A red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and a European badger (Meles meles) were found dead on a golf-course in October 1997 near Stockholm (Sweden). At necropsy, both animals were obese and the main finding was acute circulatory collapse. Theobromine intoxication was suspected as chocolate waste was available at a nearby farm and no other cause of death could be detected. Gastric contents and samples of liver from both animals were analyzed by reversed-phase high pressure liquid chromatography for the presence of methylxan-thines. Theobromine and caffeine were detected in gastric contents and theobromine was identified in the liver samples from both animals. This appears to be the first report of theobromine intoxication in the red fox and the European badger.
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Vol. 37 • No. 2