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Vet Pathol. 2011 May;48(3):691-7. doi: 10.1177/0300985810377071. Epub 2010 Jul 26.

Congestive heart failure in 6 African grey parrots (Psittacus e erithacus).

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Concepción Arenal 43-45, 6°1, Barcelona, Spain.


Six African grey parrots (Psittacus e erithacus) were diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure based on gross and microscopic findings. Ages ranged from 15 days to 8 years, and 5 of 6 parrots were either neonates or juveniles at the time of diagnosis. Two neonates and 2 juveniles came from the same breeding aviary; the 2 juveniles were born to the same breeding pair. The 2 other parrots were kept as pets. Clinical signs included distention of the coelomic cavity (4 of 6), rales (3 of 6), weakness (4 of 6), bradyarrhythmia (1 of 6), growth retardation (1 of 6), crop stasis (1 of 6), and regurgitation (1 of 6). Three parrots were euthanized and 3 died. Gross findings included cardiomegaly due to biventricular, right-, or left-sided cardiomyopathy (6 of 6); coelomic effusion (6 of 6); whitish or yellow foci in the liver (6 of 6); atrophy of the liver (particularly, the left lobe; 5 of 6); reddened or grey lungs (5 of 6); subcutaneous edema (2 of 6); hydropericardium (1 of 6); and bilateral thyroid gland enlargement (1 of 6). Relevant microscopic findings included passive hepatic congestion (6 of 6) and pulmonary congestion (2 of 6), lymphocytic thyroiditis (2 of 6), and diffuse thyroid follicular hyperplasia (2 of 6). Microscopically, the heart was unremarkable (2 of 6) or had mild lymphocytic myocarditis (2 of 6), mild multifocal cytoplasmic vacuolation of cardiomyocytes (2 of 6), mild lymphocytic myocardial (Purkinje cell) ganglioneuritis (1 of 6), and mild multifocal interstitial fibrosis and nuclear hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes (1 of 6). One parrot had concurrent proventricular dilatation disease (systemic ganglioneuritis). The cause of cardiomyopathy in these parrots was not determined.

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