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 Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.

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Vrak



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Join date : 2012-09-15

PostSubject: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:38 am

Hello There.

(Quick version at the bottom.)

So, a couple of weeks back I found a young wild pigeon (wood pigeon I believe) in my local park field, sitting by the bottom of a tree; it was unable to fly and could barely even walk. This particular field is a hot spot for foxes and the like so I decided to take the little fella home with me to be on the safe side; I have pigeon lofts in my back garden, hand-built by my step dad (he would breed and race pigeons, and usually win ) so I have been able to provide a nice safe living environment.

The little fella has been coming along nicely and is now feeding and drinking on it's own. It has also learnt to fly as I have seen it swooping around in the pigeon loft a few times now, thus it looks like the time has come to release it back into the wild.

My only reservation is that the pigeon has slowly been developing a strange growth on it's head, by it's right eye; I first noticed it a day or two after taking the little fella in, and it has slowly been getting larger and larger. I want to let the pigeon go but I would first like to find out what this strange growth is, and more importantly if there is any way I can treat it.

Attached some pictures. Would really appreciate it if anyone could give me for information

Quick version: Rescued young Wood Pigeon, raised until ready for release, reluctant as has strange growth on face. Could you help me identify what this could be? Pictures below. Thanks.

http://imgur.com/a/m47GX
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:58 pm

Hi Vrak,

From the photos it looks like the growth is a pox lesion, but at this point an abcess can't be ruled out.
If it is pox, no meds will make a difference, but the lesion can be encouraged to dry off quicker by applying an iodine solution -- but its position over the eye makes that difficult, so personally I probably would leave it to dry for itself rather than risk irritating the eye. It's important to note that no ointments of any kind should be used on pox lesions, as that delays healing.
If it is an abcess it may need to be cleaned by a vet, who may also prescribe an antibiotic. Considering that the rescue is a woodie, you must be in the UK, is that right? This link will take you to a map showing approved sanctuaries and rehabbers in the UK, who should be able to examine the youngster and do a proper diagnosis:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=212002369494586128414.0004979ec2f991c84f306&ll=51.713416%2C-3.120117&spn=5.283419%2C11.271973&source=embed

I hope this helps. Please keep us posted! Smile
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Vrak



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Join date : 2012-09-15

PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:40 pm

Hello Teresa, thanks for the response.

Took the little fella to a local vet a few hours ago to have him examined. Turns out he has a fair few more lumps on him than first thought, mostly on his body and wings, hidden behind feathers (some a little bloody.)

The vet couldn't tell me what these lumps were for sure, though he suspected they could be tumours or cysts. I asked him whether they could be Pigeon Pox but he said he doesn't know what that is and thus he can't be sure.

The general verdict was that the poor fella is not in good shape and sadly he may not make it (vet also noticed poor breathing though this could have possibly been due to nerves/stress/shock.)

The vet has however provided me with some antibiotics ("Baytril 2.5 % Oral Solution") and I will be keeping the little fella in my loft, treating him once daily. Hopefully he will pull through as he is not acting unwell and seems to be active (flies around the loft whenever I go to change water etc.)

As a side note, when the vet was examining him he did tear the lump on his eye open so now it is just kind of hanging there and you can see the inside of it (I don't think it was intentional though I did not actually see; I noticed it just before leaving.) I know it is hard to say as we do not know for certain what these lumps are, but do you think there is a risk that it could get infected like this? I am sure the answer is no as you would think the vet would have mentioned that to me, though I do regret not asking now just in case. In any case I will get a photos of it tomorrow when I go to give him his antibiotics and I'll upload it here.

Thanks for the link btw, very helpful indeed!

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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:07 pm

Hi Vrak,

Thanks for the update! I'm really glad you were able to take the woodie to a vet, and I'm sure the Baytril will help a lot. It should be enough to prevent the open wound on his face from infecting, but I'm sure you'll be keeping an eye on it! Any sign of discoloration (yellow=pus, black=necrotic tissue) and he'll need the vet again.

In a way it's good that the largest lesion was opened, either accidentally or not, because the vet must have examined its contents and ruled out lead shot, at least. When you said there were many other lesions over his body I worried that he might have been shot with those pellets that spread everywhere (can't remember what they're called, but you know what I mean, don't you?) and that stuff is pretty horrible -- the wounds look like small abcesses, and the lead itself is toxic.

A common abcess is caused by a focus of infection, and it's normally full of pus. Pigeon pus is different from ours, it's very hard and yellow, like hard plastic. So it can't be squeezed out of a wound like ours can, the wound has to be opened so that it can be removed.

If the vet found neither a lead pellet nor a hard yellow lump in the lesion (it would be great to ask him!) then it's almost certain to be pox. (Canker, or Trichomoniasis, can cause similar lesions, but the in photos it doesn't look like canker.)

Here's a link about pigeon pox:

http://www.chevita.com/en/pigeons/treatment-plan/specificinfections-pigeonpox.php

Best wishes for your patient's continued improvement! :)
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Vrak



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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:18 pm

Hey, thanks again Teresa.

I was able to get some more photos an hour ago when I went to give the little fella some fresh water.

I will warn you THESE PHOTOS ARE GRAPHIC.

http://imgur.com/a/YosY9

The first set you can see the lump on the poor fellas face, now that it has been torn. Do you think there is a risk of infection here? It's hard to tell if there is any black tissue at the moment due to dry blood.

The second set shows the state of the Pigeons wings; note the strange bare lump (protruding about 1 cm.)

The final set of photos shows one of the lumps itself, detached from the Pigeon; he had one on his foot that was very similar in appearance to the one of his face. When I released him back into the loft after handling him he flew quite violently and caught this lump on the meshing of the door. A few minutes later the lump dropped off and I picked it up to snap some photos. It seems quite like an abscess matching your description, what do you think?

The little fella is still acting normal but I am yet to see iof he eats or drinks today. Seems to have sufficient energy.

I don't think I will be handling him any more however as it gets him very stressed, though I assure you I am as gentle and careful with him as I can be.

Any opinions as to what these lumps may be in light of these new photos would be welcome, as well as any advice in general.

Cheers!
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:32 pm

In the first four pictures I can't see any evidence of necrotic tissue, it just looks, as you said, like dried blood.

Pictures 5-8 look suspiciously like Salmonella lesions, but we'd need to establish their location on the pigeon's body to be sure.
They are bright pink, hot swellings on the joints, usually the elbow joint on the wing, and the swellings can be felt on the top and the bottom of the wing. They can be difficult to see, though. To see them, you need to wet the feathers in that area and 'comb' them away from the lesion. That's what I did in this photo of Noel:



If it is Salmonella, the Baytril will already be fighting it. It is the best med for this disease. However, the swellings will take several weeks to disappear, even after all the bacteria that caused them have been killed. The other thing is that for Salmonella the usual length of antibiotic treatment is up to 3 weeks, so if confirmed it's important to make sure you have enough Baytril.
And don't worry, pigeon Salmonella is a different strain from ours, and only affects birds.

The lumps in the last photos look very much like abcesses, the yellow lumps visible in the last two looking just like pus. But to be honest I've never removed a pox lesion, so I'm not sure what the inside of one of those looks like, so I'll try to get you a second opinion.

I'm worried about the baby not being interested in eating and drinking. Baby pigeons eat a lot, and woodies even more so. Any deficit in nutrition at this point can lead to poor development. And dehydration can be very dangerous.
Thawed frozen peas, served warm, are great for reluctant feeders, full of goodness and protein, and they hold lots of moisture too. They are the safest thing to give to a youngster, because their size is too big for them to "go the wrong way" and choke the bird. You just need to wedge his beak open with your thumbnail, and with the other hand put a pea in his beak, and then use a finger to push it well to the back of his mouth. He will need, at the very least, 100 per day, divided between 3 (or, if altogether imposiible, 2) meals.
But I believe woodies have more specific dietary needs, so I'll go find you a woodie person! Smile
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:41 pm

Still having trouble figuring out where the large pink lump is (or is it more than one?), because first I thought it was on the wing, but on pic. 8 it looks like it's on the bird's back. Lumps like that on a pigeon's back are usually due to pecking or predator attack, while the same in the area belly button area, is usually navel canker.
The yellow edges of the pink lump mean it's infected.
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Vrak



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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:14 am

Cheers for the help thus far Teresa, very useful info.

Sorry for the rushed response but I am at work at the moment, just wanted to clarify quickly that the lump is question is on the Pigeon's wing, I didn't notice one on his back but I will check it (and his stomach/chest area) later when I get home.
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Vrak



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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:07 am

Hey, just another update quickly before I head out to the cinema (birthday today Wink)

Gave the little fella another check over today and it has come to my attention that he has some "yellow stuff" on the inside of his bottom beak, more to the back near his throat. Could this be canker, or are there any other possibilities? I will try to get a photo soon, sadly did not have the camera on hand.

If it is canker, any idea what I need to treat him?

Cheers!
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Vrak



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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:18 am

Ok was just able to snap a photo, am I correct in thinking that this is canker?

http://imgur.com/C9MX6

Cheers!

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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:23 pm

Vrak wrote:
Ok was just able to snap a photo, am I correct in thinking that this is canker?

http://imgur.com/C9MX6

Cheers!


Hi Vrak,
Yes, that does look like canker.
When I have come across a canker patient I give them Spartrix.
I Don't know if it's available in your area. If it is, I would suggest starting the little guy on one tablet a day for 4-5 days.

I know Teresa is more familiar with what's available in your area than I am and I'm sure when she is able to log on she will advise you accordingly.

What a precious little one you have.

By the way . . . HAPPY belated BIRTHDAY!!! Celebrating

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Vrak



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Join date : 2012-09-15

PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:13 am

Hey AZWhitefeather, thanks. You should see the "goodie bag" I got; it's about the size of a suit case and it literally so packed with junk food it looks like it's going to burst Great job

I had a browse and was able to find some reputable pills for canker on Amazon, so I will likely be ordering those tonight providing my pay has gone though on time.

The little fella is still acting OK, though he is still not eating as much as he was a few days ago. I think this is likely due to the canker. I'll make sure I buy some frozen peas asap as suggested by Teresa and start hand feeding him again.

As a side note I did use the link Teresa provided me to find an animal sanctuary based in Emsworth, so only about a 10 min drive from me, however when I called them and told them of the situation they gave me advice but sadly did not offer to take the bird. I was going to ask them myself but then the lady went on to say the kindest thing to do would likely be to have the little fella put down. I disagree as he is still not acting unwell and has ample energy, so I don't know if I could trust that they would take care of him as opposed to having him euthanised.




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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Woodie; strange growth on face. Help needed.   Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:27 pm

Hi Vrak,

Very belated birthday wishes, I hope you had a marvellous time! Great job

About the photo, yes it's canker, just as Cindy said. Nasty stuff! Not feeling well Good decision going with tablets to treat it, either Spartrix or Flagyl or similar, as anything to put in the water is about as effective as a chocolate tea pot! But treat any doseage instructions with a large pinch of salt, as anything less than 5 days on Spartrix or 7 days on Flagyl (this latter one is more effective on European strains) only serves to kill off the weaker protozoa and leave the more resistant ones, which then proliferate and cause havoc.

If the baby has a canker lesion in his mouth, he may have others in his aesophagus or crop. Watch out for vomiting, or constant swallowing movements, both indications of blockage, in which case he will need expert help and possibly tube feeding and Nystatin to prevent sour crop.

I was quite shocked with the reply they gave you at the Emsworth sanctuary, that's not at all the kind of advice we expect from the sanctuaries on our list! Serious EEK!! Both Salmonellosis and canker can be treated if caught early, and birds usually make a full recovery. To recommend euthanasia under these conditions, especially when the patient is so young and is rallying, is just heartless!

Sorry about the late reply, I only got my computer back today from the shop (third long stay in as many weeks Evil, wrong doing ), and I do hope that was the last for now!

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