Git In Birds


Does your budgie rub its head on the bowl or other furniture, make quick head movements, choke and finally vomit up grains and mucus? Gagging and vomiting of food and mucus is the typical symptom of goiter in budgerigars and other ornamental birds. Goiter is extremely painful for birds and should be treated as soon as possible. Therefore, if goitre is suspected: go to the vet and don’t waste any time! In our blog article you can find out more about goitre in birds and we give tips on how to prevent it.

What Is The Goit?

The goiter is a sac-like protuberance of the esophagus and develops differently depending on the bird species. It can be particularly pronounced in birds that need to store large amounts of food. It is part of the digestive system and is used to pre-swell or soak the food before it is transported further down the esophagus.

Disease or symptom?

Strictly speaking, goiter inflammation is not an independent disease, but a symptom that can have different causes or diseases, similar to diarrhea or a cold, for example. The development is usually multifactorial, i.e. several factors play a role: Irritation of the goiter mucosa makes it easy for bacteria, viruses and fungi: They “settle” on the irritated mucosa and can multiply there unhindered and cause serious signs of illness to lead. Thus, both infectious and non-infectious causes often play a role.

Causes of git inflammation

A common trigger for irritation of the goiter mucosa and the associated inflammation is when birds are kept alone, for example with a mirror or plastic bird in front of them as a “mate substitute”. Birds often feed their mate by regurgitating food from the crop. Of course, the “partner” in the form of a mirror or plastic bird cannot accept the food, whereupon the bird swallows the pulp again. The mucous membrane of the goiter is severely irritated and affected by the repeated attempts to feed a partner and the associated retching and swallowing of the food pulp. This is not only painful, but also forms the ideal basis for the proliferation of bacteria, viruses and fungi. The result is goiter inflammation. Other causes of mucosal irritation and ultimately inflammation are, for example, poisonous indoor plants, highly acidic fruit, seasoned leftovers or foreign bodies that have been swallowed.

Important: Grain mixtures that are too large for smaller birds (e.g. large parrot mixtures for budgerigars) can also cause goiter inflammation. It is therefore always important to ensure that the grain mixture used is tailored to the respective bird species.

Furthermore, a vitamin A deficiency and diseases such as gout or kidney failure can also cause goiter inflammation. Finally, there are various diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that can also affect the goiter, such as trichomoniasis and bird pox.

The fruitless “partner feeding” of mirrors or plastic birds is one of the most common causes of goiter inflammation. Therefore, accessories that are contrary to animal welfare, such as this one, should definitely be avoided. It does not lead to goiter inflammation, but can also result in other diseases and behavioral disorders.

Symptoms of goit inflammation

Goiter inflammation is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • Stuck feathers in the head area and/or on the neck
  • Vomiting food and/or mucus
  • Thickening of the crop
  • Sniff and cough
  • Lack of appetite
  • vomiting
  • Putrid beak odor (especially with trichomonas infection)
  • Possibly puffing up, apathy, listlessness

The symptoms can be both strong and weak. In addition, they can occur in isolation or in combination. Vomiting is an emergency in birds because they can choke on the vomit. Depending on the underlying disease, other symptoms can also occur. For example, if bird pox is the trigger of goitre, additional symptoms of this disease such as purulent and eventually bursting blisters on the beak can occur.



If you suspect that your bird is suffering from goitre, you should take it to the vet immediately, because such an infection is not only very painful, but can also be extremely dangerous and sometimes even fatal, depending on the pathogen and symptoms . To determine the cause, depending on the severity of the symptoms, your vet will arrange for a fecal examination, a crop test and/or x-ray your bird. This is the only way the trigger can leave

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