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Intracranial Lipoma

Intracranial Lipoma Overview

Intracranial lipoma is a genetic defect that occurs in crested head ducks. Some of the ducks from this breed are born with abnormal skull-bone defects which affect the size of certain parts of their brains. As a result, intracranial masses of fatty tissue (lipomas) and peripheral cerebral cysts often will develop. Depending on the size and location of these lipomas, affected ducks may develop neurological signs.

Clinical Signs of Intracranial Lipoma in Ducks

Clinical signs most often observed in affected ducks include ataxia, erratic head movements, abnormally small eyes, twisted or crooked neck, abnormal behavior, and in some cases they may be unable stand up. The length of time before neurological signs start to develop can vary and can be present upon hatch or may not start to show until several weeks to months later.


Abnormal behavior
Head tilt
Erratic head movements
Tottering walk
Inability to stand upright
One or both eyes are abnormally small


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Radiographs - Perforations of various sizes in the parietooccipital calvaria.
  • Computed tomography scan
  • Necropsy - Yellow intracranial masses in the brain.
  • Histologically - Fatty tissue separated into lobules by strands of connective t


MethodMethod Summary
Supportive care
SurgeryA craniectomy was performed successfully on a duck by Yaw TJ without any postoperative complications. However, the duck's owners asked for the veterinarian to perform euthanasia on the duck 5 months later because the duck was not interested in swimming in a water enclosure.



Risk Factors

  • Crested head ducks