Bilateral Anterior Uveitis in a Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) with a Metastatic Pectoral Malignant Mesenchymoma

Michala De Linde Henriksen, Leslie Sharkey, Dana Franzen-Klein, Arno Wuenschmann, Leandro B.C. Teixeira, Richard Dubielzig, Michelle M Willette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A captive, adult, male northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) was examined for blepharospasm of the left eye. The owl was diagnosed with bilateral anterior uveitis and a corneal ulceration in the left eye. It was treated with oral and topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and a topical antibiotic. Multiple recheck examinations and medication adjustments were performed over the next 4 months, at the end of which time the bilateral anterior uveitis was controlled with a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory applied 3 times per week to both eyes. The owl was re-examined 2 months later after 2 suspected neurologic episodes. On physical examination, the owl was quiet and had difficulty standing and ambulating. Five firm multilobular and immobile masses were identified overlying the pectoral muscle and sternum. Fine-needle aspiration from 1 mass revealed neoplastic cells consistent with a sarcoma. The owl was euthanatized. On the basis of results of histopathologic examination, the mass was diagnosed as a pleomorphic spindle cell sarcoma with features of rhabdomyosarcoma, liposarcoma, and osteosarcoma. Numerous tumor cells were immunopositive for myoglobin and desmin, indicating striated muscle origin. Although a metastatic lesion was present in 1 adrenal gland, lesions of inflammation or neoplasia were absent in either eye on histopathologic examination. This report describes an apparent ocular manifestation of systemic disease in an avian species with clinically diagnosed recurrent anterior uveitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Aegolius acadicus
  • anterior uveitis
  • avian
  • mesenchymoma
  • northern saw-whet owl
  • paraneoplastic syndrome
  • pleomorphic sarcoma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Journal Article


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