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Vent Problems

A vent prolapse could be caused by persistent irritation of the area or sphincter problems.

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM
Posted: August 7, 2013, 5:15 p.m. PDT


Your pet bird may develop bacterial infections, egg-laying problems or impaction of foreign objects, all of which can lead to vent disorders.

A cloacal (vent) prolapse could contain intestines, oviduct and ureters. A vent prolapse is recognized by the visibility of smooth, shiny, pink tissue and could be caused by persistent irritation of the area or sphincter problems.

Cloacitis or "vent gleet" is a chronic inflammatory occurrence of the vent. Other vent problems could include stricture, which occurs when an infection, trauma or surgery restricts the vent. An impaction of the vent is another cloacal problem where foreign objects, fecaliths and retained eggs.


Signs of cloacal disorders could include: falatulence, the urge but inability to urinate or defecate (tenesmus), soiled pericloacal area, foul-smelling droppings or a sour smell in the vent area. A prolapse can lead to constipation or toxemia. Impactions make it difficult for the bird to pass excrement and if the area remains blocked visceral gout or renal failure may result.


Monitor the skin and feathers surrounding the vent. These areas in a normal, healthy bird are clean with no inflammation. Anything signaling a change in the normal health of the vent needs to be examined by an avian vet a properly treated.


A prolapse requires surgery to correct; vent gleet is treated by cleaning the area and applying an antibiotic ointment; a stricture must be corrected surgically and could require supportive care after the surgical corrections are made. Primary or secondary bacterial infections may accompany any vent problem, which may be the cause of foul odors. These infection need to be treated along with other care that is being given.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Health section is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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