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1 March 2012 A Retrospective and Prospective Study of Megaesophagus in the Parma Wallaby (Macropus parma) at the San Diego Zoo, California, USA
Anne Burgdorf-Moisuk, Geoffrey W. Pye, Joseph A. Smith, Rebecca Papendick, Jamie A. Ivy, Chris Hamlin-Andrus
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Abstract

At the San Diego Zoo (California, USA), 22 cases of megaesophagus were diagnosed in the parma wallaby (Macropus parma); a prevalence of 21.1%. Parma wallabies often have no clinical signs until severe and chronic dilation of the esophagus is present. Clinical signs of advanced disease include weight loss, swelling of the cervical region, regurgitation without reswallowing of ingesta, short flight distance, depression, collapse, dyspnea, and sudden death. Retrospective and prospective studies at the San Diego Zoo and a multi-institutional survey in the United States were used to try to determine the cause of megaesophagus. The retrospective study did not identify an etiology. The prospective study revealed megaesophagus and severely delayed esophageal transit time in eight of eight animals. Myasthenia gravis, lead toxicosis, toxoplasmosis, and thyroid disease were eliminated as possible causes. Of 286 living and dead parma wallabies surveyed at other institutions, three cases of esophageal diverticulum and one case of megaesophagus were reported. The cause of megaesophagus in parma wallabies was not determined.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Anne Burgdorf-Moisuk, Geoffrey W. Pye, Joseph A. Smith, Rebecca Papendick, Jamie A. Ivy, and Chris Hamlin-Andrus "A Retrospective and Prospective Study of Megaesophagus in the Parma Wallaby (Macropus parma) at the San Diego Zoo, California, USA," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 43(1), 89-94, (1 March 2012). https://doi.org/10.1638/2011-0202.1
Received: 5 September 2011; Published: 1 March 2012
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