Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses named for the crown-like spike proteins on their surface. Coronaviruses cause disease in humans and animals, often circulating among camels, cats, and bats. Ferrets are susceptible to infection by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-COv-1), but pathogenicity and host susceptibility can differ based on the viral infective dose and laboratory SARS coronavirus strain. Studies are ongoing to investigate the respiratory pathology and transmission of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in experimental ferrets.
What determines the viral host range?
One of the critical determinants of viral host range is the interaction between the coronavirus spike (S) protein (Fig 1) and the host cell receptor. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a receptor for the attachment and uptake of the coronavirus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-1), is widely expressed […]
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Dr. Susan Orosz presented this live, interactive webinar event on the clinical perspectives of avian nutrition. How can veterinary health professionals best address the nutritional needs of the companion bird in the exam room?
As a part of the Lafeber Company Student Program, Dr. Susan Orosz presented an exclusive presentation to the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine Non-Traditional Species Club as a distance learning event. This web-based seminar was recorded…
As a part of the Encore ICARE Lafeber Symposium Lecture Series, Dr. Susan Orosz provided an introductory presentation on anatomy and physiology of the avian gastrointestinal tract. View a recording of this AAVSB R.A.C.E.-approved web-based seminar, then take the brief post-test to earn 1 hour of continuing education credit.
Did you attend the Lafeber Symposium at the 2015 International Conference on Avian heRpetological and Exotic mammal medicine in Paris? View a recording of this encore, web-based seminar: “Medical Management of Psittacines with Bornavirus Ganglioneuritis (PDD)” by Susan Orosz, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice), DECZM (Avian). This presentation on avian borna virus contains medium to advanced level content. The novice is encouraged to view the first hour of Dr. Orosz’s presentation “Anatomy & Physiology of the Avian Gastrointestinal Tract: Clinical Applications”, which includes a helpful review of avian gastrointestinal anatomy and physiology.
Wing injuries may present as a wing droop or an inability to fly. The figure-of-eight bandage, or wing wrap, is the standard method for stabilizing the wing short-term. See the NEW and improved version of LafeberVet’s wing wrap placement video clip.
There are various approaches to provide food for the companion parrot. Each nutritional strategy has its own advantages and disadvantages including seed-only diets, pelleted diets, extruded diets, and/or foraging diets.
A clinical trial was conducted with cockatiels to compare a whole-seed balanced diet (Nutri-Berries) with that of a pelleted diet. Blood values, body weight, and other parameters were measured to assess the alternative diet’s clinical effects on birds.
Foraging for food is a basic behavioral repertoire for birds in the wild. The lack of opportunities for companion birds to engage in this behavior may play an important role in the development of abnormal behaviors. For example, Snyder et al documented that Puerto Rican Amazon parrots spend approximately 4–6 hour per day foraging and that they routinely travel several miles between sites. In contrast, companion birds in our homes like the orange-winged Amazon parrot spend approximately 30–72 minutes per day eating a pelleted diet without traveling, manipulating food items, and not attempting to balance their own diet. It has been suggested…
Providing a bird with good nutrition often has different meanings for clinicians and clients. While the goal is to provide a diet that mimics the diet of that particular species in the wild, in captivity those strategies for feeding parrots are very different.
Dr. Orosz is director of the Bird and Exotic Pet Wellness Center in Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Susan Orosz earned a Ph.D in neuroanatomy from The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1980 and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University in 1984. During her 4th year at Ohio State, Susan performed an anatomic study of the bones of the California condor while an extern at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. That study was turned into the award-winning text, Avian Surgical Anatomy: Thoracic and Pelvic Limbs…
All but the weakest ferrets can be challenging to restrain for blood collection. Consider sedation or general anesthesia, particularly if the handler or phlebotomist is relatively inexperienced; however remember that anesthesia can affect ferret hematology.
Use this video clip or article with still images to review equipment needed, and potential venipuncture sites including the jugular vein, cranial vena cava, lateral saphenous vein, and cephalic vein.
The rabbit has a relatively short prothrombin time and whole blood quickly clots at room temperature. To minimize the risk of clot formation, it can be helpful to pre-heparinize the needle and syringe by drawing heparin into the needle and expelling the excess from the hub. The total volume of blood that can be safely collected typically ranges from 0.5% to 1.0% body weight. Collect smaller volumes from geriatric patients or those suspected to have anemia or hypoproteinemia.
Use this video clip or article with still images to review equipment needed, and potential venipuncture sites including the jugular vein, lateral saphenous vein, and ear vessels.
In humans and small animals, the combination of feeding reduced calorie foods, providing regular exercise and using behavior modification to change eating patterns bring about the best chance of achieving and maintaining weight loss (Toll 2010). A key nutritional factor for weight loss and the prevention of weight gain is to feed calorie-restricted diets.
Why is a broken blood feather an emergency? When the blood feather breaks, the feather shaft acts like a straw making the vessels bleed much longer than they would otherwise due to capillary action. The degree of blood loss can be significant, particularly in small birds. Use this video clip or article with still images to review the basic structure of the blood feather, key points of urgent care as well as follow-up care.
Mild to moderately ill exotic companion mammals are often syringe fed, and proper syringe-feeding technique is an essential skill for critical care nutrition of ferrets, rabbits, and rodents. Gastrointestinal stasis is one of the most common medical problems seen in small herbivores. A cornerstone of treatment is delivery of food containing high dietary fiber. Aggressive fluid therapy, often in the form of oral and subcutaneous fluids, is also crucial for successful management. Always address dehydration before beginning nutritional support. Get specific tips to improve your clinical success with this video clip or read the article with still images.
The subcutaneous route is the most common method of fluid administration in the avian patient. Subcutaneous fluids are an excellent way to provide maintenance fluids or to correct mild dehydration in birds. This video clip and article with still images describe the equipment needed and the technique involved in this supportive care procedure.
Fluids are most commonly given in the inguinal space (crural patagium). With the bird secured by an assistant, have them extend one of the bird’s legs out and to one side. Wet down the area on the inner thigh to see the skin better at a point about halfway between…
Manual restraint is required for virtually any medical procedure in the songbird or passerine. Warn owners of the inherent risk of handling the critically ill bird. Minimize handling time so the bird does not overheat or become overly distressed, and monitor the bird closely for any change in strength, breathing, or attitude. Use this video clip or text with still images to review equipment needed as well as handling and restraint techniques.
Fluid therapy is indicated in critical patients including exotic animals. Vascular access can be extremely difficult or even impossible during shock, making intraosseous or IO catheterization necessary in the bird. Fortunately fluids and medications given through IO catheters are immediately taken up into the vasculature. The distal ulna is the site of choice for intraosseous catheter placement in the bird.
Manual restraint and handling is required for most medical procedures in the companion parrot, also known as the psittacine or hookbill. Warn owners of the inherent risk of handling the critically ill bird and minimize handling time so the bird does not overheat or become overly distressed. Also monitor the bird closely for any change in strength, breathing, or attitude. Parrot handling also carries potential risk for veterinary medical staff since even friendly birds may bite if they feel threatened.
Tube feeding, also known as gavage feeding, is an essential part of avian supportive care. Sick birds are often presented with a history of anorexia and glycogen stores may be depleted within hours in small species with relatively high metabolic rates. Another important indication for gavage feeding is a documented drop in body weight of 5% to 10%.
Oral drug administration in birds can be a fairly straightforward process that works quite well for small doses. Use this video and text with still images to review the equipment needed as well as the technique involved in per os dosing for the veterinary avian patient.
Emeraid Omnivore can be hand fed or gavage fed to companion birds like parrots and songbirds and to omnivorous rodents like rats and mice. Emeraid Omnivore may be fed in combination with Emeraid Herbivore, to species like gerbils, hamsters, and the African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris). Combinations of Emeraid Omnivore with Emeraid Carnivore can be used to meet the dietary requirements of these species…
Intramuscular injections in birds are given into the pectoral muscle mass, which consists of superficial and deep pectoral muscles with a prominent fascial plane in between. View the brief video illustrating this clinical technique or review text with image.
Nutritional support is indicated in reptiles with a 10% drop in body weight, and force-feeding is sometimes indicated with a history of anorexia. Interpretation of anorexia can be difficult in some reptiles, particularly snakes and chelonians. Never rush to feed a reptile. The patient must first be warm, housed at its preferred optimal temperature zone, and must be adequately hydrated.
The types of foodstuffs consumed in the wild are often used to classify the nutritional requirements for groups of animals. Usually birds within the Order Psittaciformes are considered to consume plant-based foodstuffs and are classified as florivores. Subdivisions within this category include granivores (budgies and cockatiels), frugivores (many of the macaws), and nectarivores (lorikeets and lories). Yet these artificial lines are sometimes too simplistic, as many psittacine birds cross over a category to consume a larger variety of foodstuffs…