Tiels n' Gees - Cockatiels & Budgies

With in-depth information on Cockatiels and Budgies.

Medical Help

Here you will find a list of health problems that your bird may have.

Signs of an Unhealthy Bird

Signs of an Unhealthy Bird

  1. What should I look for?

    Normally, a sick bird will be found sitting in a corner with its feathers puffed out and a dull, lifeless look in its eyes, and may have drooped wings. Also, your bird may not eat when sick. Many birds, unfortunately, do not die from the sickness or disease; rather they die from their failure to eat. But if your bird does not have any of these symptoms then look down the list below for a possible diagnosis.

    For the symptoms and treatment of an illness that is the same for both Cockatiels and Budgies, you will notice a row of three stars (***) beside the name of each illness

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Diagnoses for Cockatiels

  1. Coccidia

    If you notice a slowly decrease in appetite, weight loss, or lose droppings that are somewhat bloody, (or any combination of these things) consult your veterinarian, as it could be a case of coccidiosis. Coccidia are microscopic protozoan parasites that occur rarely in cockatiels. Spread through the droppings and then consumed by your bird, these nasty creatures mature in the bird's intestine. Normally they do not pose any threat to cockatiels.

    A bird that been confirmed with coccidiosis can be treated. Sulfa drugs (e.g. nitrofurazone or amprolium) could be helpful. To help prevent your bird from getting this, good hygiene, sanitation and a clean, dry floor in the cage or aviary are necessary.

  2. Colds

    Wet nostrils and labored, squeaky respiration are usually good indicators of a cold. There are many ways that your Cockatiel can catch one: drafts, low temperatures, vitamin A and iodine deficiency, stress, exposure to various bacteria, fungus and viruses. Other good indicators are an open beak, audible respiration, its tail will bob up and down, swollen eyes, sneezing and coughing, nasal discharges, and a loss of appetite.

  3. Discoloured/Deformed Feathers

    This problem is caused by a lack of vitamin A in their diet. taking action to fix this will give your bird  healthy, colourful and sleek plumage after molting.

    If your corrective action did not help, and the feathers grow out of their shafts in a twisted, ond frayed condition, it is highly possible that your bird can be suffering from Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease. This is a viral disease that presently only affects parrot-like birds. Birds that are infected with the polyoma virus can also grow malformed feathers. For both cases though, the infected birds must be isolated and you need to consult an avian veterinarian for further instructions.

  4. Eye disease

    If your bird has an eye infection, they will normally close the infected eye, which will be teary with an inflamed rim. There are many different types of eye infections that your bird can get. Most infections, though, are the results of complications of colds and bacteria and viruses make up the resulting infection. Other causes include a lack of vitamin A, the use of an aerosol spray or dusty seed that irritates the eye.

    To help your bird recover, place them in a warm environment, preferably a hospital cage. Rinse the eye with 5% boric acid, or apply ophthalmic antibiotic ointment 2-3 times a day (Neosporin/Neopolycin are recommended). A few days of this treatment should insure a speedy recovery back to health, although consulting an avian veterinarian wouldn't hurt.

  5. Feather Cysts

    The growth of cysts on your bird must not be confused with tumors, which are caused by the growth of a feather shaft while it is inside the feather follicle. A cyst occurs when a feather curls under the skin, but does not break through. the more the feather grows, the bigger the cyst will get. If opened up, you will find that the cyst contains a cheese-like substance. A cyst that remains untreated will eventually break open on its own, but there is a risk of an ifection if this happens.

    Birds with feather cysts should have them removed surgically by an avian veterinarian, and these operations are normally followed by round of antibiotic treatment.

  6. Jaundice

    If your bird has jaundice, you will notice that your bird’s skin is a pale yellow, and their poop may look like a log instead of the normal disk shape. This can be caused by many different things, some of which are: (a) liver failure, or (b) a lack of nutrients in their diet. A lack of nutrients in the diet can be a direct result from a lack of fruits and vegetables in your bird’s diet, or from a seed that is not giving your bird all of the nutrients that their body needs.

    To reverse this problem, try buying a seed that is high in nutritional value, as well as feeding them a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. If their condition does not improve, then it is advised that you take your pet to the nearest vet for an examination and further suggestions for recovery.

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