Congenital nutritional myodegeneration (white muscle disease) in a giraffe (giraffa camelopardalis) calf

It is well known that vitamin E and selenium deficiencies in domestic ruminants can lead to white muscle disease. After a clinically normal gestation period at Ouwehand Zoo in the Netherlands, a newborn giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) calf showed clinical signs of white muscle disease almost immediately after birth. The calf was rejected by the mother and was euthanized 3 days later because of deterioration of clinical signs. At necropsy, pulmonary edema and pallor of skeletal and heart muscles was noted. Histologically, there was hyaline degeneration of skeletal muscle myocytes and pulmonary edema. Blood concentrations of vitamin E were ≤ 0.7 mg/L. Based on clinical, biochemical, and gross and microscopic pathological findings, congenital nutritional myodegeneration was diagnosed. This case of neonatal white muscle disease is particularly remarkable given that the diet of the dam contained more than the recommended amount of vitamin E.

Last Updated
January 26, 2021
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