Within a 2-wk period, three African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) presented for emergency treatment. All three parrots had depressed behavior, an inability to fly, and significant weight loss. Plasma chemistry abnormalities included severe hypoproteinemia and elevated liver enzymes in all parrots. Two of the parrots died, and histologic examination with hematoxylin and eosin and Prussian blue stains revealed severe hepatic iron storage. Quantitative analysis confirmed high hepatic iron concentrations. Iron accumulation was attributed to ingestion of a carnivorous bird diet or selectively eating too much fruit and vegetables high in ascorbic acid. Management entailed husbandry changes including switching the remaining parrots to a low-iron diet. Psittacine species exposed to carnivorous bird diets are at risk of developing iron storage disease.
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