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Clinical examination and emergency treatment

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Abstract

A thorough individual and flock history, and clinical examination is essential to be able to make diagnostic and therapeutic plans. This chapter explains history taking and clinical examination in depth, as well as emergency triage and treatment. The chapter is extensively illustrated with photographs of both physiological and pathological presentations.

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Figures

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8.1 (a–c) Weighing a goose. Placing the head under the wing often has a calming effect and allows enough time to obtain an accurate weight.
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8.4 (a, b) Safe restraint technique for examination of poultry.
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8.5 Plantar view of chicken feet. Care should be taken when handling birds as many species have sharp spurs (arrowed) and toenails, which can be harmful. On occasion, additional toes (circled) can be identified.
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8.6 Head of a mature rooster. 1 = comb; 2 = wattles; 3 = ear lobe; 4 = ear coverts; 5 = naris.
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8.7 Head of a mature female turkey. 1 = snood; 2 = external naris with chronic rhinolith causing erosion of the tissues around the external nares; 3 = eye with nictitating membrane fully covering the cornea; 4 = ear coverts; 5 = tongue.
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8.8 Head of a mature female guinea fowl. 1 = helmet/casque; 2 = headcap skin; 3 = nostril; 4 = beak; 5 = eye; 6 = ear; 7 = wattle.
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8.9 Head of a chicken with severe distention of the infraorbital sinus, causing distortion of the tissues around the eye.
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8.10 Duck with a corneal lesion. Fluorescein staining reveals a central ulcerative lesion in the corneal epithelium.
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8.11 Head of a healthy mature Pilgrim gander with characteristic blue eyes (sexual dimorphism). The aural canal is located ventrocaudal to the eye and normally hidden by ear coverts.
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8.12 Large white feathers cover the opening to the aural canal (circled) in this blue-eared pheasant. Note the bare scarlet red facial skin surrounding the eye.
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8.13 Oral cavity of a duck. Horny innervated lamellae can be seen along the edges of the upper and lower beaks. Note the horny papillae along the edge of the tongue that interdigitate with the lamellae, which aids in sieving food particles from water.
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8.14 Head of a mature female duck. The circle denotes the ear coverts, whilst the red arrow indicates the visible nictitating membrane in the medial canthus. The terminal/rostral ‘nail’ is denoted by the yellow arrow.
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8.15 Head of a goose showing the nares. An incomplete nasal septum makes it possible to look through one nasal opening and out the other.
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8.16 Choana in a guinea fowl. The slit-like opening in the palate communicates with the nasal cavity.
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8.17 Caruncles on the neck of a female turkey. These are relatively small compared with those seen in mature male birds.
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8.18 Turkey beard. This tuft of modified feathers is situated in the ventral midline of the chest in male and, occasionally, female birds.
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8.19 Distended crop in a chicken.
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8.20 Emerging primary flight feathers in a moulting Pilgrim goose.
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8.21 Examination of the extended wing of a female duck.
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8.22 Normal appearance of the vent in (a) a guinea fowl and (b) a goose. The area around the vent is clean, the tissues appear pink and healthy, and the lips of the vent are held closely together and inverted into the cloaca.
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8.23 Abnormal appearance of the vent in a duck. Note the tissue protruding from the vent and the faecal soiling. A full examination should be performed in order to identify the prolapsed tissue as cloacal, intestinal, oviduct or phallus.
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8.24 Partially exposed phallus of a mature (a) drake and (b) gander. Gentle pressure on either side of the vent causes the phallus to protrude, aiding examination and sexing.

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