Cockatiel Dying Symptoms: What You Need to Know

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Cockatiels are beautiful, lively birds that make wonderful companions. Like all living creatures, they can become ill and eventually pass away.

If you know the symptoms of a dying cockatiel you can take steps to help them get better or provide comfort during their last moments.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the common signs of a dying cockatiel as well as what you can do if your bird shows these symptoms. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about how long a cockatiel will live and what happens when they die.

Finally, we’ll talk about ways to provide comfort for your beloved pet in its final days.

cockatiel dying resting on hand

Symptoms Of A Dying Cockatiel

A dying cockatiel may exhibit several different signs of illness. The most recognizable symptoms are labored, rapid, or shallow breathing. (1)

Additional signs include feather issues, tiredness, shaking, sleeping excessively, loss of appetite, or going completely silent.

Breathing Issues

The most common symptom of a dying cockatiel is having difficulty breathing. This can include labored, rapid, or shallow breathing.


Aspergillus is an airborne fungus that can infect the lungs of a cockatiel and cause breathing problems. Common symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, sneezing, and discharge from the eyes and nose. (2)

Teflon Toxicosis

Teflon Toxicosis is also a common cause of difficulty in breathing. This is caused by exposure to toxic chemicals from the fumes of non-stick cookware. Symptoms can include labored breathing, wheezing, and coughing.

Respiratory Infections

Other Respiratory Infections are also common causes of difficulty in breathing. These infections may include mycoplasma, chlamydia, or bacterial infection. Symptoms can include labored breathing, nasal discharge, sneezing, and coughing.

Feather Problems

Cockatiels may exhibit several feather problems when they are close to death. These can include puffed feathers, which is a sign that the bird is feeling weak and cold due to a lack of energy. Other signs include changes in the color or texture of the feathers, loss of feathers, and fluffing up of the body feathers.

Puffed Feathers

If a bird’s feathers appear puffed up, the creature is likely feeling weak and chilled due to its low levels of energy. This can be caused by illnesses such as Aspergillus or Teflon Toxicosis.

Changes In Color Or Texture of Feathers

Changes in the color or texture of the feathers can also indicate that your bird is dying. These changes may include dulled colors, thinning of the feathers, and even feather loss.

Low Energy

A dying cockatiel may also exhibit low energy levels. This can be seen in the bird’s movements, where they may appear slower and weaker than usual. They may also sleep more than usual or move around less than normal.

Reduced Appetite

If your bird loses its appetite, likely, it is not feeling well. You may notice that they are picking at their food, or even avoiding it altogether. This can be a sign of any number of illnesses.

Frequent Vomiting

Another symptom that can indicate your cockatiel is dying is frequent vomiting. This can be caused by a variety of issues including infection or poisoning.

Loss of Balance

If a cockatiel is not able to maintain its balance, this can indicate that it is close to death. This can be caused by neurological issues or inner ear infections.

Changes in Feces and Urine

Changes in a bird’s feces or urine can also indicate that it is dying. Urine may appear dark-colored and bloody, while feces may be discolored or liquid.

Changes in Drinking Habits

If a bird is drinking too much or not enough, then it may be close to death. This could indicate that the creature is dehydrated or has an infection.

Other Changes in Behavior

Other changes in behavior that may indicate death include disorientation and agitation, shivering and shaking, increased sleeping, and silence.

Discharges from Orifices

Discharges from the eyes, mouth or other orifices can be a sign that a bird is dying. This could include discharge from the nose, eyes, and ears.

Shivering and Shaking

Shivering and shaking can also be a sign that the bird is close to death. This could indicate that it is in shock or has a severe infection.


Lastly, a cockatiel that is close to death may remain silent and still. This can indicate that the creature has given up and is ready to pass away.

Cockatiels are beloved companions for many people, and it can be difficult to watch them suffer from fatal illnesses. Knowing the symptoms of dying cockatiels can help you provide the best care possible for your pet in its final moments.

It is important to consult with a veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms so that they can help provide your bird with the proper treatment to ease its passing.

It is also important to ensure that your cockatiel is receiving the right nutrition, ample exercise, and proper veterinary attention

What Should You Do When Your Cockatiel Displays These Symptoms?

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cockatiel, it’s important to call your vet as soon as possible. Depending on the symptoms, your vet may ask you to wait and observe or may have you come in for additional tests.

Of the symptoms listed above, the lowest-risk symptoms that your vet will probably ask you to observe for a few more days are:

  • Changes in color or texture of feathers
  • Low energy
  • Reduced appetite

For all other symptoms, your vet may need to take additional tests to determine the cause before they can recommend any treatment. Depending on the issue, they may also provide pain and symptom relief to help make your bird more comfortable as it passes away.

Is Quarantining a Dying Cockatiel Necessary?

Unfortunately, a cockatiel can carry diseases that can be contagious and spread to other birds. If your bird is displaying symptoms of dying, then it’s important to quarantine them immediately. This will help prevent the spread of any illnesses or diseases to other birds in the home and protect their health.

If you cannot quarantine your bird, then you must be extra careful when handling them and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after each interaction.

It is also important to keep the environment clean and free of any potential contaminants that could have been introduced by your dying cockatiel.

Should You Euthanize A Cockatiel At Home?

Euthanasia is a difficult decision and should not be taken lightly. If you feel that your bird is in pain or suffering, then it may be beneficial to seek the advice of a veterinarian.

A vet can provide humane euthanasia services and ensure that your cockatiel passes away peacefully and without any unnecessary pain or suffering. Additionally, they can also help you process the emotions associated with losing a beloved pet.

If your bird is in the advanced stages of death, then it may be appropriate to euthanize them at home. This should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian and with special medications that are provided by them. It is important not to attempt this without their direction as it can be a very painful and traumatic experience for the bird.

How to Safely and Comfortable Euthanize a Cockatiel at Home

If you decide to euthanize your cockatiel at home, you must have the proper guidance and medications from a veterinarian. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Make sure that the bird is in an environment with minimal stress and disturbance.
  2. Talk to your bird during the process so that they know they are not alone.
  3. Make sure that the bird is held securely in a position to ensure the most humane death possible.
  4. Administer the medications provided by your veterinarian according to their instructions.
  5. Monitor for any signs of pain or stress during the process and provide comfort and support where needed.
  6. Move your bird from its home to a cooler place following euthanasia.
  7. Call your veterinarian to discuss any concerns or questions that you may have.

When A Cockatiel Passes Away: What Now?

When a cockatiel passes away, it is important to take the time to grieve and process the emotions associated with losing a beloved pet. Additionally, you should also ensure that your bird is handled by local regulations regarding deceased animals.

If you decide to have a funeral or other memorial service for your bird, make sure to invite trusted friends and family who understand the importance of the situation.

It is also important to remember that it is ok to feel sad, angry, or confused after the death of your cockatiel. Allow yourself time and space to process these emotions in whatever way you need.

Finally, it can be helpful to create a lasting memory to honor your pet. This could be through a photo album, scrapbook, or another memento that will help keep the memories of your cockatiel alive for years to come.

No matter what you decide to do to remember your pet, it is important to take time for yourself and your loved ones during this difficult period. It is also important to show care and compassion for yourself and others who may be affected.

While it can be hard to accept, the death of a pet is natural and it may take some time before you can find peace again.

How Long Will A Cockatiel Live?

The average lifespan of a pet cockatiel is between 10 and 16 years. However, this can vary based on diet, lifestyle, genetics, and other factors.

It is important to keep in mind that even with the best care, your cockatiel may not live as long as expected due to illnesses or other unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, it is important to prepare for the eventual death of a beloved pet and take the necessary steps to ensure that their passing is as dignified and comfortable as possible.

Why Did My Cockatiel Pass Away With Her Eyes Still Open?

Sometimes it can appear as though your cockatiel’s eyes are still open after they have passed away. This is a natural part of the death process and should not be a cause for concern. When a bird dies, their muscles relax and its eyes may remain slightly open until rigor mortis sets in.

Why Did My Baby Cockatiel Unexpectedly Pass Away?

Unfortunately, there is no one answer as to why a baby cockatiel may unexpectedly pass away. It may be due to an illness or genetic predisposition that was not apparent before the bird died.

The most common causes of juvenile cockatiel death are:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Malnutrition
  • Accidental injury
  • Dehydration
  • Genetic defects
  • Toxicities from food, plants, or household chemicals.

It is important to consult with your veterinarian if you suspect that something may have been wrong with your baby cockatiel before it passed.

Additionally, talk to your veterinarian about steps you can take to ensure the health and safety of any future birds that you may bring into your home.

How Do You Comfort A Dying Cockatiel?

When a cockatiel is nearing the end of its life, it is important to provide them with comfort and reassurance. Offer a gentle touch or stroke the feathers on their head as they rest. Speak in a soothing voice and provide a warm, comfortable place to rest.

You can also try providing a favorite treat or giving them extra time out of their cage as a way to show your love and support.

Finally, remember that it is ok to cry. This can be an incredibly difficult experience, but you must take the time to grieve and honor the life of your beloved pet cockatiel.


The most common symptoms of a dying cockatiel are decreased energy, listlessness, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. It is important to provide your bird with love and comfort during this trying time and remember that it is ok to feel sad or upset.

Take the necessary steps to ensure a dignified passing for your pet, such as providing a warm bed or offering favorite treats. Additionally, consider creating a lasting memory to honor your pet and take the time to grieve.

While it can be hard to accept, the death of a pet is natural and it may take some time before you can find peace again. Ultimately, cherish your memories together, and keep in mind that your pet will always remain in your heart.

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