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During the first adspection the common characteristics and the posture of the swift are registered, as well as the condition of the plumage (general impression), its visual faculty, its respiratory system and the position and exposure of its limbs (the functionality of the limbs can only be assessed in further clinical examinations as the swift's reactions to the adspection are mostly very passive). If the foundling has left any droppings in the transportation box, it will also be examined.


After the adspection, the palpatory examination of the bird's nutritional and hydrational state follows by focussing on dry mucous membranes and leathery skin due to dehydration. A possible hypothermia can be diagnosed easily by feeling the temperature with the back of the hand. The respiratory system, the eyes, ears and nose, the beak and the pharynx, the abdomen and the cloacae as well as the extremities are examined closely. The palmar grasp reflex is also checked. These are significant parameters for estimating the general condition of a swift foundling. Furthermore detailed attention is strained on finding possible injuries, palpably visible by open wounds, streaks of blood or non-physiological postures of limbs and head.


The "Turning-Test"

A very specific method of investigation to find damages in the pectoral girdle of swifts is the so called "Turning-Test". The bird is turned on its back and observed if, and how fast it can turn back to the breast position.


The Plumage and Reflexes

In the last part of the examination the development and the state of the plumage with eventual damages are determined as precisely as possible under the prevailing circumstances. Birds showing symptoms of nervous system disorders - frequently with accident patients  - are examined in view of their behaviour, posture and neurobehavioral reflexes. Relevant tests for judging the swift's reactions are the pupillary response, the palmar grasp reflex, the algesia of their feet, furthermore their ability to move in coordination and keep balance as well as the posture of their head (Opisthonus, Torticollis).


Fractionated Examination

Frequently the patient's actual condition doesn't allow the whole examination for determining the complete health status quo, because an emergency treatment is indicated primarily. All other not immediately required data are gathered after the patient's stabilization. This procedure, where only the most important factors are diagnosed first so that a specific treatment can be started as fast as possible, is called fractionated examination.


Buchenstraße 9
D-65933 Frankfurt

Tel.:+49(69)35 35 15 04
We accept only swifts! Questions regarding other bird species will not be answered!
Information regarding other bird species: http://www.wildvogelhilfe.org/
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