Bird X-rays

HomeBird X-rays

Bird X-rays

The first series of radiographs are before we had our digital radiography. As you scroll down and come to the rad’s taken by our digital machine you will see the increase in quality compared to how we took radiographs of birds before digital.

This first x-ray is from a normal cockatoo that is laying on its side, with the head towards the right. To see a diagram that labels these structures click here, then return for our x-ray tour of birds.

This is another normal cockatoo, this time it is laying on its back. The important organs have been labeled. Note the hourglass appearance of how the heart and liver connect.

These first two x-rays show a bird that has an abdomen filled with fluid. You cannot identify individual organs when the fluid is this extensive. Unfortunately, this is a serious condition.

This is an x-ray of a bird with an enlarged liver. The hourglass appearance between the heart and liver is not present.

This patient has lead toxicity (click here to learn more about lead toxicity). The arrow points to lead particles in the gizzard (stomach). Do you see the fractured leg also? The next x-ray shows the lead and fracture from a different view.

This same bird is now laying on its back, and emphasizes the importance of analyzing two views of an x-ray. The fracture (arrow) in the tibiotarsal (shin) bone is more apparent now. The other arrow points to the lead particles in the gizzard. Now go back and see if you can find the fracture in the view above (hint-it is in the leg to the left). This type of fracture can be handled with a splint.

Here is another bird with lead particles in the gizzard. You know how to recognize it now without an arrow.

The arrow is pointing to a metallic object that is in the bone marrow of the femur (thigh bone). Can you guess what this object is? The next x-ray shows you a side view of this object.


This is called an intraosseus (IO) catheter. It is used to give fluids, especially during an emergency. Birds have very thin walled veins and sometimes they do not hold up when we need to administer fluids. The IO catheter remedies this problem

The following radiographs are from our new digital radiography machine. You can click on them to enlarge.

Egg bound

Birdrad- egg

Fish hook in crop

Birdrad- fishook


Barium in crop


BB in skull


Hawk with BB’s in wing


Detail of digital radiography in a normal bird



Fractured tibiotarsal (shin) bone

Pelican Fx

Fish hook in gizzard (ventriculus)


Heron neck


Repair of fractured ulna in red tailed hawk. The metal object is an IM (intramdeullary) pin. The fuzziness around the pin is normal healing bone, called callus


Egg bound bird with egg almost out (in the cloaca)


Fracture repair using external pins




2020-06-23T16:22:34-07:00June 23rd, 2020|
Go to Top