This Is When You Need To Take Your Bird To The Vet

With birds, you are never sure when they need urgent medical care, so here are just a few of the common injuries and emergencies that will require veterinary care for your cockatiel or any other bird in your care.

When To Take Your Bird To The Vet

Breathing Difficulties

If the bird has difficulties breathing, then this can be classified as an emergency situation, as respiratory problems in cockatiels or any bird can be life-threatening. 

If your cockatiel wheezes, clicks, bobs her tail or breathes with an open mouth these are signs that she is battling to breathe.  Watch for any discharge from her nares or swelling around her eyes.

Keep your bird warm by placing her in a steamy room, like your bathroom with the hot water running, and call your vet immediately.


A concussion normally results from a sharp blow to the head, and this can cause injury to the brain.  This normally happens with cockatiels when they fly into windows or mirrors.  They will seem stunned and sometimes go into shock.

Keep your bird warm and make sure he can’t injure himself further before calling your vet.


Birds that are burned severely can go into shock and die.  A burnt cockatiel has reddened skin and blackened or greasy feathers. 

Mist the area with cool water.  Do not apply any oily or greasy substances.  If the burn is big, or the cockatiel is in shock, contact your vet for further advice.

take bird to vet

Cloacal Prolapse

When this happens, you will see the birds intestines, uterus or cloaca protruding from the cockatiel’s vent. 

A vet will normally be able to reposition the organs.

Egg Binding

This happens when an egg blocks the birds excretory system, or breaks inside of her and causes an infection. 

Watch out for birds who seem to be straining to lay an egg, seem paralysed, or sit fluffed up at the bottom of her cage with a swollen abdomen.

Keeping the hen warm will sometimes help her to pass the egg.  Try placing her in a steamy room, and if she doesn’t improve in an hour, take her to the vet.

Eye Injury or Infections

Watch out if your cockatiel rubs his eyes often, has any sort of discharge from his eyes or a cloudy eyeball.

Let the vet treat your bird, as an unchecked infection may lead to blindness.


Fractures or broken bones can cause your cockatiel to go into shock. 

It is most common for cockatiels to break a leg, so watch out if your bird seems to be holding one leg at an odd angle, or doesn’t want to put weight on it. 

The leg could also swell up.  Contact your vet for further advice.


A cockatiel can lose its leg or feet due to frostbite.  An extremity that has frostbite is normally very dry and cold to the touch and pale in colour. 

Warm the infected area up gradually in warm water, and contact your vet for further advice.

Prompt action in any of the above cases might just save your cockatiel’s life.

I trust that this article has helped you when it comes to determining whether or not you need to take your bird to the vet. For more on first aid for birds, click here.

Please comment below if you have any questions.

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