To compare the efficacy of treatment protocols recommended to aid passage of metallic foreign objects from the ventriculus of birds, a 1-mm metal sphere, made from solder wire, was placed into the crop of each of 44 budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). After survey radiographs confirmed the spheres were lodged in the ventriculus, birds were divided into 6 groups. Each group received 1 of 6 different treatment protocols: psyllium with grit, acidic drinking water, fine grit, coarse grit, cathartic emollients (peanut butter and mineral oil), and a control group. All birds were treated simultaneously with a chelating agent, dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), to prevent heavy-metal toxicosis. Successive survey radiographs were used to monitor elimination of the spheres from the digestive tract. Of all protocols tested, birds treated with either fine or large grit had the shortest mean elimination time of the metal spheres. These results indicate that administration of grit particles, either fine or coarse, appears to be effective in hastening the passage of metallic foreign objects from the ventriculus of budgerigars.
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Vol. 23 • No. 3