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Unusual case of metabolic bone disease in a common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)
  1. J-M. Hatt, DrMedVet, MSc1 and
  2. A. W. Sainsbury, BVetMed, CertLAS, MRCVS2
  1. 1 Department of Zoo Animals and Exotic Pets, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
  2. 2 Veterinary Science Group, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY


Metabolic bone disease was diagnosed in an 11-month-old female common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). It was depressed, reluctant to move, and was cachectic and small for its age. Laboratory findings included anaemia, azotaemia and an inverse calcium to phosphorus ratio. The radiological findings showed simultaneous signs of osteomalacia and softtissue calcification. There was decreased bone density with lytic areas in the pelvis and femur, and severe bilateral nephrocalcinosis. Postmortem examination revealed marked focal dystrophic calcification of the epi- and myocardium. Calcium and vitamin D3 deficiency (nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism) was the most likely cause of the osteomalacia.

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