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Cockatiel Illnesses

By Medha Roy

cockatiel

Cockatiels are one of the most lovable pets in the world. They are a valuable treasure to the owner. Cockatiels, just like humans, need a lot of attention and care. Parrots as pets are delightful but they can become extremely moody and temperamental. This may also depend on its health and diet.

Good cockatiel care involves not only regulation of diet but also of hygiene and cleanliness. Cockatiels, like most of its cousins in the parrot kingdom, are prone to some typical illnesses. Unfortunately, many are fatal and result in death even before the malady is diagnosed. As a result, cockatiels should always be kept under close supervision.

A wise owner of cockatiels is one who is aware of common cockatiel illnesses so that he/she can at least try and help. Many maladies are airborne and they set in even before you realize. It is advisable to seek professional advice whenever you suspect a crisis.

Some of the common illnesses are:

Pacheco’s Virus – It is easy to diagnose your cockatiel if Pacheco’s Virus infects it. The bird needs to be administered a strong oral dose of Zovirax medication. Vaccines are easily available for this disease, but they can bring about tumors and carriers. Evidence shows that parrots are likely to die shortly after inoculation.

Polyomavirus – Polyomavirus largely attacks the young ones. This virus is again air-borne and complicated to control. Look for clinical warning signs like depression, delayed crop emptying, anorexia, diarrhea, regurgitation and weight loss in parrots.

Beak and Feather Syndrome – Spread by feather dust and dried feces, parrots infected with PBFDS show abnormal growth of new feathers. The new-fanged shafts look as if swollen and gnarled. Another type of PBFDS symptom that is quite prevalent is growth abnormality of the beak. There is currently no known cure for this disease.

Wasting Disease – A highly contagious disease Wasting Disease is not as fast in opening out as Pacheco’s. Wasting Diseases are hard to reckon since they lie dormant for years, until hosts are on a move. Studies on parrot show Wasting Diseases have a severe effect on nervous systems extended to all of the major organs, triggering seizures, paralysis, and tremors, and also heart attacks. There is no known medication available for Wasting Disease, but changing the food patterns of the parrots by including easily digestible diet supplements may prolong the life of a victim.


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Papilloma – Appearing primarily in the throat or vent areas, papilloma is caused by a virus infection similar to warts. It grows large enough to block the vent, making it difficult or even impossible for the host to defecate. Parrots diagnosed of Papilloma can be cured after successful laser surgery.

Psittacosis – Psittacosis is another most dreaded bacterial infection that commonly occurs in the cockatiels and is transmitted via feather dust and dried feces.

E-coli – This bacterium is not so lethal if it is acknowledged and treated at initial stages. In fact, when cockatiels are diagnosed of having Ecoli their droppings usually have the appearance of diarrhea, giving out strong odor.

Gout – Calcification of the kidneys among the parrots is common especially among the babies who are aged 4-8 weeks. In such cases, victims rarely survive. Initially they show regurgitating and slight dehydration after feedings. In addition, babies who appear slightly smaller than their regular sizes, with protruding neck bone have the largest possibility of incurring Gout.

Runny Nose or Nasal Discharge – The most common of all nasal discharge is laxity of Vitamin-A in cockatiels. This deficiency can be corrected by increasing the food quantities that are rich in vitamins and mineral contents especially.

Article Source: Article Crop

About the Author

Medha Roy is a parrot owner for 12 years. She works with www.pet-parrots.com.

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