ABSTRACT: A Humboldt penguin chick presented with dyspnoea. Radiographs showed opacities on the lungs and radio-opaque material within the ventriculus.

A ventriculotomy was performed to remove the opacities (which were pebbles) and nutritional, medical and supportive nursing care was provided. Despite recovering well, the chick presented dyspnoeic again a few weeks later. With diagnostic testing indicative of chronic aspergillosis, the chick was given a poor prognosis, and the decision was made to euthanise. This case study highlights the nursing steps taken and the possible mitigations that could be applied in the future to improve outcomes.


Sophie Sparrow BSc (Hons) RVN

Sophie graduated from Harper Adams University in 2011 with a BSc(Hons) in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management. Since graduating she has worked as a Veterinary Nurse at Twycross Zoo and is now Senior Veterinary Nurse at ZSL London Zoo. As co-founder of the AZEVN, she is passionate about sharing her love for Conservation Veterinary Nursing.

Email: sophie.sparrow@zsl.org

Heather Macintosh RVN

Heather was a water engineer before returning to her love of animals and training as a vet nurse at Edinburgh College/Glasgow Vet School, graduating in 2002. Since then she has been a zoo keeper, worked at London Zoo twice, worked for a primate rehabilitation centre in Nigeria for over a year and was a rehabilitator/vet nurse in a Canadian wildlife rehabilitation centre. She is very enthusiastic about the conservation of animals in zoos and especially in their natural habitat.

Keywords: Penguin; aspergillosis; foreign body

To cite this article: Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 34 (07) • July 2019 pp169-175

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