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Ana Perez de Vargas, Rey Eugene Jamorabon, Aamir Islam, Joerg Kinne
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The objective of this retrospective study is to identify common and significant causes of mortality and disease processes in the Arabian sand cat (Felis margarita harrisoni) captive population at Al Ain Zoo (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates). Complete postmortem records of 25 Arabian sand cats, dead between 2009 and 2022, were reviewed retrospectively. A complete postmortem examination was done in all cases, and information was recorded in the Al Ain Zoo database and files. Out of 25 animals dead, 11 were adults (4–12 yr) and 12 were classified as geriatric animals (>12 yr), with only two neonatal (0–4 mon) deaths and no recorded deaths in juveniles (4 mon to 4 yr). Interestingly, but also expected because of the age range, 24% of the cases had concurrent pathologies at the time of death. As expected in adult and geriatric felines, more than half of the cases (60%) developed nephropathies that were either one of the most important contributors or the main cause of death of the animal. Different neoplastic lesions were described in four cases and reported for the first time in this subspecies: benign peripheral nerve sheath tumor, hepatobiliary carcinoma, and two different thyroid neoplasia. A vasculoproliferative disorder of the liver, peliosis hepatis, was described in one of the cases. Additionally, in at least four cases, hyperthyroidism was strongly suspected in connection with thyroid neoplasia and hyperplasia, clinical signs, and other observed postmortem lesions. Traumatic causes of death also were reported in six cases, including the only two neonates recorded dead. This information will contribute to Arabian sand cat improved veterinary care by identifying common pathologies in this species, potentially allowing earlier diagnosis and, ultimately, improving their management and husbandry in the captive breeding populations.

Ana Perez de Vargas, Rey Eugene Jamorabon, Aamir Islam, and Joerg Kinne "DISEASE PROCESSES IDENTIFIED IN CAPTIVE ARABIAN SAND CATS (FELIS MARGARITA HARRISONI)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 54(1), 82-93, (20 March 2023).
Accepted: 31 October 2022; Published: 20 March 2023
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