Salmonellosis in Racing Pigeons
By Gabriel Senties-Cue, MVZ, EPAA, MS
The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory’s (TVMDL) Center laboratory recently discovered salmonellosis in a flock of 75 racing pigeons. At the time of specimen submission, 25 birds had already died. Sick birds were showing regurgitation, greenish feces, and sudden death following onset of clinical signs. At necropsy examination, two birds had enlarged and mottled livers with multifocal, pin-point, whitish foci, one bird had two large, whitish foci in the left lung. The microscopic examination of liver sections revealed congestion, multifocal areas of necrosis associated with large numbers of rod-shaped bacteria and mixed inflammatory cell infiltrations, and lymphocytic infiltrations around portal triads (Fig. No. 1). In a lung section there was a large focus of necrosis with severe granulomatous inflammation associated with large numbers of rod-shaped bacteria (Fig. No. 2). Salmonella typhimurium was isolated from two livers and one lung. S. typhimurium is frequently found affecting pigeons. Rodents are a common source of S. typhimurium for pigeons.
For more information about this case, contact Center Resident Director Dr. Gabriel Senties-Cue. To learn more about TVMDL’s test offerings, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu or call 1.888.646.5623.