Gout - Avian

April 7, 2018
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Severe macaw, M, 31 year-old

This macaw had a history of chronic renal disease, chronic uropygial gland trauma, and episodes of avian gout. The patient had recently been demonstrating weakened foot grip and was sleeping in the bottom of the cage.

Physical Examination
A physical examination did not localize a site of discomfort. Visually the feet appeared normal (Fig. 1).

Regional Screen with Digital Thermal Imaging
A digital thermal image of the feet was captured with a Digatherm IR camera.

Interpretation of the Thermal Image
A focal area of hyperthermia was present on the plantar surface of the right rear foot, radiating into the lateral digit.

Value of the Digital Thermal image
With a history of uric acid elevation and avian gout, localizing the site of inflammation was helpful in directing appropriate therapy. A series of laser therapy treatments was prescribed and the patient showed a return to more normal function.

Fig. 1 – Visually normal feet of a 31 year-old severe macaw with a weakened foot grip.

Fig. 2 – Thermal image of the plantar surface of the feet demonstrating an increased thermal gradient in the right rear foot radiating into the right lateral digit.

Contributed by:
Robert D. Ness, DVM
Ness Exotic Wellness Center
Lilse, IL

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