Eye Swelling in Birds

Parrots that live on seed diets often develop vitamin A deficiency.  (See our webpage, Birds - Vitamin A Deficiency.)  One of the more obvious signs of this disease is a swelling around the eye known as a periorbital abscess.  The picture to the left and just below are two different views of an African grey parrot with very large periorbital swellings that were the result of a vitamin A deficiency.  This parrot needed an injection of vitamin A, surgery and a shift to a better diet than sunflower seeds and peanuts in order to get healthy.  Harrison's Bird Diet High Potency pellets and AVIx Bird Booster were key factors in helping restore this parrot to good health.



African grey parrot with swellings above both eyes

Other birds may show much more subtle signs of vitamin A deficiency as seen in the two images below.  This African grey parrot has very slight swellings just in front of the eyes.  If left untreated, this would quickly progress to the large swellings seen in the first African grey parrot.

Notice the very subtle swellings above and in front of this African grey parrot's eyes

This view shows a different view of the slight swellings above both eyes

Parrots are not the only birds to develop swelling around the eye due to vitamin A deficiency.  This Lady Gouldian finch has a large periorbital abscess that was due to its poor diet.

This abscess responded to surgery and vitamin A supplementation

Of course vitamin A deficiency is not the only thing that can cause swelling around the eye.  A bird that is hit in the head, such as by flying into a ceiling fan or a window, may develop swelling around one or both eyes.  (See care sheet Birds - Trauma.)  Infections are also common.  Tumors, while rare, often cause bulges around the eye.

This umbrella cockatoo has a head injury that has caused the swelling around the eye

Whenever you notice a swelling around the eyes, you should immediately set up and appointment to have it evaluated.