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Vent prolapse in birds

Preventing Prolapse

Cloacal prolapse or vent prolapse is a condition where the inner tissues of the cloaca protrude (hang out) from the vent, exposing the intestines, cloaca or uterus. The cloaca is the part of the bird's body which stores urates, feces, urine and egg. The cloacal lips (or vent) are used to control the passage and frequency of droppings and other eliminations.

Umbrella Cockatoo

Mature Umbrella and Moluccan cockatoos suffer more often from cloacal prolapse, as do hand-fed birds. However, cockatoos not bred by humans are not affected by cloacal prolapse.

Causes

Cloacal prolapse occurs when long-term strain is put onto the vent. Usually the reasons are both physical and behavioral.

Hand raised and hand fed birds with delayed weaning show a greater tendency towards cloacal prolapse. Birds who are extremely attached to one person and recognizing the person as either a mate or a parent also have a higher chances of having cloacal prolapse. Such birds will hold feces for long time, and also cry out for food thus repeatedly strain their cloaca and vent in the process. The misplaced sexual attraction towards the person also causes stretching and opening of the vent.

It also occurs in birds that have a habit of holding in the stool for long periods of time, like overnight, instead of dropping it as it is comes to cloaca.

Any combination of the above reasons can lead to straining, dilating and stretching of the vent, making the bird an ideal candidate for cloacal prolapse.

Treatment

Successful treatment depends on timely detection. Treatment is done via surgery and behavior modification therapy. 

Owners are advised to break the close bond for the good health of the bird and not stroke the bird on the back, feed it by hand, or cuddle the bird close to the body.

Prevention

To prevent the cloacal prolapse from occurring again, the bird has to stop thinking of the owner as its parent or mate.

Comments

Comments on "Vent prolapse in birds"

Ron Munterich May 15, 2013 | 8:14 AM

I have an absolutely wonder Umbrella Cockatoo named Laela. I raised her and had the pleasure of her company for 9 years. I acquired her because I read that Umbrellas love 3 things, to be petted, to be petted & to be petted. Having to put down my 15 year old Bichon Frise with much sorrow, an Umbrella sounded like a dog with feathers that had a life span up to 90 years. Upon reaching maturity she started to prolapse. It wasn't until then that I learned the petting can be extremely detrimental to her health. After spending over $4500 for every know surgery and trying to break the extreme bond between us, I gave her to a friend. She is now 11 years old and requires suturing of the vent at least once a month. I am heart broken that my ignorance has caused her such a bad and non-repairable physical problem. Do not pet your Umbrella on the body under the wings, on the back, cuddle them under your shirt or under a blanket. If you truly love your bird, do not take a chance by overly providing physical attention.

Mr Dennis August 07, 2012 | 9:09 AM

There have been increasing number of my birds getting infected every day with prolapse and am scared because it has reduce the rate of egg production in my farm. i dont know what to do any longer cause it has been a long time experience in my farm.

Jayne Waterman June 08, 2011 | 2:24 PM

My 18 month old cockatiel seems to be suffering from a prolapse, however yesterday I treated her with baytril and lots of fruit sticks and gave a high quality food for egg laying birds. The reason I did this is because I thought she had an infection in her vent, however after seeing a few pictures of prolapse I think this is what it is. After 24 hours her swelling seems to have reduced. Do you think this could have done the trick or should I still take her to the vets. She seems much happier today and I do think that going to the vet will stress her, she only likes women and the avian vet is male.

Jayne Waterman June 08, 2011 | 2:24 PM

My 18 month old cockatiel seems to be suffering from a prolapse, however yesterday I treated her with baytril and lots of fruit sticks and gave a high quality food for egg laying birds. The reason I did this is because I thought she had an infection in her vent, however after seeing a few pictures of prolapse I think this is what it is. After 24 hours her swelling seems to have reduced. Do you think this could have done the trick or should I still take her to the vets. She seems much happier today and I do think that going to the vet will stress her, she only likes women and the avian vet is male.

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