A 12-yr-old female Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria), acquired from a private aviculturalist, was diagnosed with a flea infestation during a quarantine examination. The fleas were embedded around the face and throat and were identified as sticktight fleas (Echidnophaga gallinacea). Despite the sticktight fleas' worldwide distribution and broad host range, there is a paucity of reports on flea infestations and their treatment in zoo and exotic pet birds. Although this parasite has the potential to induce morbidity and mortality, no feather loss, localized dermatitis, or anemia was noted in response to the ectoparasitism. The infestation was treated with manual removal of fleas combined with topical malathion dusting and environmental treatment. Subsequent recheck exams did not reveal any fleas on this pigeon or on any of the other birds housed in the same room. This case illustrates the importance of quarantine procedures for newly acquired birds as part of responsible captive management of a large, multispecies bird collection.
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Vol. 38 • No. 4