Can Birds Get Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a rare disease in birds; the blood sugar levels will rise above 700mg/dl.

For the first time, diabetes mellitus got noticed in African gray parrots. 

What Causes Diabetes In Birds?

The causes of diabetes in birds are not very much apparent. The average sugar levels in birds are around 200 to 400mg/dl.

Controlling sugar levels is the pancreas’s primary work of glucagon and insulin. Causes are not evident in birds; few birds’ glucose levels will be much more responsive to glucagon levels, whereas other bird species will be more responsive to insulin.

Few other causes may be like

  • Tumors and cancer of the pancreas
  • Injury to the glands also varies its functions
  • Diseases of the glands
  • If any surgery to the glands

If there is any injury to the glands, there will be variation in the production of hormones, and hormone secretion may be decreased or increased.

Tumors and cancer to the gland secrete hormones in different ratios or may produce various hormones.

In birds, the causes of diabetes mellitus may be because by obesity, and birds have problems in the pancreas and reproductive organs. 

In this condition, the pancreas secrets less insulin or more glucagon, which leads to diabetes in birds.

How Do I Know If My Bird Has Diabetes?

When your bird is affected by diabetes, you can quickly identify it by symptoms.

Main symptoms 

  • Birds may feel thirsty often, so birds drink a large quantity of water 
  • Birds will be more sensitive to infections
  • If blood sugar levels decrease, it may lead to seizures, unconsciousness, coma, or even death.
  • Birds may show the signs of polyuria and polydipsia
  • Weight Loss
  • Tiredness

Clinical Signs In Birds With Diabetes

  • Polyuria and polydipsia
  • Increased glucose in urine and blood
  • There is a high incidence of diabetes along with obesity, reproductive problem, and pancreatic problem.
  • Hyperglycemia and glycosuria, in the long run, lead to diabetes mellitus

Diagnosis Of Diabetes In Birds

When you visit a veterinary doctor along with your bird, the doctor will do a thorough physical examination and diagnosis. 

If you want to now about can birds get diabetes then you should read our post and understand more about diabetes and birds.

You can explain the illness, symptoms, causes, and injuries to the doctor.

A person’s overall health. Physical examination includes auscultation, palpation, vital signs, and body condition. Serum biochemistry panel analysis to find out diabetes mellitus.

Suppose the bird’s glucose levels are higher than 750 mg/ dl. Then it’s suspected to be diabetes mellitus.

Another kind of test is endoscopy. Endoscopy looks into Inner organs like the pancreas, liver, and kidney. If necessary, the doctor will take the sample culture.

Treatment Of Diabetes Mellitus In Birds 

Treatment of diabetic birds is brutal because birds will secrete insulin in their body very rapidly.

There are various methods to treat diabetes with drugs, food, and exercise.

Treatment with insulin injections

Treating diabetic birds with insulin injections is a bit difficult because you have to monitor the glucose level of your bird often; if glucose levels reduce, it leads to severe complications like coma and death.

But checking birds’ blood glucose levels is problematic, so using urine strips is suggested. 

Most commonly used oral medicines for testing diabetes in birds are metformin, glipizide, and glyburide.

Ideally, the bird should follow a diet low in carbohydrates and sugar. 


Birds will get diabetes, but monitoring symptoms and giving treatment to the bird is very much essential to save your lovely bird.