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Avian Amyloidosis

Amyloidosis is a disorder in which abnormal proteins (amyloid) build up in the duck's tissues and organs, resulting in organ dysfunction and death. Although there are several types of amyloidosis that occur in humans, ducks are most frequently affected by the inflammation-associated form---also known as amyloid A (AA) or systemic amyloidosis.

The condition occurs commonly in domestic ducks and other captive waterfowl. Waterfowl appear to have a genetic disposition to developing amyloidosis. It usually occurs secondary to a chronic inflammatory condition, such as bumblefoot, gout, and avian tuberculosis. The onset of amyloidosis is related to abnormal and excess production of antibodies by a type of immune cell called plasma cells.


Lack of appetite
Reluctant to stand
Weight loss
Muscle atrophy
Swollen abdomen
Swollen feet
Difficulty breathing
Sudden death


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Tissue biopsy
  • Necropsy


MethodMethod Summary
Supportive careTreatment of underlying disease condition and reduce stress


  • Decrease exposure to environmental stresses
  • Prevention of chronic inflammatory conditions such as bumblefoot, gout, etc.


Age Range

It is most common in older birds that have an existing chronic inflammatory condition.

Risk Factors

  • History of chronic disease, such as gout, bumblefoot, or avian tuberculosis
  • Neoplasia
  • Trauma
  • Stress
  • Increasing age
  • Genetics

Also Consider