This report describes lower respiratory tract disease in 3 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), 1 orange-winged Amazon parrot (Amazona amazonica), 1 yellow-headed Amazon parrot (Amazona oratrix), and 1 Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis). All birds had lower respiratory tract disease caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, Streptococcus pyogenes, or Staphylococcus aureus and confirmed by clinical, hematologic, radiographic, and microbiological evaluations. All the respiratory infections were poorly responsive to, or recurred after, conventional medical therapies. A novel technique is described that is a minimally invasive endosurgical procedure for debriding and ablating air sac granulomas with a rigid 2.7-mm telescope and class IV gallium-aluminum-arsenide diode laser. Under isoflurane anesthesia, granulomas were debulked and removed prior to laser ablation of the infected areas. Four of the 6 birds made uneventful recoveries after the procedure. Two African grey parrots died during or shortly after surgery because of disseminated aspergillosis. Necropsy examinations of the 2 deceased birds failed to demonstrate any iatrogenic endoscope or laser damage. In conclusion, endoscopic debridement and laser ablation offers a viable alternative to conventional surgery in the management of lung and air sac granulomas in psittacine birds.
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Vol. 16 • No. 2