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1 September 2018 IDIOPATHIC IRON OVERLOAD IN A HARBOR SEAL (PHOCA VITULINA)
Miguel L. Grilo, Susanne Ziege, Michael Gruber, Peter Wohlsein, Wolfgang Baumgärtner, Ursula Siebert
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Abstract

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.

Copyright 2018 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Miguel L. Grilo, Susanne Ziege, Michael Gruber, Peter Wohlsein, Wolfgang Baumgärtner, and Ursula Siebert "IDIOPATHIC IRON OVERLOAD IN A HARBOR SEAL (PHOCA VITULINA)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 49(3), 770-773, (1 September 2018). https://doi.org/10.1638/2017-0132.1
Accepted: 8 April 2018; Published: 1 September 2018
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