A31-year-old 397-g (0.87-lb) female African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) was evaluated at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center because of vision concerns. The owner reported that the parrot had deterioration in near vision and a history of a so-called weak heart; there were no available veterinary records. The bird had previously lived in Europe and had been under the care of the current owner in Florida for the past year.
At the initial evaluation, the bird was bright, alert, and responsive and had a body condition score of 2.5/5. On physical examination, mild nuclear sclerosis and serosanguinous ocular discharge were evident bilaterally. Thoracic auscultation revealed normal heart sounds, a regular heart rhythm with a rate > 400 beats/min, and normal lung sounds. The bird was anesthetized by inhalation of isoflurane prior to performing diagnostic assessments including a CBC, serum biochemical analyses, radiography, ECG, and echocardiography. Clinicopathologic variables were within reference ranges. Via whole-body radiography, no abnormalities were detected and heart size and shape appeared normal. Echocardiography (2-dimensional and Doppler) was performed from a ventromedian approach, and findings were within normal limits.1 Electrocardiography was performed by placing the bird in ventrodorsal recumbency and attaching alligator-clip ECG leads to the base of the wings (equivalent to left and right forelimbs in a quadruped) and the base of the legs (equivalent to left and right hind limbs in a quadruped).2–4
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