Avian Reproductive Tract Disorders

Chapter 173 Avian Reproductive Tract Disorders

Avian reproductive disorders are a result of complex combinations of hormonal, physiologic, and behavioral actions reacting to photoperiods, food availability, and availability of nest sites. Environmental influences unique to captivity may induce reproductive and hormonal activity in several ways. For instance, artificial lighting may interfere with the normal photoperiod and annual light cycles, resulting in inappropriate cycling. Food is typically available ad libitum in captivity, and it often is high-fat, calorically dense seed or foods high in simple carbohydrates, such as corn and fruit. These foods may actually stimulate reproduction. A lack of an appropriate mate may also cause reproductive problems. Most pet birds are not intended for breeding and do not have mates. As a result, some of these birds select an abnormal mate such as their human cohabitants or cage furniture. Along with all of these common environmental influences, there may be genetic factors that contribute to a lack of normal reproductive hormonal balance.

Reproductively driven birds may display instinctual territorial and mate-related behaviors. These behaviors may include but are not limited to aggression, biting, and excessive vocalization. These “undesirable” behaviors may jeopardize their value as pets, diminishing the pet-human relationship, and even result in these birds losing their homes.

Reproduction often is not desired in pet birds. Egg production and hormonal cycling may lead to diseases of the reproductive system or systemic, endocrine, and metabolic disorders. Therefore, avian practitioners have sought medical and surgical methods to limit reproductive drive and hormone production.


See Figure 173-1 for reproductive anatomy of the female bird.

Chronic or Excessive Egg Laying


Medical therapy for chronic egg laying focuses on stopping egg production while removing predisposing stimuli and correcting any secondary diseases that may be present. Pharmacologic, behavioral, nutritional, environmental, and surgical options are used alone or in combination, depending on the needs of the individual patient. Pharmacologic options have included medroxyprogesterone acetate, levonorgestrel, human chorionic gonadotropin, testosterone, and leuprolide acetate.

Pharmacologic Therapy (Table 173-1)

Environmental Modification

Polyostotic Hyperostosis

Egg Binding and Dystocia



Therapy varies with history, severity of clinical signs, and diagnostic test results.

Pharmacologic Therapy (See Table 173-1)

Aug 27, 2016 | Posted by in SMALL ANIMAL | Comments Off on Avian Reproductive Tract Disorders

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