Chronic Cystic Pulmonary Disease in a Kea (Nestor notabilis)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2005
Katja Geschke1, DVM, PhD; Brett Gartrell2, BVSc, PhD, MACVSc (Avian Health)
1Wellington Zoo Trust, Wellington, New Zealand; 2New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre, IVABS, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand


A kea greater than 30 years old displayed clinical signs of chronic respiratory infection and had been on discontinuous treatment for aspergillosis for 10 years. Several treatment regimens using antibiotic, anti-fungal and nebulising elements did not eliminate clinical symptoms. In October 2003, an endoscopic examination revealed thickened opaque air sacs and two small granulomas. Biopsies were examined and showed chronic inflammation but did not yield enough material for conclusive results. Computer tomography of this kea showed unusual cystic pulmonary changes. A clinically healthy kea underwent the same procedure and was used as a baseline to compare with the diseased kea. The lesions were diagnosed as chronic cystic pulmonary disease, which has not been described in this species before. These findings suggested that the clinical signs of recurrent dyspnea were unlikely to be due to ongoing infectious disease. The decision was made to withdraw all treatment apart from supportive care in the form of a heated enclosure and an individual diet with increased palatability. The kea showed rapid clinical improvement. Eight weeks after termination of medical treatment, the bird was taken back to his original enclosure. He has been without any obvious clinical signs for over 12 months.


Speaker Information
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Katja Geschke, DVM, PhD
Wellington Zoo Trust
Wellington, New Zealand

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