Diabetes in Birds

David McCluggage, D.V.M., C.V.A.

Diabetes in birds is very hard to treat with Western medicine. Birds do not respond well to insulin (they are usually "non-insulin responsive diabetics"). Even if the patient might respond to insulin, the frequency of shots would make this method of therapy problematic. Think how hard it would be to give a bird 3-4 shots a day for the rest of their life!

This used to be one of our most frustrating diseases to treat. It is still difficult, and there is no cure. But, fortunately, there are now a number of nutraceuticals and herbal products that help tremendously.


Do not feed pelleted or formulated diets, especially those that contain simple sugars (Most varieties do!).

Feed whole foods, including:

  • Whole grains (soaked is best, cooked is okay)
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Proteins
    • Eggs
    • Tofu
    • Cottage cheese
  • Vegetables

Do not feed:

  • Corn
  • Sugars
  • Processed carbohydrates, such as noodles

Supplements to consider (this is a very complex subject, but in general consider):

  1. Diabenil
  2. Small Animal Antioxidants
  3. Vanoxyl
  4. Undecyn (high blood glucose levels often produce Candida infections)
  5. Ginseng and Antler Deer
  6. Six Flavor Tea

Since this problem is so difficult to handle, we strongly recommend a phone consult.