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Endoscopy is the examination of internal structures and organs using a small endoscope or telescope. This technology allows us to examine and sample the internal organs of birds down to 100g in size via a tiny surgical incision, generally 2-4mm in size. The benefits are obvious; a) minimally invasive internal examination b) ability to safely biopsy c) avoidance of major, lengthy surgery.
Avian veterinarians have been endoscopically sexing birds for many years, although blood-test sexing has greatly reduced the need for this procedure. However, those involved with large collections (e.g. breeders, wholesalers, retailers) often require immediate confirmation of. Therefore endoscopic gender determination and reproductive tract evaluation retains its importance in aviculture.
More recently the use of diagnostic endoscopy has really accelerated in popularity.
The ability to exploit the air sac system of birds enables the endoscopist to visualize most, if not all, of the major organs of clinical interest including liver, lung, air sac, heart, kidney, adrenal, spleen, pancreas, ovary or testis, oviduct, shell gland, and intestinal tract.
In addition the oral approach permits examination of the mouth, esophagus, crop, proventriculus and ventriculus, glottis and trachea down to the level of the syrinx.
The cloacal (vent) approach permits examination of the cloaca, and openings to the shell gland and ureters.
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