Nutrition and immunity: vitamins and minerals

Infectious diseases impinge on animal health and welfare. Appropriate nutrition may aid in minimizing the incidence of infectious diseases by optimizing immunity. Formulating diets that optimize immunity requires knowing the specific cellular mechanisms by which nutrients affect immunity, and how these mechanisms pertain to specific nutrients and pathogens. Understanding the nuances of nutrition and immunity is important because higher dietary...

Influence of diet on characteristics of nutrient digestion in fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox)

Few data are available regarding the nutrition of fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) in captivity. Cryptoprocta ferox are one of few carnivore species endemic to the island of Madagascar, found in woodlands or savannas. Although considered opportunistic carnivores, lemur species constitute a significant portion of the fossa diet. Average body lengths of fossa, range from 65-80 cm in addition to a 60-80...

Determination of tannin levels in various plants and their possible effect on iron chelation in lemurs

Lemurs are one of several species that can suffer from excess iron accumulation in tissues, termed hemosiderosis. The more severe form, hemochromatosis, develops when hemosiderosis is accompanied by functional or morphologic evidence of iron toxicity and may result in clinical disease and death. Organs most often affected include the liver, heart, spleen, and gastrointestinal tract. The pathology of this problem/disease...

Case Study: Elimination diet for a female orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) with digestive problems at the Toronto Zoo

Ramai (ISIS #20164) is a female Sumatran orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus abeiii) who was born at the Toronto Zoo on 4 October 1985. She was parent-reared, and currently weighs approximately 62 kg. Ramai has had a history of loose stool and skin problems. A fecal scoring chart was developed to illustrate the range of fecal consistency observed in orangutans at the...

Serum fatty acids concentrations in free-ranging and captive giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardalis)

Serum concentrations of fatty acids in captive giraffes were compared to values obtained from free-ranging giraffes in an effort to identify potential nutritional differences in the captive population. Captive giraffes have a specific set of maladies, including peracute mortality, energy malnutrition, pancreatic disease, urolithiasis, hoof disease, and severe intestinal parasitism that may be nutritionally related. Serum samples from 20 captive...

Effective duration of a copper oxide bolus administered orally to bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus dorcas)

Two male bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus dorcas) (70.5 kg) received a 12.5 g copper oxide bolus orally during anesthesia and were offered a diet of high fiber herbivore pellets with ad libitum access to Bermuda grass hay, water, and either a white salt or trace mineralized salt block. Blood samples were collected prior to bolus administration and every four weeks subsequently...

Predicting nutrient values of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

From May to December each year, the African elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom receive elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) as a significant portion of their diet. Near infra-red reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) is used to quickly predict the nutrient quality of the forage. Samples of elephant grass have been collected since 2003 and used to develop calibration equations. As...

The effect of a produce based gut loading diet on mineral and vitamin content of adult crickets (Acheta domestica)

Adequate supplementation of calcium and other nutrients including vitamin A is integral to successfully holding insectivorous amphibians and reptiles in captivity. Dusting and gut loading insects are two commonly used methods of supplementation. A produce based gut loading diet may be more palatable and thus may gut load more successfully and for an extended period of time. Adult crickets (Acheta...