The Exotic Vet


A female Zebra Finch was brought into to see me because the owner noticed a small, pink, featherless mass just underneath the lower beak. Except for the mass the bird looked fantastic and was doing just fine, the owner was just concerned.

I did a very fine, fine needle aspirate (vet humor) and got a very tiny droplet of fluid which I tried to smear onto a slide. The droplet resisted smearing and I ended up with a few dots of what you see above. In the first photo you can see the typical nucleated RBC’s of birds surrounded by foamy looking adipocytes with a few smashed WBC’s in the mix. The bottom photo is a jumble of more RBC’s, fat, and smashed cells.

What does it all mean? Unfortunately a whole lot of nothing. The slides are not diagnostic of anything because they are of fairly poor quality. The owner had no money to have slides sent out to a pathologist or for more treatment, so since the bird is otherwise doing fine we are going to try benign neglect and see what happens.