A New Approach to the Radiographic Examination of the Pectoral Girdle in Species of Galliformes, Anseriformes, Ciconiiformes, and Accipitriformes
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2015

Monika Bochmann1, Dr med vet; Inés Carrera2, DVM, MVM, DECVDI; Beatriz Gutierrez-Crespo2, DVM; Fabia Wyss1, Dr med vet; Jean-Michel Hatt1, Dr med vet, MSc, DACZM, DECZM (Avian)

1Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets, and Wildlife, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland; 2Clinic of Diagnostic Imaging, Department of Small Animals, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland


One of the most common reasons for the inability to fly in wild birds are injuries to the wings and pectoral girdle, including fractures and luxations. For the diagnosis of pectoral girdle injuries, radiography is frequently necessary.1,2 The complex anatomy of the pectoral girdle and the superimposition of bones and soft tissues make the visualization of fractures or luxations challenging. The objective of this study was to determine an optimal angle for an additional oblique radiographic projection of the pectoral girdle in order to enable better evaluation of the coracoid, clavicle, and scapula in different birds. Ventrodorsal radiographs at the angles 0°, 10°, 15°, 20°, and 30° were taken of the pectoral girdle of a common peafowl (Pavo cristatus), domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus), domestic goose (Anser domesticus), white stork (Ciconia ciconia), and common buzzard (Buteo buteo). The radiographs were evaluated based on the delineation and visibility of the different joints of the pectoral girdle and measurements were made using a scoring system. The following angles received the highest scores: in the chicken and the peafowl the caudo 20° ventral-craniodorsal view (Cd20°V-CrDO) and in the goose and the common buzzard the Cd30°V-CrDO view. In contrast, in the stork the ventrodorsal (0°) and the Cd15°V-CrDO were graded with the same score. In conclusion, acquiring an oblique radiographic projection (30° in Anseriformes and raptors, 20° in Galliformes) in addition to standard projections, can provide superior information about the pectoral girdle in Galliformes, Anseriformes, Ciconiiformes, and Accipitriformes.

Literature Cited

1.  Orosz SE. Clinical considerations of the thoracic limb. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract. 2002;5(1):31–48.

2.  Scheelings TF. Coracoid fractures in wild birds: a comparison of surgical repair versus conservative treatment. J Avian Med Surg. 2014;28:304–308.


Speaker Information
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Monika Bochmann, Dr med vet
Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets, and Wildlife
University of Zurich
Zürich, Switzerland

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