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48 Cards in this Set

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-breastbone; above sternum for protection of the lungs

Large Sternum

-for structure and support in flying


-pelvic bone has support on each side by these


-extra joint and bone on claws

-claws have 4 digits


-strong tissue in wings for flexion and extension

Countour Feathers

-covers the body

-constitutes flight feathers of the wings and tail

Semiplume Feathers

-found under contour feathers

-provides insulation

-provides buoyancy in water birds

Down Feathers

-soft, fluffy feathers

-located next to skin under contour feathers

-provides insulation


-process of feather replacement

-begins when a new feather pushes out an old one

-can occur several times a year depending on species

What is a growing feather called?

Blood Feather

Bone Structure

-Larger bones are pneumatic - filled w/ air and connected to respiratory system

-single body cavity; no diaphragm

Respiratory System

-NO diaphragm

-lungs are rigid and do NOT expand when filled w/ air

-9 air sacs

How does respiration in a bird work?

-2 inhalations and 2 exhalations are required to transport 1 pocket of air through the entire respiratory system

Circulatory System

-4 chambered heart

-Renal Portal System (like reptiles)

-RBCs are enucleated

-Heterophils replace neutrophils

Dominant WBC


Normal HR of Birds

-larger birds: 75-80 bpm

-smaller birds: 300-600 bpm

Digestive System

-fast metabolism and high-energy demand

-food travels from esophagus to the crop

What is the crop?

-a storage pouch for food

*the owl does NOT have a crop

2 Part Stomach

1. Proventriculus

-chemical digestion

2. Gizzard

-mechanical digestion


-common system for urinary, digestive, and reproductive systems

Urinary System

-NO bladder

-2 kidneys

-2 ureters

-urine is strongly uric acid and ammonia; mixed w/ feces in cloaca and excreted as a paste


-males have 2 testicles

-females have 1 functional ovary (LEFT side)

-sperm is delivered by a phallus (pseudo penis) which is housed in the cloaca and extends from cloaca to cloaca during copulation


-takes place in the infundibulum

-in the uterus, the fertilized egg absorbs salts and calcifies

-the egg passes through the vaginal canal and then into the cloaca

What is the number of eggs layed called?


Is it ok to use vacutainers to collect blood?


How should blood slides be made?

-immediately after sample is taken and BEFORE anticoagulant is added

RBC Characteristics

-oval shape

-central nucleus (stains dark blue)

-cytoplasm (usually stains pink-orange color)

Four Main Factors to Evaluate Avian RBCs

1. Polychromasia (different colors)

2. Hypochromasia (lack of color)

3. Anisocytosis (different sizes)

4. Poikilocytosis (different shapes)

What does an increase in polychromasia indicate?

-RBC regeneration

-may be a response to anemia

Which patients would demonstrate hypochromatic RBCs?

-emaciated or anemic patients

What are some causes of anemia?

-lead toxicosis

-nutritional deficiency

-infectious disease


What are common shape variations seen in avian RBCs?

-spikes (crenation)



-ballooning of one side of the cell


-most common WBC seen

-bilobed or trilobed nucleus

What would cause increased heterophils in a bird?





-bilobed nucleus

-contains round granules

-nuclues stains dark blue, granules stain orange-red

*in some species the granules stain dark blue

What would cause a bird to have increased eosinophils?



-"Swiss-cheese" appearance

-nucleus has a single lobe

-cyctoplasmic granules contain histamine

-cells participate in acute inflammatory hypersensitivity reactions

*commonly seen w/ eosinophils


-LARGE cells w/ medium-blue, foamy cytoplasm

-most monocytes in birds do NOT have vacuoles

-nucleus varies from round to horseshoe-shaped

-fxn = destruction of foreign organisms and defense against infectious agents


-most difficult to identify

-round nucleus and pale blue cytoplasm

-fxn = immune response

-use cytoplasm color to identify under microscope


-round to oval cell w/ a round to oval nucleus

-cytoplasm is colorless to gray and frequently contains a few small azurophillic granules

-potential phagocytic capabilities

-generally fxn the same as mammal platelets

Methods to Determine WBC Count

1. The Eosinophil Unopette System

2. Estimated Counts

How much blood is allowed to be taken from a bird for lab diagnostics?

10% of 10% (1%) - any more might kill the bird