& Management / Disease
Investigation & Control / Treatment & Care
||1) Hook removal:
The following description outlines the procedure as described by Waine
Robinson, Routh & Sanderson (B37.x.w1),
- Anaesthetise (General anaesthesia) .
- Place bird in lateral recumbency.
- Incise skin on the left side of the neck.
on the left side of the neck is recommended, as the jugular vain is considerably more
developed on the right side (J3.120.w1, B14).]
(Incision site may first be clamped with artery forceps to decrease bleeding P8.3.w1).
- Remove hook.
- Carefully debride and remove necrotic tissue (B37.x.w1). N.B.
pus in swans is very thick and surgical debridement may damage healthy tissue; chemical
debridement postoperatively using e.g. set honey is an alternative (P8.3.w1).
- Suture oesophagus in two layers using an atraumatic needle and suaged-on suture
material such as absorbable monofilament (e.g. Monocryl, Ethicon) and ensuring an
inverting pattern is used on the outer layer.
- If the site is infected, the skin should be left unsutured or partially sutured,
to allow drainage, and managed as an open wound (P8.3.w1).
- Give post-operative antibiotics
- Careful gavage (stomach tube) feeding may be required for the first three days
2) Removal of impacted food (e.g. secondary to lead poisoning):
The following description outlines the procedure as described by Cooke in treating an
adult Whooper swan Cygnus cygnus (J3.111.w2).
- Prepare surgical site - clip feathers from skin over most dependent part of
distended area, clean with chlorhexidine (Hibiscrub, ICI) and paint with povidone iodine.
- Instil 1% lignocaine (0.25ml) to provide cutaneous
- Incise skin, three inch (7.6cm) incision, exposing the
- Incise along oesophagus, 2.5 inches (6.35cm) incision.
- Ligate small superficial vessels with 2/0 catgut as required.
- Gently pull material from distal oesophagus and proventriculus using e.g.
nine-inch artery forceps.
- Gently 'milk' material in upper oesophagus down towards incision in small
amounts and remove.
- N.B. use extreme care to avoid grasping oesophageal or
- Endoscopy is useful in visualisation.
- Close oesophagus in two layers with 2/0 Dexon (Cynamid) on an
atraumatic needle: first layer accurate apposition of mucosa, sutured in in a continuous
Czerney suture, second layer inverting Lembert sutures.
- Flush subcutaneous tissues with sterile saline and dust with sodium
benzyl penicillin (Crystapen, Glaxovet).
- Close skin with simple interrupted sutures, using Dexon.
- Give antibiotic cover .
|Appropriate Use (?)
- Treatment of some types of Foreign Body
- Surgical removal of a hook is appropriate if the hook is deeply embedded in the
oesophageal wall or there is a sizeable tear in the oesophagus (B37.x.w1).
||Incision on the left side of the
neck is recommended, as the jugular vain is considerably more developed on the right side
differ as to whether either or both of these procedures may be carried out under local
anaesthetic or whether general anaesthetic should be employed. Suggestions include:
- Removal of hook: local anaesthetic (B11.34.w2),
general anaesthetic (P8.3.w1).
- Removal of impacted material: local anaesthetic (J3.111.w2),
general anaesthetic (B11.34.w2).
|Complications/ Limitations / Risk
||Care should be taken to avoid
excessively reducing the diameter of the oesophagus while placing the inverting suture.
This is less likely to be a problem when the oesophagus has been stretched by impacted
|Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
||Equipment and consumables for
general anaesthesia and surgery, including surgical instruments and consumables suitable
for the size of the bird.
|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.
||May be quite expensive: cost
of general anaesthesia and surgical operation.
|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).).
||J3.111.w2, J3.120.w1, B11.34.w2, B14, B37.x.w1,