A juvenile golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) was presented with proliferative epithelial lesions, consistent with avian poxvirus infection, around the eyes, on commissures of the beak, and on both feet. Despite treatment, the eagle declined clinically, and, 15 days after presentation, the eagle began seizuring and was euthanatized because of a poor prognosis. On postmortem examination, avian poxvirus infection was confirmed in the nodular skin lesions, and Candida albicans was cultured from the skin, lungs, and brain. Breaks in the skin barrier from poxvirus infection likely led to secondary infection with C albicans. Systemic vascular dissemination of C albicans to the brain resulted in thrombosis, hemorrhage, local hypoxia, and the clinically observed seizures. The combination of the breach in the primary immune system, immunosuppression, and a prolonged course of antibiotics were contributory factors to the opportunistic fungal infection in this eagle. Candida albicans should be considered as a differential diagnosis for encephalitis in an immunocompromised avian patient.
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