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Parrot Spay Procedure

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annmarie

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I was just quoted a price of $1,400 as the cost for spaying a female african grey. I am not in the market for it, but only inquired out of curiosity. Has anyone on this board had a bird fixed? I was told that the procedure is considered safe on larger birds, and is quite helpful if one factors in the dangers of a bird becoming egg bound and dying as a result.

Interestingly enough this vet clinic averages about one bird spay per week. I am hoping that more vets are out there honing their skills in this area, so we can begin to get a handle on the egg binding issues while also preventing the unnecessary breeding of companion birds for the "aviculture" market. There is really no reason for it considering all the birds that need loving :heart: homes.

Hopefully, people will get it through their heads that animals are here for us to take care of and to learn from, and are not here for our monetary enrichment.
 
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Tangle Elf

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I could see this if the risk of egg binding was elevated, or a hen was laying constantly, but it is definitely not a "safe" procedure on any size bird. I would not go to a vet that said it was. It requires anesthesia, which has dangers. It should not be considered safe but, as any surgical procedure, should be considered in situations where it's safer than the alternative.
 

JLcribber

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I could see this if the risk of egg binding was elevated, or a hen was laying constantly, but it is definitely not a "safe" procedure on any size bird. I would not go to a vet that said it was. It requires anesthesia, which has dangers. It should not be considered safe but, as any surgical procedure, should be considered in situations where it's safer than the alternative.
Agreed. It's not a safe procedure on any bird. Not that it can't be done but only by the most skilled of surgeons and even then there is a high mortality rate. The ovaries/testes are very close to vital organs and the amount of bleeding involved is just too risky. Mammals are very different. Neutering is simple surgery with very little risk and great benefit to the animals health and well being.

As far as birds, spay/neuter is only employed in drastic or life-threatening situations. The surgery techniques have not been perfected and are not always effective in controlling undesirable reproductive behaviors. There has been some attempt to neuter male parrots to control aggression, but the procedure has up to a 50% mortality rate. Evidence suggests that within one to two years, other organs will compensate for the lack of testes and start producing testosterone (a common factor in aggression). Occasionally, hysterectomies (spay) are performed on female parrots with a history of chronic egg laying who don't respond to hormone therapy or other life-threatening, reproductive conditions.

Consider how natural developmental stages within the wild flock are so very different in the birds we hand-raise and take into our “flocks” and call “pets”. If they didn’t have a source of hormones, they would not be driven to progress through these stages of development and would be perfectly content to stay at the baby stage or at least the young adult stage. They would then be “domesticated” and we would not see the degree of behavioral problems that have caused this website to be necessary.

Yes, in short, it WOULD dramatically improve their quality of life as long as we force their life to be devoid of all possibility to progress through the natural stages of development and behavior activities they would be free to follow if they were wild, in the wild. We opened the “can of worms” when we began imprinting them and denying them the opportunity to follow their natural instincts. Neutering in particular only makes a 'too impotent. It does not decrease the bird's sex drive.
 

Ziggymon

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As others have said, it's by no means a safe procedure on any size parrot. My greenwing has reproductive tract issues, and if they continue, her vet will perform surgery to remove part of the oviduct. He says that surgery to remove the ovary itself is a last resort, only to be done if the alternative is certain death, because the ovary is so dangerous to remove, being close to vital organs. He's a board certified avian vet with decades of experience, practicing out of a vet school teaching hospital.

While egg binding and other potential issues connected to egg laying are certainly a concern, unwanted reproduction is definitely not. It's easy to render eggs unviable, or to replace them with dummy eggs.
 

Annamacaw

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Our Kita has very serious health issues related to her egg laying (infections of her ovary from the over-production and rupture of the egg follicles). She has not (knock wood) had any egg binding issues, just severe ovarian infections.
I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about the female bird reproductive system!

Avian ovaries are connected to the vena cava and therefore a vet should never attempt to remove the ovary, in fact when Kita had to have a biopsy of her ovary, our Avian Certified Vet strongly cautioned us about the risk of hemorrhage just from taking a tiny biopsy of tissue since the ovary is very vascular.

This is a small blip of what we have learned in our own experience with Kita.....After Kita's endoscopy and biopsy reports, our AV said that removing the uterus in Kita's case would be more detrimental to her health because with ovaries still intact she would probably continue with the same issues and could still develop eggs that would then have no uterus in which to develop and be expelled, then you have even bigger issues!
In his opinion all of the risks are not worth attempting a "spay" procedure, even though Kita's health is very much affected by her abnormal egg production.

His recommendations to us are to do everything possible to curb the behaviors. He recommends Kris Porter's parrot enrichment web site ( Parrot Enrichment ) for diversional ideas and of course doing all of the things known to help keep her from producing the eggs (limit daylight, no "petting" or cuddling, no nesting materials available for her, etc.)

Don't miss this awesome reference on Kris' website ( Parrot Enrichment ) She is wonderful to give this out for free!
 

jmfleish

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Great information here. Can we get this as a sticky?
 

cassiesdad

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My Cassie, (LSC) was spayed in August 2008. She developed an egg binding condition,within days ,the eggs she wasn't passing were pushing and disarranging her other internal organs. She was literally within hours of death when she had surgery.
Cassie's procedure was a success, but the damage to her other internal organs shortened her life drastically. She passed in Junuary of 2010. The cost of everything was over 900 dollars. The cost was well worth it,as it gave me another year and a half to enjoy Cassie in my life.
I don't think I'd ever recommend spaying as an elective procedure. It should only be an option of last resort, when other treatment options are exhausted..
 
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