Fluoroscopic study of the normal gastrointestinal motility and measurements in the Hispaniolan Amazon parrot (Amazona ventralis)

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Contrast fluoroscopy is a valuable tool to examine avian gastrointestinal motility. However, the lack of a standardized examination protocol and reference ranges prevents the objective interpretation of motility disorders and other gastrointestinal abnormalities. Our goals were to evaluate gastrointestinal motility in 20 Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) by contrast fluoroscopy. Each parrot was crop-fed an equal part mixture of barium sulfate and hand-feeding formula and placed in a cardboard box for fluoroscopy. Over a 3-h period, 1.5 minute segments of lateral and ventrodorsal fluoroscopy were recorded every 30 min. The gastric cycle and patterns of intestinal motility were described. The frequency of crop contractions, esophageal boluses, and gastric cycles were determined in lateral and ventrodorsal views. A range of 3.4-6.6 gastric cycles/min was noted on the lateral view and 3.0-6.6 gastric cycles/min on the ventrodorsal view. Circular measurements of the proventriculus diameter, ventriculus width, and length were obtained using the midshaft femoral diameter as a standard reference unit. The upper limits of the reference ranges were 3.6 and 4.7 femoral units for the proventriculus diameter in the lateral and ventrodorsal view, respectively. Two consecutive measurements were obtained and the measurement technique was found to have high reproducibility. In this study, we established a standardized protocol for contrast fluoroscopic examination of the gastrointestinal tract and a reliable measurement method of the proventriculus and ventriculus using femoral units in the Hispaniolan Amazon parrot.

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Veterinary radiology & ultrasound : the official journal of the American College of Veterinary Radiology and the International Veterinary Radiology Association

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