K-State vets remove parakeet hernia in first of its kind surgery

Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 2:34 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - A team of veterinarians at Kansas State University have successfully removed a hernia from a parakeet believed to be the first of its kind.

Kansas State University says a pet parakeet was recently sent to the exotic animal services at its Veterinary Health Center after its veterinary prescribed an unsuccessful pharmaceutical treatment for a mass under the bird’s tail.

K-State said after a closer look, it was decided surgery would be needed to remove the mass, which turned out to be the result of an unusual body wall hernia. It said hernias happen when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue holding it in place. Once identified in this case, it said the hernia was successfully treated surgically by Neta Ambar, former K-State zoological medicine intern, and David Eshar, associate professor of exotic and zoological medicine.

“Apart from the challenges of performing a delicate surgery on such a small bird, it was realized that the uterus — or oviduct — was the organ involved in that hernia, and she also needed to be spayed at the same time,” Eshar said. “So far, the bird is doing well at home.”

According to the University, Daria Hagan, a third-year veterinary student from Wichita, was asked by Eshar to help write a report of the case, which was published in the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine. It said this is believed to be the first case to describe a surgery on this kind of herniation.

“I am very excited the case report has been accepted and honored that Dr. Eshar provided me the opportunity to write it up,” Hagan said. “He was extremely helpful during every step of the process, and this publication is a major stepping stone toward my future career in zoological medicine.”

K-State said Eshar and Hagan hope the report encourages the consideration of undertail body wall herniation in birds presented with similar lesions in this part of the body.

The school said Hagan is a 2015 graduate of Andover High School.

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