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Egg binding in birds

www.PetMD.com, the largest global source of pet health information, is created by veterinary professionals and covers 9 different species.

retaining eggs

Egg binding is a common reproductive problem in birds, and it occurs when the bird retains the egg in the reproductive tract, unable to expel it naturally. Female budgerigars, cockatiels, lovebirds, large parrots, and overweight birds commonly suffer from egg binding.

Symptoms and Types

A bird suffering from egg binding will have a swollen abdomen and wag its tail frequently. The bird will also have difficulty balancing on the perch. And its leg may be paralyzed, if the egg presses on a nerve

Causes

Egg binding is caused by the inability to expel an egg naturally, and is generally due to a deficiency of calcium in the bird's diet.

Treatment

Do not attempt to remove the egg yourself, as you can cause the bird harm– paralysis or death. Instead, take the bird to a veterinarian. X-rays will be taken to locate the egg and check for any abnormality in egg size. Afterwards, the veterinarian may try natural expulsion of the egg: giving the bird calcium, humid environment, lots of fluids, warmth and lubrication of the passage. They may also inject female hormones like oxytocin and prostaglandin to help the bird expel the egg. If all the previous methods fail, the veterinarian will extract the egg by hand or surgically.

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