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Avian

Coelioscopy

The most commonly employed endoscopic approach in birds involves a left sided approach. With the bird lying on its right side and the wings secured over its back, the left limb is pulled forward and secured to the neck to expose the lower left flank. Very few feathers, if any, need to be plucked prior to aseptic prep of the area. A small (2-4mm) skin incision is made just behind the last rib, and just ventral to the flexor cruris medialis muscle. The endoscope enters the caudal thoracic air sac first and from this point most of the coelomic organs can be identified by moving through the air sac system of the bird. The scope is gently pushed through the delicate air sac membranes to gain access to the adjacent air sac there is no need to repair the air sac membranes as they heal quickly. Remember that the terminal end of the scope is angled press the sharp (bottom) edge of the scope into the air sac membrane and use a sweeping motion to enter into the adjacent air sac.

General operating room layout and positioning for avian coelioscopy.
General operating room layout and positioning for avian coelioscopy.


Macaw positioned in right lateral recumbency with the left flank exposed and aseptically prepared for a standard left lateral coelioscopic examination.
Macaw positioned in right lateral recumbency with the left flank exposed and aseptically prepared for a standard left lateral coelioscopic examination.


Diagramatic representation of bird positioning.

Close-up of the left flank.
Diagramatic representation of bird positioning and close-up of the left flank illustrating the relationship between the flexor cruris medialis muscle and the last rib. The endoscope is inserted behind the last rib, just below the ventral margin of the flexor cruris medialis muscle.


Caudal thoracic air sac (CaTAS): lung, air sac, liver, proventriculus. Cranial thoracic air sac (CrTAS) entered cranially from the CaTAS: heart, great vessels, air sac and cranial lung tissue, liver.
Caudal thoracic air sac (CaTAS): lung, air sac, liver, proventriculus. Cranial thoracic air sac (CrTAS) entered cranially from the CaTAS: heart, great vessels, air sac and cranial lung tissue, liver.


Abdominal air sac (AAS) entered caudally from the CaTAS: kidney, gonad, ureters, adrenal, spleen, ventriculus and intestines, cloaca, shell gland, pancreas.

Abdominal air sac (AAS) entered caudally from the CaTAS: kidney, gonad, ureters, adrenal, spleen, ventriculus and intestines, cloaca, shell gland, pancreas.
Abdominal air sac (AAS) entered caudally from the CaTAS: kidney, gonad, ureters, adrenal, spleen, ventriculus and intestines, cloaca, shell gland (left side, upper image), pancreas (right side, lower image).

Samples, including aspirates and biopsies, can be collected using the aspiration needle, scissors, and biopsy forceps.

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