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August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7601
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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Hello. I have a sun conure who is egg bound. She was at

Customer Question


I have a sun conure who is egg bound. She was at the vet for two days this week, and we were finally able to take her home Wednesday morning. The vet had deflated her egg but she has still not passed any of the pieces yet. My bird is not looking very healthy. She appears very tired and doesn't move around or eat much. She also looks like she is in a lot of pain and is constantly puffy. She tries to poop but nothing is coming out. I just looked at her vent and I see some white stuff dripping out. Is there anything I can do to relieve her pain? I'm not sure if I should ask the vet to give her surgery tomorrow or have her put down since I really do not want her suffering like this. I am very upset since none of the vets near me are knowledgeable about birds. The vet I took her to seems to know a lot about cats and dogs but they don't deal with birds much. Please help me!!

Thank you for any information you can provide!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 6 years ago.
-- It is painfully apparent this vet doesn't know about birds. That egg needed to be removed and I'm deeply concerned over what you're seeing right now.

How long have you noticed this discharge?

When is the last time you saw this bird eat or drink anything at all?

Is she staying at the cage floor most of the time or is she perching at all?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
She is able to perch in the cage. She is in the corner near her food bowl and is biting the cage with her head back (beak in the air facing the celing). She ate a small amount of avicake about an hour ago and I'm not sure the last time she drank. The vet gave me liquid calcium but my conure is not taking it in the syringe. So instead I have been giving her tums which she ate. I explained the symptoms to my vet earlier today, and they said to wait for her to pass it and told me that it is not a good sign that she is trying to poop but nothing is coming out. I really don't believe that she is going to be able to pass the egg herself because when I look at her vent, I can barely see her hole. Joey has laid eggs before, and when she is about to, I noticed that her vent gets very large, it is not small like it is now. There is a 24hr emergency vet about 30-40 mins from me. I'm hesitant to take her there since she gets scared riding in the car. I'm extremely upset if she is suffering and will do what ever it takes to help her!!! I care so much about her well being. Also, she is on an antibiotic which I have been putting on her food and hand feeding her since she won't take the syringe. I tried grabbing her and holding her to give her the medicine, but she still won't take it and only made her upset. My vet told me that even if she is upset, I need to grab her and force her to take the medicine. However, I had more success giving it to her in food.

Do you know if I should take her to the emergency vet? I appreciate your expert opinion since I am not able to get good information from local vets in my area.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am going to take her to the emergency vet now. I called and they said she should be seen. I hope she makes it on the way. Thank you for the information you provided.
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 6 years ago.
-- Don't be hesitant. There is a 'saying' that puts it in perspective: ‘The stress doesn’t kill them, but the inaction will’.

---- You've done a wonderful job in giving her calcium supplementation via Tums. Keep trusting your instincts!

Egg peritonitis is another possible complication of egg laying birds. In some birds the ova end up in the body cavity. There is no chance of success of this egg and it cannot re-enter the oviduct. There are many reasons this happens to begin with, but the most important thing you have to do is get the bird to a vet.

When you notice symptoms that may appear to be egg binding, any discharge from the vent that looks unusual or is happening without the bird making a dropping, any lethargy or depression in a bird that has been known to lay eggs, enlargement of the abdominal area – don’t waste any time with a ‘wait and see’ stance. The misplaced egg will generally cause peritonitis (inflammation in the body cavity) and as the yolk is absorbed by the peritoneum it will likely cause a reaction in the bloodstream that can be fatal rather quickly.

-- Here is what I want you to do right now though and I'll be online for the next few hours, though hopefully you'll be out the door in a few minutes

Try swabbing her vent area with a bit of KY jelly or other lubricant (not Vaseline) – even regular cooking oil is ok in a pinch.

Set her in a shallow pan of warm water (not hot) – this might relax the muscles enough to pass the egg.

Start making a brooder for her which will be best for transport too.

Use an appropriately sized box lined with soft clothes like tee shirts. It should be like a ‘nest’ for your bird, not too big. Tuck in more materials to make an oversized box ‘smaller’ on the inside if necessary.



Use a thick, clean sock and fill it ¾ with plain, raw white rice. Knot the end and microwave it for about 1 ½ minutes. Shake it afterwards to distribute the heat and be sure it's not too hot. Tuck this in just under the cloths. The heat should last a couple of hours and even though it’s dry, raw rice - it’s a moist heat. You can use two socks if you feel it’s appropriate.

If you have a Pet Smart in town you may have a vet for your bird. Most Pet Smart’s now have a veterinary clinic inside and many of them will see birds (open 7 days a week too).



Finding an emergency clinic may mean making calls to every single vet in your area. There is always at least one that maintains urgent care hours and often cover for each other. Sometimes they switch offices; for example, one vet will do it for certain time period, then another will do it, etc..

Make the phone calls - listen to the answering services - they should give options for “in case this is an emergency”.


Find an avian vet near you


Please let me know how this turns out - I'm here every day, though at different times and you can use the 'reply' key anytime to follow up.

August Abbott, CAS and other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sadly my female sun conure did not make it. I took her to the vet and she didn't pass the egg. Surgery was required and she died as it was being removed due to toxins entering her blood stream (caused a massive heart attack).
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 6 years ago.
I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I know how painful it is to lose a companion that means so much to us, especially when we're in the middle of doing the right things.

And you did do the right thing. Though the end result wasn't what we hoped for, at least your little companion knew you were fighting for her. I think that matters. Along with having given her a good life, no matter how much more you would have liked, it's the quality of the time we get rather than the amount.

I know that none of this brings her back, but hopefully it lends some comfort and reassurance. Soon the pain of loss will give way to nothing but the happy memories.

(Do not press 'accept' on this - that way you won't be charged further. Feel free to follow up as much as you'd like)