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What’s Wrong with a Swollen, Weak Pigeon That Can’t Fly and Has Loose Droppings?


Dear VetBabble,

I recently found a pigeon in my house that looks unwell. Her body is swollen, and she’s exhibiting strange behavior. She can’t fly, has loose droppings, and appears weak. What could be the issue, and how can I help her at home? Sadly, I cannot reach out to a wildlife rescue or fish and game center at the moment. Is there any advice you can give?

Understanding the Situation

It is important to recognize that taking care of sick wildlife, like this pigeon, may present risks and challenges beyond the expertise of most pet owners. While we cannot provide specific treatment advice for wild animals, we can help you understand the factors contributing to your bird’s condition and offer general advice on how to best approach the situation.

Potential Causes and Concerns

The symptoms you describe, including swelling, inability to fly, and loose droppings, could indicate various health issues. These could range from infections, injury, exposure to toxins, or even a tick infestation. However, without an examination by an experienced avian veterinarian, it is impossible to accurately diagnose or treat the pigeon. In case you come across a tick on your pet, check out this article on What To Do if you See a Tick.

Caring for a wild bird also involves considering the unique dietary needs, housing, and emotional well-being of the animal. Failure to meet these requirements can significantly affect their health and recovery. For guidance on general bird care, you can read this article on Are You Ready for a Pet Bird?.

What You Can Do

Although we understand your concerns and your desire to help this pigeon, we strongly recommend seeking assistance from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or an avian veterinarian to ensure the best possible care for the bird. They have the experience and skills necessary to accurately diagnose and treat the pigeon while minimizing stress and further health issues.

If you’re unable to reach professional help immediately, you can try offering the pigeon a quiet, secure space, away from pets and other potential stressors. Providing access to fresh water and suitable food like seeds or soaked grains can temporarily help improve the bird’s condition, but it’s essential to reach out for professional help as soon as possible.

When it comes to owning birds as pets, it’s important to be knowledgeable about how to care for them. For example, ensuring you provide toys and exercises is crucial to their well-being. Check out this article on Exercise & Toys for Birds to get started. Additionally, if you’re considering adopting a pet bird, read this article on How Should I Pick the Right Pet Bird for Me? to make an informed decision.

We hope your kind efforts will help the pigeon recover and that you’ll be able to find professional assistance soon. Remember, the best course of action is to consult with wildlife or avian experts to provide the appropriate care for this special feathered friend.

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