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Cere Overgrowth

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My female budgie is 5 years old, in very good health and very happy. I took her to a local vet when I noticed her cere overgrowing. He said it wasnt scaly face which I had already worked out for myself. He said to use an emery board to 'sand' it down. My poor Beaky wasn't having any of that, it would have taken forever anyway! The vet said he couldnt do anything. I am worried it may grow upwards and into the top of her head as it is already growing that way and she wont be able to breathe, is there anything else I can do to help her, any advice would be very much appreciated. :D

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Can you please post a picture of the bird's beak.

Over growth of a beak is usually an underlying condition that has not be diagnosed.


As for the vet not being able to do something, can I ask did you go to an avian vet that specializes in birds if not I would make an appointment. They can show you how to properly trim her beak (just like you were clipping toe nails) to sand her beak down is really not good advise as you already have seen for yourself.

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Hi Elly,


Thank you for the reply. It isn't her beak that is the problem, it's the cere. I dont think sanding anything down on a budgie is a good idea either, I must say I wasn't at all impressed with this vet. He is new to the area so I thought I would try him. I wont be going back to him thats for sure.


Edited by yvonne
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sorry about that that would still be an underlying condition, a picture would help please :D

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The condition is called hypertrophy of the cere Its a condition in birds especially budgerigars, less commonly other psittacines, characterized by hyperplasia, cornification and keratinization of the cere. It appears as a brown crusty thickening of the cere and the exact cause is often unknown but can sometimes be caused by mites or tumours. It may block the nostrils and cause beak breathing. looks like a ***** overgrowth and often causes breathing hazards to the bird affected.

Treatment consists of removal of the crustiness by application of a softening cream such as lanolin ( taking care not to get it in the nostrils ).



Hypertrophy of the Cere

This so-called "brown hypertrophy" may be likened to catarrh of a mucous surface and occurs in many types of chronic ill health. Apparently it is not caused by local infection, and ideally treatment consists of finding and treating the underlying cause. The cere should be treated also by picking away the heaped-up material and applying a little oily lotion, cod liver oil, Dettol or bland ointment. The growth can sometimes be caused by mites or tumours.


Edited by KAZ
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I would be interesting in seeing what the looks like, When you get a chance could you please put a picture :D

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ditto, could we see?

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As Kaz has suggested applying some oil or Dettol would help certainly if it was caused by any mite as both are treatments used in the past [when I was young] to treat scaly mite. As others have suggested a photo would help us all, as I don't think I have ever seen this problem.

Maybe one of the vitamin E skin creams could be worth a try, certainly better than filing it down, as that would be too stressful for the bird, even putting the cream on will be stressful. A little each day rubbed in, taking care not to block the nostrils as suggested.

Edited by Norm
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One of my budgies occasionally has cere hypertrophy. It can be scraped off with your fingernail, your vet should have known that. Don't scrape it yourself without being shown how first so you do not inadvertently hurt your bird. I would advise finding another vet though, it doesn't sound like Beaky saw an avian vet - a good avian vet is priceless. My hen is usually able to eventually remove the overgrowth herself by normal beak scraping on her perches. You do need to determine the cause, in Blossom's case it is hormonal. Sometimes she has it, then will go for a time with a normal-sized cere. It has never affected her breathing. She has some other health issues though, so not sure if in some way this is tied in, but I have been told not to worry about it in her case. But as has been suggested, there can be other causes. Norm, I'll take a look in my archives to see if I've a picture of it or not.


**edit, thought I had one on Photobucket, but don't. It may take some searching now**

Edited by Rainbow
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Where abouts are you in the UK...may be able to help you find a proper avian vet. :D

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I am sure that it has something to do with the Keratin levels being to high in their hormones ? Don't quote me on it though

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Any news on your Budgie? :hap:

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for the replies. I would be loathe to have to rub anything on her cere daily, I think that would really stress her out, she loves me but even she has her limits...LOL! She is healthy and happy at the moment so I think I will leave her be for the time being. I will consult another vet in our area who I understand has a lot more experience dealing with budgies should it start becoming a problem for her.


Thank you again! :hap:

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  • 10 years later...

My female budgie had an overgrown crusty cere which started about 18 mths ago. Avian Vet was not concerned. However it started to peel off today as it was obviously ready and scraped off without discomfort to her with my fingernail, like a scab. Just one tiny bit left a bit of pinky patch (just like a scab).  She is fine.

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This is old...

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  • 1 month later...

Here's a picture of, "15576890184638613237966994738553.thumb.jpg.2892bd819104167ed42feaa276b5f60b.jpghypertrophy of the cere"

Edited by Val
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