Mambo's Necropsy Results

Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Mambo's Necropsy Results - 05/31/09 10:50 AM

Mambo was euthanized on 5/01/09 after self-mutilating his chest and exposing the internal organs cry The euthanasia was done at an ER clinic an hour from my home. The next morning, I had a necropsy done by my regular veterinarian, Dr. Kristen West. She called me that afternoon with the results of the gross necropsy. I had her e-mail a summary to me just this past week:
Originally Posted By: e-mail from Dr. West
There was a wound on the ventral thorax, extending into the underlying musculature.The liver was slightly enlarged, the large intestine (and to some degree the small intestine) were grossly inflamed. There was fluid in the chest cavity and the lungs were purple in color (I suspect this was from the euthanasia).
In addition to the gross necropsy, fixed samples were sent to a renowned pathology lab in CA where they are known for their work on exotic species. Dr. Drury Reavill at the Zoo/Exotic Pathology Service found that the heart & lung "damage" were euthanasia artifacts. The large intestine and cecum had a large number of small, piriform flagellate protozoa present. In other words, Mambo was deeply infested with parasites which could have been either trichomonads OR Hexamita. Unfortunately, post-mortem, there was no way to determine which type they were because they were no longer active.
In addition to the parasites, liver damage was evident. The liver cells were swollen and vacuolation was noted. This was indicative of a change in the metabolism that occurs in the liver. This could have been a secondary result of the parasitic infection or it could have been from something else - again, there is no way to tell at this point. Furthermore, there was also a distinct area of extensive biliary hyperplasia - which could be indicative of exposure to some type of liver toxin. Unfortunately, we don't know what type.

So, overall, the histopathy results do show us that in all likelihood, Mambo self-mutilated due to the deep infestation of parasites. Beyond that, we don't really have a whole lot of information. However, at least I now have closure and know that there was a REASON for Mambo's SM and it wasn't just something "wrong in his head". Keep in mind that I DID have Mambo tested twice for parasitic infection. Sadly, because these types of parasites are not always in the "shedding" phase, they are very difficult to diagnose. I did ask Dr. West if there was a more conclusive test, beyond the fecal float & smear that we are used to ordering for our gliders. She told me that there is a zinc centrifugation test which can be run. I have ordered it for my Pepe & Bittah who were housed the closest to Mambo during the two months he was with me.

Sweet Gliding, little Mambo - I still deeply miss you mlove
Posted By: Guerita135

Re: Mambo's Necropsy Results - 05/31/09 10:58 AM

Were there any other symptoms, aside from SM, that Mambo showed that may have been indicators of the parasites? Is there anything that we should look our for?
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Mambo's Necropsy Results - 05/31/09 11:01 AM

Mambo's feces never formed. Unformed feces is normal for a newly out of pouch joey, but usually by the time they start to wean onto adult food, the feces is formed and solid. His never did. In addition, he could not keep himself groomed well enough, so he always looked scruffy. Here is his health history from the post in Rainbow Memorials:
Originally Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Mambo has had health issues ever since I got him from Denise/Minkasmom while at the FIBB in TN in February. Mambo had been pulled from his mother (Minka) while she was recovering from a tail injury. While in TN, Mambo developed some sort of eye infection which caused both of his inner eyelids not to open. After almost a month, they finally did open, but we had thought he was going to be permanently blind.
Mambo's feces never solidified the way that a normal joey's will. They remained soft and unformed throughout his short life. I had him tested for bacterial infection and parasites over a month ago, and again almost two weeks ago. Both times, the tests came back negative.
On Monday, April 20th, I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to the sound of Mambo making the SM noise. I found him attacking his chest and scraping it raw with his teeth. I immediately put him in an e-collar and kept him in the collar until that Thursday evening. At that point, his chest had scabbed over. I had brought him to see my vet on that Tuesday and although the tests came back negative, she started him on a course of Panacur (an antiparasitic). He had already been on a course of Clavamox (an antibacterial) the previous month after the first tests came back negative. He was recuperating well and leaving his chest alone. I was applying Silver Sulfadiazine Cream to the scabbed area twice per day, as per Dr. West's instructions.
I went to TN for the TGI Glider Expo last weekend. Mambo did well throughout the weekend. Upon arrival home on this past Monday evening, things were still going well. On Tuesday morning, I awoke to find Mambo trying to remove the scab that had formed. I immediately put him back into the e-collar for the morning. After that, I carried him in my bra almost constantly. Whenever he would try to groom his chest, I nudged him with my finger and he stopped. Again, all seemed to be going well until last night... It was a shock to find that after being left alone for less than an hour he had self-mutilated to the extent that he had.
Dr. West came in this morning (on her day off) to do Mambo's gross necropsy. Examination found no significant abnormalities and no obvious parasitic involvement. Tissue samples are being sent to a lab in CA that specializes in exotics. Hopefully they will yield some insight on why little Mambo had the issues he did...
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