swelling near vent

by mai
(new york)

i have a congo african grey that has developed swelling by the kiel bone and vent area right below the belly.I have always believed him to be male (didn't want himt to go thru torture of sexing), as my aviary vet put it, if he hasn't laid an egg it's probably a male.he is very active and has strong appetite and is not exhibiting any signs of illness.

I am wondering if this is the process of laying an egg or is it something more serious that requires an aviary vet visit. He is a rescue that i adopted 5 years ago.He was a plucker so he has no feathers on his belly whatsoever, which is the reason why i noticed it.I named him Winston.He is a very mild mannered Grey and is smaller in size then his adopted brother. He has had this swelling for 2 days now.

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May 05, 2009
miss Winston
by: mai

Update.....
I am happy to report that miss Winston got a clean bill of health today and is thriving.Thanks to all who commented.You can never be too sure that everything is okay so it's always a good idea to double check with the vet.

May 04, 2009
miss Winston
by: Mai

Hi again, sorry i neglected to state that yes she has a calcium block plus i give her eggs with the shells and they both get 12 hours of sleep. they have there own room and i cover both of them. during the day, i have a heat lamp for Miss Winston (bare-breasted)due to plucking-neglect from previous owner, and a flourescent floor lamp set up for the both of them so they can absorb vitamin D.

May 04, 2009
Winston
by: mai

hI kATHY, you r the best. What a relief. You have put my mind at ease.I did s/w the vet and am taking Winnie as a precaution because her vent is leak and it seems that she might have another egg.I want to make sure she doesn't get eggbound but mom is doing well. Both Winston and Dusty are both Congo AG's.They have an aviary room to themselves and have seperate cages.I also have a hemp rope that's about 8ft by 8ft which is boxed out for there play and climb.They love that thing. As far as there diet they pretty much get everything. Winston loves her scrambled and boiled eggs (i pulverize the shell)fresh veggies and fruits broccoli, sweet potatoes, mustard greens and loves Tangerines.she also has seed and pellets mixed with nuts.
Dusty is a much bigger male (he was dna sexed by prev owner)who is a little pickier wth his food. He loves his zupreem pellets and grapes and as a treat he gets a cooked chicken bone that he absolutely adores every night.
Their cages are far apart that they can't reach each other, however, i have recently had to remove Winston off of Dusty's cage. She was climbing her way down from the net,climb down one of her many toys and i would find her perched on top of his cage and he would be on the other side. I was always afraid that because Dusty is so much bigger then her he could easily hurt her and poke an eye out so i keep them seperate but they share the same room.
As far as Winnie's egg, i took an open carton (top of the shoebox) and put a towel on it. I put the egg in it.She's somewhat attentive to it. She keeps it in front of her between her front feet and bends over it.She can't sit on it i think because of her still swollen bottom.but she still calls for me when she's hungry and i'll take her out and feed her and put her back.
I actually have absolutely no intention of breeding them i thought they were both males. i also don't want to encourage the egg-laying.
I'll wait until she abandons it before i take it away.
I thank you sooo much for putting me at ease. It's difficult to talk to someone who doesn't own a bird, they tend to think that your nuts especially because i talk about them as if they were human. lol. much thanks again and i'll keep you posted with her vet visit tomorrow.

May 04, 2009
swelling near vent
by: Kathy Heaton

Two people and bird clubs I can recommend in
New York are:

New York (East)
Ralph Tran
917-204-1457
Long Island Parrot Society

New York (West)
Pat Staveckis
315-686-2694
Buffalo Hookbill Association

You may encounter another group that is *rabidly* anti-breeder. I avoid those people.

Best,

Kathy
Houston TX

May 04, 2009
swelling near vent
by: Anonymous

Mai wrote: "I do have a male (known fact) AG Dusty, and Winston has been climbing to see him lately. i just never thought the obvious considering that they are not the best of friends."

I failed to consider that in my previous comment. It's not uncommon for males and females to challenge each others' "worthiness" before accepting a mate. That may be what you've observed. And breeding has been known to take place through cage bars, but not easily and not often, and you probably would have been aware of it. Even if the egg were fertile, it's unlikely that Winston would move into a nestbox and start setting at this point. Unless she has more eggs to lay...

Are they both Congo African Greys, or Timnehs? If they are both the same subspecies, are you considering allowing them to breed? If so, you'll definitely require more hands-on advice and support than you can obtain through an online forum!

Best regards,

Kathy
Houston TX

May 04, 2009
swelling near vent
by: Kathy Heaton

Whew, that has to be a relief. The egg is infertile, but I'd recommend leaving it with Miss Winston (Winnie?) until she no longer shows any interest in it. That may already have happened, in which case you can remove it without cueing her to lay a replacement for it.

Several things can trigger laying: longer photoperiods (hours of daylight) is foremost. Your bird needs at least 12 hours of complete quiet and darkness each 24 hours to desensitize this trigger. She may need a sleep cage in another room if this is not possible in her present cage. Covering a cage in the family room while lamps and television are on is not "quiet and dark."

Where did she lay the egg? If it resembles a nestbox in any manner, it should probably be removed from her cage. Discourage/distract her from climbing into close dark cubbyholes (like under a skirted chair, or among pillows) when she's out of her cage. This can also encourage nesting behavior.

Does she have access to a mineral block to replace the calcium she's just used to create that egg? You might also boil an egg, peel and mash it - shell and all - and offer it to her. You can sprinkle it over her fresh veggies or mix it in a cooked veggie mash. Just be careful it doesn't remain unrefrigerated so long it spoils.

The vet visit is no longer an emergency, but a well bird checkup in the near future is a good idea. Greys are prone to hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels) plus she's just laid an egg. I'd request a CBC (blood test) and a general physical exam. You will also want to discuss her dietary requirements (an all-seed diet is inadequate for any bird species) to guarantee optimum health.

I'm so glad this worked out as it did. Try to locate a bird club or knowledgable mentor (your vet may volunteer, or be able to recommend someone) located in your area so you have other options for support and advice the next time something weird happens. (And with birds, there's always a "next time.") It's also great to have a bird buddy who can appreciate stories about all the cute stuff she does, too!

"'Bird friends' are the best kind."

Regards,

Kathy
Houston TX

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May 04, 2009
swelling near vent
by: mai

hi Kathy, thanks so much.My initial avian vet, i gather, wasn't a specialist, i'm fearing. She had advised that the only true way to sex a bird was thru a colonoscopy and that he would have to be anesthetized. i wasn't willing to put him through that since i have no intention of breeding him. I am heeding the responses and now know that it could have been a simple blood test. She had taken blood from him already for his annual checkup and could have ran the test. I should have known better. I have heard of Dr. Hess who IS A SPECIALIST and that's where i'll be taking Winston from now on.
He is actaually a she and laid her first egg last night.I'm keeping a close eye on her until her vet visit. thanks again.

May 03, 2009
swelling
by: Mai

Thanks for your comments. I actuall have an apptmnt with a NEW avian vet for tomorrow. I am pleased to announce that Winston, is indeed a female and had just layed her first egg. Thankfully that's all it was, or so i hope. But now my dilemma is.... do i keep the vet appointment and take her away from her egg or should i wait? I do have a male (known fact) AG Dusty,, and Winston has been climbing to see him lately. i just never thought the obvious considering that they are not the best of friends.

May 03, 2009
swelling near vent
by: Kathy Heaton

DNA-sexing your bird via a feather or a single drop of blood from a claw is not generally considered "torturous."

The keel bone is the breast bone and any swelling in this area has nothing to do with egg-laying. Has Winston suffered a fall, possibly due to an improper feather clip?

Swelling *around* - not near - the vent can indicate that an egg is about to be laid, usually within 24 - 48 hours from when you first notice the swelling. Increased humidity and use of a lamp or other heat source (positioned so the bird can move under, or away from, it) can help a bird relax enough to pass an egg.

"Eggbinding" can occur in an immature hen, or in one lacking sufficient muscle tone or blood calcium level. A qualified veterinarian will determine this.

Only a properly trained specialist should ever attempt egg removal, should it become necessary. Peritonitis and a painful death can ocur if the egg is accidentally broken inside the bird.

Is your vet an avian specialist, or a regular vet who occasionally sees a bird? You may wish to locate a specialist, an ABVP Certified Diplomate www.abvp.com/FindDiplomate to care for Winston.

Definitely get Winston examined ASAP. His/her life may depend on it.

Regards,

Kathy
Houston TX

May 03, 2009
swelling near vent
by: Anonymous

DNA-sexing your bird via a feather or a single drop of blood from a claw is not generally considered "torturous."

The keel bone is the breast bone and any swelling in this area has nothing to do with egg-laying. Has Winston suffered a fall, possibly due to an improper feather clip?

Swelling *around* - not near - the vent can indicate that an egg is about to be laid, usually within 24 - 48 hours. Increased humidity and use of a heat lamp or other source (positioned so the bird can move under, or away from, it) can help a bird relax enough to pass an egg.

"Eggbinding" can occur in an immature hen, or in one lacking sufficient muscle tone or blood calcium level. A qualified veterinarian will determine this.

Only a properly trained specialist should ever attempt egg removal, should it become necessary. Peritonitis and a painful death can ocur if the egg is accidentally broken inside the bird.

Is your vet an avian specialist, or a regular vet who occasionally sees a bird? You may wish to locate a specialist, an ABVP Certified Diplomate www.abvp.com/FindDiplomate to examine Winston.

Definitely get Winston examined ASAP. His/her life may depend on it.

Regards,

Kathy
Houston TX

May 03, 2009
Bird swelling near vent
by: Tracie

I would say you need to take your bird to the vet. I would want to know for sure what is going on. Dr. B can not help you with this because he can not examine your bird. I hope your vet will know what is going on.

May 03, 2009
swelling-keel bone
by: Anonymous

Get another avian vet. You can sex a bird with one drop of blood from a feather. I think your very is silly. $35. test a drop of blood from a pulled feather. As for the lump, take your bird to a DIFFERENT avian vet asap. I could be an egg or a tumor GOOD LUCK

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