Cockatiel with cataracts and glaucoma

I joined this list to see if I can find help for my cockatiel-Hermie. We found out today he is blind in his left eye and has a cataract covering his entire lens, also has glaucoma which causes his eye to bulge. we either choose between glaucoma eye drops that are unused on birds and can cause him death or to have surgery to remove his eye which is dangerous and risky

Hi Ellie,

The tissue salt Calc. fluor. 6x may help with the cataract, while Nat. mur.6x may help with the glaucoma (give these internally over a long period – can be given in his water)  Eucalyptus honey (applied topically) also has a reputation for curing cataracts.

On the subject of removing the eye (if it comes to that), from personal experience birds survive this and cope very well. I care for birds for WIRES (a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organisation). I have had a wild bird recover brilliantly and go on to be released (and a wild bird would be much more stressed by this procedure than a pet bird!). Another eagle that came into my care had lost his eye some time in the past and had recovered without veterinary help (he had a gaping hole where his eye should have been). Your bird is only young, and should recover and adapt well to having only one eye.

Carole Bryant

From gloria:
I don’t know of any literature on glaucoma in birds, but glaucoma in humans comes in two forms: chronic and acute. It is sometimes inappropriate to relate human treatment to bird treatments, however, if the both have the same disease, perhaps the same treatment will help.

Glaucoma in humans is related to genetics and nutrition. Two nutrients associated with glaucoma are collagen and Vitamin C. Collagen helps protein stay flexible and Vitamin C is necessary for te production of collagen. Since glaucoma prevents proper drainage of fluids from the inner eye, collagen/vitamin C supplements might help.

Here are a couple of other ideas: Bilberry or blueberries taken internally contain flavanoids and nutrients needed to protect the eyes from further damage. Red raspberry leaf could also be used for this.

Chickweed and eyebright taken internally also nourish the eyes. A combination of ginko biloba extract and zinc sulfate taken internally may help to slow progressive vision loss.

Rose hips supply flavonoids and vitamin C.

Eye drops of warm fennel tea alternating with chamomile tea and eyebright tea are helpful.

These suggestions were taken from Balch’s ‘Prescription for Nutritional