Infraorbital Sinus Flushing in Birds (Disease Investigation & Control - Treatment and Care)

Summary Information
Type of technique Health & Management / Disease Investigation & Control / Treatment & Care / Techniques:
Synonyms and Keywords --
Description The following description outlines the procedure as described by Waine (B11.34.w2), with additional notes from Coles (B14).
  • Lance sinus at point of maximal swelling.
  • "Milk out" contents, gently.
  • Apply nozzle of a syringe containing antibiotic solution (e.g. 2.5% enrofloxacin, Baytril, Bayer) to the nostril on the same side as the swelling.
  • Occlude the opposite nostril, empty the syringe into the nostril, flushing out the sinus.
  • Repeat daily until the external outline of the sinus has returned to normal and mucus production has stopped.


N.B. Hold hypodermic needle almost parallel to skin when entering sinus (B14).

Appropriate Use (?)
Notes N.B. sinuses are large - suggested flushing volumes range from 5ml for a small duck such as a common teal Anas crecca to 30ml for a large swan.

Collecting a sample of the contents of the sinus aseptically allows bacterial culture and sensitivity testing (B11.34.w2).

Anaesthesia not required in quiet birds (B14).

Complications/ Limitations / Risk Care to avoid the eyeball (B14).
Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers Appropriate blade, syringe, medication.
Expertise level / Ease of Use Procedure should only be undertaken by an individual with appropriate clinical training and practical experience; this would usually be a veterinarian or someone with advanced veterinary technician training.
Cost/ Availability Not expensive, unless expensive medication is used.
Legal and Ethical Considerations In some countries there may be legislation restricting the use of this type of technique to licensed veterinarians. For example in the UK: "The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides, subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons may practice veterinary surgery."(see: LCofC1 - RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Treatment of Animals by Non-Veterinary Surgeons).).
Author Debra Bourne
References B11.34.w2, B14.

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