Atlas of Radiographic Anatomy and Diagnosis of Cage Birds
Radiology is an important diagnostic aid in avian clinical practice. In this respect, the diagnosis of internal diseases is of the greatest significance in domestic caged birds. In birds of prey, on the other hand, diagnostic radiology comes more into its own in surgical- orthopaedic problems.
Diagnostic radiography is used much more frequently in avian practice than in mammals. This is due partly to the fact that certain examination procedures are only possible to a limited degree in birds (e.g. percussion, taking of body temperature, withdrawal of adequate amounts of blood in birds weighing less than 40 g). It is also due to the fact that clinical signs often remain concealed for prolonged periods in birds, so that the patients are frequently presented in advanced stages of illness when a rapid diagnosis is essential.
The procedure of taking a radiograph is easy, because the subject is usually small, so that the entire body can be shown on a single film. Also, there is less risk of radiation exposure for the operators; it may be eliminated altogether, if a Perspex plate is used for restraint (see 5 Positioning, where the technique is explained in detail). The cost can be kept low because images of both planes can be produced on a single film, using a lead sheet to cover one part of the cassette.
The experienced radiologist finds radiographs of birds easier to interpret than those of either dogs or cats. The birds’ air sac system produces a negative contrast in the radiograph between the organs. Furthermore, there are fewer (presently recognized) disease patterns to identify radiologically.