Egg binding

Egg binding

Postby fishyshrink » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:04 pm

Last Friday, I almost lost my 9 year old baby girl to egg binding. I have since been told that I'm doing just about everything wrong for her and want to fix these problems quickly. Can I please hear from you guys about these egg binding and related questions??

A.) Everyone keeps asking me about her masturbation…
a) I guess I’m a little naïve or, maybe just blind, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen her masturbate. The only thing we’ve seen is her raising her tail a little high in the air but not touching or rubbing any part of her body. She gives very, very little (if any) indication that she is about to lay eggs. The only symptom I see is the egg in the bottom of the cage when she’s uncovered the following morning.
b) She hasn’t been shredding anything or showing any nest building behavior. She doesn’t have access to “nest building supplies nor has she ever been much of a shredder so I’m thinking her substrate is not likely to effect her behavior.
c) What other signs should I look for?
(This may sound creepy.) but can anyone send me a vpeg of their bird masturbating?

What I’ve tried so far. (Since this is the first times she’s become egg bound, I don’t know whether these actions will make a difference at all.
(i) I’ve removed all her toys and replaced them with recycled toys hoping to change her environment and, thus, stop or slow down her cycle.
(ii) Removed her “extra special” toy that she talks to all the time. I felt like Scrooge when I removed this particular toy. She may have been too “attached” to that particular toy. She never moved her body against it but would talk to it and swing it with her foot and definitely cared for that toy more than the others.
b) What other steps can I take to discourage egg laying behavior?
i) \I’ve been told that I can have her “spaid” just like a dog which would, obviously stop the egg laying.
ii) Experiences?.
iii) Pros?
iv) Cons?
c) One vet said there was an injection he could give.
i) Experiences?
ii) Pros?
fishyshrink
 
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Spaying

Postby GJ » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:24 am

I've never heard of "spaying" a bird. It's not uncommon to neuter poultry cocks. But I suspect it's not as straightforward for parrots or it would be routine for hormonal males.
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Re: Egg binding

Postby admin » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:42 am

Hi Debbie,

Let's start with how to recognize egg binding, especially for those
who have never heard of this condition:

Here are the signs to watch for. If anyone suspects that your
Eclectus hen is developing an egg-binding problem, put your vet on
alert immediately and you'll probably be directed to the vet's office
ASAP. Some of these are "general symptoms" of illness as well so
don't ignore them -- none of these symptoms are normal or natural.

*Weakness, depression, fluffed-up appearance in nest
*On bottom of cage and exhausted
*Abdominal swelling
*Straining
*Squatting in penguin position
*Paralysis, stiffness or weakness of one or both legs
*Waddling walk
*Panting or shortness of breath
*Egg visible or bleeding from vent

Debbie, "spaying" a parrot hen is nothing like the safe and commonly performed
cat and dog spaying surgery. This surgery is much more complicated and as you
might guess, much riskier.

Here is a letter posted yesterday by one of our TEC members whose Eclectus hen
had the procedure a few years ago. As you'll read, the surgery does not stop the
hormonal behavior of the hen, like soliciting or putting her tail in the air.

From Heidi -- 8-21--2011
"My female, Jazzy went through the 'spay' procedure a number of years
ago. It's a dangerous procedure and it is similar to a female human
having her tubes tied. It does not remove the ovaries, so ovulation
and hormonal behavior continues.

I had to have Jazzy go through the procedure because she was egg
bound. After the third time, she left me no choice.

Definitely remove any toys that your female shows too much interest
in. The masturbating part is something that Jazzy will still do, if
given the opportunity, with one particular stuffed duck. (I know,
right?) Anyway, you would KNOW if your female is masturbating. (Now
this is rated R for adults folks...) She will get on a toy, and make
her bottom go like a windshield wiper over and over until she reaches
her climax, then she wags her tail. Yes, it seems that parrots
experience pleasure with an orgasm. (That was the rated R part).

If your vet decides (with you) that the best treatment is the
operation, you will need to continue to work really hard to prevent
ovulation. Jazzy has been hospitalized twice since due to egg yolk
peritonitis, where she did ovulate, but since she had the operation,
no egg shell could form and her body needed to absorb the yolk--which
it couldn't--hence the illness. I almost lost her last year and right
now is when her hormones start going crazy, so I'm really keeping an
eye on her. I can tell she's getting 'in the mood', she's begun
feeding her toys again. :(

Anyway, I don't know if that helped you, but when the bird leaves you
no choice, what can you do? Keep her entertained, switch around toys
a lot, give her more dry food, less wet food (makes her think it's not
the season), less showers, less light, less out time. Sounds cruel
and boring, but it might help. Lupron shots MIGHT help. But, I've
not had success with them."

Heidi (and Jazzy)
--------------------

Thanks, Heidi! Experience is always the best teacher and so few have experience
with this surgery. Your story about Jazzy's "salpingectomy" or "tubectomy" is most
helpful! I hope this will be useful to any redhead keeper whose hen suffers egg binding.

Carolyn
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Re: Egg binding

Postby fishyshrink » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:00 pm

WOW! My printer is all a buzz getting your response printed! Thanks for the info.
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Re: Egg binding

Postby wade.wave » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:05 pm

Is egg binding a common occurance? It seems I have seen this a lot on birdboard and here.
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Re: Egg binding

Postby admin » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:44 pm

Hi Wade,

No, egg binding is not a common occurrence with Eclectus nor other parrots.
However, it does happen. I haven't seen a lot about it here on the board
but I'm glad we've covered it so that when it does happen, Eclectus keepers
know what they're dealing with and how to address the problem.

Let us know if you have other questions.

Carolyn
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