Diseases / List of Physical / Traumatic Diseases / Disease description:

Hook and Line Injuries in Waterfowl
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

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General and References

Disease Summary

WATERFOWL Variety of internal and external injuries caused by entanglement with, or ingestion of, fish hooks and/or line.

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Fishing Tackle Injuries

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Disease Type

 Physical / Traumatic

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

Fish hooks and fishing line.

Infective "Taxa"

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Non-infective agents

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Physical agents

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne
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Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

B11.34.w2, B37.x.w1, P8.3.w1

Other References

Code and Title List

J7.50.w1
J36.44.w1
B9.6.w1
V.w5, V.w6

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General

WATERFOWL --

Clinical Characteristics

WATERFOWL
  • Line may be visible around and/or trailing from the bill, body, limb or neck.
  • Line may be hanging out of the mouth.
  • Localised swelling may be seen in the cervical area.
  • May also act as a focus for impaction of food, usually in the oesophagus. (See: Impaction).
  • Line caught around the bill or tongue and passing down into the gizzard may cause 'cheese-wire'-type cuts in the oesophagus.
  • Respiratory distress, anorexia and weight loss may be seen with oesophageal hooks, also severe infection.
  • Line may be deeply embedded in and hidden by granulation tissue.
  • Line around limbs may restrict circulation, cut through skin, tendons and even bone, eventually.

(J3.120.w1, B11.34.w2, B37.x.w1, P8.3.w1)

Incubation

WATERFOWL --

Mortality / Morbidity

WATERFOWL --

Pathology

WATERFOWL May be large tears in the oesophagus, abscess formation or jugular vein rupture (P8.3.w1).

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Human Health Considerations

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

WATERFOWL Modern nylon monofilament line is strong, elastic, persistent in the environment and near invisible in water; this makes it a serious hazard to waterfowl. Mute swans appear to be particularly prone to damage from fish hooks and line (B11.34.w2, B37.x.w1).

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Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

[N.B. Miscellaneous / Traumatic Diseases tend to be under-reported and the majority are likely to affect all waterfowl species, given exposure to the related disease agents/factors.]
  • Mute swan Cygnus olor with gizzard impacted by tangled mass of nylon fishing line, in Scotland, UK (J36.44.w1).
  • Mute swan Cygnus olor with nylon fishing line twisted around the wings, in Scotland, UK (J36.44.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor with fish hooks embedded in the oesophagus, in Scotland, UK (J36.44.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor in Scotland, UK (J7.50.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor having swallowed fish hooks or become entangled in fishing lines (B9.6.w1).
  • Tufted duck Aythya fuligula with nylon fishing line around body and caught in reeds, in UK (V.w5).

Host Species List

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Disease has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

  • Mute swan Cygnus olor with gizzard impacted by tangled mass of nylon fishing line, in Scotland, UK (J36.44.w1).
  • Mute swan Cygnus olor with nylon fishing line twisted around the wings, in Scotland, UK (J36.44.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor with fish hooks embedded in the oesophagus, in Scotland, UK (J36.44.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor in Scotland, UK (J7.50.w1).
  • Mute swans Cygnus olor having swallowed fish hooks or become entangled in fishing lines (B9.6.w1).
  • Tufted duck Aythya fuligula with nylon fishing line around body and caught in reeds, in UK (V.w5).

Host Species List

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

May occur anywhere where people fish with hook and line. May be a major cause of injury or illness on crowded waterways close to centres of human population (B37.x.w1).

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

WATERFOWL Careful physical examination is required as small hooks and thin nylon line may not be immediately visible.
  • The tongue, under the bill, the skin of the neck, the limbs and the body should be examined carefully by eye and by palpation.
  • Running a finger with slight pressure along the tongue and under the bill along the central soft intra-ramal tissue may assist in finding a nylon wire.
  • Endoscopy and radiography may be useful to locate oesophageal hooks.
  • Always suspect and check for a hook if line is trailing from the mouth.

(J3.120.w1, P8.3.w1, B11.34.w2)

Related Techniques
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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

WATERFOWL --

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

WATERFOWL --
Related Techniques

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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

WATERFOWL OESOPHAGEAL HOOK/LINE REMOVAL:
  • Do not cut the line extruding from the mouth short - it will provide a guide to the hook!
  • Single hooks may be removed using long-handles forceps.
  • May be possible using a fisherman's "disgorger" or by threading a stiff tube (e.g. bovine uterine catheter) over attached line, allowing manipulation of the hook.
  • Visualisation with a flexible endoscope, and inflation of the oesophagus may assist removal.
  • N.B. too much pressure, particularly with barbed hooks, may cause damage.
  • It may be possible to push a large hook through the skin, cut off the hook and then withdraw the remainder of the hook.
  • Surgical removal may be necessary, particularly if the oesophagus is torn and/or infected. Surgical removal of hooks under local or general anaesthetic:
    • General anaesthetic, left lateral recumbency, clamp incision site with artery forceps before incising skin, to decrease bleeding. Suture oesophagus in two layers using an atraumatic needle and swaged-on suture material such as absorbable monofilament (e.g. Monocryl, Ethicon) and ensuring an inverting pattern is used on the outer layer. Skin should be left unsutured or partially sutured, to allow drainage. Manage as an open wound.
  • N.B. hooks left in the oesophagus may become walled off by fibrosis and gradually rust.
  • Oesophageal line removal:
    • May be possible by gentle traction.
    • N.B. may be anchored by accumulated food (in which case traction may allow the whole may to be removed), or by a hook (in which case excessive traction may tear the tissue in which the hook is embedded).
  • Hooks/line reaching the gizzard usually become ground down and no longer a problem (P8.3.w1).

LINE AROUND LIMB OR BODY:

  • These must be removed carefully; limb may bleed profusely as line is removed.
  • Check and recheck that all loops of line, including those embedded in tissue, have been removed.
  • Amputation of the limb may be required with severe injuries; ducks may manage well with an amputated or dysfunctional limb but larger, heavier birds are likely to develop pressure necrosis lesions over the keel.
  • Scar tissue around limbs may constrict circulation: debride scar tissue, keep tissue moist and supple while healing, using e.g. Intrasite gel (Smith & Nephew Medical Ltd.) or petroleum jelly.
  • Contraction of wounds to the propatagium may cause flightlessness.

(B11.34.w2, B37.x.w1, P8.3.w1, V.w5, V.w6).

Related Techniques
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Preventative Measures

Vaccination WATERFOWL  
Prophylactic Treatment

WATERFOWL

 
Related Techniques

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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection

WATERFOWL

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Population Control Measures WATERFOWL --
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening WATERFOWL --
Related Techniques
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