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Congo Peafowl Preventative Medicine


Original: December 2007 

Regular health monitoring should be performed routinely.  The following protocol advises specific baseline laboratory tests to perform when examining the animal.  Additional tests are recommended when indicated and the decision for specific procedures and their frequency should be made by the institutional animal care and veterinary staff based on individual circumstances. 


1. Full physical examination including ophthalmic evaluation, oral examination, auscultation of heart, lungs, and air sacs, evaluation of feet, legs, and wings, and coelomic palpation. 

2.  Body weight and body condition scoring. 

3.  Placement or verification of permanent identification (leg band and/or transponder).  Transponders can be placed in the interscapular subcutaneous tissue in a conscious bird. 

4.  Blood collection for CBC, biochemical profile (recommend AST, Uric Acid, Calcium, Phosphorous, Creatine Kinase, Glucose, Total Protein, Albumin, and Globulin as minimum profile), viral serology, serum banking, and research requests (if any). 

5.  Feces collected for semi-annual to annual parasite examination (direct and float or sedimentation on fresh sample) and consider enteric fecal/cloacal culture (Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, Campylobacter). 

6.  Whole body radiographs (Ventrodorsal and Lateral).  Limb and feet radiographs if indicated. 

7.  Evaluate vaccination status.  The only vaccine to be considered routinely is for West Nile Virus.  Decision to vaccinate should be based on potential exposure, indoor vs. outdoor housing, local virus status, and collection history.  If the decision is made to vaccinate, the following protocol is recommended:

      A) Initial series: 3 doses of equine WNV vaccine (Fort Dodge); 1 ml IM in

          pectoral musculature 2-3 weeks apart.

      B) Annual booster: 1 ml IM in pectoral musculature.

      C) As possible, submit vaccine titers to Cornell University. 


1.  Medical records (hard copy or electronic) should be sent to the receiving institution prior to shipment to allow time for review and discussion.  Records should include:

      A) Signalment – age, sex, origin, studbook number, rearing status (parent or

          hand), reproductive history, and institution ISIS number.

      B) Anamnesis – Complete medical history, including previous health screens,

      medical problems, diagnostic test results, treatments, vaccinations, anesthetic data, diet information, and pertinent exhibit and conspecific history/medical concerns. 

2.  Preshipment examination and testing should follow those outlined under routine examinations in addition to requests from the receiving institution and any required testing by the state of import. 


Quarantine guidelines should follow the AZA standards including: 

1.  Minimum of 30 day quarantine period isolated from collection.

2.  Complete physical examination.

3.  Body weight and body condition scoring.

4.  Verification of permanent identification (leg band and/or transponder). 

5.  Blood collection for CBC, biochemical profile, viral serology, serum banking, and

      research requests (if any).

6.  Three negative fecal parasite examinations (direct and float or sedimentation).

      Treatment as indicated and three negative fecals post-treatment.

7.  Whole body radiographs (Ventrodorsal and Lateral). 

8.  Optional: West Nile Virus vaccination. Fecal/cloacal culture for enteric pathogens. 


All peafowl that die should receive a complete necropsy in a timely manner.   

1.  During the gross examination, pathology should be identified, representative samples

    of lesions and all tissues should be collected for histopathologic examination, culture, and banking and a full report should be generated.

2.  Tissues to be sampled for histopathologic examination include: skin, muscle, bone

    (femur), tongue, eye, brain, trachea, thyroid, esophagus, lung, heart, aorta, liver, gall bladder, spleen, pancreas, crop, proventriculus, ventriculus, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, cecum, gonad, and adrenal gland in addition to any gross lesions.

3.  Tissues to be frozen include: heart, liver, lung, kidney in addition to any gross lesions.

4.  A complete report, including gross and histopathologic results, as well as the animals’

      medical record should be submitted to the veterinary advisor on an annual basis. 


Congo Peafowl SSP Vet Advisor: Chris Hanley, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, Toledo Zoo, 2700 Broadway, Toledo, Ohio 43609, phone 419-385-5721 ext 2105, FAX 419-385-6924,


581705 White Oak Road
Yulee, FL 32097 USA

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