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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting this thread to clarify a comment I made in another thread. I didn't want to disrupt the other thread by posting there as this has nothing to do with the issues of that thread.

My comment was in reply to the following post, referencing the EEG.
John,

I usually tell the owners that the EKG; EEG; CBC, Lipids & Endocrine Panels don't look too bad but that "the bird is still slipping in and out of a coma for some as yet undetermined reason." When I get to the part about "tomorrow's scheduled thoracic endoscopic procedure", they usually just tell me to "KEEP THE BIRD!"

And promptly hang up.

Never fails.

Pidgey
Now that one I'd love to see you perform on a pigeon. :D :p :D :p
As much as I hate to admit it, honesty isn't ALWAYS the best policy...

...sometimes the end really does justify the means!

Pidgey

P.S. They really do have that stuff, though:

http://jn.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/95/2/1263
My explanation:
The reason for my post and the smiley faces is because it would be impossible to perform an EEG (Electroencephalogram, which measures the electrical activity of the brain) test on a pigeon. Since Pidgey made reference to it, I was pretty sure he knew how the test worked.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the test, it requires attaching approx 21 electrodes to the scalp. Under normal circumstances, these electrodes are attached to the scalp with a dab of cream to hold them in place.
By following this procedure, and given the number of electrodes used and the size of a pigeon's head it's quite clear that an EEG would be impossible to perform on a pigeon and therefore to reference doing such a test on a pigeon is silly.

However, a link was furnished about EEG's being performed on pigeons. I read the article and discovered EEG's were in fact performed. But they were used to gather information during various experiments.

The article is lengthy, but I think it's extremely important to point out exactly how these poor pigeons are prepped for these experiments.

The following was taken in part from the article (the link to the article can be accessed above).

Animal Handling and Electrode Implantation
Adult homing pigeons served as subjects for these experiments.

Varnish-covered nichrome electrodes (d = 150 µm) were used for intracranial EEG recording, and gold-covered watch screws for epidural EEG recording. Tetrodes were used for the action and field potentials recording. They were manufactured from 25 µm nichrome wire (A-M Systems) as described in Gray et al. (1995)Go and were mounted on a custom-made, manually operated, microdrive placed on the skull over the hippocampal formation.
Pigeons were anesthetized with a combination of xylazine (1 mg/kg body wt im) and ketamine (5 mg/kg body wt im) and placed in a stereotaxic apparatus (This is an instrument attached to the head, used to localize precisely an area in the brain by means of coordinates related to intracerebral structures). The skin on the dorsal surface of the skull was opened along the midline, and the appropriate number of holes was drilled in the skull to expose the dura (This is a tough fibrous membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord and lining the inner surface of the skull).
All electrodes were fixed to the skull with dental cement.


To subject any pigeon (whether it be a racing, homing, fancy or feral or any animal for that matter) to this kind of treatment sickens me to the core.

I just wanted to make it crystal clear to everyone that my post was in no way, whatsoever, referencing such actions.
I have never, nor will I ever, condone or joke about experiments of any kind, being performed on any animal.

Cindy
 

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I never read the original post but wanted to put my 2 cents in to the response. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, of course. I'm not trying to justify all laboratory experiments, I don't know about the particular experiments involving EEG's on pijs. I can not have an opinion about that particular experiment without further information. But I have been personally involved in brain surgeries of some species (primates, cats, rats) at UC labs. The in-a-nutshell description of the procedure is accurate. IMO, the majority of the animals I have seen seem to recover well and go back to their normal (laboratory) life. Even the animals with devices implanted on their heads. For those who condone the use of animals for research I just wanted to say that these procedures aren't as bad as they are made out to be. If you are against the use of animals in labs, then this doesn't matter, and I respect your feelings.

I feel the public's view of lab animal medicine is greatly outdated. Things are not the same now as the old horrible pictures and films from the 70's imply. I have digressed from the pigeon topic, feel free to PM me or move this to small talk if anyone is interested in further discussion.
 

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Thank you Cindy for clearing this, I am shocked though that it was needed. I have been on here for a few years now and know that you would never mean any harm..only help.

I personally have had an EEG, along with several tests along these lines done. It is sad that they have actually been done on pigeons, but is not surprising. The thread link though was interesting...so thank you for providing it again...for people like me that didn't see or read the original post.

-Hilly
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not trying to justify all laboratory experiments, I don't know about the particular experiments involving EEG's on pijs. I can not have an opinion about that particular experiment without further information.
The link to the article is posted in the third quote in the original post.

I had no idea this was even going on until the mention of EEG's was posted which led to the link.

I can't justify drilling holes in a pigeon's skull in order to attach electrodes just so someone can see how a pigeon's brain reacts while they are flying. That's utter nonsense to me.

Cindy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Cindy for clearing this, I am shocked though that it was needed. I have been on here for a few years now and know that you would never mean any harm..only help.

I personally have had an EEG, along with several tests along these lines done. It is sad that they have actually been done on pigeons, but is not surprising. The thread link though was interesting...so thank you for providing it again...for people like me that didn't see or read the original post.

-Hilly
Hi Hilly,
A clarification may not have been needed, however after I read that article and what is being done to pigeons, I felt I should explain why I posted what I did.

I was a neurology tech for years and performed many EEG's. Never in the world would I have thought of doing what is being done to pigeons with regard to this test.

Cindy
 

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To tell you the truth, Cindy... I just googled it after your reply--never had heard of "them" doing that before, but suspected that it had already been done "in the name of science" for whatever reasons some researcher(s) could come up with to snatch grant money. I only took a very brief look at the entry and figured that I wouldn't want to read any further for pretty much the same reasons as you. I don't think anyone here (on Pigeon-Talk) would ever get the idea that any of us would actually condone that kind of thing or be flippant about it, especially not now that you've uncovered what was actually being done in detail.

Pidgey
 

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I'll even go further: at the time of that original post, I also didn't think it'd be possible to perform an EEG on a pigeon given the size of the equipment that we normal folks knew existed (mostly due to TV shows rather than personal experience). So, yes, I was originally just making a joke, blissfully unaware (as were you) of what stuff they've actually done in the labs.

I already knew a little about your history in neurology so your comment made perfect sense. The body of my reply was just another layer of joking about scaring racers into relinquishing bird ownership to save a bird. That whole "P.S." thing was an afterthought to just go see by way of Google if "they" actually did EEG's on small animals. I first googled to see if they'd done EEG's on mice, which they did, and then thought I might as well google EEG's performed on pigeons. I only gave the briefest glance at that article to confirm that "they" had, in fact, done such a thing.

Worm can opening was never my intention.

Pidgey
 

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Pidgey,
I'm hoping everyone in here knows just how much you love the much maligned pigeon, and know that you would never condone such treatment to any critter, be it feathered or furred, scaled or swimming (OMG, am I sticking up for Johnny Reb?):p
Love ya,
Daryl
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Pidgey said:
To tell you the truth, Cindy... I just googled it after your reply--never had heard of "them" doing that before, but suspected that it had already been done "in the name of science" for whatever reasons some researcher(s) could come up with to snatch grant money.

I only took a very brief look at the entry and figured that I wouldn't want to read any further for pretty much the same reasons as you.


Pidgey
I didn't have any reservations about reading the article. :confused:

Cindy
 
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