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Amigo – An Egg-Bound Amazon Parrot (Part 1)

December 24, 2009

Amigo has been with me since 1991, when I purchased her as a hand-fed baby.  We’ve gone down many roads since then … a four month fight with Avian Aspergillosis (see post), allergies, and more.  This one truly caught me off guard.

I didn’t realize Amigo was in trouble until one evening this past July, when I was cleaning her cage.  When I pulled out the tray to collect the used newspaper, it occurred to me that there were no droppings.  None.  I checked her food bowl before throwing its contents into the trash, and saw that she had eaten very little.  And she was quiet … taking a nap while out on her gym.  I’m sure I sighed at that point – silently asking her “Now what?” 

The next morning I didn’t know what to expect when I uncovered her.  Checking for droppings, I again saw none.  I contacted the avian veterinarian and scheduled her for an appointment as soon as possible.  After getting her into her travel crate, we were off to the clinic.

Now I emphasize the importance of DNA sexing.  I had never worried about finding out if she was a female or male.  As I am not a breeder, nor have any desire to be, I thought that was irrelevant.  I was wrong.  As I couldn’t tell the veterinarian if she was in fact a female or male, he suggested that the problem could either be an egg, or a tumor.  I left her at the clinic and the veterinarian began with x-rays.

About an hour later, I received a call from the clinic.  Tumors had been ruled out, as x-rays showed two eggs.  One, which was calcified, was obstructing the cloaca.  The other egg was closer to the cavity’s wall.  The veterinarian told me that he would inject her with a drug to help the egg pass.  I agreed, and he was to call me back with the results.  An hour or so later, he called to tell me that the egg had not passed yet.  He would give her another injection, however, if she still couldn’t pass the egg, we would have to move to more aggressive measures.  The veterinarian called me back – no egg, and he could not give her another injection.  I was to pick her up, bring her back home, and hopefully the egg would pass by the next morning.

Next morning, no egg.  When I notified the veterinarian of the no-egg news, I was told to bring her back into the clinic.  The next step was to put her under anesthesia, and insert an instrument through the cloaca opening.  He would attempt to puncture the egg, and remove as many of the shell fragments as possible.

Later that day, I returned to the clinic to pick up Amigo and bring her back home.   She was groggy, tired and generally not feeling well.  I put her in her cage for the night.  Additional heat was supplied by a ceramic infrared light.  As I covered her cage, I could only hope that an egg would great me in the morning.

Next morning, an egg at the bottom of the cage!  It was like discovering a treasure.  In addition, overnight she was able to pass the fragments of the egg shell.  I contacted the veterinarian, however, he quickly reminded me that there were two eggs that we were dealing with. The second one did not pass.  Back to the clinic.  Another x-ray.  Good news, however.  The second egg looked as if it had collapsed, and it was being absorbed by Amigo’s body.  He gave her another 24 hours.

The next morning was another anxious cage uncovering …. and there was the second egg.

Continued (Diet, Toys, etc.)

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