The sick baby bird

image of The sick baby bird
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The sick baby bird is a commonly presented patient at any practice dealing with birds. Frequently presented as emergencies, sick chicks tend to decompensate faster than adult birds, which necessitates a quicker, more targeted approach to diagnosis and treatment. This chapter details the special considerations in practice management, clinical assessment and treatment required by avian paediatric medicine. : Cockatiel chick with bacterial crop infection; Eclectus Parrot chick with crop fistula; Suspected polyomavirus in hand-reared chicks.

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31.1 This young Cockatiel is totally dependent for warmth, feeding and care. (Courtesy of Dr M Cowan)
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31.2 This clutch of Sun Conures are no longer reliant on human hand-rearers for warmth, but still require feeding.
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31.5 A macaw chick with a scissor beak. With correcting apparatus in place. (© John Chitty)
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31.6 Dehydrated nestling with increased skin turgor demonstrated under the wing. (Courtesy of Dr Robert Doneley)
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31.8 Candidiasis in chicks. Budding in a crop wash from a young parrot on antibiotics. This type of yeast overgrowth can be treated with nystatin. Budding with pseudohyphae. This type of yeast overgrowth should be treated with systemic antifungal medication. (© Deborah Monks)
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31.10 This young chick was one of several that died acutely in a hand-rearing nursery. The owner purchased birds from multiple sources. Subcutaneous oedema can clearly be observed. Petechial haemorrhages, serosal oedema and liver pathology can be seen on post-mortem examination. Differential diagnosis was polyomavirus or adenovirus, later proven to be adenovirus by PCR. (© Deborah Monks)
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31.11 Tubular beak deformity in a finch from an aviary with endemic polyomavirus. (Courtesy of Dr S Echols)
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31.12 A severe crop burn.
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31.13 A mild crop fistula in a female Eclectus Parrot. The reddened area is just visible centrally. The same crop fistula, after repair. (© Deborah Monks)
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31.14 Crop perforation in a macaw chick. This bird had been sold unweaned to a young, inexperienced keeper, who was advised to hand feed it via crop tube. The bird perforated its oesophagus due to the exuberant head bobbing response. Before the skin was opened. The external changes are subtle and include mild swelling and erythema. View of the lesion after opening the skin. (© Deborah Monks)
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31.15 A barium study on an African Grey Parrot chick that had ingested a crop tube. The tube can be clearly seen outlined in this ventrodorsal view. (Courtesy of Dr A Gallagher)
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