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Arin K. Wildmann, Andrew C. Cushing, Bianca R. Pfisterer, Mee-Ja M. Sula
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This retrospective study reviews the diseases associated with morbidity and mortality in 221 budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulates) from a captive population from 2013 to 2019. The study aimed to evaluate the health status of a flock of budgerigars typical of today's zoologic collections. Based on previous literature, it was hypothesized that age-related conditions such as neoplasia would be common, whereas metabolic and nutritional disorders would be less common. Neoplasia was widespread among the population, affecting 34% of birds (75/221). Carcinomas made up most neoplastic processes and most commonly affected the renal system (n = 22), followed by the proventriculus (n = 7). Pituitary, adrenal, and hepatocellular carcinomas were less commonly diagnosed. Sarcomas affected the population less often than carcinomas and were found within the coelom (undifferentiated four cases), within the spleen (three cases), within the kidney (two cases), and one subcutaneous soft tissue sarcoma. There were five cases of multicentric lymphoma found most commonly affecting the spleen and liver. Benign neoplasms affected the pituitary most commonly (nine cases), followed by the reproductive system, with seminomas (seven cases) being most common. Macrorhabdus ornithogaster (MO) was found in 56 cases. The majority (38 cases) were found in conjunction with a range of comorbidities, but several birds experienced MO infections alone, and it was thought to have been the cause of death in these birds (22 cases). In contrast to our hypothesis, disease associated with nutritional or metabolic disorders impacted a substantial portion of the population; hepatic lipidosis (26 cases) was the most common along with obesity (26 cases), followed by atherosclerosis, xanthomas, and gout (8, 7, and 4 cases, respectively). Traumatic lesions were noted in 41 cases and were most commonly characterized by head trauma and cerebral hemorrhage. Toxicity was rare; five total cases caused by a single carbon monoxide event were identified.

Copyright 2022 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Arin K. Wildmann, Andrew C. Cushing, Bianca R. Pfisterer, and Mee-Ja M. Sula "RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW OF MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY IN A POPULATION OF CAPTIVE BUDGERIGARS (MELOPSITTACUS UNDULATES)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 53(2), 433-441, (16 June 2022).
Accepted: 8 January 2022; Published: 16 June 2022
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