Cockatiel First Aid

Cockatiels as pets are generally easy and problem free.  However, there are times when accidents happen and Cockatiel First Aid needs to be administered.

Having a well-stocked first aid kit for your bird is important. Know where it is kept, and replace items that have expired annually. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations about what to include in your kit.

The kit could contain things like bandages, tweezers, scissors, cotton balls and swabs, disinfectant, gauze pads, penlight and some emergency contact numbers.

Transport your bird to the veterinarian in a carrier that is secure and allows some air to get in. Keep the bird warm by transporting the carrier on a heating pad, hot water bottle, or other container filled with hot water. Cover the carrier with a towel on at least 3 sides to minimize visual stimuli and keep your bird calm. To safely transport your bird, remember three key things, warmth, darkness, and a carrier.

Here is some useful cockatiel first aid you can apply should your pet meet with one of the following accidents.

cockatiel first aid

A foreign object that has been inhaled or eaten

Cockatiels can develop respiratory problems if they have foreign objects in their bodies.  If your bird has inhaled something, you will normally see him wheezing or battling to breathe.

If he swallowed something, he may look as though he is choking.
If you suspect your cockatiel has eaten or inhaled a foreign object, take him to your avian vet immediately.


If clipping your bird’s wings or claws, accidents can happen if you cut the blood feathers or file the claw down too much.

Since a large amount of blood can potentially be lost over a short period of time, immediate action is necessary.

To help stop the bleeding, you can apply styptic powder, corn starch, or flour to the damaged end of the feather or claw.

If the bleeding does not stop within 3-5 minutes seek help from an avian veterinarian.

Lead Poisoning

Cockatiels are at risk of dying of lead poisoning.  Some of the symptoms include depression, walking in circles at the bottom of the cage, regurgitation, and droppings that resemble tomato juice.  You will need to start treatment as soon as possible.

To avoid lead poisoning, keep your cockatiel away from stained glass, parrot toys that are weighted with lead, fishing hooks, and paint with lead in it, normally found in older homes.


Cockatiels don’t have sweat glands and can overheat quite easily.  If your bird is too hot, he will show signs by taking his wings out from his body, breathing with his beak open, or rolling his tongue.

Cool your bird by putting him in front of a fan or misting him with water.  If the bird is badly overheated, contact your vet as quickly as possible.


Cockatiels that have ingested poison will either regurgitate, be disorientated, or have bloody stools.

They may also go red around the beak and have convulsions or even go into shock.  If you know what the bird ingested, take the poison with you and get your bird to the avian vet as quickly as possible.


Seizures can indicate any of these conditions – lead poisoning, epilepsy, nutritional deficiencies, or heat stroke.

Your cockatiel could go into a seizure that lasts anything up to a couple of minutes.  Afterward, your cockatiel may seem dazed and sit on the floor of the cage.

First, cover the cage to make it dark and reduce the bird’s stress levels and then contact your vet for further assistance.


If your cockatiel goes into shock, it means that its circulatory system cannot move the blood supply around its body.  This is a serious condition that can lead to death if left untreated.

Birds in shock will look fluffed up, breath rapidly, and look depressed.  If you suspect shock, cover the cage and transport her to the vet as soon as possible.

In most emergency situations, you should keep the following in mind.  Keep your bird warm, reduce stress by placing it in a dark and quiet room, make sure his food is easy to reach, and lastly make sure that he is protected from further injury.

If you need to medicate your cockatiel at all, please read this article.

Hope that this article helps somebody who needs to administer Cockatiel First Aid.

Please leave your comments below.


  1. I have one friend who has two Cockatiel birds for pets and they are very cool to stop and visit when I swing by his house.

    Until now I did not think about all of these first aid issues that a Cockatiel owner needs to be up to speed on. I am guessing that all vets are well versed in the treatment of a Cockatiel bird but if we ever decide to get one I think I will check with him first after reading this.

  2. Hi,

    Interesting niche to say the least.

    I know nothing about birds, especially cockatiels so I can’t really comment about that.

    On the other hand, if I was interested in birds, I would definitely know where to look and/or whom to ask if I needed answers.

    The page is well-written and informative. I can see you’ve also written many other articles which from what I can see makes you an expert on the subject.

    Best wishes going forward.


  3. Wow! Awesome info, here! I have a peach faced love bird and have had 2 cockatiels in the past. Fortunately, I was never faced with any issues that required first aid for them! What do you know about an older bird, maybe 15 yrs old, that has recently started to lay eggs regularly. She has never laid eggs until the last couple years, and now, she lays 2-8 a month!

    1. I have heard of female birds laying infertile eggs, but never only starting to do it at 15. Hope your bird is ok.

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