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.
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…
Wing injuries may present as a wing droop or an inability to fly. The figure-of-eight bandage, or wing wrap, is the standard method for stabilizing the wing short-term. See the NEW and improved version of LafeberVet’s wing wrap placement video clip.
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.
Injuries of the thoracic limb may present as a wing droop or an inability to fly. Injuries of the pelvic limb may present as lameness, unequal weight bearing, and/or an uneven grip.
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?
In the best of captive situations, wild birds are still subject to significant stress. This is particularly true during phases of rehabilitation that require frequent capture and treatment. Experience with individual patients will dictate your approach to capture and restraint, but be aware that a slow, careful approach to capture followed by restriction of vision during restraint will generally yield best results.