Prevention and treatment for a pet bird’s egg binding – dystocia

What is egg binding?

Egg binding refers to a serious medical condition that a female bird is unable to pass an egg. The egg may be stuck near the cloaca or inside the reproductive tract, it can cause infection and even death if not treated properly in time.

egg binding

Why egg binding occurs?

Egg binding can occur due to the below factors:

  • The egg is malformed and/or too large.
  • The bird’s cloaca or reproductive tract is too narrow.
  • Calcium deficiency causes the egg too soft.
  • The bird is overweight.
  • The bird is too young when having an egg, while its reproductive system is still not mature.

How to identify if your pet bird gets an egg binding?

Watch carefully if your bird has these signs and symptoms:

  • Strains without producing any egg and poop
  • Often sits on the bottom of the cage.
  • Difficult to sit on a perch
  • Breathes rapidly
  • Presents inactive and no appetite
  • The bird’s feathers fluff up

How to prevent egg binding?

  • Supplying your pet birds with a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Provide a piece of cuttlebone for parrots or mix the powder of cuttlebone or egg shell into the bird food is a common good idea.
  • Make your birds exercise more by providing a big cage and playing with them often, offer lighting in the early evening to let birds exercise longer for pet birds don’t need to sleep long time while wild birds need enough sleeping to have more energy looking for food in the day time.

How to treat egg binding?

  • A warm water bath to the bird may be of great help. This relaxes her muscles and let she pass the egg into the water. Don’t force the bird if she don’t like a bath.
  • Massage the bird’s abdomen gently to help the bird pass the egg. Before doing this, you can lubricate the bird’s cloaca and the reproductive tract by feeding it vegetable oil and drip a few drops of vegetable oil into the cloaca directly. Massage the abdomen very gently and slowly pushing the eggs towards the butt. This lead to a success of passing out the egg in many cases.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to massage out the egg because the egg is too big or the cloaca is too small. For such a case, a veterinarian will use an injection needle to extract the egg content, allowing the egg shell to collapse and be removed.
  • Surgical extraction can be done by a skilled veterinarian. The vet will cut a very small open and place inside a minimally invasive device, the device will widen the reproductive tract to let go out the egg.
    surgical for a parrot with egg binding

    surgical for a parrot with egg binding