This live webinar was presented by Lorenzo Crosta, med Vet, PhD, DECZM, EBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Zoo Health Management. View the RACE-approved webinar recording, then take a brief quiz to earn 1 hour of continuing education credit. The objective of this presentation is to assist the exotic animal practitioner, with little or no experience in avian neonatology and pediatrics. This presentation discusses 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, is also explored. Practical clinical examples are presented.
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The “Pigeon Disease Primer” explores important differential diagnoses for common clinical problems observed in pigeons and doves. Although the clinical approach to the columbiform relies on the same concepts of “One Medicine” used in all species, many of the infectious diseases of pigeons are relatively unique to this taxonomic group, or at least much more prevalent when compared to psittacine birds or songbirds.
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.
Regardless of the initial cause of illness or injury, neonatal psittacine birds often develop secondary bacterial and/or fungal infections that can become serious primary problems. These infections are most commonly encountered within the gastrointestinal tract.
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.
The ferret is a carnivore with a short, simple gastrointestinal tract and a relatively rapid gastrointestinal transit time. Diarrhea is the most common clinical sign in ferrets with gastrointestinal disease, with the exception of gastrointestinal foreign bodies where anorexia and weight loss are the primary presenting complaints.
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…
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…
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…
Approach to the passerine bird relies on the same concepts of “One Medicine” used in all animals. Nevertheless many of the infectious agents diagnosed in songbirds are relatively unique to this taxonomic group, or at least much more prevalent when compared to psittacine birds or birds of prey.
When hospitalizing any wildlife patient, the goal should always be to transfer the animal to an experienced, licensed wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible. In the meantime, it is imperative that the passerine bird be housed appropriately to promote recovery and prevent injury.
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…
The bird egg, sometimes called a “miracle of packaging”, can be intimidating for the avian veterinarian. This amazing structure comes with a plethora of new vocabulary terms, complex anatomy, and intricate physiology. LafeberVet’s “Understanding the Avian Egg” describes the basics of egg anatomy from the eggshell to the embryo with a brief description of hatch.
Or “How to Question the Source of Your Future Lifelong Companion”: By the time an owner is ready to select the breeder or shop to purchase their companion parrot, they have hopefully done their homework. Many of the behavioral problems commonly seen in pet birds can be traced back to difficulties encountered during early development like forced weaning and poor socialization. It is essential that the prospective companion parrot owner identifies a breeder or shop that is sincerely concerned with the physical and psychological development of their chicks. How will the prospective owner know? A prospective owner can use this checklist as an aid when interviewing a breeder or shop.
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.
This client education handout provides a checklist for the new bird owner that can be used to smooth the transition for a new baby bird in its new home.
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.
The prolific nature of the rabbit has linked them with fertility and the cycle of life and death since ancient times. In fact the idea of the Easter bunny probably arose from the medieval belief that rabbits, as a creator of life, ushered in the dawn. Rabbit Reproduction Basics reviews key vocabulary terms, important anatomy and physiology, as well as other important related concepts such as sexual behavior and common pathologic conditions.
Avian polyomavirus infection is a disease in psittacine birds or parrots of greatest concern in chicks. This client handout briefly explains this important disease from signs and transmission to diagnostic testing and control or prevention.
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.
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?
For most veterinarians, chicks are seen only sporadically in clinical practice–which can shake your confidence. Use LafeberVet’s NEW Ten Tips for Evaluating Chicks in the Exam Room as a clinical aide to start your pediatric visit off right.
Imprinting is an important, natural part of a young animal’s development where it learns to recognize its own species. Imprinting utilizes the senses of sight, touch, and sound. Imprinting via sound probably begins in the egg during the pip-to-hatch stage when the parent and chick vocalize back and forth. After hatching, sight becomes an important factor in imprinting as the chick’s visual ability improves. The chick associates the images it sees with the sounds and tactile sensations with which it is already familiar.
It is not enough to prevent imprinting on humans…