An adult, male, 450-g toco toucan (Ramphastos toco) bred in captivity was suspected of food intoxication. On physical examination, the bird was depressed, anorectic, and uncoordinated. The hematology results were RBC 4.6x1012/L, Hb 16.5 g/dl, PCV 47%, WBC 56x109/L, heterophils 9%, lymphocytes 73%, monocytes 2% and eosinophils 16%. After 10 days of treatment the bird died. At the necropsy, the liver was friable with rounded edges and multiple coalescing yellow irregular foci visible on the surface. The spleen was enlarged and had similar yellow foci. Histologic examination of the liver revealed proliferation of neoplastic lymphoid cells, which expanded along the sinusoids and formed lymph nodule-like structures with a necrotic center. There was also bile duct hyperplasia. In the spleen, similar neoplastic lymphoid infiltrates with extensive necrotic areas were present.
Lymphoid neoplasia has been reported in exotic and domestic birds,1,2,4,5 and some of them have been associated with retroviruses.3,4 This is the first report of a lymphoid neoplasm in a toucan.
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2. Hill, J.E., D.L. Burke, and G.N. Rowland. 1986. Hepatopathy and lymphosarcoma in a mynah bird with excessive iron storage. Avian Dis. 30: 634–636.
3. Miller, P.E., J. Paul-Murphy, R. Sullivan, A.J. Cooley, R.R. Dubielzig, C.J. Murphy, and A.M. Fadly. 1998. Orbital lymphosarcoma associated with reticuloendotheliosis virus in a peafowl. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 213: 377–380.
4. Payne, L.N., and A.M. Fadly. 1997. Leukosis/sarcoma group. In: B.W. Calnek (ed.). Diseases of Poultry, 10th ed. Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA. Pp. 414–466.
5. Ramos-Vara, J.A., E.J. Smith, and G.L. Watson. 1997. Lymphosarcoma with plasmacytoid differentiation in a scarlet macaw (Ara macao). Avian Dis. 41: 499–504.