Currently available assay methods and reagents are not optimized for evaluating avian hemostasis; therefore, assessing avian coagulopathies is challenging. Recently, thromboelastography (TEG), which measures the viscoelastic properties of blood, has been used clinically in mammalian species to diagnose and characterize hemostatic disorders. To evaluate TEG in healthy individuals of 6 avian species, we modified existing mammalian TEG protocols to allow analysis of citrated, avian whole-blood samples collected from scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber) (n = 13), American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) (n = 13), helmeted Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) (n = 12), Amazon parrots (Amazona species) (n = 9), Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti) (n = 6), and domestic chickens (n = 16). Activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time, and fibrinogen were measured as a means of comparison. Regardless of the mode of activation, clot formation in the species studied was markedly delayed compared with mammals. Because of prolonged reaction time (14.7–52.7 minutes) with kaolin and diluted tissue factor, undiluted human tissue factor was used in all avian samples because it provided the shortest reaction time. Species differed significantly in reaction time (P = .007), clotting rate (P < .001), rate of clot formation (α angle; P < .001), and maximum amplitude (P < .001) values, indicating that species-specific reference intervals are necessary. Based on these results, TEG with specific reference intervals could prove useful in evaluating avian hemostatic disorders.
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