wrapped her in a little towel and held her near to my heart or sometimes I just stuffed her into my T-shirt or pullover. This way she calmed down very quickly.

      Be prepared that the thing with PMV is a real rollercoaster. Sometimes I thought it is getting better with her, the seizures became less, she was eating well, but then she suddenly started vomiting again and the round started anew. She could neither eat nor really drink on her own, could not walk and of course not fly. But she kept her weight and digestion became better after a while, the pauses between the bad times became longer. I knew she wanted to live and that she wanted to be with the others again. So one day she started pecking at the seeds suddenly and I knew this was the right direction. It took quite a while still until she started doing exercises such as hopping on an object and then jumping down again etc. etc. These birds know exactly what they need to do.

      Today Pina has recovered completely. When she is in stress (before egg laying f.e. or weather changes) it can happen that she stargazes a bit again. Then I tell her that she should keep her little head straight and she does. Also she stays inside then and does not want to fly out. But when she is in good mood and everything is well you should see her fly! Like a rocket. Very very fast and often she is the leader of the flying little flock outside. Amazing. Who would have thought that she had PMV. As you might know Pina is living with us and her mate Rudi freely in our apartment. It was their decision to stay with us and I cannot tell you how much I love them.

      Pina is 4 years old now. But I have heard from PMV pigeons who have become 15 years and more. You see these vets have no idea. PMV cannot be cured with any drug. A pigeon with PMV only needs intensive care, proper diet and a peaceful environment as they become easily freeked out. It is also typical that they become easily tired. So your observations are perfectly correct. Maybe you can play some very soft music near to your bird – they love it and it makes them calmer. Be prepared that the vomiting can recur any time – the virus injures not only the brain – that’s what the seizures are coming from – but also the complete intestinal system with the result of vomiting, diarrhea etc. That’s why the diet should be easily digestible. Please not too many sunflower hearts as too much fat is too heavy.

      After a while you will see that your little bird will become very trusting – he knows very well what you are doing for him. And talk to him softly – they can understand. I swear you they can understand. And we are getting very attached to those feathered angels – don’t we?

      Best wishes for your little patient! Sending much love…

      Comment by pigeonwriter — December 2, 2013 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

  4. Hello,

    Hope you and your pigeons are well 🙂
    We are pretty much in the same condition if not worse. I’m beginning to lose any shred of hope I’ve had.
    I cannot realize what happened, he was doing so much better. In the evening he loved to put him in the bedroom, in fact when the door was open, he used to walk there by himself after we fed him.
    Now the most difficult part of the day is when we take him to the bedroom. He starts spinning around, with his head down.
    Last night he did not sleep at all or very little.
    Now he’s in the living room, on the couch, surrounded by shoe boxes. From time to time he starts spinnig around his his head down.
    I’m really worried I might have done something wrong with his diet or drugs, might have given him an overdose of vitamin B6 or something as his condition was never this bad.
    I used to put a vitamin complex (that already contained B vitamins) and a vitamin B complex in his water (the one he drank every day).
    Maybe I’ve overdone it, I’m terrified at that thought.
    How much vitamin B should he receive daily?
    He is still very scared and nervous when we are near him, his head is upside down, he practically sits on his head. Sometimes when I try to lift his head he start atacking me.
    We’ve ordered Bene Bac and Calcivet, it will take a while to arrive.
    In the meantime, I’m searching for everything else that might be useful.
    We found a homeopathic remedy Conium Maculatum produced by Boiron ordered it from a pharmacy. Do you know about this medicine? It is any good, is it dangerous?
    His appetite is ok, he eats the home made pallets and defrosted peas and corn.
    His poop however looks a bit watery and sometimes I can detect the kefir from the pallets. I’ll try to put less the next time I prepare them.
    His weight looks ok, this is the only good sign in his whole condition.

    Thank you again and hugs from Romania,
    Seida

    Comment by Seida — December 7, 2013 @ 11:21 am | Reply

    • Seida,
      please don’t lose hope. As long as he is eating and digesting everything should be “okay” so far. The watery poops are absolutely typical for PMV. This could continue for quite a while. Also poops may look like spaguetti. This will change some time but it may happen that the many urinates will come back. I had this happen many times. Therefore it is absolutely important that he gets enough fluid to replace the amount he is urinating.
      Vitamin B complex is good but please don’t overdo. Stick strictly to the instructions on your product. I don’t think he has these seizures from the vitamins then. I cannot tell you from here how much you should give him as there are many different products on the market. Daily sounds too much to me though. Check the instructions. We humans tends to overdo things when we try to help.

      When you have received the Calcivet you should be careful too. Don’t give him extra calcium more than twice a week. Do you know the weight of your bird? The dosis of the calcium (I assume you ordered the fluid) depends on his weight so you have to calculate carefully. As the Calcivet contains vitamin D3 don’t give him the other vitamins on the same day as they probably contain also D3. An overdosage of D3 must be avoided.

      Regarding the Conium Mac (did you order the globuli?) you can certainly try that. It cannot do anything bad. Sometimes it works – sometimes not. I had the impression that it helped when the seizures were very bad with our Pina. If it is globuli (D30) then 1 pc. 3 times per day and always 1/2 hour before eating (=on a clean mouth). You can do this for up to 10 days. You can stop earlier though when the condition of the bird improves. If it does not make a pause of 1 week and start anew.

      With homeopathic remedies it is essential that the medication is done in exact intervals. Also don’t touch the globuli with your fingers and don’t bring it contact with any metal. You can fold a piece of paper, form a kind of cone and then administer this into the bird’s beak. You need to be careful though that the globuli does not fall into its trachea (because it’s so small). You also could use a plastic tweazer. I am using a little piece of plastic tube that proved to be very convenient.

      Seida, you will see that your bird will improve again. It’s the typical course of this illness that the condition can change very often. Sometimes you think it will never be better but then suddenly there is a huge improvement. On the other side it can worsen again, take a few days until there is improvement again.
      As I already said if the bird eats and drinks and digests with your help it has a strong will to survive. That he does not lose weight is a very good sign. So the little bird just needs your loving care and patience. You will see.

      I have realized that it is a disadvantage when the birds are still very young when they get PMV. Their immune system is not complete yet and so the virus has an easy task. Also the damage that is done to brain and intestines is mostly more severe – which means it takes longer for recovery. But it will heal.

      Sending lots of hugs to you and healing prayers. Try not to worry too much. It is probably worse for us to watch than for the bird himself. Just remember that he will be very anxious for quite a while (also a symptom) and easily irritated, also aggressive sometimes. You are doing great!!

      Comment by pigeonwriter — December 7, 2013 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  5. Hello again,

    I’ve forgotten two important things:
    1. One of his legs is a darker red than the other and looks a bit swollen (is the leg that had the limp about two weeks ago).
    2. His body temperature is higher than before (the weather outside is colder but I would say that the temperature inside the flat is about the same).

    I don’t want to torment him and take him to the vet again (as he is very scared and nervous already), plus I’m pretty sure that the vet won’t know what to say.

    Again many thanks and hugs,
    Seida

    Comment by Seida — December 7, 2013 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

    • Hello Seida,
      I am so sorry to answer you that late but I was lying in bed with a nasty flu. How is your bird now?

      Comment by pigeonwriter — December 18, 2013 @ 11:24 am | Reply

  6. Seida, I am Annie in the UK also following your bird’s progress. I hope it’s ok? I have a white dove, Cloud, who I have had confined for a full year now,but she has not recovered from the neck twisting/star gazing symptoms, but otherwise fine. I picked up a young pigeon today (19.12.13) as she couldnt seem to pick up grains. I am hoping with some care and attention she will be ok, but weighs terribly light – only 227g. Pigeonwriter, your blog is so informative – I wish you would write a booklet with all this info – I would definitely buy a copy!

    Comment by anniefaith — December 19, 2013 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

    • Hello Annie, so nice of you to worry about Seida’s pigeon. I really hope that she will answer soon to tell us about the fate of her little pidge. I really hope that she is doing well so far.
      Doves seem to have more problems to recover fully from PMV – is that right Annie? I am very sorry to hear that she is still suffering from those symptoms. Can she eat and drink by herself at least?

      Annie – do you know this website – there are lots and lots of very valuable infos from people who have much more experience than I do:
      http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/commonailments.htm

      Comment by pigeonwriter — December 20, 2013 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  7. Hello,

    Sorry to hear about your flu, I’ve watched this page for a few days and seeing there is no answer I thought you were not going to answer anymore (I thought I may have become tiresome with my questions), so I gave up. I’ve also sent you a message on Facebook regarding the quantity of calcium and bene-bac.
    Annie, thank you for your concern. It so comforting to know there are people out there who care about my little pigeon.
    He is doing pretty much the same, in some aspects worse, in others a bit better. Not only he’s keeping his head upside down, but he walks backwards, looking like he’s supporting himself on his head. Also with his head upside down, his neck is twisted sometimes (like he’s trying to make a knot with his neck 😦 ).
    I began giving him Calcivet (3 times a week so far, 0.3ml twice a day – he weights about 340 grams, so that would mean 0.1ml/100gr twice a day). He is less scared of us (this is the good part), he loves to be petted on his head and he sits quietly on my lap or on my tummy when I watch tv.
    We are still hand feeding him (in the past week my bf managed to do this by himself when I’m not around). He likes the home made pallets.
    Annie, our pigeon was about 250 grams when we found him, but he’s gained weight and he’s been about 340 grams for a few weeks now. What we are worried about is that he will never be able to eat by himself or fly (in fact as he’s a baby, we do not know if he knows what to do with the seeds he picks – sometimes he manages to pick them, but he throws them in the air, I don’t know if this is because of his sickness or because he actually does not know how to eat, as we put the food in his mouth, sometimes we push it a bit down his throat when the pallets are a bit larger or he does not want to eat). Again we don’t know if he ever flew and if he knows how to fly. He want to fly, but of course, in his actual state, this is out of the question.
    Now regarding Calcivet, is is ok the quantity (0.1ml/100gr twice a day, 3 times a week). We could reduce it to 2 times a week (he looks less aggressive now). At first we gave it in a syringe, but the last times I incorporated it into the pallets.
    And Bene-Bac? How should I give it to him (I was not able to find anything about how to administer it).
    As the holidays are near, I wish you and Annie Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. I’m still hoping for a miracle.

    Many thanks and hugs from Romania,
    Seida

    Comment by Seida — December 23, 2013 @ 9:50 am | Reply

    • Hello Seida,
      don’t you ever think again that I could be fed up being asked questions, dear. How can I when I am so happy that there are other people who love these poor birds and try to help them. I try my best to answer questions but I may not always have one. Good that you are on FB (under which name – I could not find you?) – there are many people who have a lot of experience and wisdom. But please also never forget your own common sense – some advice can be contradictionary and irritating although people in general have good intentions. Btw – I did not see your message on fb – maybe it got lost. Did you write to “pigeon tales”? Never mind…

      First of all I want to say that you did very very well in feeding your little patient so that he could increase his weight that much. That is a very good sign. Please continue to monitor his weight as this is essential. A good weight means warm feet/good body temperature and this means he can spend all his energy for battling the virus.

      The amount of calcium you are giving is perfect. I would stick with it.

      What I am doing with the Bene Bac gel is putting 1/3 of the little tube into a syringe. I take the plunger out so that you can fill the tube from the top (this way you can better see the amount – which should be no more than 0.3ml then) and push the plunger back in again.This way you can tube feed the little one directly into his mouth:

      Open his beak carefully with 2 fingers, support his head slightly with the ring finger of your left hand and slightly overstretch his neck and push the 1ml syringe (which just fits into his mouth) without the needle of course into his mouth, just beyond the opening of his trachea with great care. Stay on top of his tongue so nothing can get into his breathing system. Someone else should hold the bird while you are doing this. Coat the tip of the syringe with one or 2 drops of salad oil so that it slips easily into his mouth without injuring the sensitive membranes. Then gently press the plunger and pull the syringe out of his mouth again.

      Below are some links for you where you can see how the tube (=crop feeding) feeding is done. Please be very careful because if not done right the bird can be injured or may even die.
      My recommendation is that you get “trained” by a vet because tube feeding could always become necessary when the bird is sick.
      Tube feeding also means that you normally have a bigger syringe depending on the amount you have to feed and a soft “tube” which fits tight on the tip of the syringe. This tube can be metal (normally used by vets), soft rubber or a soft silicon tube. I am using soft clear plastic tubes of different lengths depending on the size of the bird. In any case it should be at least 4 inches long so that it reaches into the crop of the bird.
      Before feeding I always coat the tube with oil so that it slips easily down. After the tube is placed into his crop push the plunger very slowly and with great care. When done pull the tube out very slowly also.


      http://www.pigeoncote.com/vet/feedbaby/feedbaby.html
      http://www.angelfire.com/ga3/pigeongenetics/handfeed.html

      And here is what I am using for tube feeding:

      Seida, I thought about an alternative how you could administer the Bene Bac as long as you feel uncomfortable using the syringe. You could admeasure the gel with a syringe (because one cannot see really how much of the gel is used in these little stupid tubes which contain a total of 1 ml) and then mix it into the pellets instead of the kefir you are using. Make sure then that you bird eats all of the pellets which contain the portioned gel. I would give him the Bene Bac for 3 consecutive days (=1 tube in total) when his poop is getting bad – very watery and those spaghetti-like pieces. When it has improved I would continue with joghurt or kefir mixed in his diet.

      Regarding his seizures, stargazing etc. just make sure that he cannot injure himself. For us humans it looks awful and painful but I don’t think that the bird feels pain – it is “only” totally irritating for him. Therefore the bird feels anxious and very insecure and it is best if you hold him wrapped up in a towel near to your heart when he has these seizures. It helps them to calm down. I did this with mine when it was very bad.

      I am afraid that these seizures (Pina was even tumbling in her box at the beginning and could not even stand on her feet without falling over) may take still quite a while and the only thing you can do is being very patient. I had to handfeed Pina for more than 5 months and I already feared the worst and I felt very very sad. Sometimes I thought her little heart would stop beating when she had those terrible seizures but she somehow learned to cope.
      After some time the seizures became less and less and suddenly one day I observed her pecking at her seeds. She still could not pick them up but she showed interest. After a while she managed to eat one or two and got very frustrated at times when it did not work. But she was extremely perseverent and one day she suddenly could eat by herself again.
      It took 9 months until Pina was fully recovered again and until she could fly again. For me it was a miracle.

      For a whole year Pina was absolutely symptom free. In the meanwhile she is showing some stargazing again but never long – only for a couple of seconds and only when she is feeling stress short before egg laying. But she is doing fine and is free flying whenever she wants to.

      Our Jimi needed only 4 months for recovery and never showed any stargazing later again. He had 2 relapses though where he could not eat and where his poops became very watery and spaghetti-like. But with handfeeding and keeping him inside he recovered quickly again.

      You see you never can predict an outcome. There are birds who never fully recover and don’t regain their flying abilities. Others die because their hearts cannot take the stress from the seizures any more or simply give up. When a bird does not want to live any more because he is too depressed then you cannot do anything about it. Therefore it is essential to keep off any additional stress.

      What is really helpful regarding recovery is when pigeons have company. This seems to motivate them to become healthy again. I had the luck to be able to put their hospital boxes (I am using clear plastic boxes instead of cages for various reasons) in front of the large window of our balcony so that out sick birds could watch the birds outside. I am sure that helped a lot…

      And before I forget it – don’t worry about the bird not learning how to fly when he is feeling better. He will learn automatically. Still you could test by holding him on your hands and move the hands quickly towards the floor. If he starts flapping his wings he has his flying reflex. As long as he does not do this he will not be able to fly. But don’t test that while he has still his seizures!

      Seida, from all my heart I wish you a very Happy New Year also and that your little bird may recover soon!

      Comment by pigeonwriter — December 26, 2013 @ 6:14 pm | Reply


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