Tumors: Lipomas in Birds

Lipomas are benign fatty tumors commonly found in Budgies, some Amazon parrots, Rose Breasted Cockatoos (galas), and Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. They are most commonly found under the skin on the sternum (breastbone or keel bone) or on the abdomen, but can occur anywhere on the body. They appear as soft, pale yellow, sometimes lobulated, solitary, or multiple enlargements under the skin. They may be noticed as a "lump" or you may just notice that the bird is getting fat. They can become so large that they will affect the way the bird perches or impair its flight. Formation of lipomas is associated with poor nutrition, obesity, hypothyroidism, and genetic factors.

"Formation of lipomas is associated with poor nutrition, obesity, hypothyroidism, and genetic factors."

Malignant liposarcomas can also occur. They tend to be more firm than standard lipomas and are faster growing.

Is there any treatment for lipomas?

If caught early, most lipomas respond to nutritional therapy. Often, affected birds are on high-fat, all-seed diets. Weaning slowly onto a balanced, low-fat diet (pellets, vegetables, small amounts of fruit) is often successful in reducing or resolving lipomas. Iodine supplements may help stimulate the thyroid gland and increase the metabolism of fatty tissues. In some cases, your bird’s avian veterinarian may prescribe a thyroid supplement. Stimulate your bird to exercise at least twice daily to help with weight reduction.

Surgical removal may become necessary in cases where the tumor or fatty tissue is creating balance issues or has broken through the skin. Liposarcomas are likely to metastasize, meaning they may spread to other tissues. Consult an avian veterinarian for further guidance.

© Copyright 2021 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

As a new client of Vineland Animal Hospital you can expect our full attention to your pets’ needs. When you arrive for your appointment, you will be greeted warmly and we’ll usher you into...

Read More

Location Hours
Monday8:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday8:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday9:00am – 1:00pm

*** Visit our Events page to see special hours and event locations around Orange County ***

Our Location