Protein Electrophoresis in Avian Patients

Key Points

  • Utilize established species and method-specific reference intervals.
  • Large prealbumin fractions are common in cockatiels but prealbumin is either absent or very minimal in African grey parrots. Budgerigar parakeets, and quaker parakeets sometimes have a larger amount of prealbumin than albumin.
  • The beta globulin fraction represents the positive acute phase proteins most likely to increase during inflammation and infection in psittacine patients. This fraction and albumin can provide key prognostic value.
  • Prolonged refrigeration, repeated freeze thawing, hemolysis, and lipemia alter protein electrophoresis results. A single freeze-thaw cycle or analysis of refrigerated samples within 3-5 days of acquisition  is preferable.

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 . . .

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