We conducted a processing plant survey to determine the prevalence of cellulitis (enlarged sternal bursa) and focal ulcerative dermatitis (FUD) in Ontario turkeys during the summer and to establish whether the two conditions were associated. A total of 11,772 birds from 24 different farms were observed at three processing plants in Ontario between June and August 2001. Each bird was examined for the presence of cellulitis and FUD. The severity and location of lesions were also noted. The overall prevalence of severe cellulitis (requiring either extensive trimming or condemnation of the bird) was 8.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 6.7, 10.9) and the overall prevalence for FUD was 22.6% (19.3, 25.9). The Pearson correlation coefficient between the prevalences of the two lesions was 0.56 (P = 0.0043), suggesting farms with a high prevalence of FUD in their birds also had a high prevalence of cellulitis. More specifically, birds with FUD were, on average, 10.8 times more likely to have cellulitis than birds without FUD (Mantel–Haenszel summary odds ratio = 10.8; 95% CI = 9.5, 12.3). Our observations suggest FUD may predispose birds to cellulitis, in which case, preventing FUD may reduce the occurrence of cellulitis condemnations in turkeys.
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