Article  Webinar 

Avian Neonatology and Pediatrics

This live webinar was presented by Lorenzo Crosta, med Vet, PhD, DECZM, EBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Zoo Health Management. The objective of this presentation was to assist the exotic animal practitioner, with little or no experience in avian neonatology and pediatrics. This presentation discussed the logical diagnostic plan in the young bird. The approach to common pediatric conditions, ranging from developmental and orthopedic problems to common traumatic injuries and infectious diseases, was also explored. Practical clinical examples were presented.

Article  Teaching Module 

Reptile Venipuncture Teaching Module

Hematology and biochemistry results serve as an important part of the minimum database for all veterinary patients. Use three videos on blood collection in lizards, snakes, and chelonians (or text with still images) plus one slideshow on general principles to better understand reptile venipuncture and to improve your ability to obtain a clinically useful sample. This teaching module is approved for 1 hour of continuing credit for veterinarians and veterinary technicians by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards Registry of Approved Continuing Education.

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 states, including atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, and pericardial disease and effusion. This lecture also reviewed essential elements of a diagnostic workup, and current treatment approaches that can improve longevity and quality of life for these patients.

Article  Video  Webinar 

Decision Making in Rabbit Gastrointestinal Syndrome

View this RACE-approved webinar recording presented by Joanne Sheen BVM&S CertZooMed DABVP (Exotic Companion Mammal Practice): “To Cut or Not to Cut… Decision Making in Rabbit Gastrointestinal Syndrome”. This seminar reviews rabbit gastrointestinal anatomy and physiology as well as the baseline diagnostic workup in RGIS. Treatment is dependent on the underlying etiology. Fluid therapy and analgesia are considered cornerstones in the management of gastrointestinal disease in rabbits, but other specific treatments such as active warming, intestinal promotility agents, antimicrobials, and nutritional support may also be warranted. Surgery may be indicated for some conditions, such as intestinal obstruction, liver lobe torsion, and appendicitis…

Article 

The Importance of Next-Generation Sequencing in Avian Veterinary Medicine

Effective treatment of diseases requires accurate diagnose, and infectious diseases in avian medicine present special diagnostic challenges. Molecular diagnostic tools, such as DNA sequencing, are available to aid the urgent medical need to detect and identify all culprits that cause infections. Next-generation DNA sequencing offers the ability to diagnose infections using microbial DNA as the analyte, thus bypassing culture testing along with its deficiencies. This article briefly explains this useful laboratory technique as well as its applications in avian medicine…

Article 

2021 AEMV Veterinary Medical Student Case Report Contest

Lafeber Company was proud to sponsor the 2021 Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians Student Case Report Contest. Veterinary medical students from all over the world were encouraged to write a 2-page case report about an exotic companion mammal seen at their college of veterinary medicine or during a clinical experience. Submissions closed in March and judges from the Research Committee evaluated the case reports received from seven nations. Judges were blinded to the students, mentors, co-authors, and institutions at which the cases were seen. Read the summary of each winning case report.

Teaching Module 

Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism Case Challenge Discussion

Husbandry-related conditions are very common in reptiles, and nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism is frequently recognized in clinical practice. The discussion portion of this Case Challenge reviews pathogenesis, history, examination findings, and diagnostic test results with radiography, and clinical pathology. Key points of case management are explored, including correction of husbandry and dietary factors, management of hypocalcemia, as well as stabilization and supportive care. Prognosis and prevention are also discussed.

Article 

A Necropsy Guide to Serpentes

The postmortem exam is a key diagnostic tool in understanding the reasons for a snake’s morbidity and mortality. Necropsies can provide valuable information to provide a risk assessment for other animals in a population or collection and can help provide closure for a grieving owner. This manuscript reviews the snake necropsy in a systemic, thorough manner, describing normal anatomy and proper collection technique from head to tail.

Article  Video 

A Guide to Avian Necropsy

The postmortem examination is a valuable part of the diagnostic work-up. Shared by a veterinary pathologist with a special interest in birds, this guide to avian necropsy provides comprehensive instructions for the avian postmortem exam. This article offers step-by-step guidance on avian necropsy with a variety of photographs and video clips that illustrate useful clinical techniques and normal avian anatomy. Feel confident in your knowledge of avian anatomy? You can also “Test Yourself” by identifying the structures shown in four separate images.

Slideshow  Video 

General Principles of Reptile Venipuncture

Hematology and biochemistry results serve as an important part of the minimum database for all veterinary patients. Although collection of blood samples can be a clinical challenge in reptiles, the method of patient handling, blood collection and sampling techniques are all critical for proper interpretation of laboratory results. This brief video or slideshow with still images reviews the basic principles of reptile venipuncture that should be considered before, during, and after the procedure.

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Pituitary-Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism and Cholangiohepatitis in a Guinea Pig

A 3-year old intact male guinea pig was presented on emergency for suspected bloat and with a history of chronic hair loss. Clinical examination revealed non-pruritic symmetric truncal alopecia, thin skin, severe cachexia, and an abdominal fluid wave. Alkaline phosphatase, alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, leukocytes (neutrophils), bilirubin, and serum cortisol were markedly elevated. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed peritoneal effusion, cholestasis, and cholelithiasis. Hyperadrenocorticism was diagnosed based on…

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus in a Guinea Pig

An adult intact female guinea pig was presented with dysorexia, exhaustion and weight loss. Radiographic and ultrasound findings demonstrated a severe gas dilatation of the stomach, severe gallbladder distension, and abnormalities on the organ topography. On laparotomy, a 180-degree gastric dilatation and volvulus was noticed with a gallbladder obstruction, hepatic lipidosis, and adhesions between the bowels…

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Budd-Chiari-Like Syndrome in a Domestic Rabbit

An eleven year old male neutered rex rabbit presented with lethargy and inappetence of two days duration, and an acute episode of vestibular ataxia. Anemia and elevations in plasma alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase were evident. Abdominal ultrasound revealed questionable, diffuse hepatomegaly. Computed tomography revealed hepatic venous congestion, severe dilation of the pre-hepatic caudal vena cava, and bicavitary effusion, consistent with Budd-Chiari-like syndrome. Turbulent blood flow within the dilated segment of the caudal vena cava was present on spectral Doppler evaluation. Fine needle aspirate and cytology of the liver revealed necrosis with no evidence of infectious organisms…

Article  Quiz 

Dystocia in Guinea Pigs

Dystocia is defined as the inability of a sow to deliver her litter normally. In breeding colonies, maternal mortality and loss of the pup is an important and common problem in the guinea pig. This review article discusses the pathogenesis of disease, gestation and parturition, important differential diagnoses, diagnostics, therapy, prognosis, neonatal care, and prevention. There is also a brief quiz to reinforce learning.

Article  Slideshow 

Bearded Dragon Infectious Disease Slideshow

Inland bearded dragons are native to Australia and are a popular companion animal. Private breeders often select for desirable temperaments and various color morphologies in an effort to provide an ever-increasing variety to the pet trade. They are also bred commercially and sold by large pet retailers making them a widely available pet reptile…

Quiz 

Best Practices: Cytodiagnosis in Exotic Pet Practice Post Test

Take the test for R.A.C.E. approved credit . . .

To continue you need to be a LafeberVet.com member. (Français), (Español)

Pour continuer, vous devez être un membre LafeberVet.com

Username or Email

Password

Remember me

Lost your password?

Pour les vétérinaires. Par les vétérinaires.

Le site Lafervet.com est conçu pour une utilisation par les vétérinaires. Il est ouvert aux vétérinaires […]

Article  Video  Webinar 

Best Practices: Cytodiagnosis in Exotic Pet Practice

This R.A.C.E.-approved continuing education webinar was presented by Terry Campbell, MS, DVM, PhD. View a recording of this web-based seminar to earn 1 hour of continuing education credit. Cytology is a simple, rapid diagnostic procedure requiring little in terms of equipment and cost to the veterinarian. Most clinical veterinarians are familiar with sample collection techniques for domestic mammals; which also apply to the small exotic mammals. Common cytological specimens used in avian and reptilian medicine include: aspirates, imprints of biopsy material, tracheal washes, crop (ingluvies) aspirates or washes in birds, gastric washes in reptiles, sinus aspirates, lung washes in reptiles, aspiration of coelomic fluid, and fecal smears.

Article 

Pigeon Disease Primer

The “Pigeon Disease Primer” explores important differential diagnoses for common clinical problems observed in pigeons and doves. Although the clinical approach to the columbiform relies on the same concepts of “One Medicine” used in all species, many of the infectious diseases of pigeons are relatively unique to this taxonomic group, or at least much more prevalent when compared to psittacine birds or songbirds.

Article 

Pigeon Anatomy & Physiology: 15 Facts

Although pigeons and doves are a diverse group of birds, they do share some clinically significant anatomy and physiology, including a large, bilobed crop or ingluvies, crop milk production, as well as a vascular plexus found in the subcutis of pigeons. This post also touches on specialized anatomic features unique to fruit pigeons before summarizing some features of the columbid integumentary system, musculoskeletal system, and urogenital tract.

Article  Case Study  Slideshow 

Case Challenge: A 5-Year-Old Rabbit With Anorexia and Lethargy

A 5-year old female spayed lop rabbit presents with a history of acute anorexia (<24 hours) and lethargy. Use history, physical examination findings, laboratory results and survey radiographs to solve this case challenge.

Article 

Protein Electrophoresis in Avian Patients

Electrophoretic patterns among avian species have been found to be quite different from those seen in mammals. The protein electrophoresis patterns of psittacine species that have been studied generally include the presence of prealbumin in many species, lower normal concentrations of gamma-globulin, and increases in the…

Article 

Avian Bornavirus and Proventricular Dilatation Disease: Facts, Questions, and Controversies

Proventricular dilatation disease or PDD is one of the most frustrating avian conditions encountered today. The recent discovery of a causal relationship between PDD and avian bornavirus has not simplified the challenges that are faced. The detection of avian bornavirus infection is common in birds with PDD but is also detected in birds with other chronic diseases that are not diagnosed with PDD. Proventricular dilatation disease was first reported in the late 1970s…

Article 

Transfusion Medicine in Birds

Because of a lack of identified blood groups in companion bird species, compatibility for transfusion is based on the use of major and minor cross matches. A major cross match is performed by mixing donor red cells with recipient plasma and a minor cross match uses recipient cells and donor plasma. The appearance of agglutination or cell lysis indicates incompatibility.

Unlike mammals, a single transfusion between different bird species can be safe and efficacious. Transfusions will be most effective if the donor is…

Article 

Avian Hematology and Biochemistry Panels

Although hematology and biochemistry are an important part of the clinical picture in the avian patient, this bloodwork remains just ‘part of the picture’. All too often, when a clinician is unfamiliar with a species, the reaction is often to rely on laboratory results to hang a diagnosis upon. Although we have all been guilty of this, such an approach is inappropriate. For each sick bird, the following diagnostic tools should be applied: complete history, visual examination of the bird and its environment, physical examination, clinical pathology sample collection (blood, feces, swabs, aspirates, etc.), and radiography.

White blood cells are similar to mammalian lines, except that mammalian neutrophils are replaced with heterophils and mammalian platelets are replaced with thromobocytes. There are significant variations in normal differentials among avian species, in particular the total white cell count and…

Article 

Pediatric Avian Medicine: Diagnostic Testing

Regardless of the initial cause of illness or injury, neonatal psittacine birds often develop secondary bacterial and/or fungal infections that can become serious primary problems. These infections are most commonly encountered within the gastrointestinal tract.

Article 

Iron Storage Disease In Birds

Hemochromatosis, “iron overload”, or “iron storage disease” is the excess accumulation of iron within parenchyma, especially in the liver and eventually in the heart and spleen. Elevated iron stores eventually lead to hepatocyte damage and fibrosis.

Article 

Assessing the Sick Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs tend to be shy, sweet-natured creatures. Guinea pigs are prey species. Their survival depends on the ability to be alert and respond quickly, and they possess acute senses of smell and hearing. Approach guinea pigs in a calm, quiet manner…

Article 

Assessing the Sick Rabbit

Rabbits are prey species. Their survival depends on the ability to be alert and respond quickly, and they possess acute senses of smell and hearing. Approach rabbits in a calm, quiet manner. Stressed or critically ill rabbits may not tolerate prolonged handling. Evaluation and treatment may need to proceed slowly in stages.

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Abnormal Urine in Rabbits

Abnormal urine in the rabbit typically appears white and chalky or pigmented. These changes can be related to the unique metabolism of calcium in the rabbit. Rabbits absorb nearly all calcium ingested; therefore blood levels vary substantially with the calcium content of the diet…

Article 

Pancreatic Beta Cell Tumors in the Ferret

Pancreatic beta cell tumor or insulinoma is commonly seen in middle-aged to older pet ferrets in some nations, including the United States. This article reviews the common clinical picture as well as expected laboratory results. While there is no cure for beta cell tumors, surgical debulkment of the tumor with possible partial pancreatectomy is the treatment of choice. This treatment modality is discussed as well as medical management, which centers around corticosteroid and/or diazoxide administration.

Article  Quiz 

Lymphoma in the Ferret: An Overview of Diagnosis and Treatment

Lymphoma is one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in the domestic ferret. In one large study by Li et al, lymphoma was the third most common neoplasm seen in 574 ferrets after adrenal disease and insulinoma. Although a possible retroviral etiology has been proposed, no virus has yet been identified.

Article 

Assessing the Sick Ferret

The average small animal veterinarian may easily become comfortable with ferrets. Ferrets are hardy and relatively stoic, and as members of the order Carnivora, ferrets are predator species that approach the world in a manner similar to cats and dogs. A relatively small number of medical problems are seen very commonly in ferrets. Careful study of these conditions and attention to the unique aspects of ferret anatomy and behavior will prepare the veterinarian for basic emergency care of the ferret.

Article 

Cystocentesis in the Rabbit

Cystocentesis may be performed in the conscious rabbit, however it is not unusual for the rabbit to jump or flinch strongly when the needle enters the abdomen. In some individuals, it may help to restrain the rabbit in dorsal recumbency while the nose or head is stroked. If the rabbit resists manual restraint or is particularly high strung or nervous, then sedation or general anesthesia is indicated.

Article 

Heavy Metal Poisoning in Birds

Heavy metal poisoning in birds most commonly occurs from ingestion of substances containing lead, or less commonly zinc. Acute heavy metal toxicity is occasionally seen in companion parrots that ingest or chew on objects containing metal because of their curious nature and innate desire to forage. Chronic lead poisoning most frequently affects free-ranging wildlife such as ducks, geese, swans and loons and is most commonly seen during migration in the late fall and early spring. Lead toxicity also occasionally occurs in upland game birds such as mourning doves, wild turkey, pheasants and quail. Lead poisoning has also been reported in raptors, presumably from the ingestion of lead-contaminated prey.

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Pallor and Anemia in the Ferret

Although the medical approach to anemia is the same as in dogs & cats, some red cell parameters and some differentials differ in the ferret.

The ferret with moderate to severe anemia will exhibit pallor of the mucous membranes, nasal planum and skin. If a clotting disorder exists, petechial, ecchymotic and purpural hemorrhages can also be observed. The owner may complain of lethargy and reduced activity.

Article 

Reproductive Disease in Reptiles: Twelve Key Facts

Common reproductive conditions of the reptile include prolapse of the cloaca, oviduct or copulatory organ, yolk coelomitis, dystocia or egg binding, as well as follicular stasis. This review article on twelve key facts explores clinically relevant anatomy and physiology and appropriate husbandry as well as key points of urgent care and general principles of case management.

Case Study 

Veterinary Answers Case Study: 8-year Old Iguana with Ascending Tail Necrosis

The goal of this case study is to reinforce and highlight common concepts, situations, and presentations that reptile veterinarians encounter on a regular basis, while also expanding knowledge by including content not entirely available in textbooks. This case study is based on a report prepared by Veterinary Answers consultant Dan Johnson, DVM, DABVP (Exotic Companion Mammal). An 8-year old ovariectomized green iguana presents today for gradual onset of ascending tail necrosis (gangrene) over weeks to months…

Form-Questionnaire 

Egg Necropsy Form

An egg necropsy is an important part of the diagnostic workup to evaluate the cause of dead-in-shell. First, candle the egg and obtain basic measurements. Next enter the egg through the air cell. Carefully examine the shell membranes, then expose the interior of the egg. Collect culture samples as needed. Proceed using this form to gather standardized data and appropriate measurements.

Form-Questionnaire 

Avian Necropsy Form 1

Download this avian necropsy form, adapted from a form by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Research Animal Resources Center.

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Anticoagulant Rodenticide Toxicosis in Free-Living Birds of Prey

Why is this bird bleeding? Anticoagulant rodenticide exposure in birds of prey has been documented in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Anticoagulant rodenticides have been commonly used over the past decades for control of rodent populations and these rodenticides can cause toxicosis in birds of prey via consumption of poisoned prey.

Anticoagulant rodenticides are divided into two categories: first generation rodenticides like warfarin and second generation rodenticides, such as brodifacoum. Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides are more toxic and also have…

Article 

Laboratory Assessment of the Bleeding Exotic Animal Patient

Hemorrhage in the critical patient can occur from a number of reasons. Before a blood sample is collected, carefully weigh the risk to the exotic animal patient against the clinical value of the test results. What will you do with this information? How will it affect your clinical plan? EDTA is the most commonly used anticoagulant in small mammals; lithium heparin is commonly used in birds and reptiles. Whenever possible, make a blood film immediately after venipuncture using fresh blood free of anticoagulant. Most adult small mammal hematocrits range from…

Article 

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 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Atherosclerosis in Birds

What is atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is characterized by fibrous plaques between the tunica intima and the internal elastic lamina of the vasculature. The heart, great vessels, and peripheral vessels of all sizes can be affected. Atherosclerosis begins with the formation of fatty streaks, which can eventually progress into fibrous plaques and complicated lesions…

Article 

Clinical Pathology for Exotic Small Mammals

Small mammals, such as rabbits and rodents, are stoic by nature and have evolved to mask their illness to avoid predation. This behavior can create a false sense of security in owners and a clinical challenge for veterinarians. In some cases, an animal that appears clinically normal may in fact have a terminal illness. Use hematology and biochemistry analysis to characterize the true physiological status of these species and aid in disease diagnosis.