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Patricia
Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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MY PARAKEET IS VERY BLOATED. IS IT PREGNANT OR SICK

Customer Question

I HAVE TWO PARAKEETS AND JUST LIKE 2 WEEKS AGO MY SON NOTICED THAT ONE OF THEM LOOKS REAL BIG. NOT PUFFED UP LIKE IT IS MAD...ALL ITS FEATHERS ARE DOWN, IT LOOKS LIKE IT SWALLOWED A TENNIS BALL. THE HEAD ALSO IS VERY SWOLLEN. I DONT KNOW IF THEY ARE BOYS OR GIRLS. IT IS NOT ACTING LIKE IT IS SICK. AT ALL. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO TELL MY SON, HE THINKS ITS GOING TO DIE? PLEASE HELP!
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Patricia replied 9 years ago.

Hi Sophia. If you are absolutely positive that even the head is swollen. The only thing I know of that might cause something like that would be an injury or an exposure to a toxic substance. We have many toxic products in our home and if we don't research and stay aware of them, it's very easy to make a bird extrememly ill or to kill it. In either case, the bird needs to be seen right away by a good Avian vet. Now if you can take a real close look at that head and see if maybe it really is the feathers lifted up instead of truel swelling, then look at the lower abdomen, (very very gently) to see if there appears to be swelling in the lower abdomen just in front of the vent. If that's the case, you may very well have an egg bound bird. That is also a life threatening situation. That one is caused by poor diet, inadequate diet and not enough cuttle bone and other calcium sources. You may be able to rule out the egg situation if by chance you don't have a female. If they are old enough to have their adult coloration in place, (4-6 months) then you can look at the color of their cere. That is the bulbous area just above the beak where the nostrils are located. On young birds it's tan,creamy color, light brown or something similar. The cere of a female will not change color. But if you have a male, it will change to a shade of blue or sometimes into the purple. I'm going to give you the same set of links I would give to a new parakeet owner that will have information about diet and those safety issues of toxins and other dangers. Look at the lists and do some detective work comparing what the birds have been eating to what they should be eating. Look at the toxic lists and the ones about bird proofing your home and see if you can determine anything toxic they have been exposed to. Finding out a cause is not going to cure the problem of course but it could really help a vet get to a much quicker diagnosis and treatment. If the puffed up bird appears to be a female, you are going to have to be extrememly gentle in any handling of her. It's best to not handle her at all. Try to get her facing you on a perch so you can look down her body for that tell tale swelling at the vent. If she is very calm and tame, you can have her step up on your finger and get a better look. Until it is proven one way or the other you have to be ever so cautious with her because if she is egg bound, that egg can easily rupture inside of her. Even more dangerous than that, is if she does not get proper attention right away, she will keep straining, trying to pass that egg and she is at risk of suffering a prolapse of her uterus. She will literally turn herself inside out.. In case you don't already have a proper Avian vet, I'll also include links to help with that. Please let me know if you need anything else. Patricia

Click here: Grit, Gravel and your Parakeet / Budgie

Click here: Hepatic Lipidosis

Click here: PetCareLibrary - Tumors in Parakeets (pvy.com)

Click here: Parakeet Medical and Safety Information

Click here: Parakeet Budgie and Keet FAQs and Info

Click here: Toxic and Safe Plants/Trees for Birds - Household Poisons

Click here: Birdsnways - Safe Plants & Trees for pet birds, pet parrots &exotic birds

Click here: Nutrition

Obesity & Diets (budgies)

Click here: The Basics: Intro to Budgies / Parakeets

Click here: The Budgie and Parakeet Place - Care, Training, Pictures and More

Click here: BUDGIE CARE SHEET

Click here: Bird Proofing Your Home: Household Hazards for Birds

Click here: Bird Proofing Your Home - Avoid These Pet Bird Hazards

Click here: Find your local Avian Veterinarian

Click here: Avian Veterinarians Recommended by Bird Breeders and Owners http://www.birdsnways.com/articles/abvpvets.htm

Click here: World Wide Avian Vet Listing

Click here: BirdsnWays - Avian Veterinarians - Vets - Vet Services for Pet Parrots & Exotic Birds

This one looks like an advertisement for Harrison pellets but they are only sold by vets so it's another good list to check. Click here: Harrison's Bird Foods is a family of certified organic pet bird diets that were formulated to make your bird as he