Pigeons are found almost anywhere you may live! They’re common in cities and in the country. Some people view these birds are a huge problem. And they can cause a huge mess.
If there are pigeons around, sure enough, your dog is probably interested in them! He may want to chase them. Even though he may not have any intention of eating a pigeon he’s caught, your fur baby could kill and eat the bird. But can a pigeon make a dog sick?
Has your dog eaten a pigeon? Are you worried the pigeon will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.
We’ve gathered information about pigeons and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What is a Pigeon?
Pigeons are a type of bird originally domesticated from the rock pigeon. It’s thought they were domesticated more than 5,000 years ago by the Mesopotamians and the ancient Egyptians. However, some experts believe the birds were domesticated as long as 10,000 years ago.
Pigeons have been used for food, as pets, kept as holy animals, message carriers, and more. Today, pigeons still serve all of these purposes, but there are many that live wild in cities and other areas of many countries around the world.
Dogs try to catch pigeons sometimes, especially dogs that have a strong prey drive. But what happens if a dog eats a pigeon?
Pigeons & Dogs
Can pigeons make a dog sick? The answer is yes. First, pigeons do carry a number of pathogens, which include:
- Louis encephalitis
- West Nile Virus
If a dog eats an infected pigeon, it’s possible he could become sick.
Next, it’s also possible that a pigeon could cause an intestinal obstruction. If the dog eats the entire bird, the bones and other parts of the animal could become lodged in the dog’s digestive tract. This can cause an intestinal obstruction, which can be a life-threatening condition if not treated.
What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Pigeon
First, don’t panic. If there’s any part of the bird left, try to get it away from your dog. However, if your fur baby is aggressive, don’t take the bird away. You don’t need to be hurt in the process.
Next, try to figure out if the bird was already dead or if your dog killed and ate it. And see about how much of the pigeon your dog has eaten (if possible).
When you have all this information, call the vet. Explain what’s happened and provide the details you noted earlier. This will help the vet decide on how to help your dog.
In some cases, the vet may ask you to monitor your dog’s condition. If he shows symptoms of illness, they will ask you to call right away. The vet will describe the symptoms you should watch for, too.
The good news is that in most cases, your fur baby should be OK. Dogs have been eating birds for thousands of years, bones and all. However, it’s still best to call the vet and follow their instructions on what to do in case your canine companion does happen to get sick from eating the pigeon.