Article Text

Avian practice
Veterinary care of raptors
  1. Marie Kubiak and
  2. Neil Forbes

2. Musculoskeletal problems


Over 40,000 raptors (including owls) are kept in the UK, primarily by active falconers who use them to hunt quarry as a hobby or for pest control. Any musculoskeletal disease affecting the wing or limb will impact on a bird's ability to maintain flight or to catch and kill prey. Many conditions that compromise musculoskeletal integrity are inherently related to inappropriate husbandry, with traumatic injury being less common and less predictable. Individual injuries should be assessed and treated based on location and type. This article discusses the four most common problems affecting limb function in raptors. An article published in the January issue of In Practice (volume 33, pp 28 to 32) reviewed the common conditions seen in captive and wild birds of prey.

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