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Urolithiasis in free-ranging and captive otters (Lutra lutra and Aonyx cinerea) in Europe


Bochmann, Monika; Steinlechner, Stephan; Hesse, Albrecht; Dietz, Hans Henrik; Weber, Heike (2017). Urolithiasis in free-ranging and captive otters (Lutra lutra and Aonyx cinerea) in Europe. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 48(3):725-731.

Abstract

Between 1996 and 1998, 477 dead otters from different Central European countries were examined for urolithiasis, including 449 free-ranging Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) as well as 17 Eurasian otters and 11 Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea) from captivity. In the free-ranging specimens, uroliths (sand or stones) were found in 105 animals (23.4%), with no significant difference (P = 0.77) between the sexes. Uroliths were not present in any juveniles (n = 26) and urolithiasis was not considered the main cause of death in any individual. In captive specimens, uroliths were found in 11 out of 17 Eurasian otters (64.7%; four males and seven females), and in 3 out of 11 Asian small-clawed otters (27.3%). Histology could not find any signs of inflammation in examined kidneys (n = 179) or urinary bladders (n = 66). Analyzed stones of free-ranging and captive Eurasian otters were composed mainly of ammonium acid urate. The stones of three captive Asian small-clawed otters consisted mainly of calcium oxalate. The difference in prevalence of uroliths between free-ranging and captive Eurasian otters was significant (P = 0.001). Nevertheless, the prevalence in free-ranging specimens of this study is higher than reported before. Differences between various habitats, environmental changes, and genetic predisposition all represent potential hypothetical explanations for these findings.

Abstract

Between 1996 and 1998, 477 dead otters from different Central European countries were examined for urolithiasis, including 449 free-ranging Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) as well as 17 Eurasian otters and 11 Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea) from captivity. In the free-ranging specimens, uroliths (sand or stones) were found in 105 animals (23.4%), with no significant difference (P = 0.77) between the sexes. Uroliths were not present in any juveniles (n = 26) and urolithiasis was not considered the main cause of death in any individual. In captive specimens, uroliths were found in 11 out of 17 Eurasian otters (64.7%; four males and seven females), and in 3 out of 11 Asian small-clawed otters (27.3%). Histology could not find any signs of inflammation in examined kidneys (n = 179) or urinary bladders (n = 66). Analyzed stones of free-ranging and captive Eurasian otters were composed mainly of ammonium acid urate. The stones of three captive Asian small-clawed otters consisted mainly of calcium oxalate. The difference in prevalence of uroliths between free-ranging and captive Eurasian otters was significant (P = 0.001). Nevertheless, the prevalence in free-ranging specimens of this study is higher than reported before. Differences between various habitats, environmental changes, and genetic predisposition all represent potential hypothetical explanations for these findings.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ammonium acid urate uroliths; Aonyx cinerea; Asian small-clawed otter; Eurasian otter; Lutra lutra; calcium oxalate uroliths
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:28 Sep 2017 18:04
Last Modified:28 Sep 2017 18:04
Publisher:American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
ISSN:1042-7260
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1638/2016-0223.1
PubMed ID:28920816

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