In February 2015, two Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) were submitted dead to the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory, Turlock branch, from a private aviary experiencing sudden, high mortality (4/9) in adult doves. In both doves, the gross and histologic lesions were indicative of acute, fatal septicemia. Grossly, there were numerous pale yellow foci, 1 to 2 mm in diameter, in the liver and spleen. Microscopically, these foci were composed of acute severe multifocal coagulative necrosis of hepatocytes and splenic pulp with infiltration of heterophils mixed with fibrin and dense colonies of gram-negative bacteria. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis was isolated from the lung, liver, spleen, heart, ovary, kidney, and trachea. The organism was susceptible to most antibiotics it was tested against, except erythromycin. Based on a retrospective study of necropsy submissions to CAHFS between 1990 and 2015, there were 77 avian case submissions of Y. pseudotuberculosis. There were 75/77 cases identified from a wide range of captive avian species from both zoo and private facilities and 2/77 cases from two backyard turkeys submitted from one premise. The largest number of cases originated from psittacine species (31/77). The lesions most commonly described were hepatitis (63/77), splenitis (49/77), pneumonia (30/77), nephritis (16/77), and enteritis (12/77). From 1990 to 2015, there was an average of three cases of avian pseudotuberculosis per year at CAHFS. Although there were no cases diagnosed in 1993 and 1994, in all other years, there were between one and eight cases of Y. pseudotuberculosis detected from avian diagnostic submissions.
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Vol. 60 • No. 1