Anesthesia & Life Support
We keep ourselves up to date with the latest anesthetic protocols tailored for bird species. We utilize isoflurane gas anesthetic for surgical anesthetic maintenance. Isoflurane gas is delivered via endotracheal tube, allowing us to breathe for the patient when the need arises. Gas offers several advantages. First, we can raise or lower the bird's anesthetic level quickly. Secondly, since isoflurane gas does not need to be metabolized by the liver (as with most injectables), we can use it with relatively higher safety in sick birds. Third, isoflurane has an excellent safety record (few reactions or adverse side-effects). We have three isoflurane vaporizers in the hospital, one of which is a portable unit for use in the field if needed.
While under anesthesia, we monitor birds with the following equipment:
- Pulse oximetry and capnography (estimation of oxygen and carbon dioxide content in the bloodstream)
- Doppler ultrasonic blow flow detector
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Digital internal body temperature
- Auscultation (a technician uses an external or esophageal stethescope to monitor heart beat for rate and rhythm)
- Indirect blood pressure
Patient support during anesthesia is aided through the delivery of interosseous (into the bone marrow cavity) or intravenous fluid administration routes as well as overhead radiant heat and circulating thermal air warmer units.
Our operating microscope with up to 20X magnification capability allows us to perform microsurgery on even the smallest birds. During surgery, foot controls allow us to move scope in 3-dimensions and zoom in and out for up-close looks from almost any angle. In combination with microsurgical instruments, the surgical microscope allows us to go above and beyond the usual surgical boundaries.
Surgical loupes are magnification worn on the surgeon's head with specialized lighting that allow for better mobility and directed lighting during surgery.
Overhead mounted and endoscopic or operating microscope camera attachments allow taking photos or shooting video, or even sharing of live procedures as needed.
The Medical Center for Birds has two rigid endoscopes and a variety of accessories for examining or sampling, when necessary, the internal anatomy of birds. Applications of endoscopy include surgical sexing and breeding soundness evaluations, examination of internal organs such as the liver or kidneys, biopsy of internal organs, removal of foreign bodies from the stomach, examination, and sampling of airsacs for birds with respiratory illness, and examination of the oral cavity, sinuses, or cloaca.
Fine, delicate instruments are very useful, if not essential, in avian surgery. We have a large assortment of instruments necessary for microsurgery on even the smallest of our patients.
Ellman Radiosurgery: 4.0 Dual RF
Also known as electrocautery, radiosurgery allows both surgical cutting and coagulation of tissues in order to minimize blood loss.
Beak Prosthetics / Orthotics
We maintain a human dental acrylic light curing system, which is regularly used for repair and correction of beak injuries, scissors beak deformities and mandibular prognathism.
We utilize our large assortment of orthopedic equipment in fracture repair as well as reconstruction procedures.