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#745 - 08/22/02 12:05 PM aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I had some trouble getting a necropsy done on my little one Valentine. There were technical difficulties from the vet I was going to.... The best I could do was get her into a diagnostic lab. The doctor has done zillions of necropsys but not so many on sugar gliders.

This isn't the official report, but here's what the doctor said. If anyone can help me interpret it I'd be greatful.

He says the immediate cause of death was heart failure. There were no signs of bacterial or viral infections. The liver however was damaged. there was proliferation of the bile ducts. He believes this damage to the liver was what caused the heart failure. And fungal toxins are a possibility. He is however not familiar with aflatoxins and can't see how the gliders could get them from crickets.

So what does liver damage from aflatoxins look like?

He also said there were un-identified protozoa in the lower intestine. He believes they in no way contributed to the cause of death, but they probably weren't supposed to be there.

Now Valentine was a very small glider, always had been. The person i got her from has had several "small" gliders from those particular parents. He hasn't had them die on him as far as I know, but they do seem to happen. The doctor thought her smallness was probably due to some genetic liver problem. Does this sound plausible? or is it more likely the aflatoxins that got to her liver and she was just a small glider?

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#746 - 08/22/02 02:33 PM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: ]
Ellen Offline
Owner:Emeritus-Mother Hen

Registered: 08/05/99
Posts: 7603
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA.
If your vet is interested infinding out what a liver looks like with Aflatoxins ask him for his fax number and I will fax as many reports on this as he wants. It may be able to bring things into focus for him.

Here is part of what an H&E report would look like reguarding the liver.

[Microscopic Diagnosis:

Liver: Markedly severe, chronic, diffuse, hepatopathy characterized by (in order of severity) focal to zonal hepatic necrosis, biliary hperplasia with bridging (or non bridging) portal fibrosis, megalocytosis mecronodular hepatocellular regeneraton, focal vacuolar degeneration and cholestasis.

Heart: Focal, acute, fibrinopurulent, endocarditis with thrombosis and locally adjacent fibrinopurulant pericarditis.]

On gross necropsy this glider demonstrated markedly severe non-inflammatory lesions most suggestive of a toxic hepatopathy. Sterotypical lessions of chronic hepatotoxicity demonstrated by this liver include focal necrosis,fibrosis bile duct hyperplasia, and cholestasis.
This is most frequently associated with chronic aflatoxin or pyrrolizine alkaloid ingestion.

All of the ones Bruce has read and other Pathologist have read are like the above (but with more detail).. With the exceptions of accidental deaths and those who died of protozonites.

The liver seems to be a very effected organ in this little ones.

From reading your earlier post when your glider was found so ill, I think if you go back and check several of us suggested that it could be aflatoxins.

What ever bugs you have on hand now I would destroy and not give any to your others for a period of time. Also suggested you increase the herptivite to 2 teaspoons per batch for the next month.

I am so sorry this has happened to you. I am sorry for all of us..The way you found your little one was the way mine all died. Except I found them on the perch and held them for a couple of hours while they died. The finial stage was mouth breathing and instability. They never left my hand.

I hope this information will be helpful to you and your vet. Please feel free to call me if you or the vet (or lab) have any questions. 757-340-6768.

Again, I am so very sorry.

<small>[ 08-24-2002, 11:53 AM: Message edited by: Ellen ]</small>
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#747 - 08/23/02 12:31 PM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: ]
Ellen Offline
Owner:Emeritus-Mother Hen

Registered: 08/05/99
Posts: 7603
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA.
Since this has fallen on the board I read your post agian. You asked for an expination and I did not give it. What I wrote was for you to give to your vet or vet path.
It sounds like it was an Aflatoxin. Just by what was seen in the liver. It can also effect the heart as the liver fails.

I am sorry if I closed down this post with the medical jargen. I thought you might want or need to know what an aflatoxin liver and heart looks like as described by a vet Pathologist.

This is so important that we look and watch these little ones that are eating bugs. Especially this time of year and with the weather being like it is.
I truly want you to know that it was nothing you did. Guess in alot of ways I am still on a guilt trip about mine. I too had had no problems until I moved and switched suppliers. Then 3 months later is when I lost 6 gliders. All the necropsys came back the same.
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#748 - 08/23/02 11:35 PM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: ]
PepPony Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/27/01
Posts: 2088
I can not show you a photo of a glider's liver affected by aflatoxins but I can show you a rat's liver affected by aflatoxins and give you some background data on these mycotoxins. Check out this link:

http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/courses/as625/1999term/toner/aflatoxins.html

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#749 - 08/24/02 07:00 AM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: ]
kb2e Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 2242
Loc: Willard, Mo. USA
Somehow in hearing about the alfatoxins affecting our gliders, I competely missed how widespread the problem is. Thanks for the link, John. I think I learned something this morning reading this. This is a worldwide problem affecting all levels of the food chain. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="images/icons/frown.gif" />
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#750 - 08/24/02 09:46 AM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: ]
Ellen Offline
Owner:Emeritus-Mother Hen

Registered: 08/05/99
Posts: 7603
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA.
John, I dont know how I missed that info. Good ole AOL maybe.?
But the rats liver and all the glider livers we have seen look just like that. Some being worse.
Some have had nodular formation that are the size of a pencil.

One thing I didnt see there (maybe I missed it) is the anemia that develops with this process. That is one of the finial stages before death.

But with the gliders I have that were exposed and are still alive I have one or two that on occ. have a transiant anemia and with Vit.B complex with fluids sub-Q have been able to overcome that period and once again continue to thrive very well.

Thanks for the link. It was great. Got anymore?

I will check with Bruce and the vet Path. here and see if I can get some slides made into pictures. So far I have had no luck.
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#751 - 08/24/02 04:58 PM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Did I read that informative article right? If phenobarbital is added to the food product, aflatoxins will bind to the phenobarb? But won't that mean we're all very happy after eating the food? Wouldn't we all love phenobarb as a dietary supplement?

J/K -- but I thought that was an interesting treatment.

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#752 - 08/25/02 10:28 PM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: Anonymous]
PepPony Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/27/01
Posts: 2088
kb2e--You are welcome! You are so right. I believe the problem is more wide spread than scientists think that it is. You should see some of the things that I saw in South America. Thank goodness we have the USDA here and the FDA. Some of the foodstuffs in my trashcan look better than the food I have seen pawned off in third world countries. It is unbelieveable!

Ellen--LOL That is so funny--I say the same thing about MSN. I guess it does matter which search engine is being utilized. I get what you are saying about transient anemia. I think that particular article just pertained as a general rundown on aflatoxins. You are probably just like me and were thirsting for more knowledge on the aflatoxin subject. It is one of the better articles I have found but I still wanted more information like you after reading it. They never go into enough detail for me.

I will post some more links when I get a chance and maybe do a links post on aflatoxins. What do you think about doing that in "Health and Hygiene"? Then anyone that has links on aflatoxins can post them there and we can build a database for our own personal use about them. Sound good?

Lucy--LOL You read that right! Hmmm, I bet people would feign aflatoxin poisoning just to get the phenobarb. Yes, Dr. X, I have some bad peanuts at home. Phenobarb do you say? sounds better than treating it with ammonia, doesn't it? I have to go, I think I need to see a physician--I just ate a bad peanut! LOL

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#753 - 08/25/02 11:19 PM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: ]
Ellen Offline
Owner:Emeritus-Mother Hen

Registered: 08/05/99
Posts: 7603
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA.
John LOL you and Lucy are funny. Really!!!

But I have to tell you that by using any of these froms to "kill" the toxin then the feed is not fit for comsuption. Now what?

The main thing is to WATCH and take NO chances on what we are feediing our little ones.

About the Link for the toxins, Lucy and I will talk tomorow about a link. May be a good idea. We will let you know.

Always looking for info. This is MORE important than most people think it is.
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#754 - 08/26/02 04:11 AM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: ]
PepPony Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/27/01
Posts: 2088
Ellen--You one up'd me! LOL I was just going to start a post, a thread in Health & Hygiene and let other member posts links in that thread on aflatoxins. Just like a regular post. Your idea would be an improvement on what I was thinking of doing. That would be great, especially if we come up with enough viable links.

FYI--Bourbon and I were discussing aflatoxins via email awhile back. She had a couple of good articles. One was on aflatoxins in insect bedding. I searched but could not find it. If we could get four or five links that were good and carried varied information--that would be great because I noticed this subject is coming up more and more in Health & Hygiene. There is also a lot of misinformation out there on the subject.

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#755 - 08/26/02 09:35 AM Re: aflatoxins... what it looks like on a necropsy? [Re: ]
Ellen Offline
Owner:Emeritus-Mother Hen

Registered: 08/05/99
Posts: 7603
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA.
In the meantime, if anyone has links about the toxins can you post them here? Then after Lucy and I talk we can move the links. Sound good?
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