Our 16 yr old Cockatiel has one nostril almost closed

by Julie
(Tamworth, England)



Our 16 year old Cockatiel has one nostril that is almost closed. He has been to an Avian Vet several times about sneezing and clicky breathing, and was given antibiotics ( loxicom oral suspension and baytril 2.5% suspension - into drinking water )and the vet said he was reluctant to "poke around" his nostril.
He still has noisy breathing when he has flown around the room and then comes to you, sounds a little clicky, but otherwise seems his normal self.
We have just bought an Air Purifier and Avian full spectrum light bulb, and also some Kaytee bird greens and multi vitamins ( beaphar brand ), his diet consists of Cockatiel seed mix, Trill and mixed veg/fruit/greens - ie apple,orange,cucumber, salad leaves, peas,sweetcorn.

Could his nostril problem be a lack of vitamin A, And/or caused by dander ?

PS he also has to have his beak trimmed more frequently over the last few years as it grows irregular.

Many thanks,

Comments for Our 16 yr old Cockatiel has one nostril almost closed

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Jul 05, 2016
jockos nose
by: Anonymous

My 34 yr old cockatiel has one nose hole closed. The problem is not the hole, his whole nose is lifting up, looks inflamed. Like a sore.

Dec 04, 2015
Closed naves on Cockatiel
by: Anonymous

My cockatiel is 26yrs old and has one nave almost closed and the other is swollen. The doctor thinks it's allergies and put him on a steroid on the nostrils. I am going to take the extra step next week and ask about the Vitamin A shot. Will the nostrils open up again.

Feb 14, 2014
Cockatiel nare closed
by: The Avian Vet

Given that your bird is on a primarily seed diet, it is very likely that he is showing signs of hypovitaminosis A as you suggest. His over grown beak is also a symptom of nutritional deficiencies, in particular protein and calcium, and vit. D.

It is common for cockatiels to have debris in the nares. It is made up of dander, dust, feather particles, seen hulls, and other things. This debris causes irritation and discharge and it becomes larger until you or the avian veterinarian can see it clearly and remove it. Its presence can cause respiratory noises.

Occasionally we see anatomical changes occur that causes the nares to become small, which also causes respiratory noises.

Antibiotics in the water is not going to help your bird. To treat what you are describing, if it is debris in the nares, an experienced avian veterinarian needs to pick your bird's nose basically. I do this every day on cockatiels without problems. The next thing is to determine if infection is present by performing a nasal flush and submitting it for culture & sensitivity; the nasal flush is a therapeutic procedure as well as diagnostic, because flushing the sinuses to collect a sample, at the same time physically removes debris to open the sinuses, nasal cavities, and nares. I suspect that bacteria is present and I would administer antibiotics directly into the birds oral cavity (mouth); additionally I would administer vitamin A by injection. Other treatments may be necessary based on what I found on physical exam, learned from more history, and on results from additional diagnostics.

Afterwards I would work on converting him to a pellet or formulated diet, supplement with vit. A injections to reverse some of the damage, and help prevent further infection.

Dr B

Feb 13, 2014
by: Jan

Hi, I see that you are very concerned about diet and I applaud you for that. I wonder about the seed diet. Have you ever considered switching your bird to a pelleted diet as seed diets are so high in fat and cause so many other problems in birds? The clicking would concern me as well and I think maybe a second opinion maybe warranted. I have never had any of my birds have that happen with the nostril. I would consider not allowing the flying until this is resolved, personally, as the clicking is usually an indication of stress and breathing issues. Just me. I think that light is a great idea while healing, quiet low key living is more in order than exercise. I have a cockatiel that I had to move from seed and the way that I get veggies and fruits into him now is making birdie bread. I grind my pellets into flour like consistency and do not use flour for my "flour" to make my breads. That along with the fruits for fruit bread and veggies for veggie bread, suits him totally. He eats pellets as well. He will click also if really stressed as when I groom him.

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