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1 September 2017 SALT BATH AS A TREATMENT FOR IDIOPATHIC DERMATITIS IN CAPTIVE NILE HIPPOPOTAMUS (HIPPOPOTAMUS AMPHIBIUS)
Kelly E. Helmick
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Abstract

Ulcerative skin lesions were observed in two captive adult female hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) from a zoological collection. Lesions appeared as cracking, peeling, or vesicles of the skin affecting the lateral and ventral aspects of the neck, limbs, thorax, and abdomen, dorsum, toes, and perineal region. Some lesions drained blood, serum, or purulent material. Histologic evaluation of sloughed skin consisted of deep dermal collagen with bacterial cellulitis and vasculitis and superficial fungal colonization. No viral pathogens were isolated and no fungal or bacterial pathogen predominated. Minimal response to systemic antibiotics and topical treatment was observed. Commercial cattle food-grade salt was added to the exhibit pool at 2–3 g/L with complete healing of all skin lesions within a 4-mo treatment period. No complications were observed. Patient compliance with salt bath therapy was higher and results more effective compared to topical and oral treatments.

Copyright 2017 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Kelly E. Helmick "SALT BATH AS A TREATMENT FOR IDIOPATHIC DERMATITIS IN CAPTIVE NILE HIPPOPOTAMUS (HIPPOPOTAMUS AMPHIBIUS)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 48(3), 915-917, (1 September 2017). https://doi.org/10.1638/2017-0075.1
Accepted: 1 May 2017; Published: 1 September 2017
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