Laboratory Indicators of Disease in White-Bellied Tree Pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis)
2018 Joint EAZWV/AAZV/Leibniz-IZW Conference
Copper Aitken-Palmer1*, DVM, MS, PhD, DACZM; Matthew C. Allender2, DVM, MS, PhD, DACZM; Carolyn Cray3, PhD; Sara Sokolik4, BS; Michael J. Adkesson1, DVM, DACZM, DECZM
1Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL, USA; 2Wildlife Epidemiology Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA; 3Division of Comparative Pathology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA; 4College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA
Pangolins are among the most globally trafficked mammals. White-bellied African tree pangolins (Phataginus tricuspis) are subject to widespread and intensive exploitation for meat and scales. Recent listing of all pangolin species on CITES Appendix I highlights the need for improved understanding of pangolin species. Brookfield Zoo holds a large founder population of P. tricuspis. In this population, clinical and pathological evidence of hepatic, renal, and gastrointestinal diseases; reproductive complications; and septicemia has occurred. In some cases, diagnosis and severity of disease were not clearly identified prior to death (e.g., hepatic lipidosis, renal failure) necessitating a need for identifying improved markers of disease. Laboratory diagnostics including hematology, serum biochemistry, protein electrophoresis, acute phase proteins (C-reactive protein, haptoglobin, serum amyloid A), and urine parameters were retrospectively compared from (n=17) adult P. tricuspis in normal and abnormal states of health. Abnormal pangolins had lower (p<0.05) MCV and higher total lymphocyte and monocyte counts. Serum creatinine, total bilirubin, and globulins were higher (p<0.05), but albumin was lower (p<0.05) in abnormal health. Urine from normal animals was concentrated (urine specific gravity range 95% CI: 1.035–1.059) with neutral to basic urine pH (range 7.0–8.0).