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Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by casportpony, Sep 21, 2018.
I found the following here: http://avianexoticsvet.com/case-of-the-month/#collapse_3_queenie-the-peahen
Queenie, a 4-year-old female peahen, came to the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics because of her swollen eye. A peahen is a female peacock; collectively, males and females are called peafowl. Upon first glance, anyone could tell there was something wrong! There was a very large swelling, about the size of a super-sized gumball, in the inner corner of her left eye (see photo #1). The swelling was so large that it was difficult to tell if the eyeball was even there, but after close examination, the doctors determined that the eye was just fine. The sinus that sits just in front of the eye was actually where the problem was.
To determine the cause of the problem, the doctors inserted a needle into the swelling to collect cells to determine if the swelling was an infection or cancer. The sample they took was placed on a microscope slide and submitted to a specialized veterinarian called a pathologist for identification of the cells. The swelling turned out to be an abscess (a pocket of pus) in the bird’s infra-orbital sinus (the sinus in front of the eye).
The tricky thing about birds’, herbivores’ (rabbits, guinea pigs, rats), and reptiles’ pus is that it is thick, like cottage cheese or toothpaste, because these animals lack the ability to break it down into a liquid, like our pus. This is the reason we have to perform surgery to remove the pus from these animals and not just cut the area open and let it drain out.
The doctors performed surgery to remove the giant ball of pus from the corner of Queenie’s eye. At first, she was sedated and given pain medication to ease her into anesthesia. Then a breathing tube was placed in her trachea to help us ensure she was able to breathe under anesthesia. The veterinary technicians placed a heart monitor on her to follow her heart rate. Then the area where the surgical incision was to be made was scrubbed with a sterile surgical preparation.
The eye is an area of the body that contains many nerves and blood vessels and has the potential to bleed significantly in surgery. Therefore, the doctors used a specialized surgical tool called an electro-cautery to make the incision, allowing the blood vessels to be cauterized instantly to prevent blood loss. Once the cut through the skin was made, the vets immediately saw thick yellow pus underneath. Very carefully, they loosened the ball of pus from the sinus pocket and removed as it one big solid chunk. Then they flushed the sinus with sterile saline to remove any excess infectious debris. They left the skin incision open so that the sinus could be flushed with sterile saline daily over the following days to try to prevent recurrence of infection. Since the eyes and nose connect via the sinuses, her nostril and the slit in the roof of the bird’s mouth, called the choana, had debris in them, as well; so the doctors cleaned these areas out, too, during surgery. They had to be sure to remove all the pus from the mouth and nose to try to prevent the infection from lingering.
Immediately after surgery, Queenie felt so much better! She could now breathe through her nose again and see out her left eye (see photo #2). Queenie stayed in hospital for the next few days so that the doctors could flush the surgical site. By the time she went home, the incision had already healed all on its own without the use of stitches. She was placed on antibiotics and pain medications to help with the remaining swelling. Today Queenie is doing great! The eye infection hasn’t returned, and she is back with her flock, living her happy peahen life, once again.
That story was amazing