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Case Description—A 5.5-year-old sexually intact female African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) was evaluated for a 1-year history of pronounced polyuria and polydipsia. The bird also had a 1-month history of signs of mild depression and mydriasis.

Clinical Findings—Physical examination revealed a thin body condition and incomplete bilateral mydriasis. Other examination findings as well as CBC and screening radiography results were unremarkable. Plasma biochemical analysis revealed mild hypernatremia. The bird had a 3.3% loss in body weight over 170 minutes during a water deprivation test, and urine osmolality remained low. After IM administration of 0.9 μg of desmopressin, the rate of weight loss decreased substantially and urine osmolality increased 300% over the following 200 minutes.

Treatment and Outcome—Initial attempts to treat the bird with orally administered desmopressin failed to correct the polydipsia and polyuria. Ultimately, IM administration of 24 μg of desmopressin/kg (10.9 μg/lb) every 12 hours yielded a noticeable reduction in water consumption and urine production over a 6- to 8-hour period. Eight months later, the bird was returned for a recheck examination, at which time it was in good health and continued to respond to the medication. Despite continued response to the medication, right-sided internal ophthalmoparesis was detected 16 months after the initial diagnosis.

Clinical Relevance—To the authors' knowledge, central diabetes insipidus in birds has not been reported. The condition should be considered in birds with clinical signs of disease similar to those in mammals. Long-term IM administration of desmopressin may be a viable treatment option.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine percentages of domestic cats and dogs vaccinated against rabies, identify barriers to vaccination, and assess knowledge about rabies in a semirural New Mexico community after a skunk rabies outbreak.

Design—Cross-sectional, door-to-door, bilingual, community-based participatory survey.

Sample—366 residential properties in Eddy County, NM.

Procedures—The New Mexico Department of Health and CDC administered surveys and analyzed data.

Results—Individuals at 247 of the 366 residential properties participated in the survey. One hundred eighty of the 247 (73%) households owned a dog (n = 292) or cat (163). Cats were more likely than dogs to not have an up-to-date rabies vaccination status (prevalence ratio, 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.3 to 4.4). Cost and time or scheduling were the most frequently identified barriers to vaccination. One hundred sixty (65%) respondents did not know livestock can transmit rabies, 78 (32%) did not know rabies is fatal, and 89 (36%) did not know a bat scratching a person can be an exposure. Only 187 (76%) respondents indicated they would contact animal control if they saw a sick skunk, and only 166 (67%) indicated they would contact animal control if bitten by a dog they did not own.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings indicated that rabies vaccination prevalence among pet dogs and cats was low, despite the fact that the region had experienced a skunk rabies outbreak during the previous 2 years. In addition, substantial percentages of respondents did not have correct knowledge of rabies or rabies exposure.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association