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2014 Guidelines for Abstracts for Annual Conference

General Submission Information

Authors wishing to submit either an oral presentation or poster for the conference will be required to provide a properly formatted abstract at the time of submission. Authors have three options for their submission and subsequent publication in the conference proceedings.

  1. Abstract only (250 words or less)
    This option is intended for authors who may pursue future journal publication of their material. Abstracts less than 250 words in length are generally not considered full publications, allowing a full scientific manuscript on the same topic to be submitted elsewhere for publication. It is the author’s responsibility to determine if their submission would impact their ability to later publish the information. Authors are advised to assess relevant journal policies regarding prior publication for any journals they are considering. The Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine does allow publication of material that has been previously published as a proceeding abstract under 250 words.
  2. Abstract only (1000 words or less)
    This option is intended for authors who do not intend to publish material elsewhere and who do not wish to submit a full paper for publication in the AAZV Proceedings.
  3. Abstract submission with intent to submit full paper for proceedings
    This option is intended for authors who intend to provide a full paper (10pages or less) to the AAZV Proceedings if they are accepted. Authors should only upload an abstract at this time (100-1000 words). If the submitted abstract is accepted, the author will supply the full paper by June 1, 2014. Authors must adhere to formatting standards, but can structure the content of the paper as they wish.

The deadline for abstract submission is March 17, 2014. Manuscripts should be submitted as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) through the online submission site.

Authors of "abstract only” submissions will be afforded the opportunity to make minor modifications to the content of their abstract if accepted into the scientific program. Authors of both abstract only and "full paper” submissions will be required to provide the full manuscript to their session chair no later than June 1, 2014.


  1. All abstracts must adhere to the formatting guidelines. Non-adherence will negatively impact the evaluation of an abstract for potential inclusion in the scientific program.

  2. Submissions should be a concise, factual condensation of information to be presented, accompanied by relevant supporting data; avoid including extraneous information. Your audience includes members of the association who may not be in attendance; therefore, critical information should be provided (drug dosages, anesthetic regimes, trade names, product manufacturers, etc.).
  3. If a poster or abstract has been presented elsewhere, previously published, or is submitted/in press elsewhere, the author must provide a "reprinted with permission” statement from the other organization. Full manuscripts that have been previously published elsewhere are not acceptable.
  4. Outlines will not be accepted. Abstracts stating "data will be presented,” or "subject will be discussed,” will not be accepted. Proposals constituting sales pitches for products or services will not be considered.

Format and Style Specifications for Abstract Submission:

The Proceedings format is different from that used in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (JZWM). Please refer to the following information and attached examples.

  1. Use single-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman type. Use 1 inch margins on all sides. Text should be full justified (do not use right and left alignment).
  2. Do not number pages. Do not use any running title at the top of the pages.
  3. The title should appear in all capital letters, bold print at the top of the first page. Scientific names in the title should be in title case and italics, bold print.
  4. Names, academic degrees, and current professional affiliations (institution, city, state, postal code, and country; do not include street addresses) of all authors should be listed in italics, bold print, below the title at the top of the first page. Authors’ names are separated by commas with a comma and the word "and” prior to the last author. Periods are not used in the listing of professional degrees or state abbreviations. Diplomate status should be reflected as "Dipl” with no periods (e.g. Dipl ACZM). Numerical superscripts corresponding to current professional affiliations should appear next to each author’s name. The name of the author presenting the paper should be identified with an asterisk (*) without superscript format.
  5. The lowercase bolded, word "Abstract” should follow the affiliation separated by a blank line. The text should follow after another blank line. For full manuscripts, standard section headings should follow the abstract, each bolded and preceded by a blank line.
  6. Scientific names in the text should be spelled out in italics.
  7. Product information may be placed in footnotes. Footnotes should be denoted with superscript letters and appear prior to the acknowledgments section.
  8. Acknowledgments should be 10-point Times New Roman type, with the heading in all capital letters and bolded.
  9. Tables and figures should fit within a 4 × 6” area and may be imbedded in the word document. All tables and figures will be edited for style and formatted for publication. Style specifications for tables, figures, abbreviations, and miscellaneous items should follow the JZWM format. Instructions to authors are available at:
  10. Literature citations should appear in the text with superscript numbers that follow concluding sentence punctuation. When a series of consecutive references are being cited as a group, these can be presented with hyphenated superscripts (i.e., 2-7).
  11. Unpublished work and personal communications are listed in parentheses in the text; they are not listed in the "Literature Cited” section.
  12. Citations are listed alphabetically at the end of the manuscript under the "Literature Cited” section heading. The section heading is in all capital letters, bolded, 10-point Times New Roman type. References should be in normal 10-point Times New Roman font. All references contained in the reference list must be cited in the text.
  13. Citation style is provided below. Citation style follows JZWM guidelines available at
  • Citations should be listed in order by first author’s surname. When there is more than one paper by authors whose names appear in the same order in each paper, the papers are listed in chronological order. Papers with multiple authors but the same lead author are arranged together, alphabetically by second, and then by third, author, etc. Papers by the same authors in the same year are assigned a letter suffix (e.g., 1983a). All authors of a cited paper must be listed in the Literature Cited section (i.e., "et al.” is not used). All citations must have at least one author.
  • Initials only are used for the first and middle names in all citations. Initials are placed after authors’ names only in the case of the first author of each citation. No space between initials. The name of the last author in each reference should be preceded by a comma and the word "and,".
  • The names of editors of sources in which an authored reference is included (textbooks, compendia, etc.) should be given using the format "In: Doe, J. (ed.).”
  • Only the first word and proper nouns in titles of papers begin with a capital letter. For all other types of references (book titles), all major words begin with a capital letter. Inclusive page numbers are given when one reference in a book is cited. Pages are not given when more than one reference in a book is cited. The issue number is indicated in parentheses after the volume number only if the pages of the journal cited are numbered by issue rather than by volume.
  • Names of journals are abbreviated following the CAS source index, which can be located at
  • Articles that have been accepted for publication but have not yet been published should be listed in the Literature Cited section with the designation "(In press)" following the author’s name. Articles that have been submitted but not yet accepted by a journal should be listed as unpublished in the text and should not appear with the Literature Cited.

1. Bolton, L.A., and L. Munson. 1999. Glomerulosclerosis in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). Vet. Pathol. 36: 14-22.

2. Citino, S.B., and M. Bush. 2007. Giraffidae. In: West, G., D. Heard, and N. Caulkett (eds.). Zoo Animal and Wildlife Immobilization and Anesthesia. Ames, Iowa. Pp. 595-605.

3. Munson, L., J.W. Nesbit, D.G. Meltzer, L.P. Colly, L. Bolton, and N.P. Kriek. 1999. Diseases of captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus) in South Africa: a 20-year retrospective survey. J. Zoo. Wildl. Med. 30: 342-347.

4. Lamberski, N., A. Newell, and R. Radcliffe. 2004. Thirty immobilizations of captive giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) using a combination of medetomidine and ketamine. Proc. Am. Assoc. Zoo Vet., Am. Assoc. of Wildl. Vet., and Wildl. Dis. Assoc. Annu. Conf. Pp. 121-123.

Additional Information for Full Paper Submissions

  1. All of the above guidelines related to abstracts apply to full paper submissions.
  2. Full manuscripts should be limited to 10 pages in length (including tables, figures, and references).
  3. An abstract (250 words or less) should be provided at the beginning of the manuscript.
  4. Authors may follow standard journal section headings (Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results, Discussion) or may take an open format approach to their paper using different section headings.

EXAMPLE - Abstract only (250 words or less)


Gregory J. Fleming, DVM, Dipl ACZM1* and Christian Walzer, Dr., Dipl ECZM2

1Department of Animal Health, Disney’s Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives, Bay Lake, FL 32830 USA; 2Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria A-1160


Historical immobilization of the Nile hippopotamus has resulted in apnea, cyanosis, bradycardia and fatalities in up to 1/3 of the cases1 and only 2 of 16 successful (16%) resulted in surgical anesthesia.2 Recently two successful anesthetic protocols have been developed for the Nile hippopotamus using medetomidine (60-80 mcg/kg) and ketamine (1 mg kg) i.m. (MK) in captive settings, while a second combination utilizing butorphanol (0.12 mg/kg), azaparone (0.05-0.1 mg/kg), and medetomidine 0.04 i.m. (BAM) has been used in both captive and free ranging settings (Table 1).3

Over 30 anesthetic events were recovered between the two protocols. Induction times varied with BAM having faster induction of 8 ± 5 min vs 27±11.8 min in MK protocol. Working times of 60-97 min with the MK group receiving additional ketamine in boluses equaling 0.007 ± 0.002 mg kg min. While recovery was faster with the MK protocol (4.8 ± 2.86 min) with atipamezole (65% i.v./35% i.m.) compared to the BAM protocol with (10 ± 5 min) with i.m. administration of naltrexone (0.2 mg/kg i.m.) and atipamezole (0.1 mg/kg i.m.).

Transient apnea was seen in both combinations resulting in self-limiting breath holding for 4-7 min, which resolved over time and SpO2 levels re-bounded once respirations resumed. Heart rates remained constant in both protocols (35-55 bpm) while metabolic acidosis was evident in blood gas analysis.

In conclusion both protocols provide effective immobilization of the Nile hippopotamus; however the collection of additional physiologic data may assist with developing safer and more effective anesthetic techniques.


  1. Miller, M. 2007. Hippopotami. In: West, G., D. G. Heard, and N. Caulkett (eds.). Zoo Animal and Wildlife Immobilization and Anesthesia. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK. Pp 579-584.
  2. Ramsay, E.C., M. R. Loomis, and K. G. Mehren. 1998. Chemical restraint of the Nile hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) in captivity. J. Zoo Wildl. Med. 29:45-49.
  3. Stalder, G., T. Petit, I. Horrowitz, R. Hermes, J. Saragusty, F. Knauer, and C. Walzer. 2012. Use of a medetomidine-ketamine combination for anesthesia in captive common hippopotami (Hippopotamus amphibius). J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 241:110-116.

Table 1. Anesthetic protocols for Nile hippopotamus. (Table not included in this sample due to formatting issues)

EXAMPLE - Abstract only (1000 words or less)

Incorporation of computed tomography (CT) technology into routine zoological medicine: How in-house equipment can enhance quality of care

Michael J. Adkesson, DVM, Dipl ACZM*

Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL 60513 USA


Over the past 20 yr, the use of computed tomography (CT) in veterinary medicine has become more widespread, representing advancement in the standard of care. Dedicated equipment in veterinary colleges and referral centers has led to substantial use in domestic animals, but use of CT in zoological medicine remains fairly limited, restricted primarily to challenging clinical cases, high-profile specimens, and clinical research. Although many zoos have established a relationship with a local CT facility, its use is invariably limited due to issues of convenient access, animal/staff safety, and logistics with animal transport. There is really no substitute for immediate in-house access to CT technology, but the associated costs are substantial. Modernization of a hospital room, equipment purchase, and utility (electrical and ventilation) upgrades all represent significant investments. Service contracts and replacement parts are considerable ongoing expenses, as well as the necessary investments in training and education for staff to become proficient with CT unit operation and image interpretation.

In 2009 the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) made the financial commitment to provide in-house CT imaging and installed a GE Medical Systems HiSpeed Advantage CT scanner in the veterinary hospital, making it one of only three zoos in the world with CT technology on site. Immediate, unlimited access to the scanner has provided numerous enhancements in the level of veterinary care that can be provided at the zoo. Scans are completed quickly and efficiently, without the need for off-site transport, drastically decreasing anesthetic times and eliminating many logistic and safety-related challenges. New examination findings that indicate a need for CT can be addressed immediately, precluding the need for an additional anesthetic event, a particularly great benefit for patients with high anesthetic risks or that require complicated immobilizations.

The daily challenges of zoological medicine also provide many new prospects for CT use and the opportunity to incorporate CT imaging into many routine procedures. Routine use of CT can provide diagnostic benefits not available with other imaging modalities and may accelerate reaching a diagnosis in many cases. CT imaging with 3D reconstruction is a valuable tool for assessing skeletal morphology, organ position, and surgical approaches in species where detailed anatomic information is sparse. Routine CT use for dental evaluation is a valuable tool in species where adequate oral visualization is challenging (e.g., aardvarks, macropods, rodents). At CZS, CT scans are becoming standard practice in certain species during quarantine and preventative health examinations to evaluate potential concerns and provide a ‘baseline’ for future comparison. In certain species, whole body scans are performed during regular exams to begin establishing a database of normal CT anatomy. Interventional procedures (e.g. CT assisted aspirates and biopsies) are also greatly facilitated by immediate on-site CT access. Such procedures can have significant diagnostic and therapeutic benefit and represent another emerging use in zoological medicine.

There is a clear benefit in having CT available for difficult clinical cases, but we are only beginning to recognize the advantages of routine use and the full spectrum of potential applications in zoological medicine. As costs continue to decrease and use becomes more widespread, CT will certainly become a standard in the practice of zoological medicine.


The Chicago Zoological Society graciously acknowledges Loyola University Medical Center for the donation of a CT scanner, the Aurelio Caccomo Family Foundation for their support of installation and renovation costs, and the staff at VIZUATM for their assistance with image rendering. The author also thanks Drs. Tom Meehan, Jennifer Langan, and Carlos Sanchez.

EXAMPLE - Full paper


R. Avery Bennett, DVM, MS, Dipl ACVS

Animal Medical Center, New York, NY 10065 USA

An abstract of 250 words or less is included here.


Few reports of methods for managing luxations in birds have been published.2 Coxofemoral luxations are frequently the result of trauma during restraint, or the bird struggling when its leg has been ensnared within a cage structure or fence. Elbow luxations primarily occur in raptors secondary to in-flight trauma.

For treatment of luxations, it is crucial to reduce the luxation as early as possible, which minimizes the formation of periarticular fibrosis. The bird’s attempts to use the injured extremity often - and very quickly - cause damage to the articular cartilage. In as brief as three days, clinically significant fibrosis occurs and inhibits reduction of the luxation and predisposes the joint to ankylosis. Where articular cartilage is damaged, even with successful luxation reduction and stabilization, it is likely that degenerative changes and osteoarthritis will occur in the future. As many animals with severe degenerative joint disease do not demonstrate overt pain, it is difficult to determine the clinical importance of osteoarthritis in older captive birds, and in free-ranging birds it is even more difficult to assess. Clinically significant arthritis may require years to develop during which time the bird likely will function well.

When managing luxations in birds, it is important to take radiographs after the extremity has been reduced and bandaged. During bandage application, re-luxation is common and must be identified immediately so that appropriate measures can be taken. Although controlled physical therapy under general anesthesia as early as possible will help minimize the effects of bandaging on other joints, it is best to wait 24-48 hr to allow healing to begin and pain to subside. In most cases, primary repair of the damaged tendons and ligaments is not possible so ultimately the joint becomes stable because of the formation of scar tissue. During physical therapy, no effort should be made to move the affected joint as if the scar tissue is disrupted by joint manipulations it may not stabilize. Therapy is generally performed under general anesthesia every other day and involves passive range of motion exercises of all immobilized joints, except the affected joint, for 10-15 min. For example, when managing an elbow luxation, the shoulder and carpus are exercised but not the elbow. Tendons and ligaments heal initially by a disorganized mass of fibrous connective tissue, which is not strong. When stresses are applied to the scar tissue, it re-orients along the lines of stress. This process takes a long time (6-8 wks in mammals). The conformation of many joints favors their remaining in a reduced position. While no objective data is documented on how long a joint should be immobilized before applying stress, if the support is removed too early, the joint will be more prone to re-luxation. Generally 7-10 days seems to be a long enough period for most joints to stay reduced after the support is removed.

It is vital to check the bandage daily if at all possible. Serious bandage morbidity can occur very quickly. In birds, damage to the propatagium can occur with figure-of-eight bandages. Part of physical therapy for wing injuries involves massaging the tendon and checking for injury from the bandage. Some birds are predisposed to developing pododermatitis when they must bear weight on only one leg. They also should be checked daily for early signs of bumble foot and appropriate treatment instituted as soon as signs are noted.

Luxation of the Shoulder

Shoulder luxation may involve avulsion of the ventral tubercle of the proximal humerus.2 The shoulder joint is not a very stable joint and re-luxation is common. If the luxation occurs secondary to ventral tubercle avulsion, surgery to reattach the tubercle results in a stable joint. However, as the bone is fractured, it will take 3-4 wks for healing. If the tubercle is not avulsed, closed reduction is often successful. If the joint does not stay reduced, a trans-articular pin can be placed through the proximal humerus along the deltoid crest and into either the scapula or coracoid. The pin should be placed with the shoulder joint held in a flexed (resting, folded wing) position. Regardless of the technique used, the wing should be bandaged to the body to immobilize the shoulder joint.

Elbow Luxation

Luxation of the elbow is usually the result of severe blunt trauma strong enough to disrupt the ligamentous support. This type of injury occurs infrequently in companion birds but has been reported to occur as frequently as in 12% of raptor patients.2 Because of the anatomy, luxation usually occurs dorsal, caudal or caudodorsal. Ventral luxations generally occur only in association with fracture of the radius. The wing generally is held with the elbows extended (drooped) and externally rotated. Pain, crepitus and swelling are noted on palpation of the affected wing. The wing should be examined for concomitant soft tissue injury that may affect the prognosis. The presence of open wounds and fractures has been associated with a poor prognosis for return to normal function.2

Reduction is accomplished by flexing the elbow to counteract the force of the scapulotriceps muscle that pulls the ulna caudally. Maintaining flexion, the radius and ulna are rotated internally while pressure is applied to the dorsal (lateral) aspect of the radial head to force it into apposition with the dorsal (lateral) humeral condyle. As the cubital joint is extended gently, a pop is often palpable when reduction is complete. In cases with severe ligamentous damage, this pop may not be palpable. If the joint is stable following reduction, it may be supported with a figure-of-eight bandage.

If closed reduction is not possible or re-luxation readily occurs, open surgical reduction is recommended. Through a lateral (dorsal) approach to the cubital joint, the common digital extensor is sutured to the scapulotriceps tendon distal to the cubitus. In a study that evaluated 12 cubital luxations in raptors, only three birds could be released.1 Nine had caudodorsal luxation, none could be reduced closed and reduction was maintained using external skeletal fixation or figure-of-eight wrap. In another study, four of eight raptors with a cubital luxation were released.2

If the cubital joint can be reduced either open or closed, but it will not stay in reduction, a transarticular external skeletal fixation device may be applied to maintain reduction. At least two pins are placed in the humerus and two in the ulna. The elbow is flexed into a normal folded position and the pins connected.

Luxation of the Carpus

Usually the carpometacarpus is displaced dorsally relative to the radius and ulna. The bird will hold the wing with the carpus extended and it will be externally rotated at the carpus. Reduction is accomplished by applying traction and (dorsal) abduction of the distal extremity. The carpometacarpus is then toggled into reduction and the carpus is flexed and (ventrally) adducted. With the carpus in flexion a figure-of-eight bandage is applied to maintain reduction. With large birds or chronic luxations, open reduction may be indicated. In cases where laxity is present following reduction and the joint will not stay reduced, a transarticular pin or ESF device may be placed to maintain reduction. The transarticular pin is placed with the carpus in a normal degree of flexion through the main body of the carpometacarpus and into the ulna, which immobilizes the carpus. A fixator can be applied with two pins in the ulna and two in the major carpometacarpus.

Luxation of the Metacarpophalangeal Joint

Luxation has been reported in two raptors and both were treated by arthrodesis.8 The bones are small and blood supply tenuous in this location, which makes primary repair impractical. Both birds were treated with a type I external skeletal fixator and both regained full fight and were released.

Coxofemoral Luxation

In most psittacine birds and raptors, the coxofemoral joint is not a tight fitting ball and socket joint. As a diarthrodial joint supported by a round ligament as well as collateral ligaments, it has a substantial amount of cranial to caudal gliding motion with little abduction and adduction. The ventral collateral ligament and the round ligament primarily are involved in maintaining the femoral head within the acetabulum. For luxation to occur, both of these structures must be disrupted.2 In many species, the dorsal acetabular rim is well developed and extends as the antitrochanter to articulate with the broad, flat femoral neck and trochanter.

Coxofemoral luxations are generally the result of traction and rotational trauma, such as occurs when the leg is caught and the bird struggles to escape. Most luxations are craniodorsal in birds, although cranioventral luxation also has been reported.2 Closed reduction and stabilization with slings, splints and casts have been recommended. In some cases, the luxation may be reduced and maintained using a transarticular pin. The pin is inserted through the trochanter into the head of the femur, across the joint and seated in the acetabulum. This pin must be inserted carefully by pre-determined measure so to avoid injuring the kidney that lies medially to the acetabulum. The injured limb should be supported using an off weight bearing sling or spica splint to prevent pin migration. In most cases, sufficient production of scar tissue will occur 7-10 days postoperatively such that the pin safely may be removed. Long-term maintenance of a transarticular pin can predispose to the development of degenerative joint disease and pin migration.

Surgical reduction and stabilization is considered the treatment of choice for acute coxofemoral luxations. A femoral head and neck excision arthroplasty often is indicated for chronic luxations. The approach for both of these surgeries is the craniolateral approach that also allows for the placement of support sutures and access to the joint capsule.2 In most cases, the joint capsule is torn or even absent as a result of the bird trying to walk on the affected leg. Following reduction of the luxation, stabilization sutures are placed from the trochanter to the dorsolateral iliac crest caudal to the central axis of the femur and from the trochanter to the cranial rim of the acetabulum.2 The sutures are placed through the bone and with the stifle maintained in a normal standing position, the sutures are tightened. These sutures prevent excessive external rotation of the leg as with dorsal coxofemoral luxation, severe damage usually is present to the muscles that prevent external rotation. The joint capsule (if present) is closed and the iliotrochantericus caudalis and iliofemoralis externus are apposed.An alternative to open reduction is to perform a femoral head and neck excision arthroplasty (FHO).2,4 For this technique, the rehabilitation is easier and the prognosis is generally good, even for raptors. By craniolateral approach to the hip, the head and neck of the femur are removed with an appropriate sized osteotome or oscillating saw. Rongeurs should be used to ensure that no rough or sharp edges remain at the osteotomy site. Following FHO, a tendency for external rotation of the limb is often present because of the muscle damage caused by the luxation although this problem is not observed with femoral neck fractures.4 This issue can be countered using the support sutures described for surgical coxofemoral stabilization. In both situations, as polydioxanone suture remains for over 4 mo in birds, but is absorbable, it is an appropriate choice for these anti-rotational sutures.

As with closed reduction, the limb should be supported post-operatively in a spica splint or off weight bearing sling for 7-10 days. It is best to maintain the bird in a cage with smooth walls and a perch near the floor to discourage the bird’s attempts to climb. It can be very difficult to achieve postoperative immobilization of the coxofemoral joint in long legged birds. Unlike with open reduction of a hip luxation, early use of the leg is encouraged following excision arthroplasty as a better pseudoarthosis will form. Passive range of motion exercises can be started the day after surgery. In a recent report, a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) and a Canada goose (Branta canadensis) had virtually no lameness and normal function following FHO with good return to function within 12-48 hr post-operatively.4

Luxation of the Stifle

In addition to tearing the cruciate ligaments, damage to the collateral ligaments usually is present in birds with stifle luxation and multiple stifle ligament injury is frequent. During the physical examination, a positive drawer sign is elicited and medial and/or lateral collateral instability exists. The tibiotarsus may be located cranial or caudal to the distal femur. Surgical repair of the ligaments may be attempted, especially in large birds; however, in most birds, the size of the ligaments precludes primary surgical apposition.

If the stifle can be reduced closed, a transarticular ESF may be used to maintain the stifle in reduction allowing periarticular fibrosis to stabilize the joint. Two fixation pins minimally should be placed each in the femur and the tibiotarsus. With the joint reduced and the limb in a normal, standing position, the pins are connected.7

If the joint cannot be reduced closed, an open reduction is indicated. A lateral parapatellar approach to the stifle is made and a curved hemostat is used to lever the proximal tibiotarsus into its proper position on the distal femur. Once the joint is reduced, several options to maintain reduction are described. A transarticular pin can be placed from the distal femur into the proximal tibiotarsus to hold the joint in reduction. During closure, the joint capsule is imbricated. The leg is bandaged for 10-14 days to allow fibrous tissue to stabilize the joint before the pin is removed. In one report, cruciate ligament and stifle luxation were managed with open reduction and stabilization5 with one bird (trumpeter hornbill, Bycanistes bucinator) repaired by a fibular head transposition and lateral joint imbrication for cruciate ligament damage and the other bird (African grey parrot, Psittacus erithacus) stabilized by lateral imbrication after open reduction. Both birds regained good limb function by 30 days. In these birds, no external coaptation was used, allowing early return to function, which is preferred if the joint is stable after soft tissue repair.

Alternatively, a hole can be created from lateral to medial in the distal femur and proximal tibiotarsus. A suture is passed from lateral to medial in the distal femur and medial to lateral in the proximal tibiotarsus. This approach will create a mattress suture that will mimic the collateral ligaments that are often damaged with stifle luxation. The joint is reduced and the suture tightened. Unfortunately, this suture may not stabilize cranial-caudal movement (drawer), so a transarticular pin, an external fixator, or a bandage can be added to prevent cranial-caudal movement. A third option is to perform an open reduction and place a transarticular fixator with at least two pins each in the femur and the tibiotarsus connected on the lateral aspect of the leg. Once the fixator is applied, soft tissues are imbricated to provide support and scaffolding for scar tissue formation. Finally, a technique described for use in young birds with developmental stifle luxation involves inserting a pin normograde from distal to proximal into the femur and another proximal to distal into the tibiotarsus.3 These pins are left long and used to align and reduce the luxation. The stifle is placed in a normal standing angle and the pins will cross. Cement is used to bond the two pins cranial to the stifle externally. A disadvantage of this technique is that the pins penetrate the articular cartilage and are exposed externally. In one report, ascending osteomyelitis occurred and ended in amputation.6

Where severe damage is present with these articular fractures, arthrodesis may be indicated. Successful arthrodesis and good limb function was reported in a cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) with a traumatic stifle luxation.7 When an arthrodesis is performed, the fixator is maintained until evidence of bony union is present radiographically.

Prognosis with avian luxation repair is somewhat dependent on the intended use of the bird. Companion birds and zoo specimens may function without a precise ability to fly; however, with wild birds, hunting birds, and racing pigeons, anything less than perfection cannot be regarded as success. In many birds, some degree of leg dysfunction may be acceptable; however, in raptors, legs are important for obtaining food; in terrestrial birds, they are necessary for survival; and in many species, they are vital for successful reproduction.

1. Ackermann, J., and P. Redig. 1997. Surgical repair of elbow luxations in raptors. J. Avian Med. Surg. 11:247-254.
2. Bennett, R.A., 1997. Orthopedic surgery. In: Altman, R.B., S.L. Clubb, G.M. Dorrestein, and K. Quesenberry (eds.). Avian Medicine and Surgery. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pp. 733-766.
3. Bowles, H., and D.W. Zantop. 2002. A novel surgical technique for luxation repair of the femorotibial joint in a monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). J. Avian Med. Surg. 16:34-38.
4. Burgdorf-Moisuk, A., J.K. Whittington, R.A. Bennett, M. McFadden, M. Mitchell, and R. O’Brien. 2011. Successful management of simple fractures of the femoral neck with femoral head and neck excision arthroplasty in two free-living avian species. J. Avian Med. Surg. 25:210-215.
5. Chinnadurai, S., G. Spodnick, L. Degernes, R.S. DeVoe, and D.J. Marcellin-Little. Use of an extracapsular stabilization technique to repair cruciate ligament ruptures in two avian species. J. Avian Med. Surg. 23:307-13.
6. Harris, M. C., O. Diaz-Figueroa, S.K. Lauer, B. Burkert, and T.N. Tully. 2007. Complications associated with conjoined intramedullary pin placement for femorotibial joint luxation in a Solomon Island eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus solomonensis). J. Avian Med. Surg. 21:299-306.
7. Rosenthal, K., E. Hillyer, and D. Mathiessen. 1994. Stifle luxation repair in a mollucan cockatoo and a barn owl. J. Avian Med. Surg. 8:173-178.
8. Van, A.J., and P.T. Redig. 2004. Arthrodesis as a treatment for metacarpophalangeal joint luxation in 2 raptors. J. Avian Med. Surg. 18:23-29.


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