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1 September 2016 Right Heart Failure in an African Penguin ( Spheniscus demersus)
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A 19-year-old male African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) was presented with coelomic distention after a 6-week history of lethargy and decreased appetite. Results of radiographs showed loss of coelomic detail, and ultrasound and computed tomography results revealed coelomic fluid and dilated hepatic veins. Echocardiography revealed moderate right atrial enlargement. Findings were consistent with right-sided cardiac disease. Treatment with furosemide initially reduced ascites, but the clinical condition worsened weeks later and enalapril, pimobendan, and sildenafil were added to the medical therapy. At 12 weeks after presentation, results of an echocardiogram revealed persistent right atrioventricular valve regurgitation, moderate ascites, and dilation of hepatic veins. Clinical signs of right heart failure were managed through adjustments in medical therapy and coelomic fluid aspiration, but the bird died 18 weeks after initial presentation. Gross and microscopic findings were consistent with valvular insufficiency and right-sided heart failure. To our knowledge, this case is the first documented report of cardiac disease in an African penguin.

© 2016 by the Association of Avian Veterinarians
Lara Cusack, Cara Field, Alexa McDermott, Brandon Pogue, Tonya Clauss, Gregory Bossart, and Alvin Camus "Right Heart Failure in an African Penguin ( Spheniscus demersus)," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 30(3), 243-249, (1 September 2016).
Published: 1 September 2016

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