Zinc toxicosis in an Umbrella Cockatoo (Cacatua alba)

Other Titles


A three-year old male Umbrella Cockatoo (Cacatua alba) presented to the referring veterinarian (rDVM) for a two-month history of diarrhea and decreased appetite. On presentation, the bird was bright and alert and had loose stool. Budding yeast were found on fecal smear Gram stain, and a course of oral nystatin was prescribed. Due to lack of response to nystatin treatment, a course of fluconazole was initiated. The bird presented again to the rDVM six weeks later for lethargy, anorexia, and continued diarrhea. Radiographic images showed metal-opacity foreign bodies in the ventriculus, suspected to be a part of a keychain. Samples of blood and plasma were submitted for lead and zinc analysis, respectively. The blood lead concentration was below the detection limit, while plasma zinc concentration was greatly elevated at >26 ppm. Therapy included calcium EDTA, cathartics, sucralfate, enrofloxacin, and assist feedings. After one week, radiographs were repeated, and images showed that the metal foreign bodies were still present in the ventriculus. The patient was then referred to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals' Exotic Animal Service. Endoscopic removal of the foreign bodies was attempted under general anesthesia, but it was apparent that the keychain had broken into many small pieces, and removal would have required many passes of the endoscope, increasing the likelihood of tissue damage. Surgical removal was recommended, and the foreign body material was removed via proventriculotomy one week later. The patient recovered uneventfully from anesthesia and was discharged to the care of his owner with tramadol, calcium EDTA, enfloxacin and sucralfate. Follow-up care was provided by the rDVM. The patient's plasma zinc concentration declined to reference values and the patient recovered well from surgery.

Journal / Series

Senior seminar paper
Seminar SF610.1 2012

Volume & Issue



Date Issued




Cockatoos -- Effect of heavy metals on -- Case studies


Effective Date

Expiration Date




Union Local


Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Degree Discipline

Degree Name

Degree Level

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)


Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document




Other Identifiers


Rights URI


term paper

Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record