Iron overload has been described in various wild species. The majority of cases involve captive animals, often associated with increased dietary iron uptake. Here a case of idiopathic iron overload in a female adult harbor seal under human care is presented. The animal displayed a progressive anorexia, apathy, and increased serum iron levels. Radiographs showed radiopaque foreign bodies in the stomach. The seal died during an elective laparotomy. Twenty-five coins and two metal rings were removed from the stomach. Histopathologic examination revealed iron storage without cellular damage in liver, spleen, kidney, and pulmonary and mesenteric lymph nodes. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry analysis for iron revealed values thirty times above the reference ranges in spleen and liver; however, the coins only contain minor levels (parts per million) of iron. The etiology of the iron overload in this animal remains unclear. A multifactorial process cannot be excluded.
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