Does My Budgie or Ringneck Have Fatty Liver Disease?

Does My Budgie or Ringneck Have Fatty Liver Disease?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Jeanne Writes:

I have an adorable budgie named Peanut. 

His beak started to grow about a  year ago and I wanted to know what I could do to reverse this if it is possible, I know that means he has a fatty liver.

The beak constantly needs to be trimmed and it is crumbly.

Do you have any suggestions?

Catherine Responded:

Dear Jeanne

I am very sorry to hear about your budgie not being well.

Yes, an overgrown beak is often a sign of fatty liver disease.

I am concerned about it being crumbly. That may indicate other illnesses.

Examples of these are psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), avian pox, and scaly leg and face mites.

If PFBD is the problem then it is best that you don’t expose other birds to him and just enjoy your little bird the best you can for the rest of his life.

MitchR adds:

I’m sorry to hear about the problems you’re having Jeanne.

Overgrown beaks can be an indication of fatty liver disease a.k.a. Hepatic Lipidosis.

Any bird can get it but it’s mostly seen in Amazons, lovebirds, budgies, and cockatiels.

An all-seed diet along with little or no exercise can be contributory.

A malnourished bird has a reduced immune system making it more likely that it can get ill.

Liver disease can be triggered by tumors, circulatory disturbances, metabolic disorders, nutritional deficiencies (like an all-seed diet), and toxins from molds, plants, and other chemicals.

Other symptoms to look for are

  • Feather plucking
  • Not wanting to exercise, diarrhea
  • Obesity
  • Oily feathers
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wobbliness
  • Depression.

Only your avian vet can determine if your budgie suffers from fatty liver disease or something else.

He or she will use bloodwork ultrasounds, biopsies, and x-rays.

The good news is it’s treatable but it could take a while for the bird to return to its original state.

The bird might need medication that would lower blood ammonia levels as well as the treatment of secondary infections.

All the best


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