DAO 120:189-194 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03019

Acute necrotizing colitis with pneumatosis intestinalis in an Amazonian manatee calf

Guilherme Guerra Neto1,*, Marina Galvão Bueno1,2, Rodrigo Otavio Silveira Silva3, Francisco Carlos Faria Lobato3, Juliana Plácido Guimarães4, Gregory D. Bossart5,6, Miriam Marmontel

1Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá, Estrada do Bexiga 2584, 69553-225 Tefé, AM, Brazil
2Fundação Oswaldo Cruz - Fiocruz, Av. Brasil 4036, sala 214 - Prédio da Expansão, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária, Departamento de Medicina Veterinária Preventiva, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, Caixa Postal 567, campus Pampulha da UFMG, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
4Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Departamento de Cirurgia, 05508-270 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
5Animal Health, Research and Conservation, Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
6Division of Comparative Pathology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, PO Box 016960 (R-46), Miami, FL, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: On 25 January 2014, a 1 mo old female Amazonian manatee Trichechus inunguis calf weighing 12 kg was rescued by air transport in Guajará, Brazil, and transferred to Mamirauá Institute’s Community-based Amazonian Manatee Rehabilitation Center. The calf presented piercing/cutting lesions on the back, neck, and head, in addition to dehydration and intermittent involuntary buoyancy. X-ray analysis revealed a large amount of gases in the gastrointestinal tract. Daily procedures included wound cleaning and dressing, clinical and laboratory monitoring, treatment for intestinal tympanism, and artificial feeding. Adaptation to the nursing formula included 2 kinds of whole milk. Up to 20 d post-rescue the calf presented appetite, was active, and gained weight progressively. Past this period the calf started losing weight and presented constant involuntary buoyancy and died after 41 d in rehabilitation. The major findings at necropsy were pneumatosis intestinalis in cecum and colon, pulmonary edema, and hepatomegaly. The microscopic examination revealed pyogranulomatous and necrohemohrragic colitis with multinucleated giant cells, acute multifocal lymphadenitis with lymphoid depletion in cortical and paramedullary regions of mesenteric lymph nodes, and diffuse severe acinar atrophy of the pancreas. Anaerobic cultures of fragments of cecum and colon revealed colonies genotyped as Clostridium perfringens type A. We speculate that compromised immunity, thermoregulatory failure, and intolerance to artificial diet may have been contributing factors to the infection, leading to enterotoxemia and death.


KEY WORDS: Trichechus inunguis · Rehabilitation · Health · Conservation · Clostridium perfringens


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Cite this article as: Guerra Neto G, Galvão Bueno M, Silveira Silva RO, Faria Lobato FC, Plácido Guimarães J, Bossart GD, Marmontel M (2016) Acute necrotizing colitis with pneumatosis intestinalis in an Amazonian manatee calf. Dis Aquat Org 120:189-194. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03019

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