Emphysematous Ingluvitis in Rainbow Lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2015
Ilse H. Stalis, DVM, DACVP; Rebecca Papendick, DVM, DACVP
Wildlife Disease Laboratories, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego, CA, USA


Eleven cases of emphysematous ingluvitis were identified following a review of 220 necropsy records for rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus) that died over an 18-year period. Affected birds were part of a group of rainbow lorikeets that were housed in a large, walk-through aviary. The numbers of birds in the enclosure and population density changed over time. Affected birds were eight males, two females, and one of undetermined sex. In two of these birds, emphysematous ingluvitis was considered to be the cause of death. Gross lesions observed in the crop included tan mucosal nodules, mucosal gas-filled bubbles, and a thickened crop wall. Histologic lesions included clear spaces in the mucosa with variable amounts of mixed inflammatory cell infiltrates and ulceration. The underlying cause of the lesions is not known, but lesions resemble pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis and gastric pneumatosis (emphysematous gastritis) in humans and other animals.1,2 Emphysematous ingluvitis has not previously been described in birds. Identifying and understanding the pathogenesis of this condition may be important for ensuring optimal care of affected birds.

Literature Cited

1.  Brandt LJ, Simon DM. Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis. In: Haubrich WS, Schaffner F, Berk JE, eds. Bockus Gastroenterology. 5th ed. Vol. 2. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 1995:1685–1693.

2.  Niederwerder MC, Stalis IH, Campbell GA, Backues KA. Gastric pneumatosis with associated eosinophilic gastritis in four black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata). J Zoo Wildl Med. 2013;44:79–86.


Speaker Information
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Ilse H. Stalis, DVM, DACVP
Wildlife Disease Laboratories
San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
San Diego, CA, USA

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