In 2015, three psittacines were presented within 30 days, each with differing clinical signs and patient histories. A 13-yr-old male eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus) was presented for weakness, depression, and acute anorexia. On presentation it was determined to have a heart murmur, severely elevated white blood cell count (93.9 103/μl) with a left shift (2.8 103/μl bands), and anemia (30%). Severe hepatomegaly was noted on radiographs, ultrasonography, and computed tomography. A cytological sample of the liver obtained through a fine needle aspirate revealed intracellular acid-fast bacilli identified as Mycobacterium avium. A 20-yr-old female double yellow-headed Amazon parrot (Amazona oratrix) was presented for a 1-mo history of lethargy and weight loss despite a good appetite. The parrot's total white blood cell count was 16.8 103/μl and the PCV was 35%. Following its death, a necropsy revealed a generalized granulomatous condition that involved the small intestines, lungs, liver, spleen, and medullary cavities of the long bones, with intracellular acid-fast bacilli identified as Mycobacterium genavense. The third case, an 18-mo-old female black-headed caique (Pionites melanocephala), was presented with a 1-day history of lethargy and depression. On presentation, the caique had a heart murmur, distended coelom, palpable thickening of the coelomic organs, and increased lung sounds. Following the caique's death, a complete necropsy revealed mycobacteriosis of the liver, spleen, small intestines, pericardial fat, and bone marrow. The infection was identified as Mycobacterium genavense. The importance of advances in Mycobacterium spp. identification, continued presence of this organism in captive avian populations, difficulty in obtaining a definitive antemortem diagnosis, and conflicting recommendations regarding treatment are thought-provoking areas of focus in this case series.
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