Hypocalcemia: Bird Term of the Day

Hypocalcemia: (noun) Birds, just like humans, with low blood calcium levels have hypocalcemia. With pet birds, this typically happens when their diet has the improper calcium to phosphorus ratio or the calcium is depleted through constant egg laying. (It should be 2:1 calcium to phosphorus.) Symptoms include weakness and lethargy then progresses to falling, fractures and seizures. Your avian vet can diagnose it by looking at your bird’s blood calcium levels. It is treated with injectable calcium and vitamin D3. If your pet bird has these symptoms, don’t try to treat it yourself but take him to an avian vet. Word of caution: African grey parrots seem to be more susceptible to low blood calcium. They need to have a calcium rich diet and have their blood tested annually by their avian vet. If your African grey parrot is on a seed-only diet, you need to speak to your avian vet about adding more calcium or incorporating a calcium-rich pellet diet into your bird’s diet.

Bird Word of the Day

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