Pigeon Sampling

The Starlight Trust is an animal welfare and rescue organisation based in Surrey


In 2018 we invested in a microscope and Sarah learned how to examine pigeon poops for parasites. This has made an enormous difference to how effectively we can treat our pigeon patients and we’ve come to view this as an essential part of pigeon rescue.

 

Of course, not every rescuer can spend a few hundred pounds on a microscope or afford to spend £15 a time sending samples to a laboratory. So, we’re happy to help fellow rescuers by examining samples of rescued pigeons without any charge. We can check either samples from individual birds or a group sample from an aviary or group living together (since co-habiting birds will usually have the same parasites).

 

Some caveats

  • Sarah is not an expert but is confident in identifying the most commonly seen parasites (coccidia, fluke, roundworm, strongyles and capillaria)
  • the sampling we offer will not identify bacterial infections such as salmonella/paratyphoid or fungal issues such as candida and canker
  • we offer a quick, free, amateur test. Responsibility for seeking a professional examination, veterinary advice and medication remains that of the carer
  • we can only test pigeon poo (including feral pigeons, racing/domestic pigeons, wood pigeons, stock and collared doves. We cannot test other birds.
  • we offer this service to established rescues and independent rescuers to save them time and money. It is not intended for members of the public. If you have found a sick pigeon and you’re not experienced in caring for them, please pass them to a rescue ASAP. You can find one at helpwildlife.co.uk/map
  • the sender is responsible for ensuring the sample is packaged and posted in accordance with the relevant legislation and post office guidelines
  • we will let you know when the sample is received and aim to get results to you within 24 hours of receipt for Urgent samples, 48 hours for High Priority samples, 3 days for Medium Priority samples, and 4 days for Low Priority samples.

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