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#122598 - 07/09/03 05:17 PM gallbladder
Gitti Offline

Registered: 02/28/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Germany
Hello, Dr. Mike and all,

is it really true that, contrary to all other parrots (and pigeon etc.) only the cockatoos have a gallbladder?

In 1975 somebody wrote (Smith?) "The gall bladder is absent from all parrots save cockatoos, allthough that of the cockatiel is small and easily overlooked (). Its presence is take as a taxonomic character."

In Germany most of our vets don't know about a gallbladder with cockatoos, therefore problems with it will not be recognized (in the case that they have really a gallbladder)!

In case that it is true, why do only cockatoos have (or need) a gallbladder??

Which symtoms will be shown if a cockatoo will get a problem with the gallbladder or bile ducts (such as infections etc)? Are there any known problems, symptoms and therapies?
Gitti from Germany (with "alien" English :-)

#122599 - 07/10/03 07:23 PM Re: gallbladder
Dr. Mike Offline

Registered: 05/18/03
Posts: 474
Loc: New Jersey
Hi Gitti

No, none of the psittacines (including cockatoos) have gallbladders. Nor do pigeons, or ostriches.

They have two hepatic ducts (a right and a left, coming from the respective two lobes of the liver). They both empty directly into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).

Occasionally, the right hepatic duct is found to be slightly dilated (especially in cockatoos) and thus has the appearance of a rudimentary gallbladder, but it is not one, it is simply a dilated hepatic duct. There is a microscopic difference in the arrangement of the epithelial cells lining a hepatic duct compared to those lining a gallbladder - this is how this fact is known.

The cases of mildly dilated hepatic ducts are not pathological, but are simply considered to be an anatomic variation.

Dr. Mike smile


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