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ABSTRACT: Eight 1-yr-old common pintails (Anas acuta acuta) and one 2-yr-old white-faced whistling duck (Dendrocygna viduata) were presented for the persistence of primary flight feathers 1 yr after pinioning. The birds were housed outdoors in an open enclosure necessitating flight prevention. The birds were placed under general anesthesia, and a diode laser was used to ablate the primary feather follicles of the previously pinioned wing. Swelling was the most common side effect seen in seven out of nine treated birds. Other side effects included ulceration, hyperemia, edema, and serosanguinous discharge. All side effects were resolved by 12 wk postprocedure. Laser feather follicle ablation was successful in 28 of 40 (70%) of the treated common pintail feathers, and flight was not observed 7 mo following the procedure in any of these birds. Feather follicle ablation was successful in two of six (33%) of the treated white-faced whistling duck feathers, and the bird in question was observed flying 5 mo after the procedure. Primary feather follicle ablation with a diode laser was a successful method of flight prevention in common pintails but was not effective for a white-faced whistling duck.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 06/2012; 43(2):342-6. DOI:10.2307/41681838 · 0.42 Impact Factor