The Exotic Animal History

Although patient history is important in all species, improper diet and substandard housing are often major contributors to illness in non-traditional pets. This means that a detailed and accurate history is often one of the most critical diagnostic tools for the exotic animal patient. This review focuses on birds, reptiles, and small exotic companion […]

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Regurgitation in Birds

Regurgitation versus vomiting The terms “regurgitation” and “vomiting” are often used interchangeably in the avian patient. Regurgitation is the passive expulsion of contents from the esophagus or crop (Fig 1). Vomiting is the expulsion of ingesta from the proventriculus, ventriculus, or intestines. It is not always possible to make a distinction in the clinical […]

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: The Fluffed and Ruffled Bird

[…] supportive care. Minimum database: Complete blood count Chemistry panel Protein electrophoresis Survey whole body radiographs Additional tests based on clues gathered: Serology &/or PCR testing: Chlamydophila psittaci, avian polyoma virus, aspergillosis, psittacine beak and feather disease, avian bornavirus, etc. Gram stain cytology Urinalysis If diagnosis remains inconclusive, consider referring the patient to an avian […]


Physical Examination of the Avian Patient

Be prepared for your next bird patient. Review the basic approach to the avian physical examination, including history, review of signalment, and visual examination. Key parts of the exam will vary, but generally include a body weight in grams, the oropharynx, crop, sternum, coelom, and vent. The fundus should be routinely evaluated in trauma patients…

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Anorexia in Birds

Anorexia may be the only indication of poor health in the critically ill bird and by the time other clinical signs are apparent disease may be quite advanced. This means that all reports of poor appetite in the avian patient must be taken very seriously.

Article  Video  Webinar 

Avian Cardiology Essentials

Cardiovascular disease commonly occurs in companion birds and poses a serious threat to the quality of life and longevity of many avian species. This live, interactive, RACE-approved webinar was presented by avian veterinarian, Brenna Fitzgerald. Topics discussed include key features of avian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, risk factors, as well as specific clinical disease […]

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Voice Change in Birds

[…] a complete history and providing supplemental oxygen, the bird may improve enough to handle an abbreviated physical examination. Although it is prudent to gather supplies for all avian exams, it is particularly important for the bird with respiratory disease. It is also wise to have oxygen available for the dyspneic patient. Always warn the […]

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Canary

[…] Water intake 250-300 ml/kg BW/day May die if water withheld for >48 hours. Target environmental temperature About 75°F (24°C) Canaries can be acclimated to colder temperatures. *Routine avian exam does not include measuring body temperature Anatomy and physiology Song canaries utilize both bronchial ends of the syrinx to produce two sounds at once. Canaries […]


Poisonings in the Avian Patient

[…] Photo credit: Richard via Flickr Creative Commons. Click image to enlarge.   Heavy metal toxicity Heavy metal toxicity is the most common form of poisoning reported in avian medicine. Lead poisoning Lead is ubiquitous in the environment, and parrots seem to be attracted to its malleable nature (Box 1). *Some large cities with old […]


Basic Cytology of the Avian Gastrointestinal Tract

Historically, routine Gram’s stains were performed in apparently healthy birds. As our understanding of avian medicine has grown, avian veterinarians have questioned the reliability and validity of Gram’s stain cytology as a screening test. Cytology is indicated when specific problems are reported during a detailed medical history or when…

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Beak Trauma

Beak trauma is a common problem in the companion parrot. Beak injury most often occurs secondary to bird bites and other forms of aggression. Other potential causes include damage from inappropriate caging or toys and iatrogenic damage during…


Fast Facts on Family Corvidae

[…] very own polyomavirus Did you know polyomavirus has been characterized in the Eurasian jackdaw (Corvus monedula)? Called crow polyomavirus, or CPyV, this virus is closely related to avian polyomavirus. The clinical significance of CPyV is not yet known (Raidal 2012, Zielonka 2012).   Are crows a sentinel of avian flu? When a dead or […]


Use of Nutri-An Cakes for Weight Reduction and Maintenance

[…] be part of the plan tailored for their bird.   Metabolically controlled food Nutri-An Cakes for Foraging and Weight Maintenance (FW) is a therapeutic diet designed for avian patients that need nutritional enrichment and/or weight reduction. Nutri-An Cakes FW provide high quality protein from a variety of sources but at normal levels for companion […]


Ferret History Form

History and physical examination forms donated by Dr. Tom Tully of Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Download Ferret History Form PDF.


Nutritional Management of Obesity in Birds

Unfortunately the sedentary lifestyle of the companion bird makes obesity one of the most common forms of malnutrition seen in clinical practice. Pet birds are fed too much food or they are fed diets rich in sources of fat, such as sunflower seeds .

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Egyptian Tortoise

Egyptian Tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni) Testudo kleinmanni. Photo credit: Roy Winkelman via Clippix ETC Natural history The Egyptian tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni) is also know as Kleinmann’s tortoise or Leith’s tortoise. The native habitat of the Egyptian tortoise consists of desert and semi-desert scrub, although this species is also found in salt marsh margins, sandy gravel […]


Pocket Pet History Form

History and physical examination forms donated by Dr. Tom Tully of Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Download Pocket Pet History Form PDF.

Article  Form-Questionnaire  Video  Webinar 

Rabbit and Large Herbivorous Rodent Dental Disease

[…] take the quiz to earn continuing education credit. This webinar first explores clinically relevant anatomy and pathogenesis of congenital and acquired disease. Diagnosis is then discussed, including history, the focused, five-part oral examination, as well as skull radiographs and computed tomography. Therapeutic options, such as coronal height reduction, extractions, and options for odontogenic abscessation, […]

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Crop Burn in Birds

[…] Crop burns are most commonly seen in chicks secondary to accidents during hand feeding. Adult birds can also suffer burns secondary to ingestion of caustic chemicals.   History Birds with a crop burn are sometimes presented on an emergency basis by extremely alarmed, agitated individuals for food leaking out of a hole in the […]

Article  Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Miniature Pig

[…] There are at least 14 recognized breeds of miniature pigs, including the Vietnamese potbellied pig, the Juliana pig, the KuneKune, and others. This information sheet reviews natural history and taxonomy, as well as a number of clinically relevant information including (but not limited to) diet, housing, behavior, normal physiologic data and anatomy, restraint, preventive […]


Otitis in Rabbits

[…] potentially play a role but these conditions are rarely reported in dogs and cats and have not been described in rabbits. Diagnosis of otitis Obtain a detailed history: Determine the onset and duration of disease. Is there a history of any prior illness, especially respiratory disease? Ascertain the possibility of exposure to toxins or […]


Ferret Physical Examination Form

History and physical examination forms donated by Dr. Tom Tully of Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Download Ferret Physical Exam Form PDF.


Five Features of Marsupial Anatomy: With Focus on the Sugar Glider Physical Exam

[…] Epipubic bones are diminished or absent in sugar gliders (Fig 3)(Ness 2013). Figure 3. Epipubic bones (arrow) in a kangaroo. Photo credit: 1901 American Museum of Natural History guide leaflet via Wikimedia Commons. Click image to enlarge. Features of the sugar glider physical examination: The sugar glider is a tiny marsupial native to New […]