Female reproductive disorders, such as chronic egg laying, are common in captive psittacine birds. While a disease diagnosis related to reproductive disorders can often be accomplished by physical examination and diagnostic imaging, monitoring of the response to environmental modification and medical treatment is more challenging. Monitoring ideally would involve measurement of luteinizing hormone or estrogen to assess ovarian activity. However, the amount of blood required for hormone analysis is greater than the small sample size that one can collect from these birds. Additionally, the lack of reference intervals limits their use as a diagnostic tool. Because plasma triglyceride increases during sustained estrogen release from the ovary, it may be used as an alternative method for assessing ovarian activity in birds. Point-of-care (POC) analyzers for measuring lipids in human plasma use very small sample volumes and have been used for measuring triglycerides in animals, including chickens. The authors therefore performed a method comparison study with 2 POC analyzers and a reference analyzer and plasma and whole blood from psittacine birds to determine whether these meters are suitable for triglyceride measurement in a known population of psittacine birds. Correlation, Deming regression, and Bland-Altman analyses were used to assess performance, and the total observed error for each meter relative to the reference analyzer was calculated. One of the meters exhibited fair performance and, with species-specific reference intervals, is likely to be clinically useful for triglyceride measurement in psittacine birds. The other meter demonstrated poor performance with unacceptable error, and its use for this purpose is strongly discouraged.
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