Air Sac Cannula Placement in Birds

Key Points

  • Air sac cannulas are routinely used to ventilate birds by a route other than endotracheal intubation. Air sac tubes are used for oxygenation and anesthesia, especially during surgery of the head or trachea where tracheal intubation would be cumbersome. In addition, air sac cannulas provide a means to medicate air sacs directly, and they are also used to aid dyspneic birds with tracheosyringeal obstruction from foreign bodies, granulomas, or tumors.
  • Air sac cannulas are commercially available. Makeshift cannulas may be created from sterile endotracheal tubes or plastic tubing cut to the appropriate length.
  • In parrots, pigeons, doves, and songbirds, insert the air sac cannula into the caudal thoracic or abdominal air sac.
  • Air sac cannulae may be left in place for up to 7 days. However, they ideally should be removed within 4 days because of increased risk of bacterial or fungal infection with prolonged tube placement.

Air sac cannulas are routinely used to ventilate birds by a route other than endotracheal intubation. Air sac tubes are used for oxygenation and anesthesia, especially during surgery of the head or trachea where tracheal intubation would be cumbersome. In addition, air sac cannulas provide a means to medicate air sacs directly, and they are also used to aid dyspneic birds with tracheosyringeal obstruction from foreign bodies, granulomas, or tumors . . .


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