1887

Reception guide for the general practice

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Abstract

Birds of any species are adept at disguising signs of illness. A commonly held belief is that sick birds are 70% dead when noticed by their owners and 90% dead by the time they are presented to the veterinary surgeon (veterinarian). This means that the majority of birds that are showing signs of illness require emergency, or at least same day, attention. This chapter provides guidance on the reception and triage of avian cases in the general practice.

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Figures

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8.1 Signs of illness in small birds, such as this St Helena Waxbill, should be treated as an emergency.
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8.5 This Budgerigar’s head is covered in crop contents, indicating vomiting. This is an urgent case.
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8.6 Galah chick with leg splay, which is not an emergency. This chick also has nasal accretion of food, which needs to be cleared but is not urgent. Placing the chick in a deep nest prevents further leg deviation.
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8.7 Wryneck (torticollis) in a Budgerigar should be seen urgently.
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8.8 An owl chick with metabolic bone disease and ‘angel wing’ is an urgent case. The sooner this case is seen, the easier it will be to treat.
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8.9 Emergency feeding of a Greenfinch chick with a beak-shaped spoon.
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8.10 The deviation in this Blue and Gold Macaw’s beak is not an emergency.
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8.11 Propatagial membrane laceration in this Harris’ Hawk should be examined by a veterinary surgeon urgently. A Toco Toucan with a head laceration such as this is also an urgent case.
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8.12 Splinting of a Canary’s leg using microporous tape. Completed splint with second piece of tape applied and trimmed.
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8.13 Domestic Canary with a vascular occlusion and injury caused by a too tight leg ring; this case is urgent.
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8.14 This Gyrfalcon has a fractured wing in urgent need of support. Harris’ Hawk with tibiotarsus fracture adequately supported.
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8.15 Signs of wing tip oedema, as displayed in this young Peregrine hybrid, should be investigated as an emergency.
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8.16 Fractured legs, as in this African Grey Parrot and Harris’ Hawk, are urgent cases that need to be seen as soon as possible.
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8.17 Blue and Gold Macaw chick with a crop fistula.
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8.18 African Grey Parrot with cloacal prolapse.
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8.19 Egg-bound Cockatiel that has collapsed. Zebra Finch collapsed with hypocalcaemia and requiring emergency attention.
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8.20 African Grey Parrot with hypocalcaemic tetany. Orally administered calcium can be advised in this case.
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8.21 Osprey requiring emergency treatment for sour crop, toxaemia and a fractured tibiotarsus.
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8.22 This self-mutilating Moluccan Cockatoo can wait for a routine appointment; non-changing levels of mutilation are not emergencies but an increasing level of mutilation may require a more urgent appointment. Psittacine beak and feather disease in a Red-lored Amazon.
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8.23 This Moluccan Cockatoo is hanging from its cage, signalling extreme respiratory distress. Border Canary in severe respiratory distress with cyanosis of the beak and open-beak breathing.

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