Egg Binding In Birds

Do you have a female bird? If so, you’ll want to be aware of the symptoms and dangers of egg binding. Egg binding happens when Polly is unable to expel an egg from her body. Birds form eggs regardless of whether those eggs are fertilized or not. Most of the time, they lay the eggs without issue. However, sometimes problems arise. This can become very dangerous for your feathered friend. A Lexington, KY vet offers some information on this below.


While any type of bird can become egg bound, it’s particularly prevalent in cockatiels, finches, lovebirds, budgies, and canaries. Egg binding can happen for several reasons. Nutritional deficiencies and imbalances often factors: Many pet birds don’t get all of the vitamins and minerals they need. Selenium, calcium, and vitamins D & E are all necessary for proper shell formation. Other possible causes include obesity, trauma, dehydration, and age. Polly’s general health and environment can also play roles. Not having a cage set up for egg laying also increases the risk.


The signs of egg binding may be subtle or confusing to the untrained eye, so it’s important to keep an eye out. Tail bobbing is one definite red flag. Your winged pal may also strain to lay. Other symptoms include vomiting, a swollen belly, paralysis of one or both legs, and depression. Polly may sit listlessly in her cage, perhaps on the bottom, and she may seem fluffier than usual. You may also see the egg through the vent. Call your vet right away if you notice any of these things. Egg binding is a life-threatening emergency! Smaller birds can die within just a few hours of being egg-bound, due to the pressure on their vital organs.


The good news is that there are treatment options. In some cases, calcium injections may work. Medicine may also be effective. Your vet may be able to extract the egg, or puncture it, causing it to collapse.


As with any other health issue, it’s always best to try and prevent an issue than to treat it. Making sure that Polly is getting proper nutrition is half the battle here. If your feathered buddy is a chronic layer, ask your vet for advice. Hormone therapy or even hysterectomies may help prevent this dangerous issue.

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