Unusual Dark Lumps Above Cere/Nostrils

by Anil
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)


I have a Double-Yellow Headed Amazon Parrot. I've taken her to the local avian vet a couple times. She's in good health, although she's low on calcium and I can't get her to try anything new.

Also, lately I've noticed that there are two dark bulb-like lumps that are on her beak, I believe this area is called the Cere.

I've asked my vet to look at it, but they were not sure what it was. I am was hoping to get more information about it, because I fear something may be wrong.

Otherwise, she is active and playful as usual. She also eats regularly.

My two questions are:

Is there something I can do to help her with her calcium (and/or other needed nutritional intake)


What are these lumps, are they common?



Comments for Unusual Dark Lumps Above Cere/Nostrils

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Feb 12, 2012
Lesions on the cere
by: The Avian Vet

I see the lesions on the cere. This is potentially a very serious problem that needs to be seen by an avian specialist immediately. There are several possibilities of what this might be. The one I fear the most is cancer and there are a few different types that are possible. Most of them are very serious and grow rapidly with disfiguring and sometimes lethal results. Other possibilities include viruses, bacterial infection, “sun” burn (possibly form a UV light), other type of burns, dermatitis, and even trauma.

As for the calcium issue, it is rare that calcium levels are consistently low. Is your bird DNA sexed? If so then you know it is female. Females have huge swings in calcium levels due to egg production. There can be abnormally low levels of calcium with hormone imbalances; there are several glands that control calcium levels, all of which have the potential for disease, leading to abnormal calcium levels; some tumors have a profound effect on calcium levels. Most of these situations are rare. Abnormal levels of blood calcium can be due to lab error, as well as improper sample handling and storage, too. To determine if a low calcium is consistent, blood can be submitted to two labs simultaneously, or the same lab can repeat for clarification; I also recommend that you do serial testing of three or more in a row, one per week; there are many options, but you need to know if this is a consistent finding.

Is your bird exhibiting signs of hyocalcemia? Ataxia, stumbling, off balances, unable to perch, tremors, paresis, paralysis, seizures? I suspect if the calcium was low enough even for a short period you would see mild symptoms, if the calcium was consistently low for a long period, then the symptoms would become more frequent and pronounced; leading to death if untreated. If she is not showing symptoms and the calcium is not consistently low, then I recommend starting with switching the diet to Harrison'spellets, with 20% fresh and cooked foods as well as some nuts for treats. If the calcium is consistently low then further diagnostics are recommended to determine the cause.

What I believe is a major contributing factor to abnormal nutrient levels is a poor diet. It is very important that you feed your bird a diet that consists of 80% pellets and 20% treats. This guarantees that she is getting a complete and balanced diet. It is not recommended to supplement a poor diet (such as seeds and fruits and vegetables or other non-pellet diet) because it is difficult to dose properly and over dosing is easy. Water vitamins and others supplements are more harm than good. I have an article about how to get them to eat new foods. I attached a copy. This method can be used for any food, but especially converting to pellets. Switching Birds To Pellets article

Dr B

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