Two Asian small-clawed otters (Amblonyx cinereus) died acutely in their exhibit within a 4-day period. Neither animal had significant gross lesions at necropsy. Histologic findings were consistent with acute vascular shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation, and a toxic etiology was suspected. The animals' exhibit contained opened, uneaten loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) fruit with the seeds removed and large quantities of undigested loquat seed material in the feces of the remaining animals. Cyanide was detected in the stomach contents collected at necropsy and in fresh loquat seeds from the exhibit. Loquat is related to other cyanide-containing fruit trees, including cherries, peaches, and almonds.
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Vol. 33 • No. 2