A total of 3251 falcons were examined at the Falcon Medical Research Hospital of the Fahad bin Sultan Falcon Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, between September 1999 and March 2001. Of this total, 96 falcons (2.9%), including 78 saker (Falco cherrug), 12 peregrine (Falco peregrinus), and 6 lanner (Falco biarmicus) falcons, were admitted for treatment of lead toxicosis. Lead toxicosis was diagnosed by evaluating the anamnesis, clinical signs, radiographic findings, and blood lead concentrations as measured by an electrochemical analysis system that reported blood lead concentrations within several minutes. Thirty-four (35.4%) of the falcons treated had radiographic evidence of lead pellets or fragments in the gastrointestinal tract. In all cases with lead pellets present in the ventriculus, the blood lead concentration was >65 μg/dl (0.65 ppm). However, in 62 (64.5%) of the treated falcons, no radiographic evidence was found of lead pellets or fragments in the ventriculus. The blood lead concentrations in these cases ranged from 25.5 to >65 μg/dl (0.255–>0.65 ppm). Calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetracetate (Ca EDTA) was administered (50 mg/kg, undiluted, IM q12h) for 2–23 consecutive days, depending on the bird's blood lead concentration. The mean reduction in blood lead concentration after treatment was 83.9% (range = 72.6–94.2%, n = 22). Birds treated with Ca EDTA for as many as 23 consecutive days did not demonstrate any deleterious effects.
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