Four free-ranging peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) were submitted with a history of unilateral or bilateral blindness and central nervous signs to a veterinary clinic in Germany. There were no indications of trauma or ocular disease. Likewise, other differential diagnoses for CNS signs were ruled out within the diagnostic process. The clinical diagnostic panel in live falcons included general examination, radiography, endoscopy, hematology, ophthalmoscopy and parasitological examination of the feces, blood gas analysis and blood chemistry as well as computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A complete pathological and histopathological examination was performed post-mortem. The only common finding in all birds was an infection with the nematode parasite Serratospiculum tendo. The parasite was confirmed morphologically and via PCR. In two falcons intracerebral vermicoses was suspected in MRI and confirmed in subsequent histopathology, but molecular biological identification of the parasite species failed from brain tissue. Until today, S. tendo had been reported to affect the respiratory system, the liver and different parts of the gastrointestinal tract and to cause cachexia, inappetence, regurgitation, dyspnea and general signs of illness such as lethargy, poor plumage, and reduced reproduction. Our findings indicate that aberrant migration should be considered as cause for CNS signs in falcons. As S. tendo might be a possible cause for this, CNS signs might be included in the list of clinical signs of serratospiculiasis in falcons.
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