North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


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Proceedings of the North American Crane Workshop 13: 74


2014 North American Crane Working Group. Used by permission. Proceedings may include articles not presented at Workshop.


Previous research has described significant serum protein electrophoretic changes associated with intense periocular swelling in several crane species, typical of Type I hypersensitivity reactions, and thought to be the result of insect bites (Hartup and Schroeder 2006). We reviewed medical records for treatment plans and outcomes from 58 cases of insect hypersensitivity reactions observed in a diverse collection of captive cranes at the International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, Wisconsin. The purpose of this study was to fully describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of these cases, and determine the efficacy of treatment of these cases with tylosin tartrate, a macrolide antibiotic.

The mean annual number of cases (± SD) between 2000 and 2011 was 4.8 ± 2.9, and ranged from 1 to 11 cases per year (no cases were found prior to 2000). Cases occurred April to September, but peaked in June (n = 31). Twenty-four cases (41%) occurred in 1 quadrant of the off-exhibit breeding facility. Cases were observed in 6 species present at the facility. The largest number of cases occurred in whooping cranes (Grus americana) (n = 24, 41%), followed by Siberian cranes (G. leucogeranus) (n = 17, 29%). Forty-eight cranes were affected once, 9 cranes were affected twice, and 1 crane was similarly affected 3 times. Forty-one females (71%) and 17 males (29%) were affected. Female cranes were diagnosed with hypersensitivity reactions more than twice as often as males (odds ratio = 2.41, 95% confidence interval 1.05-5.58; χ2 = 5.19, P = 0.02). The affected cranes ranged in age from 9 days to 33 years old; there was no apparent age predilection.