Three juvenile male Micronesian kingfishers (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina) housed in the same enclosure presented with rapid weight gain and coelomic distension. Physical examination and radiography revealed marked enlargement of the ventriculus and a single, large foreign body within the ventriculus in each individual. Surgical removal by ventriculotomy was attempted in one individual, which died during the procedure. A second individual was treated with natural peanut butter 0.5 ml p.o. b.i.d. for 14 days and recovered, casting the foreign material. The third bird was similarly treated without success and subsequently died during attempts at endoscopic removal of the foreign body. In all three birds, the foreign bodies proved to be phytobezoars. The birds had been observed stripping leaf fragments from live corn plants (Dracaena fragrans) used in the enclosure. Plant fibers from the phytobezoars were compared with D. fragrans leaves and were considered identical. Medical treatment of phytobezoars with peanut butter or similar oil-containing substances in birds should be considered as an alternative to surgical extraction.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4