Diarrhea in the Avian Patient

Key Points

  • The avian dropping consists of 3 components: feces, urates and urine.
  • “Diarrhea” is a common presenting complaint, but the clinician must differentiate true diarrhea from polyuria.
  • Diarrhea may be defined as any change in the consistency or formation of the fecal portion of the dropping.
  • When evaluating an avian patient with diarrhea, always determine the diet consumed and know the appearance of normal droppings for the species in question.
  • Fecal testing is an essential diagnostic tool. Complete blood counts, serum biochemistry, protein electrophoresis, and whole body radiogaphs are also important diagnostic tools.
  • Therapy should revolve around confirmation of the underlying cause. Symptomatic therapy is not as useful in avian cases as it is in small animal medicine.

Diarrhea is a common clinical presentation in avian medicine. Diarrhea may be caused by a variety of conditions, however it is particularly important for the practitioner to understand the anatomy and diseases of the avian gastrointestinal tract and associated organs . . .

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