Two adult female Grant’s gazelles (Gazella granti) were evaluated for chronic gross hematuria at two separate zoological institutions. In case 1, urine obtained by urethral catheterization was positive for Bacillus sp. The gazelle was treated with antimicrobials based on culture and sensitivity; however, hematuria persisted after repeat urine cultures yielded no microorganisms. Paired serial blood samples were negative for antibodies to common Leptospira interrogans serovars. Cystoscopy determined the source of hematuria to originate from both ureters. Bilateral renal biopsies showed only minimal nonspecific changes. The cause of hematuria in this case was presumptive idiopathic renal hematuria. In case 2, urine could not be obtained prior to initiation of antimicrobial treatment. Biopsies from bladder showed minimal change. Bilateral renal biopsy revealed mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis. Both gazelles exhibited submandibular edema and hypoproteinemia concurrent with the episodes of hematuria. There was no known exposure to other causes of hematuria in ruminants including bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum).1,2
Since these two initial cases, gross hematuria has been noted as a frequent clinical finding in Grant’s gazelles at one of the institutions. This finding and relative frequency of renal pathology within the herd prompted a retrospective evaluation of urinary tract disease in the captive population. Four additional cases involving confirmed urinary tract disease were identified between the previous two institutions. Pathology included chronic glomerulonephritis, bilateral renal amyloidosis, renal tubular necrosis and tubulointerstitial nephritis, chronic urocystitis, and urinary bladder rupture secondary to obstructive blood clots. An additional case of severe chronic hematuria associated with a unilateral renal infarct was identified from a third institution (Miller, personal communication).
We would like to thank Dr. Grant Rezabek and Dr. Zoltan Laszik for assistance with retrospective pathology review and Dr. Gary West and Dr. Christine Miller for sharing medical records of clinical cases. We would additionally like to thank the large mammal staff at Oklahoma City and Tulsa zoos for their assistance.
1. Hopkins, N.C.G. 1986. Aetiology of enzootic hematuria. Vet. Rec. 118:715–717.
2. Divers T.J., and D.C. Van Metre. 2002. Alterations in urinary function. In: Smith, B.P. (ed.). Large Animal Internal Medicine. 3rd ed. Mosby Inc., St. Louis, Missouri. Pp. 171–181.