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1 June 2017 Determination of Gastrointestinal Transit Times in Barred Owls ( Strix varia) by Contrast Fluoroscopy
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Abstract

Contrast imaging studies are routinely performed in avian patients when an underlying abnormality of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is suspected. Fluoroscopy offers several advantages over traditional radiography and can be performed in conscious animals with minimal stress and restraint. Although birds of prey are commonly encountered as patients, little is known about GI transit times and contrast imaging studies in these species, especially owls. Owls are commonly encountered in zoological, educational, and wildlife settings. In this study, 12 adult barred owls (Strix varia) were gavage fed a 30% weight-by-volume barium suspension (25 mL/kg body weight). Fluoroscopic exposures were recorded at 5, 15, 30, 60, 120, 180, 240, and 300 minutes after administration. Overall GI transit time and transit times of various GI organs were recorded. Median (interquartile range [IQR]) overall GI transit time was 60 minutes (IQR: 19–60 minutes) and ranged from 5–120 minutes. Ventricular and small intestinal contrast filling was rapid. Ventricular emptying was complete by a median of 60 minutes (IQR: 30–120 minutes; range: 30–240 minutes), whereas small intestinal emptying was not complete in 9/12 birds by 300 minutes. Median small intestinal contraction rate was 15 per minute (IQR: 13–16 minutes; range: 10–19 minutes). Median overall GI transit time in barred owls is more rapid than mean transit times reported for psittacine birds and red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis). Fluoroscopy is a safe, suitable method for investigating GI motility and transit in this species.

© 2017 by the Association of Avian Veterinarians
Grayson A. Doss, Jackie M. Williams, and Christoph Mans "Determination of Gastrointestinal Transit Times in Barred Owls ( Strix varia) by Contrast Fluoroscopy," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 31(2), 123-127, (1 June 2017). https://doi.org/10.1647/2016-182
Published: 1 June 2017
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