Signs of a Sick Cockatiel

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Like most birds, cockatiels are very good at masking signs of health problems.  Most diseases aren’t detected until they have already reached an advanced stage.  Therefore, you need to keep a close eye on your bird so you’ll know when there’s something wrong.  Here are a few signs of a sick cockatiel that every owner should know.

Weight

If possible, you should try to weigh your bird on a daily basis.  Sick cockatiels will slowly lose weight everyday, so you’ll easily be able to detect the loss.  Losing weight means that your bird isn’t eating as much as usual, a sure sign that there’s something wrong.

Vomiting

One of the more obvious signs of a sick cockatiel is vomiting.  This is one of the most serious symptoms that your bird can develop.  It can be a sign that he has a crop infection, blocked gizzard, or is suffering from heavy metal poisoning.  You should seek veterinary help as soon as possible if your bird experiences recurring episodes of vomiting.

Sneezing

Another common symptom is sneezing.  This is usually caused by a sinus infection.  However, sinus infections can be due to various reasons, so a veterinarian will have to determine the cause.  Bacterial infections, fungal infections, or conditions such as Psittacosis are usually to blame.

Feather Picking

One of the next common signs of a sick cockatiel is feather picking.  This can be caused by a parasitic infection or an underlying disease.  Sometimes, it’s just the result of behavioral problems.  In some cases, it can be a combination of both.  The vet will have to rule out disease as the underlying cause.

Screeching

If you’ve kept your bird for a while, you should know how much noise it usually makes.  Excessive screeching is a sign that something is wrong.  Like feather picking, it can be caused by parasites, disease, or just a behavioral problem.