Avian toxicology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


The popularity of birds as pets has increased substantially over the past several years. The fact that most pet birds are confined to the home environment exposes them to toxicants, such as the pyrolysis products, that poultry and wild birds are unlikely to come into contact with. Alternatively, pet birds can be exposed to toxicants to which poultry and wild birds are also exposed, but which are in different forms or from different sources. A diagnosis is generally based upon a history of exposure and characteristic postmortem lesions. Presently, there is no analytical test available to confirm exposure to the pyrolysis products. The rapidity of onset of severe signs and subsequent death most often precludes treatment. Awareness of the hazard and avoiding housing birds near polytetrafluoroethylene coatings is the best prevention. Other gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide generally do not present significant intoxication risks for birds. Interestingly, chickens are less sensitive to hydrogen sulfide than humans or dogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVeterinary Toxicology
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780123704672
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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