Parrots are primarily arboreal, diurnal birds found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Parrots belong to Order Psittaciformes and are divided into three families. There are over 350 species of psittacine birds or parrots. If you are comfortable with the basic principles of avian anatomy and physiology, then you are well on your way to understanding psittacine birds. LafeberVet has listed 16 interesting facts about parrot anatomy and physiology that may serve you well during physical examination, clinical care, and/or necropsy. This post also brief describes the Quaker or monk parrot as well as unique features of the kākāpō.
Even the most steadfast and seasoned veterinary anesthetist can find themselves intimidated by exotic animal patients. Standard veterinary anesthesia monitors are not designed to read the extremely high (or extremely low) heart rates and respiratory rates of some exotic animal patients. Despite these challenges, valuable information can be gathered from monitoring tools as well as hands-on techniques. Essential vital signs, such as heart rate and rhythm, respiratory rate and depth, body temperature, and mucous membrane color should all be evaluated.
The site visit allows the veterinarian to appreciate intricate facility details. Unless there is an emergency, schedule visits during the non-breeding season and only visit one site daily to prevent potential iatrogenic contamination of facilities. I usually schedule appointments in the morning prior to going to the clinic. An aviary map or blue print of the aviary layout will help you visualize where birds are in relation to each other.
Pediatrics is one of the most fascinating and rewarding fields of avian medicine. The key to hand raising healthy psittacine chicks is a strong preventive medicine program based on sound husbandry practices. Physical examination is an important part of preventive health care.
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…
There are two types of seeds fed to pet birds: oil seeds and non-oil seeds. Oil seeds are a rich source of energy and vitamin E. Oil seeds such as sunflower seeds contain at least 50% fat and are low in calcium. Non-oil seeds such as millet are much lower in fat when compared to oil seeds and the energy present is stored as starch.
“Normal Body Weights in Birds” is a collection of normal reported weights in common companion birds and birds of prey presented in table format. Keep in mind that reported normal body weights for a given species can vary significantly…
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…
Are you confident in your medical approach to pediatric health problems ranging from constricted toes to omphalitis, but hazy on the details of incubation and hatch? Many avian veterinarians deal with aviculturists only sporadically, which can diminish your ability to extract relevant patient history. Use Aviculture Vocabulary & Concepts to quickly review common breeder concepts and terms, so that you are better able to focus on your patient’s medical care.
Avian polyomavirus is one of the most important viral diseases seen in the companion parrot. Avian polyomavirus or APV can cause serious financial losses for aviaries and pet stores as well as considerable heartache for owners. Use this client handout to review susceptible species, clinical disease, and of course prevention.
Techniques to introduce healthy foods are described in this client educational handout donated by Dr. Larry Nemetz. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common problems in pet bird medicine, especially in South American species like Amazon parrots, conures, and macaws. At least one vitamin A-rich food should be fed to your pet bird EVERY DAY. Remember, birds can discern color and texture, as well as taste, so changing the form and presentation of the food can make a big difference in acceptance of the new food. Be patient when it comes to new foods with your pet bird!
While there are more parrots than ever before in captivity, there are fewer parrots in the wild now than at any time in recorded history. In fact, psittacine birds are the most threatened group of bird species in the world today. The situation is particularly dire in the neotropics where at least 46 out of 145 species are at risk of global extinction. Although the cause of declining parrot populations worldwide is complex, the most important factors include habitat loss, culling, and capture of individuals for the pet trade…
Which macaw is that? Use LafeberVet’s Macaw ID Slideshow for a review of species commonly seen in captivity.
What makes a parrot a macaw? Macaws possess very large beaks in proportion to the head with a fairly wide lower beak or gnathotheca in most species. Most macaws also have a bare facial patch with varying degrees of…
Grooming in the bird can refer to clipping wing feathers, trimming nails, and smoothing and/or trimming the beak. Grooming can be performed by the veterinarian or an astute, skilled veterinary technician, however before the procedure begins one must always ask should the bird be groomed and should the bird be groomed at my practice?
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.
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.
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.
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…
The first step in antimicrobial drug selection is to make sure treatment is necessary. Companion birds often display nonspecific signs of illness, and the avian clinician should be reasonably sure that an infection is present before using antibiotics. The presence of a pathogen on culture or Gram stain does not necessarily mean treatment is warranted. Small numbers of potential pathogens are frequently isolated from the choana and cloaca of healthy birds.
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…
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.