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.
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.
This RACE-approved, continuing education webinar recording, presented by Dr. Jaime Samour, is a terrific opportunity to review (or discover) avian anatomy in general and raptor anatomy in particular. This 1-hour system-by-system review begins with the integumentary system, including plumage, beak, and talons, then moves through the raptor musculoskeletal, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and male and female reproductive systems, as well as circulation, brain and intelligence, plus special senses. View the 1 hour webinar recording, then take the brief quiz to earn 1 hour of continuing education credit.
Placement of an enteral feeding tube is a recognized method of supportive care, and the esophagostomy tube is an accepted route that is generally well tolerated by avian patients and relatively easy to place. In clinical patients, esophagostomy tube placement has been described in psittacine birds, raptors, and ostriches.
Esophagostomy tube placement is indicated in cases of severe beak trauma or disease, as well as diseases of the oral cavity or proximal esophagus, such as abscesses and neoplasia. Esophagostomy tubes may also be used to…
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.
Raptors are a diverse group of birds consisting of order Strigiformes or owls and diurnal birds of prey such as falcons, hawks, and eagles. Order Falconiformes, traditionally considered a broadly defined, polyphyletic group, has recently been divided into two orders with only family Falconidae (falcons and caracaras) remaining in Falconiformes. Other diurnal raptors belong to order Accipitriformes …
As a part of the Encore ICARE 2015 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 RACE-approved webinar, then take the brief post-test to earn 1 hour of continuing education credit.
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…
Although Gram-negative bacteria and non-budding yeast can be normal gastrointestinal flora in the psittacine bird, these organisms can quickly overgrow in the debilitated chick. Signs of clinical disease can first manifest as crop stasis or stunting. A wide range of agents can cause problems, however important infectious diseases in the juvenile psittacine bird include avian polyomavirus, psittacine beak and feather disease, and candidiasis.
Feeding excessively hot formula (>110°F) causes crop burns. This problem is particularly common when formula is heated in a microwave without thorough mixing. Early signs of crop burn include…
Is your patient strong enough to handle manual restraint and a complete physical examination? In the debilitated or dyspneic patient, initially it may be prudent to place the patient in an incubator or oxygen cage in a dark, quiet room before evaluation. Even after the bird has had time to gather its strength and calm down after the stress of transport, it may only be strong enough to handle diagnostic testing, including physical examination, and treatment in stages.
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.
If you are comfortable with psittacine anatomy and physiology, then you are well on your way to understanding raptors, however there are countless features that make this taxonomic group unique. LafeberVet has focused on ten amazing and clinically significant facts on bird of prey anatomy.
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…
Crop wash, also known as crop lavage or crop infusion, is indicated in patients with a history of persistent regurgitation unrelated to sexual behavior, crop stasis, crop impaction, or palpable abnormalities of the crop.
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.
When approaching a baby bird for physical examination, keep the following facts in mind:
First, this may be your patient’s first veterinary visit. Set the stage for a positive veterinary relationship. Puppies and kittens are obviously juveniles, but a fully-fledged baby bird can look a lot like the adult bird to the uninitiated. Nevertheless this fully feathered creature is a baby and should be approached as such. Strive to create a benevolent, protective atmosphere, and never…
Crop burns are commonly caused by thermal injury in young birds and, in rare instances, by ingestion of caustic chemicals in adult birds. Crop burn is generally caused by feeding formula that is too hot (>110ºF or 43.3ºC) or less commonly, contact with a heat lamp or heating pad. Damage typically occurs in the gravity dependent right ventral region of the crop where the weight of the food bolus presses heated material against the skin. This increased thermal exposure can lead to necrosis of the crop wall and skin forming a fistula that can leak food.
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…
Tube feeding, also known as gavage feeding, is an essential part of avian supportive care. Sick birds are often presented with a history of anorexia and glycogen stores may be depleted within hours in small species with relatively high metabolic rates. Another important indication for gavage feeding is a documented drop in body weight of 5% to 10%.
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.