A 6-week-old, parent-reared peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) was presented with spastic hypertonus of its hind limbs of unknown origin and duration. Radiologic examination revealed smooth periosteal reactions ventrally at thoracic vertebrae 5 to 7. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography identified the swelling as inflammation; antibiotic, antimycotic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic treatments were initiated, and vitamins and minerals were supplemented. Because the bird's condition did not improve after 10 days, it was euthanatized and submitted for postmortem examination. On histopathologic examination, chronic, active osteomyelitis was diagnosed in thoracic vertebrae 5 to 7, and chronic, active arthritis was present in both the right shoulder and left elbow joints. Staphylococcus hyicus was isolated from these 3 locations, as well as from lungs and liver, indicating a chronic septic staphylococcosis. Although infections with Staphylococcus species are occasional causes of vertebral osteomyelitis in juvenile poultry with active growth plates, it is only sporadically reported in raptors and companion birds. This case report is the first description of the clinical features and diagnostic and pathologic findings in a juvenile peregrine falcon with hematogenous osteomyelitis and arthritis associated with septicemia caused by S hyicus.
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