Article 

Diarrhea in the Avian Patient

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.

Article 

Avian Emergency & Critical Care Summary Page

Although the principles of emergency medicine critical care are universal for all species, this approach must be balanced with an understanding of the unique aspects of avian medicine. Use this summary page to review the basic approach to the avian patient and select additional links to supplement your knowledge base.

Article 

Ten Things You Can Do to Promote Avian Conservation

If you have skills in fundraising, publicity, graphic design, translation, photography and video recording, editing and writing, website design, biology, climbing, handling birds, or medical care of birds you may find a spot in the field, or working remotely as part of the support staff.

Article 

Waterfowl Diseases: A “Cheat Sheet”

Although the rare veterinarian routinely deals with large numbers of waterfowl on a regular basis, many avian veterinarians encounter waterfowl only sporadically as wildlife rehabilitation cases, backyard poultry, and/or zoo specimens. When consulting textbooks for help, often a dizzying array of waterfowl diseases are encountered. Some conditions such as “angel wing” and predator trauma are important in captive populations, while infectious diseases like fowl cholera can cause massive die-offs in free-ranging birds…

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  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Regurgitation in Birds

Regurgitation is a non-specific clinical sign, and it is not pathognomonic for any specific problem. Regurgitation can indicate a problem anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract or it may occur secondary to crop stasis caused by systemic illness.

Article  Video  Webinar 

Avian Anesthesia Webinar

Dr. Lorenzo Crosta will present this live, interactive, webinar on the clinical perspectives of avian anesthesia. After briefly reviewing clinically relevant avian anatomy and physiology, Dr. Crosta will touch upon injectable anesthesia, then discuss in detail preanesthesia and inhalation anesthesia in clinical practice. The discussion will then move onto monitoring the avian patient, from vital parameters to capnography, doppler, electrocardiography, and pulse oximetry. Dr. Crosta will also discuss analgesia, intra-operative fluid therapy, as well as specific concerns related to avian anesthesia, such as positioning the patient, hypocalcemia, air sac cannulation, as well as management of diving birds. This seminar will conclude with practical tips for safe and uneventful patient recovery.

Article 

Exotic ICU: Nursing Care For the Avian Patient

It is 10 p.m. in your veterinary emergency hospital and a dreaded call comes in. A panicked owner is in tears because their beloved pet is in crisis. In most cases, your team will quickly gather supplies and move swiftly to prepare for the emergent patient. This patient may strike fear in many veterinary professionals, however, because it is the dreaded avian patient presenting to a general veterinary practice.

Released for National Veterinary Technician Week 2014, Tips and Tricks for the Avian Patient is part of an Exotic ICU series that provides advice on the management of birds in a critical care setting.

Article 

Zoonotic Avian Infections

An average 250 human cases of Chlamydophila psittaci are reported annually in the United States. Clinical signs typically follows a 5 to 14 day incubation period. Disease ranges from subclinical to systemic illness with severe pneumonia. Most people demonstrate sudden onset fever, headache, malaise, and myalgia with a non-productive cough that can be accompanied by breathing difficulty and chest tightness. Splenomegaly and…

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Macaw

Macaws are found in a variety of habitats throughout large areas of the Amazon Basin, such as gallery forests and mangrove swamps. Most macaws are listed on Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix I, however the blue and gold, green-winged, Hahn’s, noble, red-bellied, severe and yellow-collared macaws are listed on CITES Appendix II. Appendix I species are threatened with extinction globally, and commercial trade is prohibited and importation/exportation for scientific research requires special permits. Appendix II species are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless their trade is strictly regulated.

Article 

Radiology in Birds: Imaging the Possibilities

Radiography is a non-invasive, informative tool that is designed to be used alongside other diagnostic information. This review article first provides tips that will maximize success and describes common radiographic positions. The bulk of this review article describes normal radiographic findings of various body systems but common abnormalities such as organomegaly are also described.

Article 

Avian Polyomavirus Primer

Signs of avian polyomavirus type 1 in the budgerigar parakeet can be quite variable. Feather dystrophy or abnormal feather growth can lead to deformed flight feathers. Affected birds are unable to fly and are called “runners” or “creepers”. “French molt” is a term sometimes used for this slow, debilitating disease in parakeets characterized by progressive development of abnormal feathers. Bleeding is another hallmark of clinical avian polyomavirus infection…

Article  Video  Webinar 

Critical Care Techniques for Avian Wildlife Emergencies

Dr. Heather Barron presented this webinar on avian critical care. View a recording of the live, interactive event, then take the brief post-test to earn 1 hour of continuing education credit. The goal of wildlife medicine is always eventual release and therefore triage of avian wildlife may vary based on case load, regulations, and the presenting situation. Dr. Barron examines the guidelines used to set triage policy and the reasons a bird may not be releasable or have a good quality of life in captivity. She then discusses practical measures intended to alleviate suffering and improve the odds of patient survival, such as fluid support, analgesia, evaluation of blood volume, and transfusion. This presentation concludes with a brief discussion on assessing life and euthanasia.

Article 

Physical Examination of the Avian Patient

Be prepared for your next bird patient. Review the basic approach to the avian physical examination, including history, review of signalment, and visual examination. Key parts of the exam will vary, but generally include a body weight in grams, the oropharynx, crop, sternum, coelom, and vent. The fundus should be routinely evaluated in trauma patients…

Article 

Ten Things Every Avian Veterinarian Should Know About Conservation Medicine

Birds are in trouble worldwide. One in eight bird species are threatened with extinction, and even common species are declining. Only species able to flourish in altered habitats or supported by intervention techniques have stable or improving populations. Notable successes in North America include the California condor, bald eagle, whooping crane, peregrine falcon, and the Puerto Rican parrot. These species could not have increased in number over the last two decades without the perseverance and diligence of interdisciplinary conservation teams. There are many conservation teams that can use your avian veterinary medical skills and experience…

Article 

Trauma in Avian Patients

Head trauma may occur when a bird flies into an object such as a window or ceiling fan, or when falls occur secondary to an improper wing trim, neurologic disease, or severe weakness. Evaluate the bird for evidence of head trauma such as blood in the choanal slit, ears, or nares. Gently palpate the skull. A fracture of pneumatic skull bone can allow air to escape creating emphysema. The pupillary light response (PLR) should also be evaluated, although PLR may be absent in birds with a normal reflex path due to avian anatomic differences. Perform a fundic exam, particularly in…

Article  Video 

Avian Respiratory Emergencies: An Approach to the Dyspneic Bird

After recognizing a dyspneic bird, the clinician’s initial response should be: Hands Off!! Dyspneic birds can die soon after presentation with the additional stress of restraint and handling. Therefore minimize handling and place the bird in an oxygen-rich cage. Humidify air and provide 40 to 50% oxygen. As in mammals, oxygen therapy is potentially toxic if given for prolonged periods at high levels.

Article  Video  Webinar 

Medical Management of Psittacines with Bornavirus Ganglioneuritis (PDD)

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.

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 

Fungal Disease in Avian Patients

Fungi are among the most common causes of infectious disease in captive birds, and fungal diseases can be challenging to diagnose, as well as treat. Because fungi are typically opportunistic, causing non-contagious disease in susceptible individuals, prevention and treatment require an understanding of etiology as well as predisposing factors.

Article 

Spinal Injuries in Birds

Traumatic injury is the most common reason for admission of wild birds to rehabilitation centers. Spinal injuries in birds are particularly problematic, as they are incredibly difficult to diagnose, localize, and manage.

Unique anatomic features of the avian spine…

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Lovebird

Lovebirds live in flocks among the woodlands, savannah and forest edges of sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean islands.

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: The Fluffed and Ruffled Bird

A relaxed, comfortable bird may briefly fluff out its feathers before its plumage again appears flat and sleek. The critically ill bird may exhibit persistently fluffed and ruffled plumage…

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Eclectus Parrot

The Eclectus is a native of Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and/or the Solomon Islands. This species has also been introduced to Palau. Eclectus parrots have an extremely large range, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists their conservation status as “least concern”.

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: African Grey Parrot

African grey parrots are among the most familiar of all parrots. Originating from central Africa, many African cities now have feral populations. The Timneh grey parrot is localized to the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. Habitats for grey parrots include savannahs, coastal mangroves, woodland and edges of forest clearings. African greys are listed under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix II, which means these species are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless their trade is strictly regulated…

Article 

People and Parrots of Guatemala: Update 2009

May you, like the Maya, hear the quetzal calling to you, inviting you on the journey of a lifetime as you discover the wealth of Guatemala and the richness of the gifts you have to offer.

Article  Client Education Handout  Video  Webinar 

Minimizing Stress to Avian Patients During the Veterinary Visit

This live, interactive webinar was presented by Dr. Alicia McLaughlin, a certified Fear Free™ veterinarian who is spearheading the development of an avian-focused Fear Free™ course. This presentation explores the reasons stress should be minimized during avian veterinary visits and the challenges that must be overcome. Dr. McLaughlin also shares practical tips for clinical implementation as they relate to clinic design, staff training, client education, as well as tips for working with avian patients in an exam room or hospital setting. Alicia has also provided two client education handouts for download that she uses in her daily practice.

Article 

Diagnosing and Treating Avian Neurologic Disease

The cranial nerve exam differs little from that of mammals, however there are differences in innervation. As in mammals, menace and pupillary light response (PLR) require use of cranial nerves II (optic) and III (oculomotor), however menace is difficult to interpret in birds. Also, PLR may be overridden in birds due to the presence of striated iridal muscle. Evaluate PLR early in the exam using a sudden, bright light directed toward the medial canthus. Consensual PLR is absent due to…

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Diarrhea in Birds

Diarrhea may be defined as any change in the consistency or formation of the fecal portion of the dropping. Diarrhea is a common clinical presentation in birds, but it is important to differentiate true diarrhea from changes in other components of the droppings…

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Cockatoo

Cockatoos are medium to large-sized parrots with thick, heavy bills that range from 30-70 cm in length. There are 18 species of cockatoos in 6 genera. The most common pet cockatoos are the umbrella, sulphur-crested, lesser sulphur-crested, and Moluccan cockatoo.

Article  Video  Webinar 

Flight Mechanics & Ethical Concerns

Dr. Todd E. Driggers presented this live webinar event on Flight Mechanics, Parrot Welfare, and Ethical Concerns. View the video recording, then take the brief post-test to earn 1 hour of continuing education credit. Feather trimming birds in captivity has been a common practice performed for many reasons, including fear of loss, safety, and the ability to control and tame. If the gold standard for animal welfare is freedom and feather destructive behavior is a reliable indicator of scientifically studied animal welfare, feather trimming impacts how the animal feels, functions, and prohibits natural responses to positive or aversive stimuli. Perhaps it is time to reflect on the benefits and risks of feather trims through the lens of animal welfare. At a minimum, the degrees of severity of the current techniques need redressing when we consider the experience of the bird.

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Anorexia in Birds

Anorexia may be the only indication of poor health in the critically ill bird and by the time other clinical signs are apparent disease may be quite advanced. This means that all reports of poor appetite in the avian patient must be taken very seriously.

Article 

What Did You Miss in 2015?

LafeberVet is an ever-growing online library. Although some NEW content is featured in email campaigns, follow us on Twitter to keep up on all the latest posts…

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Lory and Lorikeet

Lories and lorikeets live in large flocks in the wild.  Depending on the species, lories and lorikeets originate from the southeast Asia archipelago or parts of Australia.  These birds will fly from island to island in search of food. Lories and lorikeets will eat coconuts and grapes and they are considered a pest to farmers.  The nomadic Rainbow lorikeet follows eucalyptus flowers blooming along the Australian coast. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the conservation status of most lories and lorikeets as “least concern”, although some species are considered vulnerable or “near threatened”. The Red-and-blue lory (Eos histrio), Rimitara lorikeet (Vini kuhlii), and Ultramarine lorikeet (Vini ultramarina) are endangered.

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Finch

Finches are found worldwide. The Zebra finch, Owl finch and Gouldian finch are originally from Australia where large flocks may be found, mainly in arid grassland areas. Owl finches are also found in woodlands and scrublands.  The Bengalese or Society finch is a cross between the sharp-tailed munia and striata munia and was never found in nature.  Of family Fringillidae, only the Red Siskin and the Yellow Siskin are listed in Appendix I and Appendix II of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) listings respectively. Appendix I species are threatened with extinction, and commercial trade is prohibited and importation/exportation for scientific research requires special permits. Appendix II species are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless their trade is strictly regulated.

Article  Video  Webinar 

Clinical Avian Nutrition for Veterinary Health Professionals

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?

Article 

Emergency Equipment Checklist for Avian Practice

When planning to accept avian patients, prepare yourself and your staff, prepare your hospital including hospital caging and exam rooms, and consider the equipment necessary for proper care…

Article 

Dr. LoraKim Joyner, Director of Lafeber Conservation

As Director of Lafeber Conservation, Dr. LoraKim Joyner oversees the programs and administration of this project. She also provides in-country consultation in avian conservation medicine in Central America, and she also writes and lectures widely on avian conservation and related topics. Review a summary of Dr. Joyner’s work experience as well as a list of upcoming presentations and projects.

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Upper Respiratory Signs in the Bird

Rhinitis or sinusitis in the bird can include a host of clinical signs including congestion, sneezing, oculonasal discharge, exophthalmos, as well as non-specific signs of illness such as reduced appetite, lethargy, and weight loss. If disease extends lower into the lower respiratory tract, cough, tachypnea, and…

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Conure

Most conures are found in regions of the Amazon Basin but some species are from the Caribbean islands. Conures are on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) list. These species are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless their trade is strictly regulated.

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Cockatiel

Cockatiels originate from the non-coastal regions of Australia. The free-ranging population is very large, and the IUCN lists this species’ conservation status of “least concern”. Cockatiels probably represent the smallest of the cockatoos, although there is some controversy surrounding this classification. Cockatiels are common as aviary birds and they make excellent pets.

Article  Video 

2018 Avian Practitioner of the Year

Forty-five exceptional avian veterinarians from all around the world were nominated for the 2018 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year. The independent Selection Committee narrowed this list to six finalists and the Award recipient, Dr. Robert Doneley, was announced during the Plenary Session at the 2018 ExoticsCon.

Article 

Avian Nutrition Glossary

Created with a focus on the bird, LafeberVet’s Nutrition Glossary is an extensive list of vocabulary terms. Listed terms range from nutrients like vitamins and minerals, nutritional strategies ranging from frugivore to fungivore, and related anatomy or physiologic terms like crop and coprodeum, and even nutrition-related diseases like goiter and gout.

Article 

Avian Analgesia

Pain assessment in birds is very complex because it requires consideration of differences in age, gender, species, individual behaviors and environmental factors. Birds may exhibit different behaviors or may hide painful behaviors when outside of their home cage. Predatory species may exhibit painful behaviors more readily than prey species. Many clinical signs may be associated with pain in birds including…

Article  Product information 

Formulated Diets in Avian Nutrition

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.

Article 

Nutritional Management of Liver Disease in Birds

In mammals, chronic liver disease is often associated with decreased intake of food, mainly due to anorexia, nausea, and vomiting, as well as taste abnormalities, and the same appears to be true for the avian patient. Chronic liver disease may also lead to maldigestion and malabsorption, as well as metabolic abnormalities such as increased protein and lipid catabolism, glucose intolerance, depletion of hepatic glycogen stores, and decreased glucose oxidation. Therefore chronic liver disease may lead to significant malnutrition and weight loss, particularly in patients with severe hepatic dysfunction…

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Voice Change in Birds

Change in bird song or loss of voice can be valuable diagnostic clues. When a bird is presented for a change in or loss of voice, this will localize lesions to the…

Article 

2016 Avian Practitioner of the Year

When nominations closed for the 2016 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year, a list of 19 outstanding avian veterinarians were submitted for consideration. The independent Selection Committee, hosted through Louisiana State University, narrowed the list to five finalists and the Award recipient, Dr. Gregory Rich…

Article 

2019 Avian Practitioner of the Year

When nominations closed for the 2019 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year, a list of 24 outstanding avian veterinarians had been submitted for consideration. The independent Selection Committee narrowed the list to five finalists and the Award recipient, Dr. Lorenzo Crosta, was announced during the Opening Session at ExoticsCon 2019.

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…

2021 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year

Thirty-three exceptional avian veterinarians from all around the world were nominated for the 2021 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year. The independent Selection Committee narrowed this list to four finalists and the Award recipient, Dr. Yvonne van Zeeland, was announced during the Plenary Session at the 2021 ExoticsCon…

Article 

Burns in the Avian Patient

Burns are common in avian medicine. Many burns result from contact with hot liquids such as scalding water or cooking oil. Electrical burns arise from chewing on electrical wires and burns may also occur when pre-weaning birds are fed hot formula. Burns resulting from entrapment in burning buildings or inside containers, such as chick incubators with burning bedding, are not as common but are much more difficult to treat due to the complication of smoke inhalation.

Article 

Avian Anatomy Diagrams

LafeberVet’s collection of avian anatomical diagrams features the beak and eye, various images illustrating plumage and topography, as well as the musculoskeletal system.

Article 

2017 Avian Practitioner of the Year

Announcing the 2017 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year: Michael Lierz, DZooMed, DECZM (WPH), DECPVS is a Full Professor and Director of the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish at the Justus-Liebig University of Giessen.

Article 

Pediatric Avian Medicine: Infectious Diseases of the Psittacine Chick

Avian polyoma virus is the most devastating disease that can affect the psittacine nursery. Depending on age and species, the clinical picture may include peracute death, coelomic distention, subcutaneous hemorrhage, abnormal feather formation, non-specific signs of illness, delayed crop emptying, regurgitation, diarrhea, dyspnea, posterior paresis or paralysis, and polyuria…

Article 

Backyard Poultry Primer

Backyard or hobby flocks consist of meat and game birds; or ornamental or show birds. This review article, co-authored by poultry veterinarian, Teresa Morishita, offers tips on the basic clinical approach to backyard poultry as well as differential diagnosis lists for common clinical problems. Conditions commonly encountered in backyard chickens and turkeys often include endoparasites, like Eimeria spp., pasteurellosis or fowl cholera, mycoplasmosis, staphylococcosis, and colibacillosis. Diseases important for public health concerns, such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease, are also discussed.

Article 

People and Parrots of Honduras and Guatemala: Update 2010

A brief summary of avian conservation work in Honduras and Guatemala in 2010, supported by Lafeber Company, LoraKim Joyner, Wildlife Conservation Society, Gainesville Bird Fanciers, and the Instituto para la Ciencia y la Conservción de la Biodiversidad en Honduras.

Article 

Crop Stasis in Birds

The crop or ingluvies is a diverticulum of the esophagus present in many but not all, bird species. The crop serves as a food storage organ, regulating the flow of food through the gastrointestinal tract. Food within the crop is also softened by mucus glands. Crop stasis is a common clinical sign in which the crop fails to empty in a timely manner…

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.

2015 Avian Practitioner of the Year

Founder and Director Emeritus of the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center, Dr. Patrick Redig, was named the 2015 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year. Important criteria for this award include clinical excellence, innovation, promotion of the avian veterinary profession, contributions to the knowledge base, as well as caring and compassion for their patients and clients.

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 

Administration of Medication in Birds: Injections

The avian patient poses special challenges for delivery of injectable medications. Although the techniques involved are not unique to birds, special knowledge of avian anatomy as well as delicate, proficient technical skills are required. Depending on the species, the individual, and the clinical situation, injections can be delivered by intramuscular, intravenous, intraosseous, subcutaneous, intratracheal, or intracoelomic routes. Parenteral drug administration provides the advantage of delivering a precise dose when a rapid therapeutic response is necessary. Disadvantages include stress as well as the potential irritation or pathology that can occur at the injection site.

Article 

Donald Zantop Remembered

Donald W. Zantop, DVM, Dipl. ABVP-Avian, long time member and Past-President of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, was lost in a diving accident on Thursday, October 13, 2011.

Article 

Clinical Perspectives on the Principles of Avian Nutrition

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…

Article 

Poisonings in the Avian Patient

Poisonings are relatively uncommon in companion bird emergency medicine, but these conditions do occur and can involve a wide assortment of toxins. In principal, treatment in birds is the same as for other animals. First, stabilize the patient presented with abnormal clinical signs. Establish an airway, initiate respiration, and address cardiovascular needs.

In Memoriam: Dr. Drury Reavill

Exotic animal medicine has lost a leader, a colleague, and a friend in Dr. Drury Reavill. Drury was triple boarded. She became one of the first avian practitioners certified in avian practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in 1993, and she became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2000. In 2013, she also earned certification in reptile and amphibian practice through ABVP. Dr. Reavill was the Director of Zoo/Exotic Pathology Service from 1998 to 2019. She has received numerous awards and accolades including an Inaugural Award for Outstanding Contributions to Exotic Animal Medicine in 2020. This Award was presented jointly by AAV, AEMV, and ARAV in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the field of exotic animal medicine.

Call for Nominations: T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award

The T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award is given annually, or at the Selection Committee’s discretion, to an outstanding practitioner that has advanced the quality of health care for companion birds. This award is given annually, or at the committee’s discretion. Important criteria for this award include clinical excellence, innovation, promotion of the profession, contributions to the knowledge base, and caring and compassion to their patients and clients.

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Parakeet

“Parakeet” is a broad term for a small parrot with a long tail. There are many parakeet species, however the most popular pet parakeet is the budgerigar parakeet or “budgie”. Free-ranging “budgies” live in large flocks in a variety of habitats such as woodlands, open grassland, and dry scrub throughout non-coastal Australia and Tasmania. Another popular species is Bourke’s parakeet, which is from the southern and eastern regions of Australia.

Article 

Restraint Collars in Birds: Types of Restraint Collars and Specific Issues with Restraint Collars

Restraint collar devices are also referred to as ‘neck collars’ or ‘safety collars’. The most common restraint collar is the Elizabethan collar (or e-collar). Many different manufacturers sell e-collars and modified e-collars designed for different species and for specific purposes. Restraint collars are widely used to prevent undesirable behaviors and self-injury. Clinically, veterinarians have used restraint collars in birds to prevent self-mutilation or self-trauma and to prevent animals from removing intravenous catheters, bandages, and other external devices.

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 

Are You Listed? Find An Avian Veterinarian

Are you an avian veterinarian in the USA or Canada? Are you listed in the Lafeber Pet Birds Find An Avian Veterinarian locator? Pet bird owners across North America use this online service.

Contact Us to add your information to this popular Lafeber Pet Birds feature OR if your practice information needs to be updated.

Article 

Raptor Ophthalmology: Anatomy of the Avian Eye

A bird is a wing guided by an eye… Rochon-Duvigneaud: Lex Yeux et La Vision Des Vertebres

The avian eye is a large structure that takes up a significant portion of cranial mass. Raptors depend heavily on vision in order to compete successfully for survival. The posterior aspect of the eye fits snugly within the large bony orbit. The globes are separated by a thin interorbital septum, which measures significantly less than 1 mm in some areas…

Article 

Supplies for the Avian Conservation Medicine Field Kit

If you are planning to participate in avian conservation fieldwork, this list should serve as a starting point. Refine your own list by learning what is already available amongst other team members and in the region.

Article 

Avian Chlamydiosis

Psittacosis or ornithosis is caused by Chlamydophila psittaci, an obligate intracellular bacterial infection of birds. Chlamydophila psittaci may be excreted in feces and oculonasal discharge. Chlamydophila is environmentally labile but remains infectious for months in organic debris. Latently infected birds appear healthy but shed the organism intermittently for months to years. Stressors such as breeding, shipping, crowding, or climatic extremes may activate shedding.

Fluid Therapy in the Avian Patient

Crystalloids, also called replacement fluids, are the mainstay of rehydration and maintenance fluid therapy, and they can be used together with colloids during resuscitation. Crystalloids are fluids containing sodium chloride and other solutes that are capable of distributing to all body fluid compartments. Replacement fluids have electrolyte concentrations that resemble extracellular fluid, whereas maintenance fluids contain less sodium (40-60 mEq/L) and more potassium (15-30 mEq/L). The most commonly used replacement fluids are 0.9% saline, lactated Ringer’s solution, Normosol-R, or…

Article 

External Coaptation in Birds: Bandages and Splints

Traumatic orthopedic injuries are relatively common in the avian patient. Although bird bones are strong when intact, they tend to shatter on impact as the cortices are thin and brittle. A lack of abundant soft tissue coverage often leads to open fractures…

Article 

Supportive Care for Birds: The Basics

Exotic animal practice is challenging! To approach any exotic animal patient requires a balancing act between the principles of “One Medicine-One Health” and species-specific information. The basic principles of avian medicine are the same as for a human being or a horse or a cat or a dog, and in many instances, veterinary care of birds may be extrapolated from basic medical principles. However this approach can only take one so far and these basic principles must be weighed against species-specific information.

Article 

Venipuncture in Birds

Blood work is considered a basic diagnostic test in every species, including birds. Venipuncture may be indicated for wellness screening, sample collection for DNA sexing, evaluation of the ill or injured bird, as well as collection of blood for transfusion. The value of testing must always be weighed against the stress of venipuncture since the critically ill bird may not be stable enough for restraint. This article reviews equipment needed, the volume of the blood sample, general tips for blood collection, common venipuncture sites in the bird, and sample handling.

Article 

Air Sac Cannula Placement in Birds

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.

Information sheet 

Basic Information Sheet: Canary

Originating from the Canary Islands, the canary’s song captured the attention of Europeans, who started importing these birds in the late 1500’s. Although breeding for desirable traits has produced many variations, the wild canary is a small, green bird. Free-ranging populations are strong and are found in a wide variety of habitats, which is why the canary was placed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List category of “Least Concern”.

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…

Client Education Handout 

Avian Bornavirus Infection

Avian bornavirus was identified as a cause of proventricular dilatation disease or PDD in 2008. Avian bornavirus infection is one of the most frustrating diseases encountered in avian medicine…

Article  Video  Webinar 

Anatomy and Physiology of the Avian Gastrointestinal Tract: Clinical Applications

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.

Article 

Nutritional Management of Gastrointestinal Disease in the Bird

The gastrointestinal tract acquires and digests food, absorbs nutrients and water, and expels unabsorbed ingesta as feces. Nutritional support of the avian patient with gastrointestinal (GI) disease is challenging. In cats and dogs, it is easy to “rest” the gut, however with their relatively high metabolic rate, this is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve in many avian patients. Specific disease conditions increase the difficulty regulating gastrointestinal motility including ingluvitis (crop stasis). …

Jaime Samour MVZ (Honours), PhD, DECZM (Avian), FRSB

Jaime Samour has dedicated most of his professional life to falcon medicine. He graduated with Honours from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Veracruz University, Veracruz, Mexico in 1978. After a brief period of time working in private practice in El Salvador, he returned to Veracruz University and became an Associate Professor. In 1981, Jaime traveled to London to study and conduct research projects in reptile and avian medicine at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London. He lso learned hematology under the supervision of Dr. Christine Hawkey and Mike Hart. He received his Doctorate degree in Avian Reproductive Biology from the Royal College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. Immediately afterwards, Jaime moved to the Middle East where he has worked ever since…

Article 

Pediatric Avian Medicine: Husbandry-Related and Developmental Conditions

The key to hand raising healthy psittacine chicks is a strong preventive medicine program based on sound husbandry practices. Hygiene, hand feeding protocols, incubation and brooder parameters, environmental temperature in the nursery, and pest control are just a few of the husbandry practices that; if mismanaged, can lead to serious adverse consequences.

Many experienced aviculturists follow strict husbandry protocols that result in few health problems. When problems do arise…