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Author Topic: COCKATIEL ILLNESSES & REMEDIES  (Read 4218 times)
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« on: March 20, 2009, 06:42:18 pm »

We sincerely wish that we could offer to the pet owner & breeder a swift and sure cure for the various ailments and diseases which affect cockatiels but, in years of experience in raising them, tiel owners have learned that sick birds are very difficult to treat because, in many cases, the cause of the illness cannot identified. So many ailments show the same symptoms and in those cases where the illness can be diagnosed, the treatment prescribed will not always effect a cure. Illness in cockatiels must be diagnosed and treated in its early stages, otherwise other complications develop quickly. Some of the "wonder drugs" and antibiotics which are used in treating larger animals and humans cannot be tolerated in the system of cockatiels in undiluted form, either orally or by injection, and very often hastens the death of the sick bird. Some breeders have had many more heartbreaking failures in attempting to treat sick birds with these drugs than successes. However, antibiotics given in the drinking water are highly effective in treating sick cockatiels, particularly for respiratory ailments and bacterial infections. Aureomycin and Terramycin are available in pet shops and feed supply stores and are specifically formulated for use in the drinking water of birds. The cockatiels seem to tolerate Terramycin very well and some have saved many sick birds with this drug being given in the drinking water. You can use a formula combining Terramycin and vitamins manufactured exclusively for poultry with specific directions for its use.
On occasion, if you notice one or more birds in a pen of cockatiels with a slight case of diarrhoea but not really sick, you can use this medication according to directions given in the drinking water daily for a period of five days and the condition usually clears up rapidly. Any of the antibiotics now on the market which can be given in the drinking water are easily ingested by the birds and if directions are followed, there is no danger of an overdose being given. Not nearly enough research and study has been devoted to the subject of avian diseases in the past. Hopefully, more extensive research will be done in this field which will lead to the discovery of effective and exact medications that will prevent or cure most of the illnesses and obscure disorders which affect our cagebirds, about which so little in known at this time. As of now, prevention of illness is by far the best remedy and this is why, it is of absolute necessity of a nutritionally sound diet, cleanliness of the aviaries and food and water, protection against drafts and sufficient room for the birds to exercise. If all of these measures are taken, almost all illnesses can be avoided. Cockatiels which have proper care seldom become ill, however, they occasionally do catch colds and are subject to many of ailments which affect humans. If immediate treatment is not given, other complications may develop and the condition of the bird will deteriorate rapidly to a point where it cannot be saved. A sick Cockatiel is very easy to spot in the flights, for it will sit listlessly on the perch, feathers puffed up and usually asleep. The eyes appear dull, the bird has no appetite and does not sing or whistle. Droppings will not be the normal black and white, but will be loose and discoloured.
In treating the sick Cockatiel, applying heat to maintain the body temperature and getting food into the bird are first things which must be done because they are essential to a speedy and complete recovery. A hospital cage can be readily fashioned from any type of small cage which allows the bird to move about freely. Perches should be removed and the cage must be covered with a light-coloured insulating cloth on the top and three sides to help hold the heat. To provide heat, a 25-watt light bulb on an extension cord may be suspended from the top of the cage, but the light bulb must be situated in such a way that the cover will not burn and also where the bird cannot touch it. You can use heavy aluminum foil on the top of the cage to maintain heat and this also eliminates the danger of fire. In an emergency, an electric heating pad may be used temporarily. Lay it in the bottom of the cage and cover with a sheet of paper towelling to prevent soiling of the pad. Leave the front of the cage uncovered so the bird can have a view and does not feel isolated. Old newspapers may be used on the floor of the cage and if several layers are put down, the newspaper can easily be removed as it becomes soiled without too much disturbance to the patient. Place the food in a shallow dish on the floor or, in the case of very weak birds, just sprinkle liberally all over the floor to make it as easy as possible for the bird to eat. If the sick Cockatiel is one of a mated pair, it is advisable to place the mate in the hospital cage also; otherwise, the Cockatiel will be lonely and discontented and probably refuse to eat or drink. If the patient is a beloved pet, then it becomes necessary to spend much time entertaining the bird and coaxing it to eat tidbits of favourite foods and drink the medicated water frequently. Cockatiels, when they are ill and weak, very often just refuse to eat or drink and when this happens, the only alternative is to force-feed a bird for a time until it becomes stronger, for without food or drink, death is a certainty . An eye-dropper may be used for this purpose and the food should be given slightly warm. Utmost care must be taken when feeding a sick bird because they choke and strangle very easily and die almost instantaneously. Insert the tip of the dropper into the side of the beak and allow only a drop or two into the mouth at the time, giving the bird enough time to swallow before more is given. The patient should be given only a small amount of food at a feeding, approximately two droppers full, and should be fed every two hours until it becomes noticeably stronger. A drop or two of medicated water should be given after each feeding. Force-feeding may be discontinued as soon as the bird is eating sufficient food on its own. Breeders have very often saved the life of a sick Cockatiel by force-feeding and the formula with which they have had the greatest success is as follows:
1 tablespoon Masa Harina Meal (cornflower used in making tortillas)
2 tablespoons Gerber's High Protein Baby Cereal
1 teaspoon Ovigest or Protogest (Amino acid--naturally organic pre-digested protein food) (this will rest an irritated gut)
2 or 3 drops ABiDEC Baby Vitamins or equivalent (multi vitamin--water soluble)
Mix with warm water to a consistency thin enough to be fed easily with an eye-dropper.
Pro-Gest was distributed by Superior Health Vitamins & Foods, Inc., Dix Hills, N. Y. 1 1746, and can be purchased at most health food stores or use its equivalent.
Since we are no authority on avian diseases and disorders, we shall list only common illnesses which occur among cockatiels and discuss the remedies and methods of treatment breeders have used with some measurement of success.
You can find the complete article here.

It simply isn't that time of year for Arty to moult (MOULTING: Cockatiels have their first moult at five or six months of age and thereafter, will usually moult once a year during the latter part of the summer. Their resistance is somewhat lower during this period and particular attention should be given to their diet. They should be protected from drafts, as they seem inclined to take colds easily during the moult. Occasionally, a sudden drastic change in temperature will cause cockatiels to moult out of season, but, unless the moult is continued, there is no cause for concern.)
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