1 April 2004 Osteoarthropathy in a moose (Alces alces) from Utah
Gregory A. Liggett
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Moose (Alces alces) are known to suffer from a wide range of diseases including osteoarthropathies. An Alces specimen collected in 1989 from Summit County, Utah shows four separate occurrences of osteoarthropathy: 1) extensive remodeling of the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae and lesser changes in the other cervical vertebrae; 2) massive bony overgrowth on the right calcaneus, whereas the left calcaneus appears free of disease; 3) osteoarthritis in the weight-bearing joints of the pelvis; and 4) a fracture in the right femur. The osteoarthritis in the weight-bearing joints is not atypical for an individual of its age, estimated at 6.0 to 7.5 years. However, infection is a more likely cause for the changes to the bones in the neck and hock. Trauma in the hind limb would be necessary to have caused the fracture in the femur. This individual lived with its ailments long enough for the architecture of its bones to be dramatically affected. Present-day northern Utah is an ecosystem with a paucity of large carnivores, and this individual lived for some time in a weakened and diseased state. In an ecosystem with a balance of carnivores and herbivores it is unlikely that this individual would have lived and suffered as long as it apparently did.

Gregory A. Liggett "Osteoarthropathy in a moose (Alces alces) from Utah," Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 107(1), 25-31, (1 April 2004). https://doi.org/10.1660/0022-8443(2004)107[0025:OIAMAA]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 April 2004
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