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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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 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.

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


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.

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.

Giardia is a parasite found in both drinking and recreational water and lives in the intestinal tract of numerous infected species, which could be people, birds and other animals.

Birds: This parasites has infected any species of bird, although it is most often found in cockatiels, lovebirds, budgies, and Grey-cheeked parakeets. Giardia can survive for a substantial amount of time in the environment, so infection can occur simply by placing a bird in a contaminated environment (cage, aviary, etc.).

Giardia is usually asymptomatic or causes relatively mild symptoms. Once an animal or person has been infected, the parasite lives in the intestine and is passed in the stool. Because the parasite is protected by an outer shell, it can survive outside the body and in the environment for long periods of time. Giardia infection has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne disease in the United States.

Physical Symptoms:
Birds: Skin may become very dry and itchy, and this caused them to pick out their feathers. The common giardia picking pattern usually involves the chest, underside of the wings, insides of the thighs, shoulders and sometimes the lower back region. Asymptomatic carriers may exist, and serve as sources of infection for other birds.

Aspergillosis is a respiratory disease of birds caused by the fungus Aspergillus, which is found almost everywhere in the environment.
A. fumigatus is the most common species of the fungus to cause disease, although A. flavus, A. niger, and others can also cause problems. Aspergillus grows readily in warm and moist environments. The microscopic spores of the fungus become airborne, and poor ventilation, poor sanitation, dusty conditions, and close confinement increase the chance the spores will be inhaled.

Usually, the fungus does not cause disease, however, if a bird does not have a healthy immune system, it can cause illness. Predisposing factors include other illnesses, stress, poor nutrition, poor husbandry or unsanitary conditions, another injury to the respiratory system (e.g.; smoke inhalation), and prolonged use of certain medications such as antibiotics or corticosteroids.

The combination of the number of spores in the environment and the presence of predisposing factors determine which birds are most at risk of disease. Aspergillosis appears to be more common in parrots and mynahs than other pet birds.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu):-
Mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects can transmit several diseases to mammals and birds.

The bird flu, also known as avian influenza, is caused by a very dangerous strain of the virus H5N1, which has not yet been diagnosed as an epidemic in the U.S.

The virus is spread in the secretions of infected birds, so owners should take every precaution to prevent birds from exposure to oral or nasal secretions or the droppings of wild birds. Outbreaks appear to coincide with rainy seasons and the proliferation of mosquitos. Mosquito nettings over outside enclosures are recommended.

A single bird was seen with a patch of feather loss on one side of its body associated with a thick, grey, flaky skin. This proved to be a case of ringworm due to infection with a Trichopyhton fungus. The disease should have been curable but the owner did not want the treatment carried out.

* If you know/have anymore, feel free to post them.

26 Posts
My vet informed me yesterday that PDD (Proventricular Dilatation Disease) is becoming more common among psittacines (all parrots including cockatoos and cockatiels). Sorry if some of the info is a bit off, I'm basing this on memory from my conversation with my vet. (needless to say our vet is excellent and keeps up-to-date with avian research)

It is a virus that attacks the nervous system. Signs include GI problems that don't go away with treatment, loss of coordination and balance, and becoming nonreactive to stimulus (stare at nothing even if you wave a hand in front of them).

The virus can lay dormant for many years (6 to 10 is what my vet said) but is believed to be able to infect other birds during the dormant period.

It is fatal if not treated. Treatment requires medication for as long as 2-3 years. If treatment is successful, it makes the virus dormant again but not all birds respond to treatment. However, the damage done by the disease is permanent.

A blood test is needed to verify the disease but it tends to give a false negative when the virus is dormant. In some cases the blood test will be negative when the virus is active and cannot be detected until the bird dies and they test the brain.

There is a website dedicated to PPD (appears to be slightly of date as they say the cause is unknown):

Article on identifying the virus:
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