Two of three captive adult African ostriches exhibited inappetance and weakness. In spite of treatment, the two birds were euthanized because of lack of clinical improvement. Postmortem examination demonstrated exocrine pancreatic degeneration, necrosis, and atrophy. Grossly, one ostrich had a markedly diminished pancreatic mass. Histologically, there was massive pancreatic acinar (exocrine) atrophy, marked interstitial fibrosis, and tubular complex formation in one animal, and the second ostrich had active pancreatic acinar necrosis. Toxicologic testing revealed markedly elevated liver zinc levels in the first two birds, whereas the third ostrich had normal serum levels of zinc and continues without apparent disease. This form of zinc toxicosis, while previously reported in different avian species, has been only rarely described in ratites.
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