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In collaboration with the American College of Veterinary Pathologists

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—A 5-year-old sexually intact female blue and gold macaw (Ara ararauna) was evaluated because of a swelling on the right side of the face and irritated area on the ventral aspect of the keel.

Clinical Findings—Clinical findings were consistent with dermatitis (right facial lesion) and a coalescing subdermal granuloma (ventral keel lesion). Hematologic analysis revealed monocytosis and mild anemia. Histologic evaluation of the ventral keel lesion revealed evidence of chronic heterophilic dermatitis with multinucleated giant cells and bacterial rods and cocci. An unspeciated gram-positive rod-shaped bacterium was isolated via aerobic bacterial culture. Results of bacterial biochemical tests suggested the organism was a type of Actinomyces. A 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis was performed; results indicated the organism was Lactobacillus jensenii.

Treatment and Outcome—Extensive surgical debridement of the branching granuloma, which extended throughout the length of the keel, followed by long-term treatment with ciprofloxacin and clindamycin provided full resolution of clinical signs. No recrudescence of clinical signs was evident for up to 18 months after the initial evaluation.

Clinical Relevance—To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of Lactobacillus-associated dermatitis or subdermal granuloma in the scientific literature and the second report of L jensenii in avian species. Use of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis was instrumental in the identification of this fastidious organism, indicating the method's usefulness as a diagnostic tool.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To investigate potential sources of an epizootic of listerial encephalitis, using molecular diagnostic and typing methods.

Sample Population

A flock of about 655 sheep.


An epizootiologic investigation was performed. Clinical, feed, and environmental samples were tested for Listeria monocytogenes, using polymerase chain reaction and culture methods; recovered isolates were “fingerprinted,” using an automated ribotyping system.


Listeria monocytogenes was recovered from brain specimens of 7 sheep with clinical signs of listerial encephalitis. All clinical isolates had fingerprints identical to those of isolates from farm equipment used to transport silage. Corn silage, which was not fed to the sheep, also contained L monocytogenes of the same pattern type as defined by ribotyping. Listeria monocytogenes was not isolated from the stored haylage designated for feeding the sheep (the cut-off point for isolation being < 102 colony-forming units/g).


Corn silage was implicated as the source of a listeriosis epizootic. It appears to have cross-contaminated the haylage destined for the sheep during handling with a front-end loader. Suspension of silage feeding coincided with cessation of listeriosis cases.

Clinical Relevance

Use of advanced molecular techniques can help to identify the sources and restrict the scope of an epizootic. In epizootics, a single L monocytogenes strain can lead to infection of multiple animals, with rapid progression of the disease. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:733–737)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


CASE DESCRIPTION An adult sexually intact female Harris hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) housed at a wildlife hospital was evaluated because of acute collapse during an educational exhibition.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination and hematologic analysis revealed no abnormalities; radiography revealed findings consistent with a previous tibiotarsal fracture. Coelioscopy with histologic examination and fungal culture of lung and air sac samples revealed anthracosis but no fungal infection. The hawk was discharged and temporarily removed from the education program; 1 month later, upon reintroduction into the program, it collapsed again. Physical examination and hematologic findings were similar to those after the first episode. Transcoelomic and transesophageal echocardiography and CT angiocardiography findings were consistent with cardiomyopathy.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Initial cardiac treatment included furosemide (0.5 mg/kg [0.23 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) and pimobendan (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h). After 10 days of treatment, peak and trough plasma concentrations of pimobendan were measured at 25, 196 and 715.97 ng/mL, respectively; the dosage was decreased to 0.25 mg/kg (0.11 mg/lb), PO, every 12 hours. No overt signs of toxicosis were detected. A sample was collected to reevaluate plasma pimobendan concentration after 30 days of treatment; results were not obtained prior to the patient's death but revealed a peak concentration of 16.8 ng/mL, with an undetectable trough concentration. The hawk was found dead 6 months after initial evaluation. Necropsy revealed cardiomegaly, but histologic examination did not reveal an inciting cause of cardiac dysfunction.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cardiac disease in raptors may be underreported. Transcoelomic and transesophageal echocardiography and CT angiography provided useful information for the diagnosis of cardiac disease in the hawk of this report.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—5 horses were evaluated because of decreased appetite, weight loss, fever, cough, tachypnea, and respiratory distress.

Clinical Findings—Tachycardia, tachypnea, increased respiratory effort, lethargy, fever, poor body condition, and nasal discharge were detected in various combinations on initial physical examination. Evaluation of the lower portion of the respiratory tract via radiography and ultrasonography revealed a severe nodular interstitial pattern. Histologic examination of lung tissue revealed interstitial expansion of alveolar parenchyma with collagen, intraluminal accumulation of neutrophils and macrophages within the alveoli, and occasional intranuclear inclusion bodies within alveolar macrophages. Equine herpesvirus type 5 was detected in samples of lung tissue, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, or both via polymerase chain reaction assay in all cases. A diagnosis of equine multinodular pulmonary fibrosis (EMPF) was established.

Treatment and Outcome—Horses were provided supportive treatment and were administered a variety of medications including corticosteroids and acyclovir. Two horses survived and returned to their previous level of activity. Three horses were euthanized because of either deterioration of clinical condition (n = 2) or failure to improve within 4 weeks of initiation of treatment (1).

Clinical Relevance—EMPF should be considered as a differential diagnosis for adult horses with interstitial pneumonia and should be suspected on the basis of characteristic radiographic, ultrasonographic, and histopathologic findings. Equine herpesvirus type 5 is found in association with EMPF; although the exact pathogenic role this virus plays in EMPF is unknown, equine herpesvirus type 5 may be an etiologic agent or cofactor in the development of EMPF.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association