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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20626
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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I have a 7-month old Rhode Island Red who is severely

Customer Question

I have a 7-month old Rhode Island Red who is severely constipated. It's been ongoing for a week. She has never laid an egg, has been fed commercial organic pellet food, has access to hay and a mostly dirt yard. Tonight I discovered that the fecal matter is actually stuck to her inside vent. I have given her 3 epsom salt baths, spaghetti with lots of olive oil, and cranberries (she seems to have vent gleet, too). I was able to manually remove some of the stuck-on feces, but she bled some. It's pretty distressing for both of us. She still has decent energy, weight, and appetite, though she doesn't drink much water. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like tohelp you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before.Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read aboutyour situation, and wanted to help.

First, if her skin is so scalded by the stuck-on feces that we are seeing raw/wounds from this, we will need to address those. To start, you can bathe those lesions with dilute chlorohexidine or salt water (1 tbsp salt to a pint warm water). You can then pat them dry and apply an OTC antibiotic cream. Since these will be at risk of pecking from any other birds, she may also need to be isolated in a hospitalization pen until healed.

Otherwise, it is important to know that olive oil is digestible and therefore will be of limited use in the lower GI. Therefore, instead, consider giving her a dose of cat hair ball treatment or you can try adding a GI lubricants (ie Miralax, Lactulose, food grade mineral oil) to her spaghetti to help get things moving. As well, it can be of benefit to feed increased fiber to help restore fecal regularity. So, you can give pumpkin, high fiber veggies, or even a bit of allbran to help get things moving for her. Also if she isn't a keen drinker, you can flavor her water with a bit of fruit juice or even offer an electrolyte solution (ie Vital, Pedialyte, etc) to encourage her to drink for us. Otherwise, if she is severely obstructed with feces, then we may need to use warm water enemas (with dish soap and KY jelly) to help gently flush out any stool in the lower portion of her GI. (And we may need her vet to do so under sedation if very severe, which may be ideal to make sure there is nothing pre-disposing her to this like a mass or enlarged organ compressing the gut).

Finally, in regards ***** ***** suspect gleet, do be aware that this often needs to be treated with a broad spectrum treatment like Metronidazole for bacterial agents and Nystatin against fungi (or we can culture to see what is present and then tailor treatment as needed). These are prescription, so a local vet would need to dispense them for Rhoda. Otherwise, as a short term treatment, some people do find the use of topical OTC treatments (ie Neosporin and Miconazole or Clotrimazole) effective for reducing the infection. So, the above would be our points of call with Rhoda at this stage with what you are seeing.

Just in case you do need an avian vet and do not have one already, you can check where you can find one at near you at:

AAV(, Avianweb (, Lafeber database( or Birdsnway(

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’llbe happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all theinformation you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's good to know about the olive oil.
What I am trying to convey is that a layer of feces inside her vent are fused to the walls of her tract, continuing 1/2- 3/4 of an inch down. Today I managed to pull off a fair amount of it using tweezers, getting a speck at a time. Do you have any suggestions for loosening those up? Any water or oil enema I give her comes back up without seeming to affect them.It appears that the rest of her system is moving ok, but the problem is getting the manure through the reduced opening caused by the feces stuck on near the top. If nothing else, I guess enemas liqueify the newer feces enough for them to pass through the small opening.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, thank you for all the good, practical advice. I will definitely be remembering those things for reference in the future!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

In regards ***** ***** stuck feces, you can use any of those enema ingredients or the oil to massage into the stool and help loosen it. As well, I would note that we do sometimes need to use small bore feeding tubes to get our enema solution up to where it would be effective. Of course, if she is potentially obstructed that high up, we may want to think about having the local vet xray her to see what we are facing and allow us to plan our "attack."

Take care,

Dr. B.


** Please remember to rate my service once you have all theinformation you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )