Radiography is a valuable tool for assessment of pulmonary disease. Specifically, radiographs utilizing positive pressure ventilation can distinguish between anesthesia-induced atelectasis and pulmonary disease when survey radiographs are ambiguous. Positive pressure ventilation can be used to radiographically prove or disprove pulmonary disease. This is of particular clinical importance when working with exotic, zoo, or wildlife species because the majority of these patients require general anesthesia to perform physical examinations and diagnostics such as radiography safely and efficiently. This report is a case example of pulmonary disease in a red panda (Ailurus fulgens) and demonstrates how positive pressure ventilation verified both the presence of pulmonary disease and the eventual resolution of the disease. Anesthetized patients on gas anesthesia will rapidly become atelectic. Through the use of positive pressure ventilation, anesthesia-induced atelectasis and true pulmonary disease can readily be distinguished. This is a technique that should not be overlooked when performing thoracic radiography in zoo species.
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