Anesthesia/Analgesia Special Focus: Birds
World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress Proceedings, 2017
Bonnie D. Wright, DVM, DACVAA
Mistral Vet, Fort Collins, CO, USA

Cliff Notes of Considerations for Birds


1.  Airway and lungs:

a.  Complete tracheal rings (most)

b.  Thick secret ions (clogged ETT)

c.  Proximal tracheal bifurcations (penguins)

d.  Efficiency of gas exchange

e.  Air sac cannulation as an option

2.  Cardiovascular:

a.  Leg veins are an option in larger birds (parrots, owls, raptors)

b.  ECG - large negative QRS

c.  Tachyarrhythmias common - combined handling stress and sensitization of myocardium by inhalants

3.  Pain physiology:

a.  Presence of pain-sensing physiology is maintained

b.  Assessment: Different species show variable signs ­ studies in raptors vs. chickens vs. parrots

4.  Pharmacology:

a.  Local anesthetics - variable efficacy in studies ­ Calculate maximum dose!

b.  Don’t forget intra-nasal routes, especially in large Macaws and parrots

i.  Midazolam/butorphanol

c.  Various studies on opioid choices - extremely variable!

d.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories

e.  Tramadol

f.  Alfaxalone

5.  Acupuncture in birds:

a.  Sedation is apparent and reproducible

b.  Sacral points

c.  Modifier of chronic pain

Speaker Information
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Bonnie D. Wright
Fort Collins, CO, USA