Mazzaro LM, Dunn JL, St. Aubin DJ. 1999. Variation in serum ferritin, serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC) and percent transferrin saturation in Northern Fur Seals: a retrospective study. In Proceedings of the Third Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Columbus, OH.
Hemochromatosis is an excessive accumulation of iron in tissues, particularly liver, and is associated with the development of hepatic lesions. The term hemosiderosis is used when there are no toxic effects of the iron accumulation. Both conditions have been observed in free-ranging and captive specimens of many species (Lowensteine and Munson 1999). Histopathologic analysis of tissues obtained from two aged female northern fur seals at Mystic Aquarium demonstrated large amounts of iron in the liver. This study examines whether changes in four analytes (serum ferritin, serum iron, TIBC and percent saturation) over time might signal iron storage problems. In humans, serum ferritin determination is second only to liver biopsy as an indicator of liver iron levels. Ferritin analysis may be more difficult in other species because this analyte may be species specific.9_MAZZAR.pdf     70 KB