Lung Disease in Little Penguins

Above imaging shows lung lesions in the initial CT scans (B and D) and digital radiographs (A and C)

A group of zoo-housed little penguins (Eudyptula minor) was diagnosed with avian tuberculosis. While undergoing computed tomography (CT) scans for an unrelated research project, lung lesions were detected in multiple individuals. In general, the birds appeared healthy and free of outward signs of disease. Affected birds were treated with a combination of antibiotics compounded into a single capsule administered in food. After 3 months of therapy, CT scans demonstrated improvement in all birds, with further success documented after 13 months of treatment. CT imaging was invaluable for diagnosing disease, documenting disease progression over time, and assessing response to therapy. Early initiation of therapy before the development of outward signs of disease resulted in complete recovery of the infected birds. The occurrence of this disease in the group of little penguins, as well as previously published reports in this species, suggests that this smallest of penguin species is at increased risk for developing avian tuberculosis. 

Read our published, peer reviewed paper: 

 "Diagnosis and Management Of Mycobacteriosis In A Colony of Little Penguins" 



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