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1 December 2014 ABSOLUTE POLYCYTHEMIA IN A BALD EAGLE (HALIAEETUS LEUCOCEPHALUS)
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Abstract

An approximately 6-mo-old female bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was presented for an inability to fly and bilateral drooped wings. Pectoral muscle atrophy with a moderate polycythemia was present. Over the course of 3 wk, there were no improvements in flight capacity, although the bird gained substantial weight. Further investigation revealed a prominent cyanosis that was responsive to oxygen therapy, a chronic respiratory acidosis with hypoxia, a cardiac murmur, and a persistent polycythemia. No obvious antemortem etiology for the clinical findings was discovered on computerized tomography, angiography, or echocardiography. The bird was euthanatized as a result of the poor prognosis. Necropsy and histopathology revealed no significant cardiovascular or pulmonary pathology. No myopathy was evident on electron microscopy of formalin-fixed tissues. Based on these diagnostics, a neuromuscular disorder is suspected as the cause for the blood gas abnormalities, with a resulting polycythemia from the hypoxia.

Copyright 2014 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Andreia F. Fernandes, Heather Fenton, Shannon Martinson, Marion Desmarchelier, and Shannon T. Ferrell "ABSOLUTE POLYCYTHEMIA IN A BALD EAGLE (HALIAEETUS LEUCOCEPHALUS)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 45(4), 958-960, (1 December 2014). https://doi.org/10.1638/2014-0043.1
Received: 26 February 2014; Published: 1 December 2014
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