Black, swollen, featherless belly on my white zebra finch

by Judy
(Red Deer, AB, Canada)

My white female zebra finch has a distended area under the vent & between the legs. It is black (charcoal shade, the skin is shiny & no feathers. The vent is not wet & she doesn't appear ill. She's able to defecate (white colored) without apparent trouble. The feces did stick to her & since I cleaned her that part seems better. Her diet is "Vita Plus" seeds mixture & "moulting" &/or "condition treat" as well. They ALWAYS have clean filtered water & daily (or every other day) they have warm bath water (using distilled water to avoid chlorinated stuff). She's in a cage with another zebra female & a canary, & I have 4 other finches (males) in a cage beside. This little girl (about 3yrs) was an awesome Mom & was a heavy egg layer - there aren't as many eggs now (no nest in cage). What may be the problem & what should I do?

Comments for Black, swollen, featherless belly on my white zebra finch

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Nov 26, 2010
Swollen belly on finch
by: Judy

Thanks for the comments Tracy, totally agree about the water - all my birds only BATH in distilled water, their daily water is Britta filtered water. I will be taking her in to the vet. Thanks again.

Nov 20, 2010
Black, swollen, featherless belly on my white zebra finch
by: Linda

As Tracie said, a trip to the Avian Vet is called for here because she should not be eggbound since she has laid other eggs in the past. It does not rule it out though, and it can also be an infection that needs treating. You mentioned poop sticking to the vent area, and that is one of the primary signs of a bacterial infection. If she is diagnosed with an infection, the rest of the birds in the same cage will also need to be treated as these infections are highly contageous. Before things start to go very much downhill for you, go ahead and take her in for an exam to see that she is clear of infection. A throat swab is the best way to diagnose bacterial infections, and I'm not sure her little mouth can be opened that far, so vet may want to just do the anal test.

Also, you mentioned Distilled Water. Do not give this to your birds for drinking water as it has no minerals, and they have to have some minerals in their water. We use a Culligan under the sink reverse osmosis filtering system, and they are reliable about checking the system out and changing filters when necessary. We have too many minerals of the Limestone variety here, and too many minerals are stored in the body and not excreted, so we had to have something to filter some of that out plus the chlorine and fluoride they insist on putting into our water. Too much Fluoride is also stored in animal and human bodies and is not excreted causing various forms of cancer. Just wish they'd leave people to go to the dentist or use a fluoride toothpaste and not put it into the water.

You sound like a very loving birdy Mom, and I appreciate you very much.


Nov 19, 2010
Bird needs avian vet
by: Tracie

This is not something Dr B can diagnose or help with over the Internet. Please take your bird to an avian vet ASAP for an in person visit. Your bird needs medical attention.

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