Body temperature and heart and respiratory rates are measured routinely during the physical examination of most animals. However, the influence of stress on these values has not been well evaluated in birds. In this study, we measured the cloacal temperature and heart and respiratory rates serially during 15 minutes of restraint in 17 Amazon parrots (Amazona species). The mean cloacal temperature of the parrots increased significantly (P < .001) within 4 minutes of manual restraint and increased by 2.3°C (4.2°F) at 15 minutes. Mean respiratory rates also increased significantly (P < .001) from 129 to 252 breaths/min during 15 minutes of manual restraint, while mean heart rates did not significantly change. These findings emphasize the importance of limiting restraint time and observing for tachypnea, even in healthy parrots, to avoid potentially life-threatening increases in body temperature.
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Vol. 18 • No. 1