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WE would like to raise awareness among colleagues of an apparently rare differential diagnosis for leg paresis in pheasants, detected following a recent outbreak in seven- to 10-week-old pheasant poults.
The birds had been bought in as day-old chicks and clinical signs were first seen in birds from six weeks of age. By the time birds were presented for postmortem examination, two different age groups were affected. The seven-week-old birds had been housed in two rearing sheds on shredded cardboard litter since arrival and the corners of the sheds were packed out with wood chippings to prevent birds crowding in the corners. From three weeks of age, they had access to outside runs. The 10-week-old birds were in release pens, with ruts and other uneven areas filled in with wood chips from the same source.
The course of disease, reported by the owner and expanded upon at a later site visit, was that affected birds initially became inappetent, indicated by an overall reduction in quantity of feed consumed, and were …
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