What to do with an injured Dove?

A question from a reader: A Dove was attacked by a Folkon but then Folkon got scarred off, then the Dove was thrown about by a Cat. I have taken the Dove in doors.He has a bald chest and afew feathers with cuts on his wings but nothing really serious,he is moving his wings so I don’t think there broken but im now stuck, do there feathers grow back ?.All vets will do is kill him because they can’t make a profit and if there is a tiny chance he can survive I want to help. Please don’t try and be cruel or funny and tell me to kill him, I respect all animals and will give them all an equal chance of survival. If I thought for one minute that keepin the bird alive was cruel and causing suffering then I would pay to have him out to sleep. The birds wellfare is all that matters to me. Please help ASAP thank you.

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4 Responses to “What to do with an injured Dove?”

  • Candy P says:

    The dove will be okay but the chances of his wings returning to their former glory are pretty small. The wings will heal and he will probably grow some feathers back. Just keep him fed and watered and try not to pick him up or handle him too much for a while. I know it is tempting as birds are really cute and all, but the thing needs some proper rest.

    If the wings begin to look like they are bent and sticking out in any way then he’s managed to get himself something called ‘ angel wing ‘which is usually obtained by birds as babies if their male parent rejects them. it’s just another word for bent wing, but you can try loosely bandaging them up or putting little sticks inside a bandage to straighten them out.

    If all this happens, you probably can’t release him back into the wild and should consider keeping him as a pet, in which case the bent wing will be purely cosmetic as it doesn’t hurt the bird, it just looks funny.

    Be advised though, that it will take ages to see whether the feathers grow back or not, it isn’t a quick thing.

  • margecutter says:

    The bird needs a course of antibiotics. The falcon’s talons are full of bacteria from the animals it kills, and the saliva of a cat has bacteria that is deadly to a bird.

    Please, however, do not take the dove to a vet – vets are for pets and most do not have the expertise to care for a wild animal; nor do they have the proper permits to keep a wild bird while it recouperates.

    Instead, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. You can find one here: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~devo0028/contact.htm

    Licensed wildlife rehabilitators have the specialized training to care for sick, injured and orphaned wild animals, and they have the required state and federal licenses that allow them to keep the wild animals until they are healthy enough to be released.

    Do not be tempted to care for the bird yourself. Without antibiotics (and not the kind you get over the counter at a pet store – they are worthless for this type of injury), the bird will die.

    Also, in the US, all native migratory birds are protected under federal law (Migratory Bird Treaty Act) and it is illegal to have any protected bird unless you have the appropriate government licenses. “Violations/Penalties. According to the Act, a person, association, partnership or corporation which violates the Act or its regulations is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $500, jail up to six months, or both.” http://ipl.unm.edu/cwl/fedbook/mbta.html

  • alex says:

    try some non profit organization in your area. where i live, in Saint Augustine, Fl area, there is H.A.W.K. center, non profit place, where they take care of injured birds. They might even pick it up. Look to Gold pages for info in your area. good luck to both

  • Avian Queen says:

    First of all, thank you for caring enough about the poor little dove to bring it in and help it.

    The injuries sound like a simple fix, so there’s no need to worry. If you can find a good antibiotic for birds at a pet store or whatever, please start him on it immediately. Open wounds are always a good start for bad infections or diseases. If you can’t find any antibiotics, you can start him on apple cider vinegar water. A tablespoon of AC vinegar per gallon of water every day until the wounds look like they are healed up. Also, wash out the wounds with water then rub some neosporin into them to help with the healing. I had one of my pigeons get his skin ripped off all the way down the neck by a hawk. Neosporin healed him right up. And yes, the feathers will grow back.
    Now…while you have this dove in your care….keep him in a cage or even a cardboard box with a towel draped over the top. Put a heat lamp, hot water bottles, or a heating pad with him to make sure he is warm, but not hot! Heat always helps with the healing process. Also make sure he has food (wild bird seed) and water available to him all the time, along with some grit if you can get it. Check on him everyday to see how his healing is going along, but try not to disturb him too much. You don’t want to stress out the little guy….stress is bad on pigeons and doves. Once he is fully healed, you can release him back outside. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t take care of him yourself, but if you feel safer, get him to a wildlife rehab.
    Oh and I thought of another thing before you let him go if you decide to help him yourself. Once everything looks good and clear, take him off the antibiotics or vinegar. If there’s any way possible for you to get probiotics for birds, give him a little in his water for a couple days (leave a day of fresh water between taking him off antibios and giving him probios). This will restore his good gut bacteria and get him back up to perfect health before braving the wild again. If you can’t get probiotics, then try giving him a bit of honey in hot water. Let it cool then give it to him. Another solution is pedia lite in the water. Honey will give him energy for his return to the wild, and pedia lite will give him a boost of electrolytes. You don’t have to give him anything after the antibiotics….it’ll just help him in the long run if you do :)

    Good luck!
    - Becky
    Birds Of A Feather Lofts

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