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1 December 2017 Acute, Fatal, Presumptive Xylitol Toxicosis in Cape Sugarbirds (Promerops cafer)
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Abstract

Twenty-nine wild Cape sugarbirds (Promerops cafer) died acutely after ingestion of a homemade xylitol nectar solution from a bird feeder. The most aggressive feeders were first affected. Most birds showed clinical signs within 15 minutes of nectar ingestion, including incoordination, weakness, falling from perches, collapse, and death. A few birds showing clinical signs seemed to spontaneously recover and fly away. Full necropsy examinations done on 27 birds were hampered by freezing artifact and autolysis, but results indicated death was caused by the consequences of acute hypoglycemia. A presumptive diagnosis of xylitol toxicity was made based on the history, clinical signs, and absence of other obvious causes of death. This is potentially the first record of xylitol toxicity in wild birds.

© 2017 by the Association of Avian Veterinarians
Brett Richard Gardner and Emily P. Mitchell "Acute, Fatal, Presumptive Xylitol Toxicosis in Cape Sugarbirds (Promerops cafer)," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 31(4), 356-358, (1 December 2017). https://doi.org/10.1647/2016-234
Published: 1 December 2017
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