VM8054 Veterinary Histology

Bird Anuses and Modern Veterinary Education

Author: Dr. Thomas Caceci
I felt compelled to include in this exercise a slide showing the anus of a chicken. This was a direct result of some student feedback, which convinced me that it had to be done.

Some years back I received a course review from a student who felt very strongly on the subject. The extensive comments—which were typed, by the way—included the statement that, "I feel it was an incredible waste of my time to look at this slide. Why are we asked to spend $1000 to look at chicken anuses?"

I believe that anyone who pays as much for a veterinary education as my students do is entitled to the very best. Indisputably, any treatment of the avian digestive system—however excellent it might be in other ways—would be seriously flawed and, really, rather incomplete if it did not include the entire tract, from beak to butt. Personally I'd be unable to sleep at night, knowing that I had failed in my responsibility to render as complete an account of the avian digestive system as I might have done; and I would constantly worry that someday, somehow, one of my former students might be called upon to recognize a bird's anus in a professional setting, and fail to do so.

So, to ease my conscience about any lapses I may have committed in previous years, I have included this slide. It was my duty, and I'm proud to have done it well.

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