Hugues Beaufrère, Kali A. Holder, Rudy Bauer, Rodney Schnellbacher, Romain Pariaut, Thomas N. Tully, Nobuko Wakamatsu
Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 25 (4), 266-276, (1 December 2011) https://doi.org/10.1647/2010-018.1
KEYWORDS: atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, claudication, paresis, Avian, yellow-naped Amazon parrot, Amazona ochrocephala auropalliata
A 25-year-old yellow-naped Amazon parrot (Amazona ochrocephala auropalliata) was presented for nasal discharge and sneezing. Physical examination revealed poor feather quality, a mild serous nasal discharge, and a mass on the dorsal surface of the oral cavity. Cytologic examination of a mass aspirate as well as results of a choanal culture revealed squamous metaplasia of the salivary glands and bacterial rhinitis, respectively. Following resolution of the presenting conditions, the patient was presented for hind limb weakness and ataxia. The clinical signs were transient and generally resolved with rest but could be reproduced after stressful episodes, such as restraint for procedures or treatment. Test results from a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, whole-body radiographs, needle electromyography of the leg muscles, and an edrophonium challenge test were within reference limits. Based on the clinical signs and results of the diagnostic workup, the presumptive diagnosis was intermittent claudication, a condition caused by peripheral vascular disease and defined as intermittent weakness and pain in the legs induced by exercise and relieved by rest. Shortly after initiation of treatment with isoxsuprine, the bird died. Postmortem examination and histopathology revealed severe atherosclerotic lesions throughout the vascular system with stenotic lesions present in the abdominal aorta and femoral arteries. Electron microscopic examination of the great arteries was also performed and helped to further characterize the nature of the lesions. This case is the first report, to our knowledge, of an intermittent claudication-like syndrome associated with peripheral atherosclerosis in a psittacine bird. In addition, the distribution and some of the macroscopic and histopathologic features of the lesions differ from previous descriptions of atherosclerosis in psittacine birds.