Fungal Keratitis in a Congo Peafowl (Afropavo congensis) and a Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2008
Stephanie B. James1, DVM, DACZM; Heidi S. Zurawka1,2, DVM; Alisa L. Newton1, VMD, DACVP; John S. Sapienza3, DVM, DACVO
1Gobal Health Programs, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY, USA; 2Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE, USA; 3Long Island Veterinary Specialists, Plainview, NY, USA


Fungal keratitis is an uncommon finding in avian species.1,2 Cases of confirmed unilateral Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis were diagnosed in a 12-day-old Congo peafowl (Afropavo congensis) and a 1.5-year-old Satyr tragopan (Tragopan satyra). Both animals were treated with oral antibiotics and antifungals. The Congo was treated, in addition, with topical ocular antibiotics and antifungals. The Satyr was initially treated with a temporary tarsorrhaphy and then later with antifungal nebulization. Both animals had moderate to severe leukocytosis characterized by a heterophilia and a monocytosis. Neither case resolved with medical treatment. The Congo peafowl’s affected globe started to collapse during treatment so the bird was immobilized and intraocular natamycin (Natamycin ophthalmic suspension 5%, Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Fort Worth, TX, USA) was administered to decrease the chance of fungal invasion of the surrounding tissue as the globe became phthisical. The Satyr tragopan was anesthetized and the affected globe was surgically enucleated. Both animals remained on oral antifungals postoperatively. White blood cells counts normalized rapidly after the intraocular treatment and the enucleation. These cases represent presumptive localized aspergillus infection with leukocytosis but without systemic or neurologic involvement. Treatment of the affected eye with either an intraocular antifungal or enucleation was curative with no negative long-term sequela.


The authors would like to thank the Department of Ornithology at the Wildlife Conservation Society for their assistance in the care of these birds

Literature Cited

1.  Beckman BJ, Howe CW, Trampel DW, DeBey MC, Richard JL, Niyo Y. Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis with intraocular invasion in 15-day-old chicks. Avian Diseases. 1994;38:660–665.

2.  Hoppes S, Gurfield N, Flamer K, Colits C, Fisher P. Mycotic keratitis in a blue-fronted amazon parrot (Amazona aestiva). J Avian Med Surg. 2000;14:185–189.


Speaker Information
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Stephanie B. James, DVM, DACZM
Gobal Health Programs
Wildlife Conservation Society
Bronx, NY, USA

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