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 25-28 September, 2018 | Singapore
Peripheral vasoconstriction can be seen as a pallor to the skin. Left untreated cardiovascular function will be compromised, resulting in organ dysfunction and finally cardiac arrest.
Hypothermic chicks should be warmed before fluid resuscitation, but care should be taken to avoid peripheral vasodilation and possible hypotension. Warming can be achieved with warmed air or heat lamps but the chick must have the ability to move away from the heat source once it is normothermic, to avoid hyperthermia.
Hypoxaemia is common in chicks and can be associated with anaemia, the aspiration of hand rearing formula, infectious respiratory diseases (e.g. bacterial or fungal infections), or compression of the air sacs by distended loops of intestinal tract. Hypoxic chicks will have an increased respiratory rate and effort (mouth breathing, increased sternal lift and tail bobbing). Cyanosis can be seen, but is usually difficult to appreciate. Pulse oximetry may be of benefit but – because of calibration difficulties with nucleated erythrocytes - trends, rather than absolute numbers, should be monitored.
Oxygen supplementation (via an anaesthetic induction chamber, flow-by oxygen or an intranasal oxygen
line) should be administered when hypoxaemia is diagnosed or suspected Care must be taken to prevent oxidative tissue damage associated with 100% oxygen administered for prolonged periods of time.
Where to from here?
Once the sick chick has been stabilised the clinician
can then move on to determining the underlying
reason for the problems that the chick was presented. The most common causes of disease in chicks are infectious diseases (viral e.g. PBFD, APV; fungal e.g. Candida, Aspergillus; and bacterial), malnutrition (stunting syndrome, metabolic bone disease), scissor beak, and crop burns.
But the diagnosis and treatment of these cases can
only be performed once the chick is stabilised. Careful evaluation and examination are paramount in diagnosing and treating paediatric problems.
Further reading
Clubb SL (1997) Psittacine pediatric husbandry and medicine. In: Avian Medicine and Surgery. RB Altman, SL Clubb, GM Dorrestein, K Quesenberry (eds). WB Saunders, Philadelphia, pp. 73–95.
Doneley B (2016) Paediatrics, In Avian medicine and surgery in practice 2nd Edition, CRC Press.
Flammer K, Clubb SL (1994) Neonatology. In: Avian Medicine: Principles and Application. BW Ritchie, GJ Harrison, LR Harrison (eds). Wingers Publishing, Lake Worth, pp. 805–841.
LaBonde J (2006) Avian reproductive and pediatric disorders. In: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association of Avian Veterinarians Australian Committee, pp. 229–238.
Schubot RM, Clubb KJ, Clubb SL (1992) Psittacine Aviculture: Perspectives, Techniques and Research. Avicultural Breeding and Research Center, Loxahatchee, Fl.

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