A Case of Renal Failure in a Pacific Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and Attempted Therapy
IAAAM 1994
Jim McBain; Thomas H. Reidarson
Sea World of California, San Diego, CA

An adult female pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) presented with an acute onset of inappetence and depression approximately three hours after a normal training session. A blood sample taken at the time revealed a leukopenia with a left shift (WBC = 5000 mm3, bands = 2300 mm3, and segmented neutrophils = 2200 mm3), lymphopenia (lymphocytes = 400 mm3) and eosinopenia (eosinophils =50 mm3). The only biochemical abnormality was a low serum iron of 37 mg/dl.

Initial therapy consisted of Amikacin at 6.4 mg/kg BID, trimethoprim sulfadiazine at 14 mg/kg SID, a single dose of flunixin meglumine at 1.2 mg/kg, and four liters of warm water administered by stomach tube twice daily. By day 3, the BUN and creatinine had risen to 72 and 3.4 mg/dl, resp., a urinalysis revealed a specific gravity of 1.008 and 1 00 mg/dl proteinuria, and there were also signs of gastro-intestinal stasis. Accordingly, fluid therapy was changed to 50 ml/ kg/day administered subcutaneously. The BUN and creatinine continued to rise, necessitating the placement of an intravenous catheter through the abdominal wall and into the posterior vena cava. Fluids were administered at a constant infusion rate totaling 30 cc/kg/day.

Clinical deterioration continued. On day 6, two human peritoneal dialysis tubes were placed and 40-50 1 of dialysate fluid was administered every 24 hours. Due to failure of clinical response, the pilot whale was euthanized on day 10. Necropsy revealed an acute necrotizing Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia and moderate renal papillary necrosis.

Speaker Information
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James F. McBain, DVM
Sea World of California
San Diego, CA, USA

Thomas H. Reidarson, DVM
Sea World of California
San Diego, CA, USA

MAIN : Session I : Renal Failure in Whale
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