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Physiological, biochemical and histopathological changes associated with heatstroke in the galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and rock dove (Columba livia)


Physiological, biochemical and histopathological changes associated with heatstroke in the galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and rock dove (Columba livia)



Avian Pathology: Journal of the W.V.P.A 48(1): 57-72



ISSN/ISBN: 0307-9457

PMID: 30411638

DOI: 10.1080/03079457.2018.1546824

The pathophysiology of heat illnesses in birds has not been well characterized. In this study, we describe the changes in heart rate, respiratory rate, blood biochemistry and histopathological findings in galahs and rock doves after heat exposure under standardized conditions designed to induce heatstroke. Birds in the heat-exposed group were exposed to environmental heat stress and compared to control birds. Both groups of birds were under general anaesthesia throughout the experiment and serial blood collections were performed for biochemical analyses, while organs were collected at the end of the experiment for histopathology. No electromyography traces consistent with the onset of heat cramps were observed in any of the birds. Biochemical changes suggestive of skeletal muscle and hepatocellular injury, including hyperkalaemia and increased serum muscle and hepatic enzyme activities, were often observed in heat-exposed galahs and rock doves at the onset of heatstroke. Microscopic analyses did not reveal any significant cardiac changes, although some lungs had signs of acute congestion. Some heat-exposed rock doves had microscopic changes indicative of necrosis in the pectoral muscle. There were significant hepatic changes in some heat-exposed galahs, but not in rock doves. This suggests that there may be species differences amongst birds in the organs most affected by heatstroke. The observed species differences in the physiological, biochemical and histopathological changes indicate that bird species should be studied separately for clinical syndromes such as heatstroke. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS Biochemical changes suggestive of skeletal muscle and hepatocellular injury in heat-exposed galahs and rock doves at the onset of heatstroke No electromyography traces consistent with the onset of heat cramps were observed Some heat-exposed rock doves had indications of necrosis in the pectoral muscle There were significant hepatic changes in some heat-exposed galahs.

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Accession: 065879572

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