I had an amazing first day of volunteering at the wild bird hospital. It is a charity and ran by volunteers, their work is incredible. People take injured wild birds they find to the hospital to be treated and rehabilitated so they can be released.
I cleaned out the aviaries, which was pleasantly light work compared to farm animals. Although the pigeons make a mess, sweeping does the job! Whilst I was in the aviaries, I gave the birds clean water. (These are the birds that will soon be released again.)
I am a newbie to birds other than ducks and hens, so it was really interesting and hopefully my knowledge will be on par to my goat knowledge after a while. Some patients had ‘scaly legs’ on their notes, which is something I have treated hens for before, so that is a start.
I was intrigued by this pigeon when I picked it up as he had ‘suspected PMV’ on his medical information, all of the birds had this document clipped to the front of their cage so the correct medicine is administered and the right care is given. The bird was turning in circles and tossing his head around, although there were obvious symptoms, the bird was not infectious. This is because the pigeon stops shedding the virus after 6 weeks of infection, although the odd behaviour persists. However, regular disinfecting is still important in the hospital environment.
There are no ‘cures’ other than intensive care, vitamins and electrolytes can help to aid the recovery of the pigeon but it is important to ensure that the bird is still eating as the virus can affect the nervous system. The healing of the nerves can take a significant time, which is why they may not appear to be well for a long time. The kidneys are also infected and resistance to other diseases such as coccidiosis and tricho is reduced.
It was circling and throwing its head back wards, which is a symptom of PMV.