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Raptors: respiratory problems

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Abstract

Many predisposing factors to upper and lower respiratory diseases in falcons are management-related. The ideal environment should be well ventilated and free from dust and toxins, while proper nutrition is necessary for a healthy immune system. This chapter discusses clinical signs and differential diagnosis; upper respiratory tract; lower respiratory tract; and treatment.

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Figures

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20.4 Endoscopy, bacterial disease. Bacterial plaques on the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and the glottis, caused by sp. The granulomas have blocked the right bronchus completely and the left bronchus by about 90%. A piece of meat stuck just above the bifurcation. Multiple small bacterial colonies on the air sac membrane covering the serosa of the liver.
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20.5 Endoscopy, fungal disease. Fungal granuloma (aspergillosis) with a vascularized capsule. Large brownish fungal granuloma adjacent to the ostium of the lung (after biopsy). Fungal granulomas can be completely encapsulated within a vascularized capsule. Sporulating fungal colonies next to the ostium of the lung. This is a common early location and has to be investigated with special care. Large fungal granuloma (aspergillosis). If unnoticed or untreated, the fungal infection disseminates throughout the lower respiratory tract and other abdominal organs, filling the air sac completely (together with inflammation products and debris) and possibly breaking through the membrane to spread into neighbouring air sacs. This understandably impedes the breathing of the patient enormously and can make it impossible to perform an endoscopy.
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20.6 Endoscopy, parasites. These live adult sp. worms can often be found in surprisingly large numbers. The nematodes lay their eggs in the air sac, as shown here on the air sac membrane covering the serosa of the liver. After parenteral treatment with avermectin drugs, the parasites die and begin to decompose. A few weeks later most of the debris of the worms is already becoming absorbed.
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20.7 Endoscopy, lung disease. As a result of previous inflammation, adhesions can be seen between different surfaces in the air sac. This interferes with air circulation and may act as a focus for further infection. Congestion of the lungs due to infection can occur on different parts of the lung.
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20.8 Cytology smears from the air sac of a Gyrfalcon. Bacterial air sacculitis, showing numerous bacterial rods and inflammatory cells. Multinucleated giant cell due to fungal infection (aspergillosis). Mixed inflammatory cells, including macrophages and heterophils, due to aspergillosis. Air sac lining squamous cells showing cytoplasmatic vacuolation, a common finding in fungal air sacculitis and serratospiculosis. spores and macrophages. conidiospores, conidiophores and hyphae. (Neat stain, original magnification X1000)
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20.9 A falcon showing open-mouthed breathing.
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20.10 Sinusitis caused by chlamydophilosis.
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20.11 Flushing the nares of a falcon with sinusitis. (© Michael Lierz)
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20.12 An advanced case of trichomoniasis that presented with upper respiratory tract signs because of the extensive lesion in the oropharynx, choana and nasal cavity.
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20.13 Choanal necrosis caused by trichomoniasis. Birds with such defects are often more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections in the future.
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20.14 sinusitis. Saker Falcon. Abscess in the nasal cavity of a falcon, viewed through the choana.
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20.15 Post-mortem specimen showing purulent bacterial air sacculitis.
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20.16 Some infestations can be heavy. In this Peregrine Falcon, the worms were observed in the trachea during clinical examination. Focal area of increased radiodensity in the right airspace (arrow). This was a ball of worms, which was removed during endoscopy.
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20.18 Shadow over the lung in the right airspace caused by an aspergilloma in a falcon. After 5 months of voriconazole therapy.
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20.19 Nebulization of antibacterial and antifungal agents is an important part of the therapy of respiratory diseases in raptors.
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20.21 Falcons being atomized, or ‘fogged’, with F10 administered with a commercial fogger unit.

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