Article on bottlenose dolphin pathology (fwd)

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Date: Thu Oct 18 2001 - 12:35:31 EDT

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    The following article has recently been published:

    GOMERCIC, H., D. HUBER, V. GOMERCIC, S. VUKOVIC, D. SKRTIC T. GOMERCIC, V. DOBRANIC, H. LUCIC, M. DURAS, S. CURKOVIC, A. GOMERCIC, LJ. KARDOS: Fatty liver and subcutaneous edema in a free-living bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) from the Adriatic Sea; light- and electron-microscopical study. Vet. arhiv 70, 259-277, 2000.
    Research was carried out on a 21-year-old, 288 cm-long free-living grand multigravida female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) with mass of 214 kg. The animal died on 8 October 1997 in the Adriatic Sea, near Sibenik, Croatia. Prior to death she showed some neurological symptoms. For control and comparison we used the carcasses and tissues of two presumably clinically healthy dolphins. Autopsy showed massive edema in the subcutaneous tissues (between blubber and musculature) on the dorsal side of the body of the diseased subject. The fluid in intercellular tissue spaces was clear and light-yellowish. Larger amounts of the same fluid were found in serous sacs of the animal, as well as slight brain edema. The most prominent structural change was found in the liver, which was normal in size but extremely yellow and fragile. Its structure was totally destroyed, without any traces of blood, and there was pronounced fatty degeneration of liver parenchyma. All hepatocytes were also destroyed and
    swollen mitochondria and dilated endoplasmic reticulum were evident. This massive hepatic degeneration and necrosis was probably due to some unknown acute biological or chemical agent that provoked hepatargic crisis and the ultimate death of this free-living female dolphin.
    Key words: dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, fatty liver, subcutaneous edema, light-microscopy, electron-microscopy, histochemistry, Adriatic Sea

    A pdf copy of this manuscript can be obtained from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia web page:
    Reprints are available from:
    Prof. Dr. Hrvoje Gomercic, Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Heinzelova 55, Croatia, Phone: 385 1 23 90 250, Fax: 385 1 244 13 90; E-mail:

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