By Dr. Scott Ford
Citation: Ford S. Raptor Gastroenterology. J Exotic Pet Med, 19:2 (April), 2010: pp 140-150.
Abstract: Birds of prey have developed talons, a hooked beak, and a tongue and oral cavity replete with pronounced hooks and papillae for prehending large boluses of food. The size of the proventriculus in relation to the ventriculus and weak musculature of the ventriculus, combined with an extremely acidic luminal pH, are consistent with a gastric digestive physiology maximized for protein digestion. The pyloric sphincter retains indigestible matter in the stomach, which is later compressed into a pellet and egested. The ventriculus, pylorus, pancreas, and an elongated duodenum coordinate to maximize neutralization of acidic peptic juices and increase the efficiency of digestion and absorption. Raptors are susceptible to a variety of infectious and noninfectious diseases that affect the digestive tract. Diagnostic testing and treatment recommendations for raptor intestinal disease conditions are discussed in this article.
I wrote this review article in 2010 and supplemented it with some presentations at national conferences. I’ve had several requests for so here it is in its entirety.