How did my bird get polyuria and what can I do?

2 white face ccockatiels
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I have a cockatiel that has had extreme polyuria for years.

The vet believes it is liver damage.

He is a heavy whiteface pied.

Those mutations have been known to develop liver problems.

I am searching for ways to help his polyuria.

He is otherwise healthy and happy.

(sorry couldn’t find a white face pied pic)

Hi Michelle

Just paying my due diligence here.

I am aware that polyuria can manifest itself ss a metabolic disorder affecting the liver and the pancreas

I just want to make sure that bacterial infections have been ruled out because many birds get them from drinking water with poop in it 

Polyuria may also be seen with diet changes like eating fruits and vegetables – which is temporary and normal – stress is also a trigger 



Just want to make sure you’re covering all your bases 


It so happens i have a picture of our “white face lutino” cockatiel popcorn

Feathered factoid: Michelle was spot on – mutation’s immune system are not as strong as a good old grey cockatiels – one of the most durable birds we know according to Dr. Byron at Animal House of Chicago.

You may call Popcorn a “white face lutino,” we think she’s an “albino” cockatiel – you say tomato

While I await Michelle’s response let’s talk a little about polyuria beginning with the three components of bird poop urine, urates and feces.

The cloaca serves as a reproductive and excrement tract from which all three flow out of the bird.

Urine the liquidy part of the droppings which when especially runny while the fecal side of things is still solid and has some form, may indicate your bird is polyurea.

Birds are creatures of habit so if they’re eating less or they seem a little run down these are indications of possible polyuria or some other avian malady. 

Should they start vomiting, exhibit diarrhea or you notice blood in the stool, its the time to take your bird to a board-certified avian veterinarian who can evaluate your bird’s condition and prescribe treatment. 

The intestinal track is responsible for the production of feces which are usually a greenish or brownish color. Kidneys are responsible for the production of urates.

A bird that drinks a lot of water may have runny your poop versus a bird that takes in less water will have soft toothpaste-ish consistancy, poop.


Changes in diet
Excessive fluid intake
Hormonal imbalances
Infectious diseases
Liver disease
Metabolic problems
Renal (kidney) failure
Steroid use
Vitamin imbalance
Watery fruits and vegetables

Possible triggers of polyuria

If your bird is drinking more water than normal this may be a red flag indicating infection or disease. If a bird’s kidneys were dysfunctional or lose the ability to create concentrated urine, this could trigger polyuria and dehydration from the excessive amount of water lost.

You can actually use any flat digital kitchen scale 

A healthy bird will will drive food through the digestive system using even intestinal tract contractions.

If these contractions get disrupted which can happen with diarrhea, the food moves forward too fast. Because the food is moving too fast it’s no longer being absorbed by the colon and actually enhances polyuria.


I know it’s a lot to wrap your head around.

The best thing you can do for your bird is to weigh him or her weekly.

Polyuria can come and go.

It can be triggered by stress, pellet conversion (the bird may be drinking more water), brooding & and feeding offsprings because they are drinking more water to dilute regurgitated food.

Because fruit and vegetables contain a lot of water a bird may become temporarily polyuric after eating said foods.

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

Also published on Medium.


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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