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Intravenous and Intraosseous Fluid Therapy in Critically Ill Birds of Prey

Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine
Elsevier - WB Saunders
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1053/j.jepm.2010.11.008
  • Bird Of Prey
  • Critical Care
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Intraosseous Catheter
  • Intravenous Catheter
  • Communication
  • Medicine


Abstract Fluid therapy is a foundation of emergency medicine, thus its importance cannot be underestimated. Avian fluid therapy shares the general principles used for mammalian species, yet it seems appropriate to emphasize certain differences and highlight a few catheter techniques that are required to perform avian emergency medicine. As with other companion animal species, 4 main routes of fluid administration exist. However, in the critically ill avian patient, the intravenous and, more importantly, intraosseous routes of fluid administration become the clinician's preferred methods of vascular access. This brief communication will familiarize the reader with the intravenous catheterization of the ulnar/basilic and right jugular veins and the intraosseous catheterization of the distal ulna in raptors. The step-by-step pictorial presentation of each technique will facilitate the learning experience and provide visual cues. Accompanying information will give the reader an understanding of possible complications, the authors' suggested techniques based on the clinical presentation and the patient size, as well as a protocol to use for appropriate hydration of the avian patient. Raptors are used as a model in this article; however, these techniques and supporting information can easily be applied to most avian species.

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