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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If it's not one female that scares the heck out of me, it's the other! :cry:

Sophie woke me up at 6:30 this morning making little peeping sounds. I checked on her and she looked alright, so I went back to bed and when I later uncovered the cage I noticed her poops had blood in them. She always sleeps in the same spot so I knew they were her poops. She's been in "labour" for a few hours now and is puffed up, breathing heavier than normal, her tail is fanned and she has an egg bump, and her eyes are mostly closed. Occasionally she will 'peep' and it sounds like she's in pain. I had work this morning and got home at 3pm and immediately ran the shower to get the bathroom as humid and steamy as possible and got Sophie into the hospital cage and into the bathroom. I sprayed a bit of warm water onto her vent, which is bloody. She sat on the bottom of the cage and did two watery droppings, both with blood in them. I don't think she'd pooped all day up until then. I've moved her back into the bird room and have half covered the cage she is in; she's moved to the corner into the dark and is just sitting there looking very lethargic.

I have to go back to work in half an hour and won't be home until about 10pm. My mum is checking on her to make sure she's okay. I'm unsure if I should drop her in to the vet on the way to work or just leave her how she is; I'm certain it's an egg (she's been masturbating a lot lately) and I don't think the vet will be able to do much. If she hasn't passed the egg by tonight I will rush her to the emergency vet. Is there anything else I can do? I gave her some water and some soft food but by the contents of her droppings I'd say she hasn't eaten today. She is looking a little better and is moving around now but I'd say that's because she wants to get back to the other three 'tiels.

Sophie is just over two years old and hasn't laid before. I have been expecting her to lay eggs soon though, judging by her behaviour. Please send some healing thoughts for my baby girl.
 

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My best wishes for her!

Maybe your mum could take her to the vet if she needs? If there's blood, is it worrying?
 

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If she's been egg bound for that long it's probably already an emergency. Everywhere I've read has advised that straining like that for more than one hour requires immediate vet care. I'd take her to the vet asap. Best wishes for you and her!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't worry too much about the blood since I've read that first eggs can cause a bit of bleeding. I am feeling terrible and utterly responsible now. I went to work, and left Sophie with mum. Mum ran another steamy shower for Sophie and contacted the vet but our avian vet was unavailable and has been for weeks, they said. The vet she talked to said she didn't know much about birds but would see what she could do if mum brought Sophie in. But it was too late, Sophie died last night. It's all my fault for thinking she would be okay and not handling the situation as seriously as I should have. Nearing the end of my shift I knew she had gone but didn't want to believe it, got home and found out the horrible truth. Mum and dad had put her in a box and I held her lifeless body and we all cried. I was still crying at 4am. Dad took her body to the vet this morning so that the cause of her death could be confirmed, but I'm 99% sure it was an egg. Mum said the egg bump disappeared just before she died, so it must have broke inside her.

Coco, Honey and Henry were very quiet and sat together on the same perch which is very unlike them. They know she's gone but they keep staring at me questioningly. Hopefully we can have her funeral tonight. I wish I could wind the clock back and have given her a better chance, it hurts so much. I failed her. My poor sweet girl, you were only two, you didn't deserve this. Rest in peace my sweet girl Sophie. :cry:

 

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No, no, no, no, no, no. Oh Char, I SO did not expect to see this. I was looking forward to good news. I'm so sorry Char. :cry: You did your best and Sophie knows it too. She is safe in heaven now and was so lucky to have you.

Fly free, sweet Sophie
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. :cry: The vet just called and said they did an x-ray and no egg showed up. Now I have to decide if I want to send her away for further testing. I wonder, if the egg was soft shelled or broken, would an x-ray have picked it up?
 

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Oh god, Char, no! :cry: I'm so sorry, I was stunned when I read your update. -hugs- You did the best you could, and Sophie had to very well be one of the most loved cockatiels to have a home with you. <3
 

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Does your vet do necropsies, or is that why you need to send her away? Usually, they don't do any X-rays post mortem..they open the body cavity and look at all the organs, the crop, and the oviduct. If there was an egg they would find it in the oviduct. But, I would definitely expect an egg to show up on X-ray because the shell is calcium.

X-ray of a chicken with egg:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/content/type/61/id/5749237/width/350/height/700/flags/LL

I first would check all her droppings and see if there is any egg bits in them...if the egg broke inside her it is possible it may have passed in pieces. If you can't find any egg where she was kept then I would definitely have a necropsy done, for the sake of your other birds.

This doesn't seem like an egg problem to me, though. I don't know why, but it just seems like there would've been more to it if it were an egg problem (nesting, hiding in dark places, obvious straining). There are diseases, such as AGY, that can present itself as difficulty defacating, bubbles in stool (gas in GI tract), and blood in stool as the GI tract begins bleeding when the disease progresses.

Had she lost weight? Any signs prior to the bloody stools that something wasn't right?
 

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I'm so sorry about Sophie... I also was expecting good news... don't blame yourself,, it's hard enough to have lost your baby... Many hugs for you and a big kiss!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
They would have to send her away to the lab - not sure where that is - to do a necropsy. I'm thinking it might be a bit too late now though. I know it's best to have it done as soon as possible but how late is too late?

She always did healthy looking droppings, and there was definitely no egg pieces in them, I had a very close look. She had been very hormonal for the past few weeks, always trying to masturbate, and I would discourage her but would end up finding her sitting in a food bowl with her vent pressed against the side. I don't think she had lost any weight, and her appetite was healthy up until yesterday. It happened so suddenly I'm still in shock and finding it difficult to process.

I keep coming back to the soft egg scenario. Mum said Sophie sat in the water bowl when she was running the shower to get the bathroom steamy for her. She talked to the vet today and had a look at the x-rays and the vet said it could have been worms (which I highly doubt, there is no evidence that worms were involved), or a tumor, or anything. If I'm going to find out for sure what killed her then I need to send her to the lab. I hope tomorrow morning isn't too late.
 

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Within 24-48 hours is usually when they want the body. So I would get it to them as soon as your can.

I don't think a soft/malformed egg would cause the symptoms you saw. If she had an egg that was shelless (since they didn't see an egg on X-ray this is the only egg option) then you would've seen her straining, but I don't think it would've caused any bleeding. She wouldn't have been able to grip the egg to push it out...what typically causes bleeding during the first egg being laid is stretching the vent..but a shelless egg probably wouldn't have gotten that far.

Also, since you just had one bird hospitalized for a GI problem, and you now have Sophie who passed away possibly/probably from a GI problem, I would keep a VERY close eye on the rest of your flock. Look at droppings regularly and check their weights at least every couple of days.
 

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So sorry to hear this! Don't beat yourself up so much. You didn't know how serious it was and you so clearly loved Sophie. Wishing you all the best right now.
 

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Sophie

Thanks. :cry: The vet just called and said they did an x-ray and no egg showed up. Now I have to decide if I want to send her away for further testing. I wonder, if the egg was soft shelled or broken, would an x-ray have picked it up?
I am so sorry for your loss! I know you did the best you could for her; sometimes it's just not enough, especially when we can't get them to a vet!
Yes, an egg, even shell-less should show up on an x-ray. X-rays will show things like cancer or tumors as shadowy areas, so I think an egg would be the same.
Again I am sorry to hear of Sophie's death. It is so hard!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My avian vet is back today and she is doing the necropsy on Sophie now. She's going to call if she needs to do further tests. I'm very confident in her that she will be able to find out what happened. Thank you everyone for your advice and support. I have checked my other birds' droppings and they are normal as well as their behaviour. I will see if I can weigh them this afternoon. Hopefully I will have another update later today.
 

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I'm so sorry, I didn't look at this thread sooner because I've been dealing with a bird health crisis of my own and don't have any personal experience with egg-laying. :( I'm glad you're having the necropsy done because I agree that you need to rule out an infectious problem in your flock. I hope the results can give you some peace of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm sorry to hear that, enigma. :( I wish you and your birds well.

The vet called tonight while I was at work and my mum spoke with her and then relayed the information to me when I got home. I was totally wrong; there was no egg at all. The cause of death was an acute infection. Some samples were taken and there will have to be further tests done on Monday to determine which type of infection. I have been given some powdered kind of medicine to put in my 'tiels water in case it is indeed a deadly infectious disease such as Psittacosis (please, please no). The medicine is labelled 'Psittavet' and I have enough to last two weeks. I have given them the first dose tonight. My avian vet said Sophie was in beautiful condition and she found her sudden decline very unusual, especially for an indoor bird. She also said her liver was very inflamed, but she didn't say where exactly the bleeding came from.

The vet nurse was kind enough to drop Sophie off in a sealed box at our house tonight. We're going to bury her tomorrow. I am now fearing for the lives of my remaining 'tiels, and am completely at a loss of where this infection could have come from. I had a thought that maybe it could have come from my partner's lorikeet, but he hasn't been in contact with my birds for a few months, and he is in good health. One of my cats has also been catching wild birds lately but I always make sure I wash my hands after touching her. I haven't been in contact with any other birds as of late, either, not even Loki.

I am still in total shock. I don't want to believe this has happened. Hopefully come Monday we will have reached a definite conclusion.
 

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Sometimes birds can be carriers of an illness without having any clinical symptoms. Being a carrier, they can intermittently shed bacteria or otherwise spread the disease. Any of your birds could be carriers as it is very common for birds to carry illness without being sick by it.

If this was the case, Sophie likely had a decline in her immune system's functionality (this can be caused by something as simple as stress) and that caused her body to present clinical symptoms that led to her death.

Sophie could even have been the carrier; there is not a way to know. This is why quarantine is recommended for all birds...if they're carrying a disease, the stress of changing homes should lower their immune system for a couple weeks and then they may present with an illness they are carrying.

I'm sorry you had to watch Sophie go through this and I hope they can find a definite cause for her death so you can better protect your flock. Thank you for opting for the necropsy; I know it is hard to go through with that, but it's the best thing you can do for your other birds when cause of death isn't obviously diagnosed.
 
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