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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24396
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My Parakeet is laying eggs and is swollen up and bleeding

Customer Question

My Parakeet is laying eggs and is swollen up and bleeding when doing so. The bird is fine otherwise. Any suggestions.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Your hen's bleeding isn't normal. She's likely to be straining to lay these eggs which may result from her being calcium deficient (common in parakeets eating poorly) and may also suffer from a salpingitis (infection of her oviduct). Ideally she should be attended to by an avian vet (please see here: www.aav.org) to see if she's egg bound and to receive an injection of calcium gluconate/borogluconate as well as an injection of vitamin D3 which is necessary for her to be able to absorb calcium she ingests.

Until she can be attended to, please heat up her environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into her partially covered cage (not at night when she needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of her cage. Remove her perches and put her food and water on the bottom of the cage along with her. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to her water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make her water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to her water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in her water. They won't be effective if only because an ill bird won't drink enough to medicate itself properly.

Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has her diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of her diet. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

We need to see if we can stop her laying at this time. Please see here for the various methods for doing this: http://beautyofbirds.com/egglaying.html and please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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