Common Avian Emergencies

The critically ill avian patient The most commonly presented avian emergency is that of the critically ill bird. Most often these are birds are found on the bottom of the cage with little if any history of prior signs of illness. The symptoms, visual examination, and initial diagnostics will often establish the direction of treatment and specific diagnostic tests. The following are common problems grouped by system. The patient that presents with only depressed mentation, and severe dehydration … [Read more...]

Pain and the Avian Patient

Pain is poorly understood in avian species. The prevention and alleviation of pain are important for a number of reasons, including humane considerations and the prevention of undesirable metabolic and behavioral side effects because of pain. Criteria that may be used to determine whether a patient is in pain are as follows: Would the inciting surgical lesion be painful in humans? Is the lesion damaging to disuse and to what degree? Does the bird show aversive response to the … [Read more...]

Energy Required for the Avian Patient

Calculation of Energy Required for the Avian Patient The generally recognized formula for calculation of metabolic rate is: MR (kcal) = K(Wkg0.75)** Active metabolic rate is somewhat greater than that of a resting bird. For simplicity we will use the value 1.5. Active MR (kcal) = 1.5 X MR (kcal)*** An adjustment factor for growth, trauma and disease as expressed as multiple of MR. 1 Condition Adjustment starvation 0.5-0.7 hypometabolism 0.5-0.9 elective … [Read more...]

Diseases of Small Passerine Birds

The following is a brief outline of the diseases of commonly kept Passerine species, their common presentations, how they are transmitted, their treatment and most importantly their prevention. I. Viral A. Avian pox     1. Three forms          a. Dry (skin)          b. Diphtheric (wet)          c. Respiratory (acute)      2. Mortality 20-100%      3. Morbidity may be high or low      4. Transmission via insects, fomites (direct)      5. Prevention          a. vaccination               (1) … [Read more...]