The Medical Language of Rehabbing

There are many medical terms (for humans) that have ‘transitioned’ into the language of rehabbing.  Here are just a few, which you might recognize: (Note: the explanation is written in ‘common’ language, not the more complex medical terminology)

septicemic. When a disease is said to be septicemic, it means that the toxins have invaded the blood stream and can travel to other parts of the system

opportunistic disease.  Is a disease caused by organisms normally residing harmlessly in the body of a healthy bird.  if the bird’s immune system becomes compromised, the pathogens take advantage of this opportunity to cause disease.

pathogen. Is an organism that causes disease (bacteria, viruses, fungi for example)

necrotic. This word means that the cells have died. If there is necrotic tissue in a wound, that tissue has died and needs to be removed so the wound can heal correctly.

palpate.  When you are directed to palpate an area on the bird, you want to use your fingers (usually thumb and forefinger) and GENTLY press/squeeze to check the condition.

debriding.  Means to cut away the foreign, contaminated, necrotic material from a wound or infected lesion until healthy tissue is exposed.

prophylactic.  This word means preventive.  When birds are given a prophylactic dose of medicine, it means they do not have or exhibit signs of a disease, but they are at risk.

Our coming e-book will have a complete glossary of terms used by expert rehabilitators, and rehab terms are used throughout the book.

You will also need to know some terminology if you are to apply for permits and licensing to do rehabilitation work with wildlife.


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