Trauma in Avian Patients

Key Points

  • Provide analgesia for trauma patients as soon as possible.
  • Cat bite wounds can rapidly lead to sepsis and death. Begin antibiotic therapy immediately.
  • Frank hemorrhage requires immediate attention, while bleeding that has stopped is best left undisturbed initially.
  • Bruises normally turn green in birds due to the presence of biliverdin.

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 . . .

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