Outcome of an Experimental Study in Growing Turkeys Suspected of Having a Diet Related, Uncommon and Uncoordinated Gait

Vet Sci. 2017 Sep 30;4(4):49. doi: 10.3390/vetsci4040049.


On the occasion of a clinical case on a turkey farm and based on the suspicion that the diet composition could be the cause, an eight-week diagnostic trial was performed with turkey poults (n = 54) divided into two groups (control and experimental). The levels of vitamin A in the starter and grower diets of the control group were 7168 and 5213 IU/kg diet, but <1000 IU/kg in the experimental ones. Vitamin A and uric acid contents were measured in the serum, while liver samples were taken to determine the vitamin A content. Parts of the central nervous system and some internal organs were examined histologically. In the sixth week, ruffled feathers and uncoordinated gait were the earliest signs seen in the experimental group. The vitamin A content in the liver samples significantly decreased in the experimental group (0.09 mg/kg vs. 29.5 mg/kg). The serum level of uric acid in the experimental group was significantly higher (12.8 mg/dL vs. 3.38 mg/dL). Birds in the experimental group showed squamous metaplasia in the oesophagus. No histopathological alterations were seen in the central nervous system. The elevated uric acid level in the serum is worth mentioning.

Keywords: abnormal gait; turkeys; vitamin A.