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Abstract: Disease conditions and clinical signs of many companion birds are presented, including African grey parrots, Amazon parrots, budgerigars, canaries and finches, cockatiels, cockatoos, conures, lovebirds, macaws, and Quaker parrots. Infectious diseases, neoplasia, reproductive disorders, and metabolic and nutritional disorders common to each class of bird are reviewed.
Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) are two small parrot species originating from inland Australia. The natural scenario for both species in the wild is large communal flocks, and so multianimal social groups in large enclosures are recommended for captive birds to enable normal behaviours to be exhibited. Budgies have a short breeding cycle and are able to rapidly increase numbers when conditions are favourable. Cockatiels breed year round but long day length does encourage breeding. For clinical valuation, this chapter includes history‐taking, handling, sex determination, and clinical examination. It discusses basic techniques such as medication administration, sample collection, nutritional support, fluid therapy, beak trimming, anaesthesia, euthanasia, and hospitalisation requirements. The chapter also discusses common medical and surgical conditions, preventative health measures, and radiographic imaging in the budgerigars and cockatiels.
The plight of homeless avian species is a complex one. The inability to determine an accurate estimate of captive bird populations has been a serious impediment to effectively addressing many avian welfare issues. With the commercialization of birds as pets there has been mass production in breeding operations, resulting in shelters and avian welfare organizations witnessing an alarming increase in the number of displaced/unwanted birds. Shelters that admit birds should have at least one of the many avian textbooks available for basic information and work closely with a veterinarian who has experience with birds to ensure birds are properly examined. Viral infections, bacteria, parasites, neoplasia and nutritional/metabolic disorders are some causes for diseases in birds. A proactive working relationship among animal welfare/advocacy, animal shelters, rescue groups, and conservation organizations is needed to enlighten the public and provide protection for and assure the welfare of all wild and domestic birds.
Eight cases of mycobacteria conjunctivitis are identified in cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus). This presentation is unusual for mycobacterial infections. The disease in many birds, is generally a gastrointestinal infection that results in chronic wasting. These cockatiels presented with the ocular lesions that for most developed into a systemic infection. Specific classification of the organism was attempted with DNA probes applied to the formalin-fixed tissues on several cases.
Neoplastic diseases are becoming more than a postmortem diagnosis due to the increasing knowledge base and improving quality of avian medicine. The expectation for better health care demands a diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy options. However, the published information regarding prognosis and therapy of specific neoplasms remains limited in avian medicine. With each case report or study that provides this information, there is an improvement in the level of care we can offer our companion avian species. This review will cover some basic information about specific tumor types and will reference the more recent reports in the avian literature. It is not intended to be all encompassing.