Alcippe (alcippe) wrote,

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Pigeon with an awful head injury

I've got an injured bird on my hands and I don't know what to do.

I was on my way home after grocery shopping and had several heavy bags in my hands when I noticed a pigeon with some of it's wing feathers out of order. As I got closer to the pigeon I could see that it also had what looked like a head injury – a patch of feathers missing and an area of white exposed. When it noticed me coming closer it was spry enough to hop through a fence to get away from me.

After I dropped my groceries off at home I decided to go back and get a better look at the pigeon. I brought a small travel cage with me and a pair of latex gloves in case it looked like it needed care.

The poor little thing was still behind the fence, puffed up and huddled beside a wall, looking very vulnerable. I hopped the fence (it was only 3' high and mainly decorative), put the latex gloves on, and placed the pigeon in the carrier.

It was after sunset, so it was only when I stepped out under the street lamps that I could see the extent of the bird's head injury. The skin had been scraped completely off an area the size of a dime, leaving the skull exposed.

I'm no vet, but I would have to imagine that an injury of this sort is probably pretty severe... I personally would not want to have my skull exposed.

I brought the bird home, took Rommel's old cage down from where I've been storing it, and filled it with everything I could imagine an injured pigeon could possibly want: cardboard to cover the grated floor, a big dark T-shirt to nest in, a bowl of water and a bowl of high quality exotic bird food (I randomly happened to have some on hand).

The pigeon seems more 'OK' than I would imagine an animal with a big head injury would be, but I also know that birds are pretty good at masking pain and illness. It's standing up, ruffled and slumbering. Occasionally it will preen a little and then go back to sleep.

But I don't know what to do for the bird beyond what I already have done. Obviously it should be seen by a vet, but everything shuts down here on the weekends, I speak crappy German, don't really know many people here yet, and I don't have money to pay a big vet bill anyway.

Internet searches for 'pigeon exposed skull' offer absolutely no help.

I have an antibiotic cream that I could put on it, but don't know if I should... or if I should put a bandage on it or not? I mean, it's not like the bird is scratching at the wound or knocking it into things, and I don't want to upset it if such things are unnecessary or maybe even harmful for it. Putting a Band-Aid on an exposed skull injury seems profoundly inadequate, anyway.

It's not losing any blood through the's just smooth and white. Is that normal?

It's left wing is also injured, although doesn't seem life threatening. I'm going to try to contact a humane society or whatever the equivalent of it is here. There has to be someone who can help or at least give me some advice.

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