Normal urinary mineral excretion levels in African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Metabolic bone disease has occurred in several incidences of elephant neonates hand-reared on milk replacement formula. Monitoring for metabolic bone disease historically has been done through serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations. Serum concentrations are tightly regulated and changes in concentration are typically not evident until skeletal changes have already occurred. Urinary calcium and phosphorus excretion levels may provide earlier evidence...

Influence of diet on serum chemistry values in captive giraffe over four years

Over the past several years, herbivore diet formulations have transitioned toward lower starch and sugar and higher concentrations of structural carbohydrates such as neutral detergent fiber. Following the Giraffe Nutrition Workshop in 2005, recommendations were released that encouraged diets containing less than 5% starch and less than 0.5% phosphorus for captive giraffe. In December 2005, seven giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata)...

The effect of terrarium size, egg crate area, stocking density, and time on cricket mortality and the ability to achieve a 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio

In order to provide a nutritionally adequate diet for captive insectivorous animals, invertebrates such as crickets and mealworms must be supplemented with calcium. Current methods of supplementation include dusting and gut-loading. The size of the terrarium, the area of egg crates within the terrarium, cricket stocking density, and length of time on the gut loading diet, may all play a...

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...

The impact of nutritional factors on the development of phosphatic uroliths using meat goats as a model for captive giraffes

Obstructive urolithiasis is a documented problem in domestic ruminants, such as the meat goat, and exotic herbivores, such as captive giraffe. These two species develop phosphorus based uroliths and are considered browsing ruminants. Due to the logistical challenges of performing studies with captive giraffe, a metabolic trial was conducted using meat goats as a model. The intent of this study...

Influence of diet transition on serum calcium and phosphorus in captive giraffe

Pathology in captive giraffe is relatively common and has often been attributed to nutritional causes. It was hypothesized that reducing dietary starch and phosphorus (P) would change serum mineral concentrations to be more in line with typical mammalian values. Captive giraffe (n=6, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha NE), previously fed a commercially available diet, were transitioned to a reduced starch diet...

Hypomagnesemia, hypocalcemia, and ruminitis in ungulates: an under-recognized syndrome?

Macro- and microminerals are critical in maintaining normal physiologic processes. Requirements for domestic ungulates have been documented and are available through the National Research Council (NRC). Normal values have not been established for most wildlife species. Due to specialized feeding habits, collection of baseline data for each species is needed to develop complete diets and detect nutritional diseases. Several cases...

Comparison of parathyroid hormone, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium in serum and urine of nyala (Tragelaphus angassi) on concentrates or a forage only diet

The nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) herd at Busch Gardens Tampa has historically had one of the highest incidences of Johne’s disease (Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, Mptb) within the collection. A 10-yr epidemiologic review at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay revealed 27/83 (32.5%) Mptb culture positive individuals. At the time of this trial, 20/21 positive animals were also noted to be hypocalcemia. It was...

A zoo-wide evaluation into the current feeder insect supplementation program at the Brookfield Zoo

Commercially raised insects are an important food source for captive animals. For those animals that are purely insectivorous, the nutrient concentrations of the food source are vitally important for the health and welfare of the animal, particularly the Ca to P ratio. In the summer of 2002, a zoo-wide evaluation of the current methods of insect supplementation was conducted at...

Effects of a high calcium diet on gut loading in varying ages of crickets (Acheta domestica) and mealworms (Tenebrio molitor)

Insects are a poor source of calcium. Consequently, it is a common practice for zoos to supplement them in order to provide a nutritionally balanced diet to many species. Current methods of supplementation include dusting and gut-loading. The experiment was conducted in order to determine the effect of a high calcium diet on gut loading in varying ages of crickets...

Pyramiding is not caused by excess calcium and/or phosphorus in young Red-eared sliders, Trachemys scripta elegans

Pyramiding, is a condition in which the scutes of the carapace of turtles become deformed and elevated, taking on a pyramid shape. Pyramiding is believed to be a nutritional problem, however its exact cause is unknown. Given that the turtle carapace is composed largely of bone, it was hypothesized that it may be caused by an imbalance in dietary calcium...