A mature bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was diagnosed with mycobacterial infection after being presented for an inability to fly, emaciation, and a swelling of the left tibiotarsal-tarso metatarsal joint. Results of a complete blood cell count revealed a persistent, marked leukocytosis, with heterophilia, monocytosis, and anemia. Radiographs revealed lysis of the left distal tibiotarsus and soft-tissue swelling around the left tibiotarsal-tarsometatarsal joint, multiple pulmonary opacities, and an enlarged liver. Endoscopic evaluation and biopsy of caseated material within the left caudal coelom revealed acid-fast organisms. The eagle was euthanatized, and results of necropsy and histologic evaluation revealed caseated granulomas of the intestine, lungs, air sacs, and subcutaneous regions of the hock. Results of culture, a polymerase chain reaction testing, and direct deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing for mycobacterial 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid DNA determined this organism most likely to be Mycobacterium avium.
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Vol. 21 • No. 3