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    Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) or Macaw Wasting Disease

    ArticleParrot AdviceTuesday 22 November 2011
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    Parrots

    PDD is a very devastating, fatal disease affecting not only macaws, but has been seen in many other parrot species, including African Greys, cockatoos, cockatiels, conures, Eclectus parrots, Amazons, and budgies. There also are reports that suggest that birds that are very distantly related to parrots can be infected, such as spoonbills, toucans, peregrine falcons, Canadian goose, weavers, and possibly ostriches.

    Symptoms

    Typical symptoms include constant or intermittent regurgitation, chronic bacterial or fungal crop infections, pendulous crops, weight loss, passage of whole intact seeds in droppings, incoordination, depression or sudden death.
     
    Concomitant central nervous system signs may include ataxia, abnormal head movements, seizures, and proprioceptive or motor deficits.
     
    These signs, unfortunately, are not specific for this disease. Other conditions, such as lead poisoning, bacterial and fungal infections, foreign bodies and obstructions, can mimic this disease.

    Diagnosis

    Antemortem diagnosis of Proventricular Dilatation can be difficult. Suspicion of this disease is based upon history and physical examination. A complete workup should be performed, which includes a CBC, blood chemistry, bacterial and fungal cultures and sensitivities, and a chlamydia test. Survey and contrast X-rays may demonstrate a dilated proventriculus (glandular stomach) and delayed passage of barium from the gastrointestinal tract. These findings further support a tentative diagnosis but are not conclusive. A definitive diagnosis is based upon a biopsy of the crop, ventriculous (gizzard) or proventriculous, demonstrating characteristic histopathologic changes. The characteristic lesions may not be uniformly distributed throughout the affected organ, so multiple biopsies are necessary.

     
    At necropsy, emaciation, pectoral muscle atrophy, and dilation of the gastrointestinal tract, including the proventriculus, are observed.
     
    This being said, many diseases mimic PDD and each of these must be carefully ruled out. These include:
    • Heavy metal toxicity (i.e., lead) which can be accompanied by signs of esophageal or proventricular dilatation, intestinal ileus (paralysis), impaction, abnormal droppings as well as neurological signs;
    • Impaction or signs of maldigestion due to disorders of the lining of the ventriculus (known as the koilin layer) that can be caused by heavy metal toxicity, parasitic / fungal infection, candidiasis or internal Papillomatosis;
    • Ingestion of foreign material (metals,plastics, grit, feathers, nesting material) that can cause symptoms of proventriculus and/or ventriculus obstruction or impaction
    • Infections:
      • bacterial, mycobacterial; fungal or viral infections, such as Avian Viral Serositis, Adenovirus and Paramyxovirus III
      • parasitic infections
      • gastric nematode infections capable of causing weight loss, anemia, and signs of gastric impaction (anorexia, regurgitation, scant feces);
      • protozoa infections including trichomoniasis and cryptosporidiosis;
      • candidiasis;
    • Nutritional:
      • Vitamin D Toxicosis and the accompanying mineralization of digestive organs;
      • vitamin e/selenium deficiency;
    • Dysplastic Koilin causes proventricular obstruction and/or tulceration and perforation of the Ventriculus (gizzard)
    • Gastric tumors or other masses causing obstruction or the digestive tract;
    • Pancreatitis;
    • Other systemic diseases

     

     Source: Avian Web

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