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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I noticed my cockatiel acting very strangely, sitting on the bottom of the cage breathing heavy. She just layed her 4th (maybe 5th) clutch of the year. We've had her for two years and she just started laying this year, but her male never fertilizes the eggs so she keeps laying them and has become a chronic egg layer(We have tried many things to stop this but nothing seems to work). Anyways, so we checked her out because of the strange behavior and noticed a large bulge above her vent on her stomach. We immediately started panicking because we assumed it was egg binding and our internet was out and all the vets were closed and the emergency vets don't take birds. After getting a friend to look it up on the internet we put her in a steamy bathroom for a while and dipped her behind in warm water for about 10 minutes. This didn't do any good, so as a drastic measure we started to massage the bulge and tried to help her push it out. To our surprise it seemed to work and a floodgate burst and a muddy material came out that looked like afterbirth or feces, but no egg shaped thing. The bulge did however go completely down. Now she is acting very tired but seems a little better (perched and resting, ect) but we are still worried about her. The vets are going to be closed for a while because of the weekend and Christmas so I was looking for you guys' advice. Do you think we pushed the bound egg out? Or what do you think happened? Will she be okay?

Thank you,
Katie
 

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she at her 5th clutch???????? oh no a female and male can have only 2 clutches here what u need to do turn on the water very warm almost like a sauna hopfully that will make the egg pass or put a little oil on her butt hopfully that will help
 

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It sounds like maybe she had a shell-less egg in her.

And sonic...that limit is set for birds who hatch and raise chicks. A female bird, if on a good diet, can lay an unlimited number of eggs with no ill effects. The reason 2 clutches is the limit for a breeding pair is because breeding and raising chicks is very stressful and takes a lot out of a parent bird, physically and mentally.

Here's a post about shelless eggs and calcium:
http://talkcockatiels.com/showpost.php?p=167198&postcount=9
 

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I don't know what's going on but this is very dangerous and you need to take her to an emergency veterinarian if you can find one.

One possibility is that she was egg bound, and you broke the egg when you massaged her abdomen. Did anything come out that looked like an eggshell? It might be a soft eggshell not a normal hard one. If an egg broke inside her it might not be possible to save her because this can cause an infection called egg yolk peritonitis. The muddy material that came out might have been egg material mixed with backed-up feces.

Get some liquid calcium for birds and give it to her directly in her beak following the label instructions. She probably has a severe calcium deficiency which is the #1 cause of egg binding. If you can get it to her ASAP, it might help her produce a more normal egg in a couple of days if she hasn't finished laying her current clutch. It will also improve her muscle function.

There's an article on hormone control at http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=32330 that might be helpful, but it's a low priority right now. This is a major medical emergency and you need to get her to a knowledgeable avian vet if you can. If possible, take the material that she passed to the vet so you can show it to them.

Here are some sites with lists of Georgia bird vets. I don't know exactly where you're located, but if you're in the Atlanta area you will obviously have more options than if you're somewhere else. Make sure that a qualified bird vet will be on duty before you bring her in.


http://www.avianweb.com/recommendedvets.htm#Georgia
http://wingsatplay.com/avian-veterinarians
http://www.localvets.com/services/emergency/ga/atlanta/ This one lets you put in your own zip code
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
She seems a little bit better now, but now she just went to the bottum of the cage and it seems like there is something wrong with her leg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No it didnt have any shell looking things in it all all it was just looked like dark feces. I think it was a shell less egg, and there are no vets open tell tuesday, not vets are open tomorrow or monday because of christmas.. Trust me i called every vet that i could.
 

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A female bird, if on a good diet, can lay an unlimited number of eggs with no ill effects.
Unfortunately, in this case it sounds like she didn't have the dietary support for the number of eggs that she laid. The "unlimited number of eggs" idea comes from the Ritchie Harrison medical text at http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/avmed/ampa/29.pdf (page 25) but they pretty much say that conditions are rarely that perfect in the real world and chronic egg laying will usually end up compromising the hen's health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the only vitamin drops that i have are Wild Harvest Multi-Drops i was thinking mixing some with water and use a dropper since she wont eat or drink anything.
 

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If it's impossible to find a vet then you'll have to do the best you can at home. Keep her warm and quiet - you can put a heating pad under half the cage or cover one end of the cage with a towel and shine a lamp on it at a close enough range to provide heat. The reason you only heat half the cage is so that she can move to the unheated side if she gets too warm.

Give her a couple of drops of an electrolyte solution, this will be better than vitamin drops. This might help restore her energy to the point that she can eat and drink. If you have any Pedialyte or Gatorade on hand you can use that. If you don't have these things you can make a solution with ingredients that you may have on hand already. There are simple recipes at http://birdboard.com/forum/topic/8602093-rehydration-electrolytes/

The video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EBUWWqqEyE&feature=related has a demonstration of a good technique for delivering liquid medication. The useful part starts at the 2:40 mark.

Get her some liquid calcium too. Not all pet stores sell it so call around first to find someone who has it.

It's common to have problems using the legs in egg binding cases because it pinches on the nerves.
 

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Here are a couple of links with information on egg binding. First you need to take care of treating her the best you can, but after that's done you can read up on egg binding.

http://www.justcockatiels.net/egg-related-problems.html Lots of technical info
http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/info/breed-eggbinding.html More simplified

If she survives this crisis it might be helpful to read up on hormone control too. When home remedies don't work, the vet can usually eliminate the chronic egg laying with Lupron shots.
http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=32330
 

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If she does regain some energy, you can soak some seeds in the Gatorade and then offer them to her on your fingertip. If she eats them it will get food, liquid and electrolytes into her all at the same time. This worked for me once when I had a bird who was weak from blood loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you so much, you may have helped me save me birds life.. i've already been crying most of the day, i'm just hoping she makes it through the night. Ill post an update as soon as we give her the drops.
 

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I'm glad you were able to get it into her OK - it's not always easy to make a bird take medicine. She needs to rest so let her sleep, but let's hope that in a few minutes she will wake up with a little more energy than she had before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Status update this morning:

My cockatiel awoke very energetic and seemingly back to normal. I sprinkled mineral drops and ground up cuttlebone all over some unsalted saltines and she greedily gulped them down with enough energy to fight off her mate so she could get it all. I just wanted to thank all of you for your advice especially Tielfan who helped save my birds life. Forcing her to drink some Gatorade really perked her up. If anyone else has this problem, just don't give up like I almost did. While I'm not recommending you jump right to trying to massage things out of your bird, as a last resort it worked for us. Now we can have a Merry Christmas without having to grieve over our bird. We are going to let her eat then it's off to see a vet to make sure everything is okay.

Thanks again!
 
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