April 16, 2010

In the Spotlight – Revisiting a Disease Investigation with the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health

The Australian Registry of Wildlife Health Shares Interesting Disease Investigation Cases

The Australian Registry of Wildlife Health is a diagnostic and resource centre that improves Australia’s ability to detect and diagnose endemic, emerging and exotic diseases of wildlife that could have negative impacts on Australia’s trade/economy, biodiversity, tourism and human health.

Through the publication, Quarterly Summaries, the Australian Registry select interesting case reports to share that have recently passed through their centre. These reports originate from free-ranging animals, and native fauna held in a variety of zoos, fauna parks and private collections.

Below is a disease investigation from the January 2010 report:

Gross Examination Findings from Dollar Bird Suggestive of Metabolic Bone Disease

Photo courtesy of kjunstorm at Flickr

Juvenile bird found on ground with swollen right wing. Right wing fracture diagnosed and euthanasia elected. On gross examination, the bird was noted to have soft, bendable bones and thickenings along the ribs, suggestive of metabolic bone disease. Histopathology is pending.

This is a very similar presentation to 5 birds which were presented at the same time last year, all diagnosed with metabolic bone disease. This is a nutritional disorder and suggests the young birds are not being fed appropriately by their parents. Possible reasons may be that the parents are accessing an artificial food source (being fed an inappropriate diet by humans), the typical food source has been modified in some way (possibly by use of pesticides changing the availability of insects) or the birds have moved into a new local environment which doesn’t offer the same food sources as traditional sites


Other Wildlife Health Related Newsletters or Bulletins that We Should Know About?

Know of a useful wildlife health related publication? Please send the publication title and URL to us here at wdin@usgs.gov, and we will share it with your fellow Digest readers.