1887

History taking and examination

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Abstract

Many birds are presented to the veterinary clinic in an advanced stage of ill health. Similarly, birds presented in the early stages of illness may often appear normal to the inexperienced owner or veterinarian. A thorough history is an essential assessment tool in both cases. This chapter looks at history-taking in depth and provides an extensive selection of quick reference guides for clinical examination. : Observation; Body condition scoring; Examination of the coelom and cloaca; Examination of the beak; Examination of the nares and cere; Examination of the eyes; Examination of the ears; Examination of the oral cavity; Examination of the head and neck; Examination of the crop; Examination of the pectoral muscles and keel; Examination of the wings; Examination of the pelvic limbs and feet; Examination of the integument; Examination of the uropygial gland.

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Figures

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10.1 Example of a history form for raptors.
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10.2 Example of a history form for psittacine birds.
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10.3 Example of a history form for passerine birds.
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10.4 Clinical examination flowchart.
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10.6 Casts produced by selected raptors. Normal cast from a wild Tawny Owl, consisting of bone and fur (left) and broken open to demonstrate the presence of bone (right). The colour of the cast reflects the pelage of the prey item: a shrew, in this case. Normal cast from a captive Harris’ Hawk fed day-old chicks. Only the indigestible feather is present as non-owl raptors fully digest the bone. Abnormal cast from a Harris’ Hawk fed day-old chicks. In this case, the presence of flesh and bone in the cast suggests maldigestion, which might occur with gastroenteritis, endoparasitism and heavy metal toxicosis. Occasionally, such a pellet may be produced as a result of motion sickness, particularly in birds not accustomed to travel (i.e. non-falconry birds).
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