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  • Author or Editor: Johanna Mejia-Fava x
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Case Description—A 16-year-old female umbrella cockatoo (Cacatua alba) was referred to the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine for evaluation of a 3-year seasonal history of lethargy and weight fluctuation.

Clinical Findings—Abnormalities detected via clinicopathologic analyses included mild leukocytosis, heterophilia, and lymphopenia consistent with a stress leukogram. Previous fecal examinations failed to diagnose enteric parasite infestation. Results of a fecal flotation test with Sheather sugar solution revealed spirurid eggs (Spiruroidea). Coelomic radiography revealed a widened cardiohepatic waist with increased soft tissue opacity at the level of the hepatic silhouette. The caudal thoracic and abdominal air sacs bilaterally appeared compressed against the coleomic wall. The proventriculus was increased in diameter, with a proventriculus-to-keel ratio of 1.0. Coelomic ultrasonography and positive-contrast upper gastrointestinal radiography revealed severe thickening and irregularity of the proventricular wall. The animal was anesthetized for an endoscopic examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Intralesional nematodes were identified on histologic examination of biopsy specimens from the proventriculus.

Treatment and Outcome—Effective fenbendazole treatment (15 mg/kg [6.8 mg/lb], PO, alternating between 5 days of treatment and 5 days of no treatment, which continued for 4 periods) was confirmed by repeated endoscopy and fecal examinations. The bird remained free of clinical signs 27 months after diagnosis and treatment.

Clinical Relevance—Antemortem diagnosis of proventricular nematodiasis has not been reported in psittacines. Spirurid nematode eggs are shed intermittently, which may lead to false-negative results on a single routine fecal examination. In this patient, radiography, endoscopy, and histologic evaluation facilitated antemortem diagnosis. This is the first report of successful treatment of this condition in psittacines.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine risk factors for lens luxation and cataracts in captive pinnipeds in the United States and the Bahamas.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—111 pinnipeds (99 California sea lions [Zalophus californianus], 10 harbor seals [Phoca vitulina], and 2 walruses [Odobenus rosmarus]) from 9 facilities.

Procedures—Eyes of each pinniped were examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist for the presence of cataracts or lens luxations and photographed. Information detailing husbandry practices, history, and facilities was collected with a questionnaire, and descriptive statistical analyses were performed for continuous and categorical variables. Odds ratios and associated 95% confidence intervals were estimated from the final model.

Results—Risk factors for lens luxation, cataracts, or both included age ≥ 15 years, history of fighting, history of ocular disease, and insufficient access to shade.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diseases of the lens commonly affect captive pinnipeds. Access to UV-protective shade, early identification and medical management of ocular diseases, and prevention of fighting can limit the frequency or severity of lens-related disease in this population. An extended life span may result from captivity, but this also allows development of pathological changes associated with aging, including cataracts.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association