Ulcerative dermatitis and valvular endocarditis associated with staphylococcus aureus in a hyacinth macaw (Anadorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Minh Huynh, Silvia Carnaccini, Todd Driggers, H L Shivaprasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


An 18-yr-old male hyacinth macaw (Anadorhynchus hyacinthinus) was found dead in his aviary with no preexisting signs. The bird had a chronic history of feather damaging behavior, with severe ulcerative dermatitis. Pathologic findings revealed a vegetative valvular endocarditis, myocarditis, septicemia, chronic severe glomerulonephritis, and thyroid dysplasia. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from the valve, the liver, and the skin. Repeated trauma and low-rate bacteriemia may have contributed to the development of endocarditis. Translocation of S. aureus skin infection in the bloodstream may lead to subacute endocarditis in humans and such mechanism is suspected in this case. This case suggests that endocarditis associated with S. aureus septicemia is a potential complication of feather damaging behavior. This case also reports a systemic complication of ulcerative dermatitis secondary to feather damaging behavior. Endocarditis has been poorly reported in psittacine species, and such medical complication of feather damaging behavior has never been reported to our knowledge. Furthermore, S. aureus is a bacteria of public health concern and should be integrated into the differential when pet parrots with dermatitis are in proximity to owners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalAvian Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Dermatitis
  • Endocarditis
  • Feather damaging
  • Parrot
  • Septicemia
  • Staphylococcus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Animals
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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