Please refer to the ACVSc Red Book
These guidelines relate to the discipline of general avian medicine which includes veterinary care for
cage, aviary and wild birds. Commercial poultry medicine is considered a separate discipline and has
separate guidelines.
Candidates are expected to be able to identify and to demonstrate that they have sound comparative
knowledge of the husbandry, medicine and surgery of species and varieties of birds which are
commonly encountered in avian practice in Australia and New Zealand. These include:
Native and exotic bird species which are legally kept as cage or aviary birds in Australia and New
Backyard and pet poultry, including waterfowl and game birds (but not commercial poultry)
Ostriches and emus
Common wild birds
Candidates will be expected to demonstrate sound knowledge of the following fields and to be able to apply
this knowledge to clinical problem solving.
Principles of avian medicine including
Anatomy, physiology, embryology, pharmacology, immunology, pathology, toxicology,
aetiological agents.
Organ systems - gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, respiratory, integumentary,
nervous/special senses, urogenital & reproductive, endocrine,
Application of avian medicine including
Diagnostics (haematology, biochemistry, cytology, general), diagnostic imaging (radiology,
ultrasound), therapeutics, internal medicine, ophthalmology, dermatology, neurology,
reproduction, soft tissue surgery, orthopaedics, beak repair, anaesthesiology, incubation
techniques, paediatrics, public health, husbandry/preventative medicine, nutrition, genetics,
Welfare issues
Infectious diseases of birds exotic to Australasia which could be introduced, including those
of importance to poultry.
The interactions between genetic, nutritional and environmental factors and disease.
Candidates will be expected to be competent at practical skills associated with the discipline, including
catching and handling, clinical examination, history taking, diagnostic sampling, splint and bandage
application, surgery and necropsy techniques.
Essential Reading:
Avian Medicine and Surgery. R Altman, S Clubb, G Dorrestein, K Quesenberry (eds) WB Saunders Co
Philadelphia, 1996
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Avian Medicine: Principles and Application. Harrison, Ritchie & Harrison Eds, Wingers Publishing, Lake
Worth, FL, 1993
Avian Medicine. Tully T, Lawton M, Dorrestein G. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, 2000
Clinical Avian Medicine. Harrison GJ & Lightfoot, TL (eds). Spix Publications, Palm Beach, Florida 2005.
Disease of Cage and Aviary Birds. W Rosskopf (ed). Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1997
Aviculture in Australia. M Sheppard, 2nd Ed, Melbourne, Black Cockatoo Publishing,1994
Birds 2000 Proceedings, Post Grad Foundation in Vet Sc, Melbourne, 2000
Laboratory Medicine: Avian and Exotic Pets. Fudge, AM: W. B. Saunders,
Philadelphia, 2000.
Useful Reference Texts:
A Colour Atlas of Avian Anatomy. J McLelland, WB Saunders Co Philadelphia, 1991
Atlas of Avian Radiographic Anatomy. Smith and Smith, WB Saunders Co Philadelphia, 1992
Atlas of Diagnostic Radiology of Exotic Pets. GA Rubels, E Isenbugel, P Wolvekamp. WB Saunders Co
Philadelphia, 1992
Atlas of Radiographic Anatomy and Diagnosis of Cage Birds. ME Krautwald et al. Paul Parey Scientific
Publishers, Berlin and Hamburg, 1992
Avian and Exotic Animal Haematology and Cytology. TW Campbell & C Ellis, Iowa State Univ
Press, Ames 2007
Avian Physiology. PD Sturkie, 5th Ed, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1999
Avian Surgical Anatomy. SE Orosz et al, WB Saunders Co Philadelphia, 1992
Avian Viruses: Function and Control. B Ritchie, Wingers Publishing, 1995
Birds, their Structure and Function. AS King, J McLelland, 2nd Ed Balliere Tindal, London, 1984
Comparative Avian Haematology. CM Hawkey, TB Dennett. Iowa State Univ Press, Ames, 1989
Current Veterinary Therapy XI. R Kirk, WB Saunders Co Philadelphia, 1991 (Companion Bird Section)
Diagnostic Application of Avian Endoscopy Taylor M, Harrison GJ: CD ROM
of the Zoological Education Network Multimedia Series 2000.
Diseases of Poultry. BW Calnek et al, 11th Ed. Iowa State Univ Press, Ames, 2003
Handbook of Avian anatomy: Nomica Anatomica Avium. 2nd Ed. Baumel et al, Nuttal Ornithological Club,
Cambridge 1993
Manual of Avian Medicine. Olsen GH, Orosz SE: Mosby. London 2000.
Pigeon Health and Disease. DC Tudor, Iowa State Univ Press, Ames, 1991
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Psittacine Aviculture. R Schubot et al Avicultural Breeding and Research Center, Loxahatchee, FL, 1992
Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. K Simpson K & N Day, Penguin Books Australia, 1993
The Flying Vet’s Pigeon Health and Management, C Walker, Publishing Solutions, Melb 2000
Schmidt RE, Reavill DR, Phalen, DN: Pathology of Pet and Aviary Birds. Iowa
State Press (also as CD ROM) 2003.
Useful Journals and Proceedings:
Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery/Journal of the Association of Avian Veterinarians
Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine/Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine
The veterinary clinics of North America. Exotic animal practice
Association of Avian Veterinarians Annual Conferences
Association of Avian Veterinarians - Australian Committee Annual Conferences
Association of Avian Veterinarians - European Committee Annual Conferences
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