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.