Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bobby's Update--Houston and Houston 2, Plus Eleanor's Birds in Central Park

Photograph by Francois Portmann
Atlas the Triborough Nest Dad, who with Mom Athena, fostered Houston as if he were one of their own while he was in their care.

Houston and Houston 2 Photographs Courtesy of the Horvaths
This is a view of some of Houston's (H1) Frounce lesions or as they are called in the UK, frounces. They are often described as being caseous, or cheesy. The causative agent of this disease is a flagillated protozoan called Trichomonas gallinae. The same disease in pigeons, doves, and poultry is called Canker or Roup. (Though there are other avian diseases which also have very similar lesions making it difficult to diagnose immediately.)

Birds may become riddled with caseous necrotic foci, or "yellow buttons". See back right of Houston's mouth.

The lesions may invade internal organs such as the liver, may block the throat, nasal passages, encroach within the skull, and/or fill the croup. It is a dreadful disease though virulence of the causative agent can vary.

Called Canker when it attacks pigeons and doves has been studied in Columba, therefore the incubation period and activity is known for the illness in pigeons but not for hawks. A healthy pigeon may be exposed to a less virulent variety of canker and develop some immunity against it and more virulent strains when they appear. The same process may occur in hawks explaining less disease in older birds.

The disease as I suspected from observation of pigeons strikes more often in hot weather or when birds are stressed.

A note from rehabber Bobby Horvath who is caring for Houston and H2: "In addition to what you can see in his mouth there is much more down his throat, under his jaw, and in his crop that we can feel which makes his case much worse than Hous " 2 " . This is why he is so thin presently. He has a hard time swallowing anything solid so Cathy is mixing him up a meal of the blended smoothie type which is tubed into his crop. He's also getting flagyl, sprartrix, and baytril ."

July 5-- Once again and still, Houston 2 is eating on his own. The Horvaths report that H2 has improved but "he's still not out of the woods".

H2 looks to be eating with energy.

Compare H2's lesions with those of Houston's (H1). These have lost some of the "cheesy" (caseous) look so apparent in Houston's only newly treated cankers. H2 has been treated with flagyl, sprartrix, and baytril for nearly a week now and it has taken some effect. Keep your fingers crossed.
Photograph by Eleanor Tauber
While we have been swept up with the drama of the Houston and D fledglings, Thunder on her TV tower, frounce, foster parenting in Red-tails, tracking down Houston in Astoria Park, and the appearance of lead poisoning in the Cathedral fledge, other birds in town have been going about their lives and everyday dramas. And photographer Eleanor Tauber has been recording them doing it. Here is a Great Egret in Turtle Pond.

Photograph by Eleanor Tauber
A beautiful Blue Bar Pigeon takes his ease in Central Park.
Photograph by Eleanor Tauber
And I'm very pleased to see the two mallard ducklings I last saw sleeping on their mother's feet as she slept only half down on the Model Boat Pond Duckling Raft to protect them, have grown well and are beautifully healthy.
Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Is Hous eating? (I can't tell who is who.)

On the web, in reading about frounce, I read that someone took their parrot to the vet to have a plaque(?) removed that was interfering with breathing. Is that done with hawks?

If Hous is being tube fed, does that hurt his possibly broken jaw?

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Karen Anne,

Both photos of the hawk eating are of H2. No one can tell exactly what frounce is going to do next but H2 has been progressing and he's a good little eater.

Do you know which disease the parrot was suffering from?

As far as I know, Houston's jaw isn't broken after all.

Karen Anne said...

According to the web site, which is at
the bird had frounce.

Here is what it said. The pictures don't quite look like Hous' photos, to me, but maybe it is a different stage. I am not sure now why I thought her bird was a parrot, as it does not seem to say:

"Birds who are untreated usually succumb to Frounce within 7 - 10 days. Becky Brunotte recently had a particularly bad encounter with Frounce in her bird. Her comments on the end of the ordeal: "I took the bird in to see the vet today because the frounce had gotten so large it was shutting off her air passage and she couldn't eat again. The vet removed the frounce pellet and the good news was that the frounce hadn't damaged her sinuses. But the bad news is that the frounce ate away one of the bones that runs on each side of the glottis. It was embedded in the frounce pellet. The frounce is out, but to be safe I'll treat her one more time with Spartrix."

She was kind enough to allow me to use the picture of the frounce pellet. You can barely make out the hyoid bone in this pellet. The hyoid in the bird is a Y shape. It is the attachment site for throat and tongue muscles allowing control of swallowing. The bird will function normally after is retrains its muscles to function without that part of the hyoid."

Karen Anne said...

Now that I see the additional pictures and text here, (I think I read this first in the middle of its loading), I wonder if what that vet removed was a "yellow button"...