Gastrolithiasis was diagnosed in nine prehensile-tailed (PT) porcupines (Coendou prehensilis) housed at six zoologic institutions in the United States and Canada. Affected animals were either asymptomatic or had clinical signs, including weight loss, diarrhea, and depression. Abdominal palpation was adequate for diagnosis in all six antemortem cases, and radiographs confirmed a soft tissue density mass effect produced by the concretion. These gastroliths were all successfully surgically removed. Recurrence of gastrolith formation was common and occurred in four of the cases. Three cases were diagnosed postmortem, with the gastrolith causing gastric perforation in one case. Gastroliths from four cases were identified by mass spectrometry as bile acid precipitates consisting of the insoluble acid form of endogenous glycine-conjugated bile acids.
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