Seven common marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) from a laboratory colony of 17 died over a period of eight months. Death of six of these monkeys was attributed to kidney failure from an oxalate-induced nephropathy. The epidemiology of this outbreak suggested an exogenous source and there was strong evidence that the source was bark and leaves from an Eucalyptus viminalis tree. Branches of this tree were introduced one month before the first death. The branches were removed one month after deaths commenced, but deaths continued for another five months. Urinalysis of all surviving marmosets at 80 and 122 days after initial contact with the E viminalis branches suggested that these monkeys had renal impairment. In the cases described here, the eating behaviour of common marmosets apparently exposed the animals to toxic levels of oxalate in the bark and leaves of an E viminalis tree.
- British Veterinary Association
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