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#45488 - 09/09/04 10:32 PM Problems after laying egg
Coco Valentine Offline
Member

Registered: 09/09/04
Posts: 26
Loc: Boston
My 7 year old Umbrella Cockatoo laid her first egg yesterday. She seems to be very weak after the incident because she is not eating much and worse of all, she sprained her left leg right before laying the egg, may be due to the extra weight she was carrying and inexperience. I took her to the vet who gave her an antibiotic shot to ensure no inflamation. Any advice on what special care or food I should give her would be very much appreciated. I am worried about her.

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#45489 - 09/09/04 11:19 PM Re: Problems after laying egg
Ladyhawk Offline
Lives Here

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 919
Loc: California
CV - welcome to the board; sorry it's due to such distressing circumstances. What else did the vet say and do? Was the egg overly large (hence straining)? Did he/she palpate or take X-rays to determine if Coco might be egg-bound, have a prolapse, and that the sprain is a sprain, not a broken bone?

Did the vet aspirate and collapse a second egg? I'm really concerned about the antibiotics, because using them when no bacterial infection is indicated or expected (as in an invasive diagnostic or surgical procedure), leads to resistant bacteria. Many things other than bacterial infections cause inflammation, so this greatly concerns me. Antibiotics kill bacteria, period. As far as I know (and I'm only a biologist, not a vet), that is the only appropriate use for antibiotics. If someone out there knows more, please correct me.

I really hope Coco is okay! Normal egg-laying in a healthy bird shouldn't cause weakness and loss of appetite.

Is this an AVIAN vet? If not, please find one close to you and take Coco in for a second opinion. Here is a list of avian vets. Maybe someone here that lives near you can offer a recommendation of a good certified avian vet. Keep a close eye on her and please keep us updated!! You might look up the phone number and directions to an off-hours emergency pet clinic, as well; preferably one that has an avian vet available.

Avian Vets

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#45490 - 09/09/04 11:28 PM Re: Problems after laying egg
UnHappySunny Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 12
Loc: Hatboro, PA
Hi there,

Our 11 year old cockatoo just laid her first egg about two weeks ago...when we called our vet he said it was normal and that a vet visit was not required...I agree to attempt to get a second opinion about the situation...however my Sunny didnt seem to have trouble recovering at all from her first egg laying experience.

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#45491 - 09/09/04 11:52 PM Re: Problems after laying egg
Coco Valentine Offline
Member

Registered: 09/09/04
Posts: 26
Loc: Boston
Is it common for cockatoos to lay two eggs? The vet is not a specialist because it wasn't convenient at the time to see an avian specialist. The doctor checked and said that at least it doesn't look like there is another egg. She was regurgitated a few times before she laid the egg, during the process, she looked very stressed and uncomfortable. I was lucky enough to check and noticed something white coming out and realize that it was an egg. I then held her until the egg came out, just like somone going through labor. Now, she is still not eating much and spends a lot of time sitting on her stomach like hatching. Thanks very much for your advice.

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#45492 - 09/10/04 12:26 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
Ladyhawk Offline
Lives Here

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 919
Loc: California
Umbrellas generally have two eggs, but sometimes only one is laid the first few years of maturity. Size of eggs average 40.8mm X 30.8mm. She may have another one en route, which should be laid pretty soon. Sounds like she is broody (from your reference to "hatching"). I'm glad you were able to be there in case she had problems. It was probably also comforting for her to have you there smile

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#45493 - 09/10/04 01:53 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
Coco Valentine Offline
Member

Registered: 09/09/04
Posts: 26
Loc: Boston
If she has another en route, do you know usually how far apart in terms of days? I am concerned because I'll be out of town for one week stating on Monday. She laid her 1st egg on Wed evening. Do you think I should take her to an avian specialist to check her out. The vet who looked at her said she needs to be sedated to do an x-rays, which could be risky to her. I am worried about all these. Last night, she sat on my lap for half an hour with her head leaning on my body and staring at me the whole time. She is getting quite attached at a moment like this.
Thanks for the good advice.

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#45494 - 09/10/04 05:30 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
SUNNY Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/06/05
Posts: 0
Loc: VALENCIA,CALIFORNIA
Your bird seems to be very weak and I would run not walk to an AVIAN vet ... ESPECIALLY if you are planning on going out of town. I know in times of emergency any vet will do but a follow up w/ an vet experienced in avian health is a must. Your bird's life may depend on it. The weakness you describe is not normal. Please see a more specialized vet and follow their instructions to the T. I would not even call for an appointment but just walk-in as an emergency case so that you get here help ASAP. Please let us know the outcome. Best of luck to your girl.

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#45495 - 09/10/04 08:15 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yes!! PLEASE listen to M2mom's advice. Your bird is in danger if she is acting listless like you are describing. This is FAR from normal post egg laying behavior!!!!

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#45496 - 09/10/04 10:14 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
Birdfreind2 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 78
Loc: NJ - I'm not a new member, I j...
Absolutely, follow the above advice!! Lameness in a leg is very often caused by pressure from an egg or something abnormal. Birds do not regurgitate before laying eggs. They should not be weak after laying eggs. I would give her something to suppliment her calcium intake. Expect another egg. It could get stuck for weeks, I've seen it happen. Her droppings should be normal. She should not be straining or getting droppings stuck on her butt.

I would board her at an GOOD AVIAN vet's office for the week you are away. Better safe than sorry.

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#45497 - 09/10/04 10:26 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
KristenAllissa Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 151
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I agree, you should get her to an AVIAN vet that has had some good experience with egg-bound birds and have him take a look at her as soon as possible. I agree that you should call some places and find an avian vet that will board her while you are away. If something went wrong you wouldnt want her stuck at home with nobody to help her. I hope she is alright, keep us posted when you contact another vet.
_________________________
Kristen & David
Evelyn ~U2
Birthday 01/99 Adopted 2004
Jack ~M2
Birthday 08/00 Adopted 2012

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#45498 - 09/10/04 10:54 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
Coco Valentine Offline
Member

Registered: 09/09/04
Posts: 26
Loc: Boston
I am currently on an assignment in Hong Kong and I can’t believe there is no avian specialist in such a big city. I took Coco to a different vet today and she is supposed to be the best available who is very experienced in birds. She gave Coco an x-ray, confirmed she has another egg en route, she also gave her calcium supplement and a shot to make her speed up the laying process. It didn’t work, and she has to stay in the hospital overnight because it was almost 10:00 pm. Tomorrow, I will go back to see her and the vet will give her another shot and if needed, she suggested to pierce /break her egg from inside… I am now worried sick and feeling so helpless. I really appreciate all the advice from all of you..please pray for Coco. Thanks!!!

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#45499 - 09/10/04 10:57 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
Lori Conarro Offline
Lives Here
*****

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 2398
Loc: Salt Lake City, Utah
I'm so sorry, you must be worried sick. Just wanted you to know I was pulling for Coco too.

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#45500 - 09/10/04 10:57 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
Sammy ,Mickey and Harvey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 428
Loc: phoenix az
Please remember that a bird will not show any signs of illness untill they can't hide it anymore.

Just keep us posted as we all worry

Harvey

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#45501 - 09/10/04 11:07 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
Coco Valentine Offline
Member

Registered: 09/09/04
Posts: 26
Loc: Boston
Dear all,

The first doctor didn't give Coco antobiotics, he said it was just anti-inflamatory drug. The vet I went to this afternoon is very experienced in birds, said that Coco might have pulled some musles or something while passing the 1st egg. I can't believe that laying eggs is such a major risk to birds. I would have thought that hens do lay eggs everyday. I am finding this very stressful for me. What about the future...will she have to go through this ordeal every few months? I am really worried about her.

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#45502 - 09/10/04 11:22 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
SUNNY Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/06/05
Posts: 0
Loc: VALENCIA,CALIFORNIA
Is the vet you are using any of the following ?

BOUSFIELD, RICHARD BARRY., BVSc, MRCVS Central

MAUROO, NATHALIE, DVM, CertZooMed Lantau Island

NT GRIONI, ALESSANDRO, DVM Tai Wai

No, this is not something you will have to worry about every few months but it may happen a couple times a year. If it DOES happen every couple of months she can get hormone shots to help stop it because it will pull all her calcium and endanger her life. This set of eggs may just be exceptionally large esp. w/ this being her 1st clutch. She may improve w/ time and not have any problems w/ egg laying. Can you tell us her diet and routine? Sometimes egg laying can be held off if you do not do things to trigger it. (1 of my female M2s can not have small areas or it sets her off to egg laying.) I am glad you get the help she needed and please keep us posted on her progress.

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#45503 - 09/10/04 11:31 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
KristenAllissa Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 151
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I have heard that in the wild females will eat foods rich in calcium (perhaps linked to eating the clay in the wild?) in order to prevent egg-laying problems. In captivity they cannot choose the foods for themselves because we provide it for them and since we cannot know when they will need extra calcium it can play a role in egg-binding etc. Does anyone know if this is true? I am so worried about your little Too. I hope they dont have to break it inside her, im not sure how healthy that would be, but then again I am not a vet. Please keep us updated.
_________________________
Kristen & David
Evelyn ~U2
Birthday 01/99 Adopted 2004
Jack ~M2
Birthday 08/00 Adopted 2012

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#45504 - 09/10/04 11:43 AM Re: Problems after laying egg
Coco Valentine Offline
Member

Registered: 09/09/04
Posts: 26
Loc: Boston
This vet I went to today is in Tai Wai, the vet’s name is Dr. Tiger, they are called Tai Wai Small Animal & Exotic Hospital, and their website is as below:

http://www.taiwaiexotic.com/twindex1.htm

Coco eats the Sunburst pellets that is mixed with seeds, she love the tiny little ones that is white color. I know that is not good for her but she loves it. I also give her one bowl of fresh fruits (oranges, grapes, and apples) everyday, one bowl of green peas (she eats a lot of peas), some broccoli and other vegetables. She is very healthy and happy, she doesn’t bite and rarely screams. She loves to be out, and she is out whenever there is someone home with her. Her cage is very big standard size stainless made for Macaws, they are made by the Animal Environment in CA. She loves to be patted and when I do that under her two wings she would open her mouth and seems to enjoy very much, it may be a sexual thing, I really don’t know.

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#45505 - 09/10/04 12:28 PM Re: Problems after laying egg
Birdfreind2 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 78
Loc: NJ - I'm not a new member, I j...
I'm so glad that you found a competant avian vet! The small white seeds are probably millet. It is not so bad. It is very low in fat and can keep them busy for hours. Keeping a bird occupied is the most difficult thing to accomplish. I wouldn't worry about giving her millet. P.S. It might be safflower (bright white and shiny, about 1/3 the length of a sunflower seed. It has more fat).

I would also wait at least a week before I would have the vet break the egg and try to fish it out...but you and the vet must decide this. If he can get that close to the egg without surgery, perhaps he could lubricate the egg? Gently palpating the abdomen may help the egg laying process to start. Of course, if she is getting weaker or if her droppings are being blocked, the egg must be delt with. Good Luck!

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#45506 - 09/10/04 03:35 PM Re: Problems after laying egg
Ladyhawk Offline
Lives Here

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 919
Loc: California
Good for you CV - you seem to be on top of things! It sounds like you're providing some very good care for Coco (cage and diet). Below is an article on egg production, followed by another on female reproductive anatomy and problems. PU/PD is Polyuria (excess urine) and polydypsia (excess drinking).

Thanks for getting Coco to an avian vet, and please keep us posted! BTW - can you visit her while she's staying at the vet? Good luck with it all!

#1: EDIT ** LH, I had to remove the info you had by Dr. Wissman for she will not allow things to be posted even if credit is given. We were warned by her once before. Sorry; but feel free to post the link if it's not on a breeder site. M2mom

Edit by LH: Thanks for taking care of that M2mom. I didn't see any copyright info, but it's a big site. What I did find, which was new to me, was that she/and or her partner do breed birds, apparently not for conservation purposes as is the case with their primates. That's why I did not put the link. Doubly sorry!

2:

Quote:
Chicago Exotics, PC
Susan Hortman, DVM
Skokie, IL 60076

Female Reproductive Anatomy and Egg
Ovary
In most species, only the left ovary and oviduct are present. In Kiwis and some raptor species, both left and right sides are present and functional. When the hen is young the ovary is barely visible. It is attached to the left kidney and the body wall by the mesovarian ligament. As the hen matures the ovary starts to look like a small bunch of grapes, only clear. When breeding season occurs, some of the follicles start to grow rapidly. Yolk and protein produced by the liver start to accumulate in these larger follicles, making them yellow in color. During the nonbreeding season, the follicles should shrink. The body should harmlessly absorb the protein and yolk material. Older hens may never return to active reproductive status. If ovulation ceases suddenly due to stress or trauma, the developing follicles will regress.
Oviduct
The oviduct is the structure in which fertilization and development of the egg occurs. In actively reproductive females, this muscular structure becomes very thick and large. In the inactive female, it shrinks incredibly to a threadlike structure. It is connected to the body wall just under the ovary and transverses down to the cloaca. It consists of five distinct regions: Infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, uterus (shell gland), and vagina. Oviduct transit time varies among species and is approximately 24 hours.
The infundibulum catches the egg from the ovary. Fertilization occurs here. The suspensory apparatus (chalazae) of the developing embryo is added at this level. The egg spends about one hour in the infundibulum before it moves on to the magnum. This portion of the oviduct deposits most of the albumen, sodium, magnesium and calcium used in egg development. This takes three hours. Then, on to the isthmus, where the inner and outer shell membranes are added. The egg spends about two hours here.
The uterus (shell gland) retains the egg for 20 to 26 hours. During this time the egg receives salts, water, the shell, and shell pigment. The vagina is the thickest portion of the oviduct. The vagina does not contribute to the formation of the egg. The egg spends a few seconds here before it is expelled from the body. The vagina and cloaca work together during the expulsion of the egg.
Sperm can be stored for about a week in psittacine (parrot) species. In turkeys, sperm can be stored for 40 to 50 days. It is stored at the uterovaginal junction in the sperm host glands (spermatic fossa).
Ovulation occurs shortly after an egg is laid. In psittacines (parrots), the laying interval is two days (an egg every other day). In Passeriformes (softbills), lay intervals are 24 hours, but can extend up to four or five days.

Female Hormonal and Physiologic Factors
The hormones involved in reproduction and the tissues they come from are important. I am not going to discuss them in depth at this time. There are some select factors influencing reproductive behavior and egg production that I will mention in this section. Understanding a few basic physiologic facts will help in developing a plan to control unwanted reproductive problems.
Increasing day length influences the onset of reproductive behavior in temperate climate species. Photoperiod is less important in equatorial species where the day length is similar year round. In chickens, the maximum stimulation is received when light periods are around 12 to 14 hours. The hypothalamus (a part of the brain) receives signals from the optic nerve (a part of the eye). Hypothalamic control of reproductive behavior is controlled by other environmental factors. In arid dwelling species, such as budgies and Zebra Finches, drought will inhibit reproductive behaviors. During these dry conditions, when food is scarce, hypothalamic secretions suppress reproduction.
Several hormones secreted by the follicle affect the oviduct, including progesterone. Progesterone in large doses may inhibit ovulation or, if given 36 hours before expected ovulation, will induce follicular regression. If given 2 to 24 hours pre-ovulation, progesterone can cause premature ovulation. Of course this varies among species. It is best used after a complete clutch has been laid. It must be used with extreme caution as it can affect the overall health of the bird. The use of progesterone can cause liver disease.
Estrogen increases total plasma calcium levels, among other things. During the egg laying process, plasma calcium levels can be extremely high, reaching levels of 30 mg/dl. Laying hens will preferentially consume calcium-rich diets. In laying hens, it is recommended that they be fed a diet of 0.3% calcium (1:1 or 2:1 with phosphorus), but no more than 1 %. Usually most of the egg shell calcium is obtained from the intestine and bone calcium is used only when blood calcium is low.
Bone calcium does serve as a source of calcium for shell development in hens that lay eggs during morning hours. Calcification of the inner space (medullary space) of the femur, humerus and tibia primarily, occurs approximately ten days before egg formation and is driven by estrogen. If the hen does not consume enough calcium, the bone calcium will be used. At some point, calcium deficiency will stop the egg laying process. Diets high in fat will inhibit calcium absorption from the intestine. Impaired liver function may be the cause of overly calcified bones (polyostotic hyperostosis) in hens. The liver is responsible for inactivating estrogen. Excess circulating estrogen creates this chronic bone problem.

Female Reproductive Disorders

Egg Binding and Dystocia
Egg binding is defined as failure of an egg to pass through an oviduct at a normal rate. Most pet bird species lay eggs at greater than 24hour intervals, but the exact interval varies among species. This makes it difficult to determine when there is a problem. Dystocia is defined as a condition in which a developing egg is in the caudal oviduct and is either obstructing the cloaca or has caused oviductal tissue to prolapse through the oviduct-cloacal opening. Common causes of dystocias are oviductal muscle dysfunction (calcium metabolic disease, selenium and vitamin E deficiencies), malformed eggs, excessive egg production, previous oviduct damage or infection, nutritional insufficiencies, obesity, lack of exercise, heredity, senility, and concurrent stress such as environmental temperature changes or systemic disease.
Abnormally prolonged presence of an egg in the oviduct causes a multitude of complications in the hen. The severity of these complications depends on the species, previous health, the cause of the binding, the egg’s location in the oviduct, and the time elapsed since the egg’s development began. An egg lodged in the pelvic canal puts pressure on blood vessels and nerves. It can prevent defecation and urination. This can lead to kidney damage or failure. The uterus may rupture. Circulatory shock and death can occur.
The smaller the bird, the more serious the situation. Cockatiels, budgies, lovebirds, canaries, and finches often have egg related problems. Generally the hen will appear droopy winged and wide stanced. She will be reluctant to fly or perch. There may be tail wagging and straining movements of the abdomen. The legs may become paralyzed. These birds need to visit the veterinarian right away. Do not steam these birds. Do not apply mineral oil. These things do not work at all.

Prolapse
Prolapse of the oviduct may occur secondarily to normal physiologic hyperplasia and egg laying or as a result of dystocia. Excessive contraction of the abdominal muscles, poor physical condition, and poor nutrition may cause these prolapses. Usually the uterus protrudes through the cloaca; often an egg is present. It is important to keep these tissues moist. A small amount of Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment can be placed on the protruding tissue and then you must proceed to the veterinarian. This problem will not resolve without medical intervention. Prolapses often recur. The veterinarian may place small sutures to keep the cloacal tissue in place while it heals and the hen regains muscular strength.

Salpingitis and Metritis
Salpingitis is infection of the upper reproductive tract. This can occur through infection from other organ systems such as the liver, air sac, pneumonia, or retrograde infections of the lower uterus, vagina or cloaca. Excessive abdominal fat has also been associated with many cases of salpingitis. The infectious agent most often isolated from birds with salpingitis is E. coli. Other infectious agents include Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Salmonella spp., Streptococcus spp. and Pasteurella multocida. These bacteria are often affecting other organ systems simultaneously.
Depression, weight loss, anorexia, and abdominal enlargement can occur with salpingitis. A discharge from the cloaca may occur. The inside of the infundibulum may contain cream colored, slimy fluid, or cheesy, yellowish thick exudate. Culture and cytology are necessary for diagnosis. Cockatiel hens that have a history of egg laying followed by mild depression and weight loss may have salpingitis or focal egg laying peritonitis.
Metritis is a localized problem within the uterine portion of the oviduct. It can be a result of dystocia, egg binding or chronic oviductal impaction. Bacterial metritis is often secondary to systemic infection. Shell formation and uterine contractions can be affected by metritis. Embryonic infection can be caused by coliform metritis. Metritis can also cause egg binding, uterine rupture, peritonitis, and septicemia.

Oviduct Impaction
This is a condition in which soft-shelled eggs, malformed eggs, or fully formed eggs are stuck in the lower oviduct. It is usually a result of salpingitis, but can also result from egg binding and metritis. Usually the hen will stop egg production and slowly lose condition. There will be periods of alternating constipation and diarrhea. Periodic anorexia, reluctance to fly or walk, and abdominal enlargement (usually left side) are all signs. Endoscopy or exploratory laporatomy are usually the only way to diagnose this one. The oviduct must be surgically removed.

Cystic Ova
This is when an ovarian follicle becomes grossly enlarged and filled with fluid. Ovarian tumors and cystic hyperplasia can occur secondarily. The cause of cystic ova is not fully understood. In affected birds, difficulty breathing, altered movement, and abdominal distension are found. Cysts can rupture easily, sometimes flooding into the airsacs. I often treat these with Lupron. I do occasionally pull fluid out of the cysts to give the hen breathing space. Occasionally, I have surgically removed them.

Cloacal Problems
Inflammation of the cloaca, stricture of the cloaca, cloacal liths, and chronic prolapse of the cloaca will all interfere with egg passage. Cloacal papillomas will interfere with copulation and semen passage. Birds with papillomas should not be breeding. Treatment success for cloacal papillomatosis varies. One case was helped by a diet low in fat, and high in fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotenes.

Parasites
Found mostly in waterfowl, this involves flukes (Prosthogonimus ovatus and related trematodes). Prevention involves the control of aquatic snails.

Neoplasia
Budgerigars often have neoplasia in the ovary or oviduct. Many other species have been reported with ovarian neoplasia, though with less frequency than budgies. The hen will present with similar signs to cystic ovaries or oviductal impaction. Ovarian tumors can account for up to 1/3 of body weight. Egg retention, cysts, ascites, and abdominal herniation often occurs due to ovarian neoplasia. Secondary sexual characteristics may also occur such as cere color in budgies. Radiographs may help diagnosis, but to confirm neoplasia, histopathology is needed. A variety of other tumor types have been reported including adenocarcinomas, leiomyomas, leiomyosarcomas, adenomas, and granulosa cell tumors.

Peritonitis
Peritonitis can be divided into two categories: Septic and non-septic. Whether the peritonitis is septic or not depends on whether bacteria is involved or not. In non-septic peritonitis, egg material without bacteria is free in the abdomen. Acsites may or may not be present. Treatment includes removing the egg material surgically. Septic peritonitis is much worse. It is the most frequent cause of death associated with reproductive disorders. It is most likely not one disease but part of several diseases such as salpingitis, ruptured oviducts, and ectopic ovulation. Usually it is the yolk that introduces the bacteria into the abdomen. E. coli is the most common bacterium isolated. The hen will be very depressed, have abdominal swelling, difficulty breathing, anorexia, high white blood cell count, and cessation of reproduction. Death is a common finding. This peritonitis is most frequently found in cockatiels, lovebirds, budgies, macaws, and ducks.
Septic peritonitis will cause severe adhesions of the abdominal organs leading to chronic pain. Egg-related pancreatitis may cause temporary diabetes mellitus in cockatiels. A temporary stroke-like syndrome is found in cockatiels with yolk peritonitis. Yolk emboli are suspected. Treatment for peritonitis is long term. If diagnosed early, the prognosis is better.

Anatomic Abnormalities
Occasionally a functional right ovary is found. In Kiwis and Falconiformes this is normal, but not for the rest. Functional right ovary and oviduct have been reported in the budgerigar.

Behavior Modification
Chronic Egg laying
Chronic egg laying occurs when a hen lays eggs beyond the normal clutch size or has repeated clutches regardless of the existence of a suitable mate or breeding season. Humans, inanimate objects (toys, etc.), or birds of another species will stimulate this behavior. The chronically active female may exhibit weight loss from constant regurgitation and feather loss or mild dermatitis around the vent in association with masturbatory behavior. In some cases removing the eggs helps: in others, it doesn’t. Egg laying is ultimately controlled hormonally. It is noted that the most domesticated birds, cockatiels, budgerigars and lovebirds are the most chronic egg layers. Perhaps we have selected for this problem by producing birds that will breed in a variety of environmental situations (selective pressure).
If a completely nutritious diet is provided, hens can lay eggs for years. In most cases, however, malnutrition and the progressive stress and physiologic demands of egg laying will ultimately destroy the hen. Calcium deficiency leads to brittle bones, malformed eggs, uterine inertia, and generalized muscular weakness. Egg binding is common. Behavioral modification must be attempted to stop egg laying. Diminish the amount of daylight hours to eight, with sixteen hours of continuous darkness. Objects stimulating sexual behavior should be removed. Nest boxes and enclosure partners should be removed. Changing the location of the enclosure and rearranging the objects inside the cage often may help. Owners may need to stop handling the hen until reproductive behavior stops (sometimes 30 to 60 days).
Medical therapy includes correcting nutritional imbalances and infections. Hormones may be used to interrupt the cycle. They are not without side effects. Lupron seems to work the best. Ultimately, if nothing works, salpingohysterectomy is the long-term solution.
Certain species will reproduce up to four times a year (mainly Blue and Gold Macaws, cockatoos and Eclectus Parrots). Egg production in excess of two clutches a year will eventually lead to the same problems associated with chronic egg layers. Extra clutches should be avoided.

Good Sources:
Richie BW, Harrison GJ, Harrison LR (eds): Avian Medicine: Principles and Application. Lake Worth, Fl, Wingers Publishing, 1994.

Millam JR: Reproductive Physiology. In Altman, et al: Avian Medicine and Surgery. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1997.

Fudge AM, Speer BL (eds): Reproduction and Obstetrics. In Seminars in Avian and Exotic PetMedicine, WB Saunders Co, Volume 5, No 4, 1996.

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#45507 - 09/10/04 07:49 PM Re: Problems after laying egg
Coco Valentine Offline
Member

Registered: 09/09/04
Posts: 26
Loc: Boston
Thank you all for the support and info. My stomach is churning and I'm feeling so helpless. I am on my way to see Coco now. Will keep you all posted. Thanks, CV

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