Rapid weight gain in gold capped/ sun conure.

by Sunshine
(Port St. lucie, Florida)

I have an 11 year old hybrid...gold capped/ sun conure. Always weighed her daily since I got her...have had her 11 years. Noticed her weight has changed... she always would start her day after her morning droppings at. 114 grams. At the end of the day 119 grams to 122 grams.

Now her morning dropping is not as large and her weight begins at 122 grams. Her evening weight is 129 grams. The vet did blood work...her calcium and estrogen is high. Everything else is normal in labs.

The xray shows swelling and fullness in the abdomen and sift tissues. She never laid an egg and they think this is going to happen. Her voice is higher pitched but behaves normally. I weighed her this morning and her weight now began at 129 grams.

The vet gave me calcium to give her...to help her when she releases the egg. I am still very concerned. I asked if there is an egg stuck inside her..the vet said no.... Could this be a tumor?

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Jun 24, 2012
I have a gold capped/ sunday hybrid set of siblings
by: Jessica

Just wanted to say I hope your bird came out ok with her egg.
Have you found her to closely resemble the sun or gold cap?

Jun 08, 2012
Tumor or egg bound?
by: The Avian Vet

It could be a tumor. However, the symptoms you describe are consistent with a bird who is in a reproductive status. It is possible that the oviduct and the rest of the reproductive tract is enlarged due to her reproductive situation. Has this bird ever been DNA sexed? If not, then you certainly need to do this. The reason is that you cannot look at her and tell the sex, and if it is not a female, then this is a very serious condition (for a male).

It is normal for calcium levels to be elevated in a female reproductively active bird. I am not aware of any blood tests that measure estrogen.

What does your bird eat? If she eats pellets and it is at least 80% of the diet, then DO NOT administer calcium. Pellet diets are balanced and prevent egg binding. If your bird is not on pellets, then you need to switch here immediately. Switching Birds To Pellets article This is much better than trying to administer calcium at the correct dosage. It does not sound like your bird is showing symptoms of calcium deficiency, and given that the calcium in the blood stream is elevated, there is likely no need to give the calcium. In fact, over dosing calcium can be more detrimental than under dosing.

Dr B

Jun 08, 2012
Egg bound or tumor?
by: Tracie

I sent this question to Dr B, but sometimes it is a week or more before he answers and your bird may not be alive by then, so please Find an Avian Vet to examine your bird.

Regular dog/cat vets do not have the training they need to properly care for birds and often accidentally kill them just drawing blood or handling them.

Hopefully an avian vet will help your bird and it will get past this. Once your bird is healthy, please switch her to a high quality pellet diet, like Harrison's or Roudybush pellets, for 80% of her diet. This will keep your bird from becoming egg bound.

Switching Birds To Pellets article

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