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My bird, Angel, seems to have an unusually distended belly…

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My bird, Angel, seems...

My bird, Angel, seems to have an unusually distended belly and is not 'lookin or acting herself'. It has also been the better part of 6 months since she laid

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help Angel. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Angel?

I did a gentle internal exam on her with a little lubricant and could not feel any egg stuck in her. I gently massaged/ felt her abdomen and could not feel any hardness from the outside. Mind you, I was not pushing too hard.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 2 hours by:
10/2/2017
Bird Specialist: nekovet, Veterinary Surgeon replied 8 months ago
nekovet
nekovet, Veterinary Surgeon
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 23,052
Experience: I am a veterinarian with extensive experience in avian medicine.
Verified

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

First, if we have abdominal distension in a bird, we have to appreciate that this is not a normal state of affairs. And when we have a bloated bird, the first step is to determine what is 'filling' her abdomen. We can see distension due to a bound egg (which sounds less likely with your findings), a mass (ie. tumor) in the abdomen, enlarged organs, fluid (ascites), peritonitis (inflammation/infection), or hemorrhage.

With these in mind and especially if Angel isn't acting like herself (since birds go to great lengths to hide illness), we'd really want her local vet involved as soon as possible. Ideally, we'd want her belly scanned to see which of these is present. If they find fluid, then a sample can be taken to see if she is bleeding internally or has signs of liver or heart issues, infection or a problem with her blood proteins. Furthermore, they can just make sure we don't have an egg peritonitis. Once we have identified which is present, we will be in the best position to treat what is present and help her.

Overall, distended bellies are not normal for a bird. And the problem I am sure you will appreciate with birds to that they do a very good job of covering up when they are sick. This is because as a prey species, attention to your illness will make you a target for predation. So, if we are seeing this with Angel and she is giving us hints that she feels unwell, then we are best to be proactive here to and determine which is present and start taking steps to help her.

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 (http://www.aav.org/search/), Avian web(http://www.beautyofbirds.com/recommendedvets.htm) or Birdsnway(http://www.birdsnways.com/birds/vets.htm).

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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