Cockatiel Seizure Symptoms

Updated February 21, 2017

Seizures in pet birds such as cockatiels are not uncommon and can be brought on by a number of issues. Possible causes of seizures are anxiety, vitamin deficiency, brain trauma, food or metal poisoning and exposure to pesticides or second-hand tobacco smoke. If your cockatiel is suffering from seizures, take it to your veterinarian for examination and analysis and so the source of the seizures can be located and a remedy can be administered.


Imbalance is the inability of your cockatiel to keep itself perched or upright. Your cockatiel will sway back and forth, lose its footing and flap its wings to try to maintain uprightness. Imbalance can lead your cockatiel to eventually fall from its perch. While your bird is suffering from seizures, move the perch to a lower spot, remove potentially dangerous obstacles and line the ground of the cage with something soft to buffer the fall.


Convulsions are uncontrolled muscle spasms. Your cockatiel will shake or twitch and a flapping of the wings may also be triggered. Convulsions may be followed by a stiffening of the bird's body. Convulsions can also cause the bird to fall from its perch, so the cage should be properly prepared to ensure a soft landing.


Cockatiels experiencing a seizure may begin to squawk frantically. This is a result of your bird being anxious and frightened by the loss of bodily control. Some birds will squawk while also walking in circles or trying unsuccessfully to fly.

Drooping Eyes

The loss of motor control involved with seizures may cause your cockatiel to look dazed and confused. Your bird's eyes will start to droop like it is falling asleep, and it may soon lose consciousness, which will also cause the bird to fall. Your bird may feel dazed and confused for some time after the seizure has ended.

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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.