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News & Press: Research

Association of Avian Veterinarians Announces $15,000 in Clinical Avian Health Grants

Tuesday, October 16, 2018  

Contact: Robert Groskin, DVM

AAV Executive Director

Tel: 720-458-4111 x1




Association of Avian Veterinarians Announces $15,000 in Clinical Avian Health Grants

TEANECK, NJ, October 15, 2018



The Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 AAV Companion BĀ­ird and Wild Bird Health Grants. Dr. Ellen Bronson of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded $9,952 for her project, "Pharmacokinetics of the antimalarial drug primaquine in African penguins (Spheniscus demersus)." Dr. Heather Barron of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), Sanibel, Florida, was awarded $5,000 for her project, "Use of intravenous lipid emulsion therapy as a novel treatment for brevetoxicosis in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auratus)."


Since 1982, the AAV has provided over $575,000 in avian research funding. "By funding clinically relevant research studies, the AAV Health Grants have improved the health and welfare of our avian patients. Research results from 77 funded scientific studies have advanced clinical practice by providing much needed scientific data in areas such as nutrition, pain medication, radiography, pharmacology, virology, wound repair and many other areas," states AAV Executive Director Dr. Robert Groskin. He also stated, "The AAV grants are one of the few funding sources for clinical avian research. Donations to the Companion Animal and Wild Bird Health come from the membership, clients and supporters of the AAV." 


About the Projects

Pharmacokinetics of antimalarial drug primaquine in African penguins (Spheniscus demersus)

Most temperate penguins held outdoors in zoological institutions receive life-long antimalarial drugs during the mosquito season to prevent avian malaria, a major killer of penguins around the world. Drug protocols appear to be mostly effective, although break-through infections occur, usually resulting in death. The results of this study will enable veterinarians to make science-based decisions on dosages to ensure the parasite is sufficiently treated or prevented while avoiding toxicity. This study will have a significant impact of the health of penguins in zoological facilities as well as in rehabilitation facilities in the native ranges of multiple penguin species worldwide.


Use of Intravenous Lipid Emulsion Therapy as a Novel Treatment for Brevetoxicosis in Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus)

Red tides blooms of the marine dinoflagellate Karenia brevis are occurring with increasing frequency in the Gulf of Mexico. Mass die-off events of seabirds from neurotoxins produced by these harmful algal blooms (HABs) are common all over the world. Each year, CROW admits hundreds of birds affected by brevetoxicosis or red tide poisoning. There is no definitive treatment. Estimated global survival rates for these birds admitted to wildlife hospitals are only 25-33%. Therefore, the grant given to CROW by AAV will be used to investigate a novel treatment for brevetoxicosis, intravenous lipid emulsion therapy, which has been shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of lipid-soluble toxins in several domestic animal species.


The Association of Avian Veterinarians is an international professional organization of practitioners advancing and promoting avian medicine, stewardship, and conservation through education of its members, the veterinary community and those they serve. A complete list of past grant recipients is posted on the AAV website:



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