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Genetic Myopathy in Poultry

By Arnaud J. Van Wettere, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVP, Assistant Professor of Veterinary Pathology, Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, Utah State University

Type II glycogen storage disease (acid maltase deficiency, Pompe disease) has been reported in Japanese quail. Symptoms start between 4 and 6 wk of age, and affected quail show progressive myopathy with reduced ability or inability to lift their wings, fly, or get back on their feet after being placed on their back (flip test). Glycogen deposition occurs in skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and smooth muscle, as well as in the brain and spinal cord. Both red and white muscle is affected, but lesions are more pronounced in the pectoralis superficialis (white muscle).