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Upper respiratory tract disease

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Abstract

Respiratory tract disease is a common cause of illness in pet birds. Many respiratory diseases quickly develop into life-threatening emergencies. Early recognition of clinical signs combined with rapid diagnosis and adequate therapy are important to increase the chances of a successful outcome. This chapter deals with the clinical signs, differential diagnosis and systematic approach to diseases involving the three parts of the upper respiratory tract. : Canary with obstructed naris; Cockatiel with swelling below the eye; Gyrfalcon with dyspnoea and stridor. The chapter also includes four video clips.

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Figures

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20.3 A speculum or a mouth gag can be useful to enable better visualization of the structures in the oral cavity. (©Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.4 Tracheal mites () found in the trachea of a Gouldian Finch. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.6 In this female Budgerigar the only sign that indicated the presence of rhinitis was a slight staining of the feathers. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.7 Deformities of the nares and/or beak, as seen in this African Grey Parrot and Senegal Parrot, are suggestive of chronic rhinitis. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.9 Rhinolith in an adult African Grey Parrot fed an all-seed diet. These masses usually result from accumulation of sloughed cells, exudate and other debris in the naris. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.10 Brown cere hypertrophy in a female Budgerigar. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.11 Scaly face due to an infestation with in a Budgerigar. Note the overgrowth of the upper beak resulting from this infection. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.13 Approach to sneezing, nasal discharge and sinusitis. CT = computed tomography; MRI = magnetic resonance imaging; PAS = periodic acid–Schiff; PCR = polymerase chain reaction.
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20.14 Clear serous nasal discharge in a Harlequin Macaw. This bird was diagnosed with infection. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.15 Mucopurulent nasal discharge in a young Grey Parrot with choanal atresia and secondary bacterial rhinitis/sinusitis. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.16 Blunting of the choanal papillae (arrowed), as seen in this spp., is indicative of chronic malnutrition (hypovitaminosis A). (© Gerry Dorrestein, NOIVBD)
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20.17 Plaque formation, as seen in this Amazon parrot, can be seen in birds with bacterial, fungal or viral infections, parasitic disease, or neoplasia. In this bird, mucosal biopsy samples were collected after removal of the plaques. Histopathology revealed a squamous cell carcinoma to underlie the abnormalities. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.18 Nasal flush in a Blue-fronted Amazon Parrot. For this procedure, the patient is tilted upside down to prevent water from running into the trachea. After applying a syringe filled with sterile, lukewarm saline in one of the nares, the saline is forcefully flushed into the nasal passage while the other naris is simultaneously held closed with a finger. Often, material leaks out of the choanal slit. This material may be collected for further work-up (e.g. cytology, culture and sensitivity testing). (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.19 Collection of conjunctival, choanal and cloacal swabs in an Amazon parrot. After collection, swabs may be submitted for polymerase chain reaction or used to make a smear which can be stained using a Macchiavello’s stain for testing. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.21 Grey Parrot from Figure 20.9 after removal of the rhinolith. Large rhinoliths will often cause permanent distortion of the naris. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.22 Crossbill with a marked swelling ventral to the eye. Periorbital swellings or swellings such as noted in this bird are highly indicative of sinusitis. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.23 Localized swelling in the area ventromedial to the eye due to chronic sinusitis in a Yellow-fronted Amazon Parrot.
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20.24 Hyperinflation of the cervicocephalic air sac in an Amazon parrot. This type of lesion can be observed in birds with (chronic) sinusitis due to obstruction of the connection between the sinuses and cervicocephalic air sacs. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.25 Location to perform a sinus aspirate of the rostral area (arrowed) indicated on a lovebird skull. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.26 Locations to perform a sinus aspirate of the ventral area using a rostral (A) or ventral (B) approach (arrowed), indicated on a lovebird skull. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.27 Opening of the sinus and removal of caseous exudate from the sinus in the Crossbill from Figure 20.22 . Culture and sensitivity testing did not reveal a causative agent. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.28 This Green-winged Macaw was diagnosed with a sinusitis of the nasal diverticulum due to infection. After drilling a hole through the cortical bone, the caseous material could be removed. A Penrose drain was subsequently sutured in place to allow for daily flushings with clotrimazole. After several weeks of treatment, the sinusitis resolved and months later, the hole in the beak was completely closed. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.29 Stents can be used to deflate the cervicocephalic air sac in chronic refractory cases such as the one shown in Figure 20.24 . (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.31 Approach to tracheal disease (coughing, stridor). PCR = polymerase chain reaction.
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20.32 Upon performing tracheoscopy, a variety of different abnormalities may be encountered, such as parasites, foreign bodies, granulomas and/or strictures. This image, obtained during tracheal endoscopy in a macaw, revealed the presence of a (post-intubation) stricture. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.33 Technique used to perform a tracheoscopy. After anaesthestizing the bird with isoflurane, an assistant presents the bird with its neck stretched out and beak opened to enable the rigid endoscope to pass into the trachea. (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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20.35 Transillumination in a small bird, such as this Gouldian Finch, may be useful to detect tracheal mites (arrowed). (© Gerry Dorrestein, NOIVBD)
Image of (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
(© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University) (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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(© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University) (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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(© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University) (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)
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(© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University) (© Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University)

Supplements

Removal of tracheal obstruction.

Removal of tracheal obstruction shown in Tracheoscopy clip using a biopsy forceps. Cytology of the material collected during this procedure demonstrated presence of fungal spores, suggestive for an aspergilloma. © Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University

Tail bobbing.

Cockatiel with dyspnoea. Dyspnoeic birds often show a characteristic tail bob, which is an exacerbated vertical motion of the bird’s tail whereby the tail is pressed ventrally; this movement can be compared to abdominal breathing in mammals. © Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University

Tracheal obstruction.

Grey parrot with tracheal obstruction. Signs indicating tracheal obstructions may include dyspnoea of acute onset, presence of a stridor (wheeze), loss or change of pitch or voice, breathing with an open beak while stretching of the neck. © Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University

Tracheoscopy.

Tracheoscopy in a mynah suspected of tracheal obstruction. As shown in this video, the tracheal lumen is blocked for >80% by yellow, caseous material. © Yvonne van Zeeland, Utrecht University

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