Pigeon has string around his foot

by Christina
(Victoria, Australia)

Hello, how are you going? One of my pigeons sat on the clothesline and he got string from a towell or something it looks like wrapped around one of his feet, and the string looks like it is very tight and cutting into his feet.

What should I do to help him? Is there anything I can buy to put on his foot so it won't hurt him and so it will heal? How will I get the string off? He lets me near him so should I cut the string carefully with nail scissors as long as I am careful not to cut him, and if I pull the string out with tweezers?

What if I use lavender oil and warm water on cotton wool as an antiseptic solution, which is what I did last time on my other pigeon who the same thing happned to a few years agao? Or is there anything else that is better, anything that could help? Thanks heaps for your time, I do appreciate it a lot :-) Kind Regards, from Christina

Comments for Pigeon has string around his foot

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Feb 26, 2011
Pigeon has string around his foot
by: Linda

GooDay Christine, Linda here. As Dr. B said, the bird needs to be seen by an Avian Vet because even if you remove the string, it may have been on there long enough for tissue to start dying which means bird will need treatment from an Avian Vet if there is any hope of saving toe and/or foot and actually his very life is at stake.

If he will allow you close enough, go ahead and catch him, put him in a safe travel cage or crate. See if he will allow you to remove string, and do not go near him with scissors or tweezers unless you have someone else to hold him down as he could be seriously stabbed if either one pinches. If foot/toe appears discolored or swollen, then go ahead and feed and water him and get an appointment with avian vet as soon as is possible because he will need medicine prescribed by avian vet as the over the counter meds even in pet stores are very dangerous. First, it must be looked at so a proper diagnosis can be made, and then someone who knows what they are doing (and pet store people DO NOT) needs to prescribe the correct med for him. You'll need to either clean up or get a cage large enough for him to live in for a while until he is well. Making sure he is well after meds will require one more trip to avian vet. Cage needs to be large enough so he can spread his wings without hurting himself. You can find dove/pigeon food at local feed store or pet store and fresh water is all else he'll need while he is recuperating. If you have inside birds, do not bring him into the house because outside birds have various parasites inside and out, plus various bacteria not normal for your inside birds.

Hope this helps and hope he is going to be okay as I know you love your sweet birds! It is good to talk with you, and keep us posted on what happens here.

Your Friend,

Feb 26, 2011
Bird with sting around foot
by: The Avian Vet

This is a dangerous and painful situation that needs immediate veterinary care.

There is nothing that I would recommend to put on topically. It is important to remove the string, and I suppose you can do that at home, but in my opinion you should have an avian veterinarian do this so that they can deal with any complications that arise.

I recommend that you take this bird to see an avian veterinarian immediately. Your doctor needs to asses this situation and prescribe appropriate drug therapy to prevent infection, manage pain, control bleeding, and prevent reperfusion injury when the string is removed. It may be possible that your veterinarian can save the toe. I do not recommend any home remedies and Lavender oil has no major antimicrobial properties and I do not think it will not help our bird.

Dr B

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