Louie was found as a stray on 1/16 at the corner of Richland and Mission and taken to SF ACC. I brought Louie home as a foster from SF ACC on 1/21 with respiratory illness and a swollen shut left eye. At first, I named her Lupe but then changed it to Louie when I got it in my head that she's a he. Now I'm backing to thinking that she's a she but I've left her name as Louie- it suits her. My friend and pet-sitter, Jen, who works as a vet tech at For the Birds picked her up and took her in for me the morning after I brought her home (by the time a bird looks sick, they're really sick and it's an emergency).
Louie was treated with a shot of baytril, oral cipro and eye ointment and healed and joined the flock but always stayed on the outskirts, no flirting or courting. She was always a good eater (though not pushy), and when in the pigeon room had a good roost (despite her low status) on the chair and she always claimed it. On 3/1, she weighed 595 g and on 7/8 655 g. Louie is most likely the oldest pigeon I have (can tell to some degree by the cere) and since king pigeons usually die young, she may have been used as a breeder.
Louie, while stable, wasn't thriving. Another bird came in with the same symptoms as Louie (Willow) and, after Willow's recovery and then relapse with kidney malfunction and further recovery in early April, I brought Louie back in to be tested. Her uric acid was high like Willow's but the white count not so much. She got some treatment but my follow up fell a bit through the cracks with the unexpected death of Charlie (my blue headed pionus), my getting laid off and the vet being busy and out of town.
She was doing OK and Louie seemed to enjoy the aviary (which I moved the birds to in mid April). I transitioned them gradually, leaving them outdoors at first only during the day and returning them to the pij room at night. The first night I was leaving birds out, I was nervous about how they'd feel (insecure, frightened) and so I put Louie into one of the nest boxes. She didn't like being put there and fell out in her rush to get out. I felt terrible and took her in to spend the night indoors. The next morning she didn't want to eat the safflower seed treat she always ate and seemed off. I took her to the vet that day and she did a lot of head-pressing and twisting and had a couple of seizures. She was on ibuprofen and got a lot of tests. The CBC (blood panel) didn't show much and it was thought that she may have PMV. I brought her home on 5/6 and, while in her hospital crate, she had seizures at 6pm, 10 pm & 2 am (convulsive head pressing and spastic wing flapping). I soothed her (best I could) through them. In the morning she was very agitated in her crate but also corkscrewing her head into the floor. I took the crate out to the aviary and she almost immediately settled. After a while, she was so normal, I let her out and she's been out ever since and is doing well. We don't really know what happened but I'm very glad that she's recovered.
Louie is still single (courting is often a sign of good health). Cocks have tried to court her but she's not interested. But she eats well, takes baths and sunbathes, enjoys rooting around in the grass for seeds, does a bit of birdie yoga (stretches) and wing flapping (a good sign) and, while she doesn't go to the high perches, she does have a nook under the nest boxes that she likes and a perch on the tree branch over the BBQ landing strip. Sometimes she spends time hanging out with her long time girl friends, Country and Rocky.
Through all the handling of his medical care, Willow became tame but Louie has stayed wild. I love her a whole lot more than she loves me.
Louie's been doing well, spending time back up on the high perch in the 'penthouse' and so solid she looks like Foghorn Leghorn.
9/15/10 Update: Old Lady Pigeons' Retirement Home