Cockatiel with swollen, blind eye -- with blood?

by Jennifer

Shows red dot at upper corner of eye

Shows red dot at upper corner of eye

Shows red dot at upper corner of eye
Washed out, but the cloudy eye and red dot are visible

A few weeks ago I noticed that my 14 yr. old cockatiel Gally had a swollen eye. She held it shut most of the time, and when she opened it, it looked glassy, and the pupil was cloudy. Then I realized she didn't seem able to see out of it at all.

I'm not sure what caused it. I don't think she injured it (she lives with two other birds in a large aviary cage). I don't think it could be aspergillosis, as she eats a diet of pellets, cous-cous, fruits & veggies, and we line the grilled-off cage bottom with paper.

I took her to the vet as soon as I could, but they weren't sure what had caused it, or what it was. It wasn't oozing, and she behaves normally -- normal appetite and droppings, no respiratory problems. They gave me "Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Dexamethasone Ophthalmic Ointment" to give her 2x a day. When I took her back in after two weeks, she hadn't improved a whole lot, though she was keeping it open more often. They added a once-daily dose of Baytril and upped the ointment to 4x a day.

That was on Thursday. Tonight when I gave her her Baytril, I noticed that her eyelid almost looks like it's pulling up away from her eye, revealing what looks like a dot of blood at the upper corner of her eye. I'm attaching the best pictures I could get of the eye. (The feathers around the eye look sticky from the ointment.)

I would appreciate any thoughts or input on this matter. Is this a new development that I should get her a new appointment for? Is it something the new medication should eventually help?

Thank you so much,

Comments for Cockatiel with swollen, blind eye -- with blood?

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 22, 2011
Cockatiel with swollen eye
by: The Avian Vet

You need to get a second opinion for this problem. It looks like a conjunctivitis and the treatments you are administering are not working. Most often this is caused by Chlamydophilla. This is a human contagious disease and you need to have it diagnosed and treated properly if that is the problem.

Other things can cause conjunctivitis too. Simply putting in eye drops and giving oral baytril without doing testing is an inexcusable approach to avian medicine. I recommend that you find an avian specialist who is familiar with the possible causes of this problem.

Did the vet stain the eye and look for a corneal ulcer before dispensing the ophthalmic ointment? If not, the ointment could potentially have caused the problem to worsen. This is the case if you bird had a corneal ulcer and the only way to know that is to stain the eye with a special stain and observe under bright light.

Find an Avian Vet

Dr B

Aug 15, 2011
Cockatiel with swollen eye
by: Tracie

Dr B will eventually answer this, but I know that he says to NOT put greasy ointments on birds. If you took your bird to a regular vet, instead of an avian vet, the please Find an Avian Vet for your bird.

Click here to add your own comments