Project proposal details

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Project title
Urolithiasis in Asian short-clawed otter (ASCO) – a review of disease incidence and diet practice over the last 20 years at ZSL and in UK/European collections
Contact name
Amanda Guthrie
Project based at
Zoological Society of London
Project description
sian short-clawed otters held ex situ have a high incidence of urolithiasis seen which is rarely reported in the wild. Diet has been suggested as a contributary factor resulting in some zoos revising the diet offered to this species. At ZSL, change from a meat to a fish/crustacean based diet was implemented in 2014. However, uroliths are still seen (at necropsy and in radiographs) so a review of the medical records of this species is required to assess how significant this is to longevity (otters usually die of other causes), determine prevalence and progression under the new diet regime, inform future monitoring protocol and further diet revision.
The project could have all or some of the following aims;
• Review medical records of all ASCO held at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos over the last 20 years to track incidence and progression (via necropsy and radiographic records)
• Conduct analysis of stones to establish composition
• Retrospective survey of UK collections to establish prevalence of urolithiasis and current diet practice
• Retrospective survey of European collections to establish prevalence of urolithiasis and current diet practice
Calle P (1998) Asian small?clawed otter (Aonyx cinerea) urolithiasis prevalence in North America. Zoo Biology
Niemuth, Jennifer; Sanders, Charles; Mooney, Charles; & Olfenbuttel, Colleen; DePerno, Christopher and Stoskopf, Michael. (2014). Nephrolithiasis in free-ranging North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) in North Carolina, USA. Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. 45. 110-7. 10.1638/2013-0135R2.1.
Petrini KR, Lulich JP, Treschel L and Nachreiner RF (1999). Evaluation of Urinary and Serum Metabolites in Asian Small-Clawed Otters (Aonyx cinerea) with Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 54-63
Kimberlee B. Wojick, Allyson C. Berent, Chick W. Weisse, and Kathryn C. Gamble (2015) EXTRACORPOREAL SHOCK WAVE LITHOTRIPSY AND ENDOSCOPIC URETERAL STENT PLACEMENT IN AN ASIAN SMALL-CLAWED OTTER (AONYX CINEREA) WITH NEPHROLITHIASIS. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 46(2), 345-349.
Additional requirements
Attention to detail, awareness of medical terms, an interest in nutrition
Date uploaded

Project proposal limitations

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Suitable for
Ecology Evolution and Conservation