The motion of wing joints is a critical factor for successful flight in avian patients, but little information is available about goniometry in birds. Elbow and carpus joints in flexed and extended positions from 10 orthopedically normal wings of 6 adult wild barred owls (Strix varia) were evaluated with the animals under general anesthesia using a modified universal plastic goniometer and an electrogoniometer. These measurements were compared to those obtained using radiographic assessment. Intra- and interobserver reliability was calculated. Measurements in live animals were compared to those obtained from frozen-thawed carcasses. Results showed that the modified universal plastic goniometer can be used to obtain accurate results for elbow flexion and extension and for carpal flexion with good to excellent reliability compared to measurements collected from radiographic assessment. Measurements obtained using an electrogoniometer were less accurate and less reliable than those obtained with a plastic goniometer, possibly because of the size and configuration of the model used. Comparison of measurements from live animals and carcasses revealed no significant differences between mean measurements and suggested that further evaluation of carcasses as a model for study of goniometry measurements in avian wing joints should be considered.
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