Saturday, June 18, 2011

Leyla's Not Feeling Well...

A few days ago, I noticed a slight swelling to Leyla's abdomen, in the same area you'd see swelling in a hen with an egg. When I gently ran a finger over the swelling, though, it was spongy, not solid like you'd feel if it were indeed an egg. She's been very nesty and aggressive lately (moreso than normal), which I had thought was just a difficult hormone season for her, but after looking up health issues that would cause the swelling, I found that Leyla was showing several behavioural and physical symptoms of egg yolk peritonitis that I had overlooked. I blew her bum feathers out of the way and found that the swelling is yellowish, another sign of EYP. I've seen this in budgies and cockatiels before, but in more advanced stages, so I'm 95% sure this is what it is.

So, vet time!

I called the vet clinic to find my regular avian vet is away until next Thursday, and Vet #2 couldn't see us until Tuesday. Not good enough, EYP can be fatal if left untreated for too long, but I made the appointment just in case I couldn't get anywhere else sooner. I tried a third vet clinic, and the actual avian vet there is away but another vet there sees birds and I was able to get an appointment for Leyla yesterday afternoon.

On the phone the receptionist didn't tell me who would be seeing Leyla. I get there and it's the same vet that misdiagnosed Leyla's polyfolliculitis as Giardia five years ago. Whatever, the past is in the past.

So I tell the vet I think Leyla has EYP. She says not likely, because Leyla would look a lot worse off if it was EYP. In my understanding, usually by the time vets see hens with EYP, it's gone on long enough for the hen to become very lethargic and ill, and the prognosis is not so great. I don't know too much about it, but I think Leyla is more in the early stages (the swollen area is much smaller than I've seen in some photos, and she is acting mostly normal), so I'm praying that we caught it early enough.

Anyway, vet weighs Leyla (58 grams, 6 grams more than her average weight), checks her over, and says the swollen area is a fat deposit from being overweight! Uh-uh, I don't think so. Two weeks ago Leyla was 52 grams, I highly doubt she gained enough weight to make that big of a fat deposit in that amount of time. Plus she has no excess fat covering her keel bone, and no fatty areas under her wings, the most common areas for fat deposits from what I've read.

I'd noticed earlier yesterday that Leyla was looking a bit jaundice as well, which I pointed out to the vet. Maybe the vet realized I might be on to something, because she went on to explain that with EYP the liver basically works overtime breaking down the fats in the egg yolk. That would explain the jaundice, I think.

In the end, I walked out with a prescription of Baytril and Lactulose (Lactulose will help her liver) for my little girl.

I don't know how long these meds usually take to start working, but I think they must have done something already, because I'm seeing a bit of a sparkle back in Leyla's eyes. I'm still worried to death about her, but from how she's acting I don't think we're in the red zone.

I think I might just keep the appointment with Vet #2 for Tuesday, maybe see him for a recheck instead of the one we went to yesterday.

In closing, I don't have any really recent photos of my baby girl, but here's a semi-recent one of her acrobatically chewing some apple branches:

1 comment:

Anneka said...

How did she do with whatever caused the swelling?