Avian medicine in the United States and abroad tends to be more focused on crisis and intervention than on preventive care and wellness. Therefore, in this article I discuss some of the basic considerations of emergency medical care in pet birds.
Fungi are commonplace in the environment and some are even considered normal inhabitants of the skin, gastrointestinal tract and other mucous membrane surfaces. In most situations, healthy birds can ward off infection if their immune systems are intact and fully operational. In other cases, however, the immune system may be compromised leading to the development of serious infections. Paramount to properly managing fungal infections in avian species is the ability to recognize infection early in the course of disease, to administer appropriate antifungal medications for the location and severity of infection, and to continually assess a patient's response to therapy. The scope of this article is to provide a brief overview of several fungal diseases in companion avian species.
The media buzz may have quieted considerably, but West Nile virus continues to cause illness and death nationwide and is here to stay. Within six years of the initial detection of this exotic mosquito-borne virus in New York, it has spread to all continental states, through Canada and Mexico, and into Central America.
Most successful surgical procedures in avian patients, as with other species, require that the veterinarian and his or her staff give special attention to the details of perioperative management. In some instances, special techniques may be required to perform and successfully complete appropriate procedures; however, in many instances the same techniques used in companion species (dogs/cats) may be adapted or adjusted for use in exotic species.