Assessment of Infertility, hormonal behavior and in some cases, undesirable personality changes, may often times be best identified with an endoscopic view of the ovary in female birds. Endoscopic analysis of the ovary can identify abnormal or excessive follicle formation, exudate on the surface of the ovary, tumors of the ovary and cystic ovarian disease. These various conditions may cause symptoms that vary from infertility to feather picking and from obsessive nesting behavior to abdominal enlargement with subsequent generalized malaise. Endoscopy with the aid of endoscopic aided biopsy and/or culture and sensitivity may be necessary in many cases of the afore mentioned clinical symptoms.
Chronic Egg Laying
The three species most commonly associated with excessive egg laying are budgerigars, cockatiels and lovebirds. In these species, the ovary is often a physiologic state of follicle production. Ovarian follicles in varying stages of maturation are usually visible via endoscopy. This condition often affects pet birds of the species mentioned above that generally have no males to stimulate the excessive follicle development.
Ovarian tumor is not an uncommon finding. Clinical symptoms related to ovarian tumors may involve left leg paresis, abdominal distention, infertility and/or ascites. Some of the most common tumors include:
- Granulosa Cell Tumors
- Ovarian Carcinoma/ Adenocarcinoma
- Lymphoid Tumors
Inflammation and/or infection of the ovarian tissue may result in wrinkled, enlarged, firm and/or hemorrhagic appearing ovary. The yolk material within individual follicles may appear coagulated or ‘cooked’. Adhesions between follicles may occur. A milky covering mucus may be visualized on the surface of the ovary. Yolk sac peritonitis often resulted in coagulated yolk material being deposited in varying locations on or around the ovarian tissue. It is common to see abnormalities such as swelling, inflammation and/or discharge involving the oviduct.
Cystic Ovarian Disease
The ovum appears abnormal via endoscopy and may vary from soft to firm and fluctuating to pedunculate. Cystic follicles often are 4-5 times as large as the normal follicles for that species. In extreme cases, the cystic follicles may take up the entire left thoraco-abdominal quadrant and in selected cases may cause intestinal herniation in the abdominal wall.
Orlando Diaz-Figueroa, DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP (Avian Specialty)