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  • Author or Editor: Nicole A. Mikoni x
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To evaluate a carrageenan-induced inflammatory model in the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) using weight-bearing load, rotational perch locomotion, thermal threshold withdrawal, and footpad dimensions.


16 adult cockatiels (8 males and 8 females).


Cockatiels were randomly assigned into 2 groups as either treatment (carrageenan injection; n = 8) or control (handling only; 8). Treatment of cockatiels involved unilateral subcutaneous injection of 0.05 mL of 1% lambda carrageenan solution into the left footpad. Control birds were handled in a similar manner without an injection. Following baseline measurements and treatment or control procedures, posttreatment measurements at multiple time points involving weight-bearing perch load (for up to 336 hours), locomotive abilities when placed on a rotating perch (for up to 96 hours), thermal withdrawal threshold (for the 24- to 30-hour period), and both vertical and horizontal left footpad size and degree of swelling (for up to 84 days) were obtained.


Treatment cockatiels had a significant decrease in left foot weight-bearing load and increase in left footpad dimensions and swelling grade over time compared to control cockatiels. Rotational perch locomotion and thermal withdrawal threshold, conversely, did not differ significantly between groups. Cockatiels injected with carrageenan returned to normal weight-bearing within 2 weeks; however, left footpad dimensions did not return to baseline.


Carrageenan footpad injection prompts a measurable and grossly visible inflammatory response in the cockatiel. Additionally, it induces alterations in weight-bearing distribution in injected birds. This model provides a method to evaluate inflammation and lameness in small psittacine species.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research