Article Text

Pathological changes and organochlorine residues in tissues of wild otters (Lutra lutra)
  1. IF Keymer,
  2. GA Wells,
  3. CF Mason and
  4. SM Macdonald
  1. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Veterinary Investigation Centre, Norwich.


In 1984 two adult, wild otters (Lutra lutra) from north Norfolk were subjected to full post mortem examinations. One was found dead and the other sick. Both were thin. No evidence of infectious disease was found, but there were organochlorine concentrations of 433 and 75 mg/kg of fat (69 per cent polychlorinated biphenyls in both) in skeletal muscle. Leiomyoma of the reproductive tract and adrenocortical hyperplasia in one otter were similar to age associated changes in other mammals. Integumentary, including pedal, lesions were present in both otters. The possibility that the pedal lesions were caused by the toxic effects of polychlorinated biphenyls is discussed.

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