Avian

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Species Specific Diets: What Do We Really Know?

An extremely important part of preventative care for pet psittacine birds is proper and balanced nutrition. Malnutrition is a widespread and common condition seen in pet birds. Veterinarians are often called upon to help clients select the best nutritional plan for their companion birds. Within the taxonomic class Aves, there are nearly 400 species of psittacine birds, all with various feeding strategies.  Nutritional studies are challenging at best, and recommendations are often based...

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What’s the Matter, Chicken?

MORE AND MORE CHICKENS ARE COMING HOME to roost in urban and suburban backyards throughout the United States. Ordinances permitting backyard chickens are now the norm in cities as small as Annapolis, Md., and as large as Los Angeles. One indicator of this phenomenon is a USDA study published in 2013, “Urban Chicken Ownership in Four U.S. Cities,” which reports that in four urban areas (Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, and New York) “less than 1% of households had backyard poultry at the...

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Backyard Waterfowl Medicine

Backyard waterfowl are becoming increasingly popular pets in addition to a more utilitarian role of providing meat and eggs. This discussion will cover the basics of pet duck and goose medicine. For the purposes of this discussion, commercial waterfowl medicine will not be covered. COMMON SPECIES OF DUCKS AND GEESE Domestic ducks are either breeds of the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) or Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata). The Peking, Khaki Campbell, call, runner, rouen, buff, Swedish,...

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The Avian Experience: Manifestations of Abuse

For decades, animal cruelty has been documented on many levels. The media constantly displays examples of abuse involving dogs, cats, horses, livestock, etc. Only recently has much attention been given to the mistreatment of pet birds. The most obvious example often cited is the confinement in small cages of creatures that, through flight, represent the epitome of freedom. Keeping a macaw in a 9 ft3 cage is a bit like keeping a killer whale in a swimming pool. In my experience, this is the...

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Cutting To the Chase – Part 1: Wing Fractures

Fractures of the thoracic limb are frequently encountered in clinical practice. For this presentation, the humerus will be discussed in detail as a model for other fractures of the thoracic limb. Understanding the surgical anatomy of the humerus is important for correct repair of this important long bone. For this reason, the anatomy of the humerus will be provided first followed by the surgical approach and information required for its surgical repair. HUMERUS The humerus is fairly...

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Anatomy of the Avian Reproductive System

FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM In birds with a seasonal laying period, there are approximately three phases of development—a prenuptial acceleration phase, a culmination phase, and a refractory period. During the onset of lay, or the prenuptial acceleration phase, the follicles begin to develop into a hierarchical pattern so that they don‘t reach maturity simultaneously. As egg laying commences during the culmination phase, the ovary resembles a bunch of grapes because of the follicular...

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Diagnosis and Treatment of the Top Poultry / Waterfowl Diseases – Part 2

chapter-438 NUTRITIONAL DISEASES Backyard poultry are predisposed to a number of nutritional disorders. This is especially true when clients try to create their own diet or rely on foraging practices without appropriating the proper amount of land needed to sustain the size and number of birds within the flock. Clients should be informed that there has been more research preformed pertaining to commercially available poultry diets than for any other animal species...

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Bird Sex: Who's Doing it, How and Why?

THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM The oocyte when ovulated moves down the oviduct and components are added to form the egg. The oocyte of a mature follicle is large and has on its surface a white spot which is the germinal vesicle. The germinal vesicle (blastoderm or blastodisc) is the part of the oocyte that develops into the chick after fertilization. The oocyte remains arrested at the first meiotic prophase stage during follicular development. Meiosis resumes about 4 to 6 hours prior to...

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Top Ten Orthopedic Diseases

Orthopedic diseases are a common presentation in captive birds: parrots, raptors, waterfowl, and chickens are all represented. Fractures have always been a common presentation due to metabolic bone disease or trauma, but other orthopedic diseases are also present; these include arthritis, osteomyelitis, luxations, bumblefoot, and amputations. These conditions may be seen more commonly in our geriatric population. CLINICAL EXAMINATION As with any patient who presents for any health issue,...

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Diagnosis and Treatment of the Top Poultry / Waterfowl Diseases – Part 1

chapter-437 There are many diseases that can affect backyard poultry. The following is a brief overview of the diseases most likely to be encountered in a private practice setting. This paper along with the accompanying presentation (Part 2, the following article in this proceedings) will focus on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of such diseases. A special emphasis will be placed on overall ‘flock’ management and disease prevention since the majority of backyard...

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