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Postmortem findings in bustards in the United Arab Emirates

American Association of Avian Pathologists Inc.
Publication Date
  • Medicine


A review was conducted of 236 postmortem examinations of six species of captive and imported bustards in the United Arab Emirates for the period 1979-94. The most common causes of death in adult imported houbara bustards (Chlamydotis undulata macqueenii) were euthanasia due to Newcastle disease, aspergillosis, and post-transportation-related deaths. Helminth parasites were a common finding in imported houbara bustards, and large parasite burdens occasionally caused intestinal obstruction and death. The most common causes of death in adult captive houbara bustards were trauma- related deaths and euthanasia for or death following treatment for capture myopathy. Fatty liver change was an important postmortem finding of captive adult houbara bustards. The main cause of death in juvenile houbara bustards was yolk-sac infection and septicemia. The most common causes of death in adult kori bustards (Ardeotis kori) were capture myopathy and handling injuries or euthanasia following these injuries. The most common causes of death in adult rufous-crested bustards (Eupodotis ruficrista) were post- transportation deaths in imported birds and trichomoniasis and trauma in captive birds. Juvenile rufous crested bustards appeared to be highly susceptible to gizzard impactions and foreign-body obstructions of the gastrointestinal tract. Nutritional hone disease is an important disease of all juvenile bustards, particularly kori and houbara bustards. Aspergillosis was also a common postmortem finding in captive and imported adult houbara bustards and also caused mortality in juvenile kori and houbara bustards.

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