Iron storage disease (ISD) in a captive toco toucan (Ramphastos toco): a case report


  • Ratchanon Kusolsongkhrokul
  • Pitchakorn Petcharat
  • Watcharin Hin-on
  • Frank S. Pumipuntu
  • Tarid Purisotayo
  • Natapol Pumipuntu


iron storage disease (ISD), toco toucan, ascorbic acid, diagnosis, management


A captive, male toco toucan (Ramphastos toco) presented with a 1-month history of anorexia, hypodynamia and inability of flying. On physical examination, conscious and responsive, cataract and body condition score were found to be 4/5. Blood chemistry analysis revealed high levels of AST and CK. Radiological examination showed the lungs had increased soft-tissue opacity with loss of the normal reticulated pattern. A necropsy revealed a yellowish discoloration of the liver, pericardial fluid, hemorrhagic pancreatitis and hemorrhagic nephritis. The histopathological examination showed that the liver had modulate autolysis, diffuse sinusoidal congestion and mild hydropic degeneration. Diffuse hemosiderin pigment in cytoplasmic hepatocyte was detected by Prussian blue strain. Histopathological examination confirmed the iron deposition in the liver of the toco toucan. Problems often arise from feeding foods containing ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which is an important factor for iron absorption. Therefore, it is recommended that fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C should not be given at the same time as food with high levels of iron. Diagnosis is not always possible until a biopsy. Diagnosis should be based on signalment, history taking and clinical signs, laboratory data and special examination. Our findings will benefit veterinarians in the investigation, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment in ISD in a frugivorous bird.




How to Cite

Kusolsongkhrokul, R. ., Petcharat, P. ., Hin-on, W. ., Pumipuntu, F. S. ., Purisotayo, T. ., & Pumipuntu, N. . (2023). Iron storage disease (ISD) in a captive toco toucan (Ramphastos toco): a case report. The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 52(4), 807–812. Retrieved from



Clinical Reports