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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33761
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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We have a 3 year old male budgie in apparent good health. Within

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We have a 3 year old male budgie in apparent good health. Within the space of a week his cere has gone from a solid blue in colour to a light tan all over apart from the blue remaining in a 'mask like' shape around his nostrils. He doesn't eat any veggies could this be a vitamin A deficiency or something more serious like testicular cancer
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
Because a brown cere is an indication of feminizing in the male budgie we do have to be concerned with a disease process involving Birdie Boy's testicles which has caused testosterone (the main male sex hormone) blood levels to drop and, unfortunately, the most common of those diseases is testicular cancer. Once a color change is noted, an avian-oriented vet may to be able to palpate an abdominal mass indicative of such a cancer. There is no therapy for such a finding.

Vitamin A deficiency deficiency in birds reveals itself initially as blackening of the feathers from not being formed normally and being unable to refract light normally for us to perceive the color green. The beak and nails may also become elongated. Plantar erosions can develop and predispose the bird to ulcerative pododermatitis (inflammation of the foot skin). White oral plaques can form secondary to squamous metaplasia of the salivary ducts at the base of the tongue.

More than one vitamin deficiency (hypovitaminosis), however, is usually present in birds solely eating seed and not being supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Dr Salkin. Does this mean we should take him to a vet asap and can anything be done for him?

Vyvyenne, I'm afraid that a vet won't be able to do anything for Birdie Boy in the likely probability of a testicular tumor developing. See what you can do about supplementing his diet with small bits of fresh veggies, fruits, hard-boiled egg, and cheese plus powdered supplements such as this: in an attempt to keep him as strong as possible for as long as possible. Pelleted rations are ideal (please see here: but you might find it difficult to switch such a 3 year old bird over from seed to pellets. Anorexia for more than a couple of days bodes poorly for him and euthanasia would be indicated.

I would never argue with having a vet take a look at him, however. We're so very limited what we can do for such birds, however.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a few weeks for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.