Radiographic evaluation of perching-joint angles in cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis), and barred owls (Strix varia)

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Information on perching-joint angles in birds is limited. Joint immobilization in a physiologic perching angle has the potential to result more often in complete restoration of limb function. We evaluated perching-joint angles in 10 healthy cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), 10 Hispaniolan Amazons (Amazona ventralis), and 9 barred owls (Strix varia) and determined intra- and interobserver variability for goniometric measurements in 2 different radiographic projections. Intra- and interobserver variation was less than 7% for all stifle and intertarsal joint measurements but frequently exceeded 10% for the hip-joint measurements. Hip, stifle, and intertarsal perching angles differed significantly among cockatiels, Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and barred owls. The accuracy of measurements performed on straight lateral radiographic projections with superimposed limbs was not consistently superior to measurements on oblique projections with a slightly rotated pelvis. Stifle and intertarsal joint angles can be measured on radiographs by different observers with acceptable variability, but intra- and interobserver variability for hip-joint-angle measurements is higher.

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Journal of avian medicine and surgery

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