NOTE: If you suspect your female is egg bound - DON'T wait. Get her to the vet. An xray might be expensive, but a dead beardie is worse!
My big female, Jam, is terrible at laying eggs. I don't breed with her (or any of them, actually) but she regularly lays infertile clutches and makes a bad job of it. Every time, she winds up with an infection, so I'm pretty used to her not being well afterwards. Our vet is pretty used to her too!!
This time however, she continued looking very unhappy on the second day. When I got home that evening, I gently felt her belly, and found a lumpy mass on the left hand side. Shortly after, she passed a bunch of mushed up shells with a large poop (as mentioned in the last post) - though I could still feel a solid chunk in the same area of her belly.
So we took her into the vets this afternoon. Bless her, she's been a real treasure - she didn't like the new vet man (his prodding hurt! Not deliberately, obviously, but it's very sore.) and ran to me for help. I don't know why she trusts me - I'm always mean, prodding her and feeding her medicines, but she settled down in my hands and let him have a good poke.
He agreed - he could feel something too - and the xray confirms there's something in there.
Underneath the biggest gas bubble, in the lower quarter of the flank, there's a white smudge with a dark patch in it - actually, two mushed together, if you look closely. We're pretty sure those are the failed eggs.
She's still in the vets as I type - she'll be having a dose of oxytocin to force her uterus to contract - this should force the remaining ruined eggs out. If two doses doesn't work, it will be likely that the shells have bonded to the flesh inside. If this is the case, she'll be going in for surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus entirely.
This will effectively "spay" her, and will prevent any future problems with eggs - she won't be able to have any more eggs! Frankly, this is no great loss to me. As mentioned, I'm not intending to breed, and she has such a hard time with it - and so frequently! I'd not send her in for surgery if it wasn't necessary, but I certainly won't be sad if she has to. It will save her a lot of trouble in the future.
I'll keep you updated as to how she's doing along the way. She should be in the middle of her first round of oxytocin treatment now...