Two West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus spp.) were reported with severe emaciation. One animal was a Florida manatee from the Everglades; the other was an Antillean manatee from Cuba. On necropsy, both animals had nephrolithiasis, pyelonephritis, and moderate to severe renomegaly. Histopathology revealed multifocal to diffuse pyelonephritis, interstitial nephritis, and nephrocalcinosis. The stones were analyzed and consisted primarily of calcium carbonate. Serum chemistry values for the Florida animal revealed no renal abnormalities. The mechanism of calculus formation remains unclear in manatees. In horses, another hindgut fermenter, the most common urolith is also calcium carbonate. Urinalyses performed on manatees are very similar to those of horses (i.e., alkaline urine, low specific gravity, and calcium carbonate crystals). Formation of uroliths in manatees may have a pathogenesis similar to equine urolithiasis.
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Vol. 44 • No. 3