Unexplainable weight gain in Sun Conure-seasonal or egg?

by Darci
(winnipeg, canada)

I have a 5 and a half year old Sun Conure who I have writtn for advice regarding a few times this year in relation to bubbles in droppings, and other strange habits.

Last December she was egg-bound and has not laid since. I had modified her sleeping and play habits to avoid stimulating her to produce eggs, she is a single bird. She has been on Harrisons HP fine since February and gets small amounts of organic fruit, veg, bird bread.

My concern is a recent gradual weight gain since mid November when there has been no alteration in diet or increase in consumption. She had been steady at 105-107g since I got my digital scale in May and weighed her weekly. Come November 17th her weight had increase to 109g, last week it was 110g and now it's 114g. I weigh her in the morning after her morning dropping.

She has been destroying wood non-stop and also trying to get under blankets and "bobbing"/attempting to regurgitate on me constantly, also wagging her tail at times. She often rests with me on my chest and will lay on her side with her foot in the air and move it up and down in a strange motion. It was December 11 she started acting like she was going to lay an egg, but there has been no sign of one near her cloaca like there used to be last year before she laid (she had laid approx 10 eggs throughout the year before becoming egg bound last December.) I am concerned she may have an egg inside her. She is eating/sleeping and playing as usual and doesnt seem to be distressed.

I have been to 3 vets in my city since I got her and frankly dont trust any of them. She had x-rays taken by one in April and barely woke up from the anestesia so I am reluctant to take her back there to have her x-rayed to look for the egg. I e-mailed one oft the vets but have not made an appointment regardng this current issue.

What are your thoughts? Is there anyway she could've gained this weight otherwise? I am going to change the batteries in my scale in the morning before I weigh her to see if there is any change or discrepancy.

Comments for Unexplainable weight gain in Sun Conure-seasonal or egg?

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Dec 22, 2009
Conure weight gain
by: The Vet

I do not see that this amount of weight gain is a problem. I do not know what diet she was on before Harrison?s, but it is possible that she gained simply from a better diet. She could be gaining muscle mass from a better protein source, or, if she can fly then she could be gaining muscle mass from the exercise. It is also possible that this is an egg, or maybe just enlargement of her reproductive organs in preparation for egg production. In either case, There is nothing to worry about because she will not become egg bound or have any problems laying since you are feeding a good diet. Change your batteries and re-weigh. If the numbers are true, do nothing and monitor her. You should take her in to see an avian veterinarian, but I understand your apprehensions. Where are you located and maybe I can recommend someone?

Dr B

Dec 22, 2009
Unexplainable weight gain in Sun Conure-seasonal or egg?
by: Linda

Go ahead and see if the scale could be the problem before proceeding to an Avian vet. DO NOT GO BACK TO THE ONE WHO OVERDOSED HER ON ANESTHESIA. The next time may just kill her. It just does not take that much to get a bird quiet for an x-ray, so they overdid it, and I'd leave them in the dust if I were you.

If there is one you trust over the other two, take her there if the scales are not wrong. There are many reasons for weight gain, and if she is not eating more or playing less, then it is either fluid(indicating kidney malfunction) or eggs not being passed. It looks like if it was eggs, she would be in some distress, though laying on her side and kicking her leg does sound odd. As for the regurgitation, she is trying to "feed" you which is a sign of true love and not illness. When birds are ready to mate, this is a sign they are ready to breed, so relax about it.

I'd take her to another Avian vet--one of the ones you distrust less and have them NOT use very much anesthesia if any to do the xray. I know they have to keep the bird still, but they do not have to kill the bird in the process. That is just not very professional.Overdoses of drugs can also cause temporary or permanent damage to kidneys and liver, so err on side of caution here as she may already be in trouble. In fact, have a simple blood test or two done to make sure her kidneys and liver are functioning properly as the overdose of drugs may have caused some problems there.Blood can be drawn while she is resting while having the x-ray done with no additional drugs.

Keep us posted on what happens here as your little bird is important to us. Your information can also help someone else with a similar problem.

Thanks for writing and have wonderful, warm and safe Holidays and a great New Year!

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