A captive-born marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) was presented for swelling of the ventral air pouch of 1 month's duration. The pouch appeared fluid filled, and its distal third wall was markedly inspissated. The thickened distal portion of the pouch wall was removed surgically. During anesthesia, mucous discharge from the nares was evident and the nasal mucosa was hyperemic. Aeromonas and Proteus species were isolated from a nasal culture. Postoperative therapy that consisted of nasal flushing, antimicrobial agents, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was effective in managing the disease. On histologic examination, diffuse hemorrhage, necrosis, and multifocal vasculitis with moderate-to-severe heterophilic inflammation were present within sections of the ventral pouch. To our knowledge this is the first report of a mucus-filled ventral air pouch with associated pathologic changes secondary to a productive infection of the upper respiratory tract in a marabou stork. The unique communication between nasal cavities and the ventral air pouch should be considered in future cases of respiratory infection in marabou storks.
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