Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Digestive System Disorders of Ratites

By

Thomas N. Tully, Jr.

, DVM, MS, DABVP (Avian), DECZM (Avian), Louisiana State University

Last full review/revision Jul 2021 | Content last modified Jul 2021
Topic Resources

Impaction of the proventriculus and ingestion of foreign bodies are management-related problems. Chicks are at high risk of impaction for the first 2 weeks after movement to a new environment, with or without a change in substrate or diet. Proventricular impactions are also diagnosed as a sequela of diseases involving ileus of the GI tract. Impactions with sand and concentrated feed can be managed medically with psyllium laxatives and supportive care. Impactions with forages or ingestions of foreign material (eg, hardware, rocks, jewelry) require proventriculotomy surgery for removal and subsequent resolution of the problem.

Cloacal prolapses are common in young chicks. Frequently, the chick has diarrhea or an impaction within the GI tract that causes straining and subsequent prolapse of the cloaca. The prolapse is easily reduced, and a purse-string suture is placed for 24–48 hours, making sure the bird can defecate/urinate normally while the suture is in place.

Intestinal torsion or volvulus, primarily involving the colon, occurs in ostriches of all ages. It can present as a flock problem when the diet is suddenly changed, especially if the new diet has a high fiber content. Clinical signs include scant to no feces, slight diarrhea, abdominal enlargement, and vomiting. Abdominocentesis and radiographic imaging of the coelom are diagnostic. When a diagnosis is made early, surgical intervention is corrective; however, surgery is often not economically feasible.

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Test your knowledge

Ferrets
Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) are domesticated placental mammals of the family Mustelidae. To which phylogenetic order do they belong?
Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website 
TOP