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Feather in the cap for top exotic vet as peacock recovers

A gasping peacock that was suffering from a severely restricted windpipe can breathe easily again after specialist care at one of the UK’s leading referral vet centres.

Two-year-old peacock Pea Whizzle is not wheezing anymore after an intricate operation performed by specialist exotic vet Daniel Calvo Carrasco at the Linnaeus-owned Southfields Veterinary Specialists in Basildon, Essex.

The European specialist in avian medicine and surgery successfully removed the constricted part of the trachea to open up the peacock’s airwaves once again.

Daniel, who is a member of the European College of Zoological Medicine, said it was an unusual case which required delicate surgery and that he was delighted with the outcome.

He explained: “Pea Whizzle had recently undergone surgery at his local vets to have a small lump removed from underneath one of his eyes.

“Unfortunately, he developed dyspnoea (breathing difficulties) following surgery and, after a couple of weeks, he was referred to us.

“We took full-body radiographs, which ruled out any significant disease in the air sacs or lungs, so we performed a tracheoscopy (tiny video camera into the trachea) which confirmed a narrowing of the trachea or windpipe.

“Unlike mammals, birds have complete tracheal rings and, although not commonly seen, tracheal stenosis after intubation is a potential complication of anaesthesia in birds.

“Pea Whizzle was taken to surgery and a tube was placed into his left abdominal air sac to help him breathe and allow us to keep him under anaesthetic while doing surgery on his trachea.

“We then removed the section of the trachea that was stenotic (constricted) and stitched the remaining trachea back together very carefully and gently.

“Pea Whizzle was kept under observation for 12 hours after the operation with the air sac tube still in place before it was removed for us to monitor if he was able to breathe normally again via his trachea.

“Everything was fine and he was soon allowed home with a further check-up two weeks after surgery confirming he is doing well and his breathing is back to normal.”

Southfields offers a range of specialist-led services including anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dermatology, exotics, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, radiotherapy, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery.

Click here for more information on our Exotics service.