Vitamin D Toxicity in Birds

By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 1, 2008

Avian Vitamin D Toxicosis

A nutritionally balanced diet for your bird can help it remain healthy for life. One such nutrient, vitamin D, is very beneficial for the bird. However, if the nutrient is found in excess in the body, it can result in vitamin D toxicosis. Vitamin D also converts into calcium in the body. Therefore, if a bird receives the required amount of calcium, plus extra vitamin D, it will end up with excessive calcium in the blood.

Vitamin D works together with calcium and phosphorus to keep your bird healthy. Though, any imbalance in their required proportions and the bird may suffer from a variety of medical problems. Parrot families are also more prone to vitamin D toxicosis, especially macaws.

Symptoms and Types

A major problem created by vitamin D toxicosis is kidney damage. This happens because the vitamin D and calcium accumulate in the kidneys, which prevents the organ from functioning normally. One such kidney disease created from the kidney damage is gout.


Vitamin D toxicosis can be prevented by carefully choosing your bird feed and removing any excessive vitamin D from its diet. Maintaining a calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus balance in your bird’s diet, will also help prevent vitamin D toxicosis.

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