Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:57 am Post subject: Egg binding and treatment to stop it
Our Kakariki has been slightly ill over the weekend, she was unsteady on her feet and had trouble climbing up her cage as normal. We took her to the vets on saturday who examined her and was unsure what the matter was but said she would get back to me on Monday. By Saturday evening we thought we were going to loose her, she stayed at the bottom of the cage and when she tried to eat she fell headfirst into the food. My husband stayed with her till 4am. I did some research on the internet and saw that all her symptoms suggested she was egg bound, i followed some of the suggestions that could extract the egg (brush vent with olive oil and the expression method) as nothing happened we phone the emergency vet who suggested that we take her in straight away. They suggested to us that they would examine her and give her a calcium injection to boost her calcium levels (all this costing £130, with an x-ray it would cost us and extra £90). But as she is so special to us we decided to go, by the time we got dressed she had laid an egg, we contacted the vet back who suggested we keep her warm and encourage her to eat but not to bring her in straight away as the stress could kill her. She has since improved greatly.
However she is now on her 28th egg she started laying on 13th February. We bought her in December from a pet shop and as we were leaving the shop the owner said that she had been in a cage with a male and they had mated and to possible expect some eggs. NOT IMPRESSED WITH HIM!! We never expected this many eggs and we are so concerened.
It has been suggested that she has some hormone treatment to stop her laying, we have no intention of breeding her so think this is an ideal suggestion. I have researched this treatment and it is suggested that she is given "Lupron", does anyone know how much this will cost on prescription in the UK.
We don't want anything to happen to her now as she has become part of the family and to loose her will be devastating.
A vet or a breeder would have reconised the symtoms straight away, and a simple feel around the body would have identified the egg inside.
X rays and such is a bloody rip off, to put politely.
An egg inside is very obvious to a vet or breeder, and for the inexperianced owner, certainly convincing...
And given the history of the bird, a vet or breedr would have said egg binding with 99.9% certainly over the phone
I strongly suggest if there is no avain vet local, to contact the local bird club/society, get to know the breeders....when in trouble, ring them... a good breeder will be very helpful.
Egg binding, if not caught very early is generally fatal.
Eggs when 1st laid are soft, and harden up shortly after exposure to air, if left too long they harden inside, and lubricating/massaging out general breaks the shell causing interal hemeraging
Olive, or similar oil injected into the crop along with calcuim, and oil in the orfice with a small eye dropper, keep the bird warm, then an hour latter careful FIRM masage out.
We resently had another owners bird who was in the last throws of egg bound, unfortunately it died....I took the opportunity to massage the egg out after death. If I had used a little more firm pressure, I believe I may have saved her...inexperiance in retrospect...The egg had not fully hardened, but was harder than a fresh egg.
IF the worst happens, I very strongly suggest anyone to, take a very big breath, do the above, the experiance could be very valuable to you or someone else or a bird in the future.
Once egg bound there is little other than the above to do.
Prevention......diet...balanced varied and consistant every day...calcuim being an important part...calcuim will not be absorbed into the body without other minerals and vitimins....
Also the calcuim has to be in the right form...
We feed a lot of cooked chicken bones chopped up fine, chop bones, pumice sand on the floors of the flights, cuttle fish, and stems of broccolli and cali chopped up fine EVERY day.
Im not so sure about cuttlefish and pumice being the right form.....
"not sure" that doesnt mean will stop...
Im more convinced the bones, in particular the cartlage and brocolli/cali stems are the best sources...from other discussions with members in these forums.
It is no good feeding just when a problem comes up...It is all about prevention months before hand.
We have never had a female just randomly keep laying eggs, and hence no experiance in hormone treatments to stop it. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Calcuim has to be supplied to the bird, it cant be created ....
It may help for the bird to absorb???
If it Ca is in the right form to start off with.
Birds love to sun bath, for hrs...sunlight does have UV , over a wide spectum...lights tend to be far more narrow, so it would be hit and miss if it is the right fequency.
UV can also be dangerous for skin and eyes if over done...
No I would not be going down that route.
Regardless birds love and need un filtered sunlight. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Yes, birds need the full spectrum lighting that natural sunlight allows them. If kept indoors, they need this supplemented. I use grow lights that you can get a little cheaper and are the same thing as the 'bird lights', as both provide full spectrum lighting.
Without this light, they can't utilize the calcium supplied in their diet as well, nor any vitamin D. Just like us, birds get vitamin D from sunlight and calcium and vitamin D go hand in hand.
I don't know about Kaks, specifically, but our avian vet reccommends at LEAST 2 hours a day for non-breeding birds and more 12-14 for breeding birds.
As far as the hormone, its call Lupron and if memory serves me correctly, it is the lutenizing hormorne that interupts the eggs laying cycle. (know it better in mammals!!). Many people here in the states have used it with great success for the cockatoos when they become overly aggressive during breeding season, which has kept many a bird in their home where otherwise they would have been sent down the road.
Check with your avian vet about it. It may stop her. Otherwise, if she is in an area where she is getting too much natural sunlight or provided with artificial light, cut the light down DRASTICALLY!!! That may interupt her cycle.
As Steptoe said though, she needs extra calcium in her diet. She is most likely depleted, as they will take it from their own bones to meet the needs of creating an egg. I would check with your vet about supplementing her for a bit.....
anyway, my 2 cents!
if she is being kept indoors it might be worth considering supplying her with vitamin D3 supplement (specifically produced for birds) as for lighting be aware there is a significant difference between broadspectrum as used in most plant lighting and full spectrum lighting which you would use for birds. If she is not getting vitamin D3 then no amount of calcium will solve the issue of her depleting her calcium reserves. Whilst she lays eggs she is using up calcium
It is UV-B that produces vitamin D. Birdlamps do produce this kind of UV but I find that the bird must have the ability to decide whether he wants to be exposed or not. Outside they prefere to sunbath before or after noon. During noon they instinctively hide in the shade because UV exposure is the highest and most dangerous.
Supplementation with vitamin D is an alternative.
Vitamin D is the most underestimated vitamin in al creatures. Actually it isn't a vitamin but a hormone. It controls more than 100 genes. It controls the immune system, reduces inflamation, sex hormones and absorption of several minerals. Especially Calcium. When vitamin D is low there is less uptake of Calcium from the diet. Following this the parathyroid gland decides to take more Calcium from the bones. Result: depleting reserves.
Probably vitamin D is one of the reasons why wild birds are bigger than captive birds.
I also believe that the amount of Calcium in the diet doesn't have to be that much. In humans research has found that 500 mg Calcium/day is sufficient. (The recommendations of 1000mg -1200mg are way to high).
When the average human is 80kg and a Kakariki is 80 grams then we have to reduce that 500mg by 1000. It means that the daily recommendation for a Kakariki is 0,5mg. For comparison, one thee spoon is about 5 gr. Reduce it by 10000 and you have the daily amount.
Your pet bird has an uropygial or ďpreenĒ gland above the base of the tail. This gland secretes oil. As your bird grooms, it spreads this oil over its feathers
This oil contains a compound that produces vitamin D when exposed to the sunís ultraviolet rays. So as your bird grooms under an ultraviolet light source, itís actually mixing up a healthy batch of vitamin D on its feathers.
As your bird re-grooms his feathers coated in oil, he ingests the vitamin D. The vitamin D in his system will then be converted by his kidneys and liver to active vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
When our birds sun bath, they have their back to the sun, wings dropped exposing as much as possible plus the preen gland its self, then after a good 'bath' they preen...
Another way your bird absorbs vitamin D is through his eyes.
The lens of the human eye is trichromatic, which means it contains cones that absorb only three color spectrums Ė red, blue and green. The human lens filters out ultraviolet light
Not so with birds. The lens of a birdís eye absorbs not only red, blue and green spectrums, but also UVA and UVB rays, making their vision pentachromatic. Your bird has better vision than you do, and he can also see more hues and colors than you. This enhanced vision helps birds locate certain food sources and even helps them select a mate..
And our birds always seem to tilt their head towards the sun a little while bathing, and the last comment "helps select a mate" is something I have suggested as a therory several times over the yrs.
Putting your bird in front of a window wonít do the trick -- glass filters out the beneficial components of ultraviolet rays.
This I wonder , sort of thu....several of our flight are under clear UV filtering plastic roofing...they have been hatched, raised and gone on to raise over 140 healthy adult birds, some of those are now raising healty adult birds.....it doesnt add up...Why do we have good sized, colour, healty birds?... or is living under the ozone hole to great to filter out all the UV???
Couple of other comments made
If you happen to own an African gray, you know how susceptible your bird is to hypocalcaemia. Recent research is pointing in the direction of a vitamin D deficiency rather than low calcium levels.
It is common knowledge to those who breed African grays , they require raw (orange) palm oil to breed successfuly and maintiain long term good health....my understanding it is due to the higher levels of Vit K.
Five Key Ingredients for Your Birdís Good Health
3.A species-appropriate diet that includes lots of living foods
4.Coconut oil and essential fatty acids
5.Adequate ultraviolet light
Coconut, palm and olive oils are the only few oils that are natural.. ie produced by pressing and not distillation....
Raw Palm and olive oil are part our birds regular diet... just another therory I had many yrs ago....but nothing to back up, other than continus comments re the quailty /size/ health of our birds, even when in full molt.
And #3 how mant times do we say..."consistant, balanced , natural diet"
Along with that our birds eat 5 to 6 times more fresh veggies than seed (including huskes) and that doesnt include the meat or fruit
Excellent link Peter.
Steps _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
hi Steps, if the front of your flights are open ie. not covered in plastic sheets then they will be getting access to sunlight therefore producing Vit D3. Bear in mind that the concentration of uv with the particular wavelenghts that impact on production of Vit D3 from sunlight are stronger than that produced from appropriate lights which also means that the lenghth of time needed from sunlight exposure is considerably shorter. There is some interesting info published on the internet by Robert Black which would also suggest that exposure to particular wavelengths of UV also has some impact on the balance of sexes produced , which might go somewhat to explaining some of the odd seasons we experience here in New Zealand as to seasonal differences being produced eg. King Parrots - where for years we were producing higher numbers of males versus females whereas in the last few years it has been the other way around- is it to do with the hole in the ozone layer we experience here combined with the timing of when it takes place
hi Steps, if the front of your flights are open ie. not covered in plastic sheets then they will be getting access to sunlight therefore producing Vit D3.
The pasrtular avairy/flights (have several) are off the covered deck between the house and flights ..covered with UV filtering clear corrogated roofing...
would also suggest that exposure to particular wavelengths of UV also has some impact on the balance of sexes produced , which might go somewhat to explaining some of the odd seasons we experience here in New Zealand as to seasonal differences being produced eg. King Parrots - where for years we were producing higher numbers of males versus females whereas in the last few years it has been the other way around-
This is the great breeding mystry, with alsorts of therories and it is not just NZ but Aussie Europe.
Some yrs ago I came across a bit of reasearch on rhino, out of Africa, so decided to give it a go...as we where and all the other breeders here and off shore where getting more males than females...lot more..
Anyway over many years of experimentation , we now get a rather consistant approx 60% males 40% females....which happens to be the rough % in wild flocks.....it relates to diet, seasonal foods.
And yes the same applies to our kings and other species.
And this also applies to our other 2 avairies/flights that are not covered and birds get direct sunlight. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
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