Nutritional pathology 101: common post mortem lesions of nutritional deficiencies and excess across taxa

The wide variety of lifestyle, digestive tract, and physiologic adaptations that exist across taxa result in an expansive array of nutritional needs and sensitivities, which can result in inadvertent essential nutrient excesses or deficiencies that result in disease (Barboza et al., 2009; Dierenfeld, 1997). While the incidence of nutrition related disease has seen a steady decline in veterinary pathology with...

Complications associated with diet manipulation in callimico (Callimico goeldii)

The diet traditionally fed to Callimico goeldii in North American institutions has included a canned, nutritionally complete food combined with fruits, vegetables and insects. There has been a long-standing question as to whether the diet could be contributing to health issues in this species, particularly renal disease. Although, no direct correlation between the diet and renal disease has been documented,...

VITILIGO ASSOCIATED WITH HYPOVITAMINOSIS D IN MALAYAN FLYING FOX (PTEROPUS VAMPYRUS) AND ISLAND FLYING FOX (PTEROPUS HYPOMELANUS)

Eight Malayan flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus) and three island flying fox (Pteropus hypomelanus) presented for varying degrees of skin depigmentation of the wing membranes, face, and feet. Lesions were observed 6 months after the bats were placed in a newly constructed indoor-only exhibit. Skin biopsies indicated segmental loss of melanin pigment within the epidermis; skin scrapes and culture results were...

FEED-RELATED HYPERVITAMINOSIS D IN A CAPTIVE FLOCK OF BUDGERIGARS (MELOPSITTACUS UNDULATAS): MORBIDITY, MORTALITIES AND PATHOLOGIC LESIONS

In the spring of 2012, the Blank Park Zoo began suffering mortalities in a flock of 229 captive Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) housed in an interactive public-feeding aviary. Clinical signs included weakness, posterior paresis, inability to fly, central nervous signs or acute death. Gross and microscopic lesions were not apparent in acutely affected deceased birds. Many birds had evidence of trauma,...

Preliminary report on the quantification of ultraviolet-B radiation from artificial light sources over time

The term “metabolic bone disease” encompasses a variety of bone-related diseases, including rickets, osteomalacia, osteopenia, and osteoporosis, all of which are associated with a weakening of bone structure. Metabolic bone disease is considered a serious health problem among certain species of captive reptiles. The occurrence of metabolic bone disease is believed to be due to insufficient concentrations of circulating vitamin...

THE INTERACTION BETWEEN VARIATION IN DIGESTIVE EFFICIENCY, VITAMIN D STATUS, CALCIUM METABOLOISM, AND BONE DENSITY IN COMMON MARMOSETS (CALLITHRIX JACCHUS)

Despite its long history of captive management, nutrition and dietary husbandry of common marmosets remains a major concern among colony managers in the United States (2004 survey by the Marmoset Research Group of the Americas). Nutrient requirements for the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) are poorly characterized, and dietary husbandry of this species has been informed more by practical and anecdotal...

Suspected Vitamin D3 toxicity in a group of black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)

Three black rhinoceros (two males, one female, Diceros bicornis) in a group of 10 black rhinoceros, (two male and two female long-term wild-caught adults and six male captive-born juveniles) began to show hypercalcemia and partial anorexia over a 5-mo time frame. These signs were more pronounced in the adult rhinoceros, serum sampling in the juveniles were inconsistent due to behavioural...

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...

Nutritional status in captive Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncates)

Nutritional status of captive dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was examined using biochemical analysis. Voluntary blood samples, obtained from four healthy captive bottlenose dolphins at Brookfield Zoo, were analyzed for vitamin D metabolites [25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D], lipids (total cholesterol, triacylglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol), and fatty acids. Fish fed to these dolphins were analyzed for dry matter, crude protein, fat, energy, vitamin D,...

Does blood sample handling and processing affect levels of vitamin A, E, and D?

Proper handling of blood samples is critical for the most accurate results. Knowledge of which factors affect blood samples leads to a practical and efficient system of handling these samples. This study evaluated the effect of light, temperature, or type of blood collection tube on 25(OH) vitamin D, retinol, and alpha-tocopherol in lion blood samples. Blood samples were collected from...

Vitamin D intakes by cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) and associated serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations

Rickets and osteomalacia have been reported frequently in captive callitrichids. Some have assumed that these conditions are a consequence of unmet, unusually high requirements for vitamin D and that these high requirements are characteristic of all New World primates. As a consequence, certain commercial diets formulated for New World primates contain such high concentrations of vitamin D that their consumption...

Serum concentrations of lipids, vitamins A and E, vitamin D metabolites, and carotenoids in nine primate species at four zoos

The purpose of this work was to measure important nutritional status parameters for captive primates, compare those with published data, and look for a link with diet. The nutritional status of nine captive primate species was examined using biochemical analysis. The species were spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi), colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza), sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus), Schmidt’s monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius), mandrills...

Vitamin D metabolites 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D and Kidney function indices and the relationship to diet in Goeldi’s monkeys (Callimico goeldii)

In Brookfield Zoo’s Goeldi’s monkey colony, a large number of deaths related to renal disease has been documented. Review of post-mortem results from Goeldi’s monkeys in the past 20 years revealed that in deaths of animals over 18 months of age, renal disease was a primary pathologic diagnosis. Although the nutrient requirements of Goeldi’s monkeys have not been described, these...

Do new world primates really have elevated needs for protein and Vitamin D?

Phylogenetic variation in nutrient requirements is of both theoretical and practical interest. Although all vertebrates are thought to require a similar set of nutrients, quantitative needs can vary in relation to digestive, physiologic and reproductive performance (Allen and Oftedal, 1996). For example, among primates it is likely that the nutrient requirements of colobine monkeys such as colobus (Colobus) and langurs...

Vitamin D and Primates: Recurring Problems on a Familiar Theme

Captive primates housed indoors with little access to ultraviolet light have historically been susceptible to metabolic bone disease. The trend in zoological parks toward building large, indoor exhibits has potentially exacerbated this problem. Most skylight materials are not transparent to the wavelengths of ultraviolet light (UV-B) necessary for endogenous production of vitamin D. It is possible that most primates, like...

Effect of Vitamin D3/ Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Growth and Tibia Characteristics of Green Water Dragons (Physignathus cocincinus, Cuvier 1829)

A preliminary experiment was conducted to investigate the interactive effect of one level of a combined dose of vitamin D3/ascorbic acid (C) supplementation on growth performance and bone development in green water dragons (Physignathus cocincinus, Cuvier 1829) .Ten forty- seven day old female green water dragons obtained from one clutch of eggs were selected for this study. From birth to...

Vitamin D and ultraviolet radiation: meeting lighting needs for captive animals

Most animals meet their vitamin D needs through diet or exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. However, rickets and osteomalacia, classic consequences of calcium and vitamin D deficiency, are problems in a number of captive species, including certain basking reptiles and nursing primates, when little or no access is provided to natural sunlight.1,2,4 Vitamin D deficiency may occur even when diets...