Low Blood Calcium Levels in Birds

By PetMD Editorial on Jun. 27, 2008

Acute Hypocalcemia In Birds

In order to ensure a healthy bird, you must give it a well-balanced diet. This will help prevent any nutritional disorder in your animal. However, if there is a calcium, vitamin D3 and phosphorus imbalance in your bird’s body, it can lead to Acute Hypocalcemia (or a presence of low serum calcium levels in the blood).

Symptoms and Types

The bird with acute hypocalcemia will show one or all of the following symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Tremors (looks like shivering)
  • Seizures


Parathyroid gland abnormalities can lower the calcium levels in the blood, consequently leading to acute hypocalcemia. A lack of proper sunlight for the bird can also cause levels of calcium in the blood to be abnormally low. This is because the vitamin D3 (received from the sun) is not converted to calcium by the bird’s body.


Once acute hypocalcemia is diagnosed, your veterinarian will prescribe calcium supplements to include in the bird’s diet.

Keeping the bird in the sunlight for a few hours, every day, will also help reduce acute hypocalcemia. This can be done by using an ultraviolet (UV) light bulb or tubes to illuminate the area around your bird’s cage.


Supplement your bird's diet with appropriate amounts of calcium, vitamin D3 and phosphorus to prevent acute hypocalcemia. The condition can also be circumvented by exposing your bird to sufficient sunlight or ultraviolet light.

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