Multiple tracheal resections and Anastomoses in a blue and gold macaw (Ara ararauna)

Gwen Jankowski, Javier G. Nevarez, Hugues Beaufrere, Wes Baumgartner, Scott Reed, Thomas N. Tully, Cheryl Hedlund, Geoff Hennig, Jennifer Huck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 1.5-year-old, male blue and gold macaw (Ara ararauna) was anesthetized for a health examination and blood collection. The following day it was returned for episodes of coughing. The bird was presented again 13 days after the initial presentation with severe dyspnea. A tracheal stenosis was diagnosed by endoscopy and treated by surgical resection of 5 tracheal rings and tracheal anastomosis. The bird was discharged but returned 2 days later with a recurrent stenosis. Bougienage and balloon dilation of the stenotic area were performed separately; each resulted in less than 48 hours' improvement in clinical signs after treatment. A second tracheal resection and anastomosis was performed, during which an additional 10 tracheal rings were removed. This second anastomosis was significantly more difficult to complete given the marked variation in diameter of the proximal and distal tracheal segments. The macaw recovered without complication and has had no recurrence of respiratory abnormalities 2 years after the second surgery. This report describes the longest total tracheal segment to be resected, followed by tracheal anastomosis, in a psittacine bird. The positive outcome in this case suggests that, when surgical therapy is elected, an aggressive approach is necessary to prevent recurrence of tracheal stenosis. In addition, macaws can recover well even after significant lengths of the trachea are resected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-329
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of avian medicine and surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Ara ararauna
  • anastomosis
  • anesthesia
  • avian
  • blue and gold macaw
  • intubation
  • resection
  • stenosis
  • trachea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals


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