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Delayed growth in a young fruit bat (Pteropus pumilis) due to nutritional hypovitaminosis C
  1. C. Aitken-Palmer, DVM, PhD1,
  2. R. Isaza, DVM, MS, DiplACZM2,
  3. B. Pope3 and
  4. D. Reese, DVM, DiplACVR4
  1. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, 2015 SW, 16th Ave, Gainesville, Florida, 32610, USA
  2. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, 2015 SW, 16th Ave, Gainesville, Florida, 32610, USA
  3. Lubee Bat Conservancy, 1309 NW, 192nd Ave, Gainesville, Florida, 32609, USA
  4. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, 2015 SW, 16th Ave, Gainesville, Florida, 32610, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence copperdvm{at}gmail.com

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AN eight-week-old, male, little golden-mantled flying fox, Pteropus pumilus, presented for lethargy of one week duration. This bat pup (59 g), rejected by his mother, was hand raised using a formulated milk (Zoologic Milk Matrix Powders; PetAg). During the first seven weeks of hand rearing, the pup was active and gaining weight (0.595 g/day). On physical examination, the P pumilus pup had swelling at the right carpal and bilateral tarsal joints. Additionally, the bat pup's weight gain had slowed (0.175 g/day). Infectious causes, congenital abnormalities, and nutritional deficiencies were considered possible causes of the clinical signs and diagnostics were pursued.

Diagnostics included radiographs and a venous blood sample. Because of the small blood sample (0.5 ml), haematological evaluation was limited to a complete blood count (CBC) and limited chemistry panel (Abaxis Vetscan VS2). Elevated serum phosphorus (9.8 mg/dl, normal 4±1.6 mg/dl) with normal serum calcium (9.8 mg/dl, normal 8.4±0.8 mg/dl) was noted (International Species Information System 2002). The CBC yielded a normal total white blood cell count of 12, 080 cell/µl (normal 17,720±7117 cell/µl) and decreased hematocrit 29.6 per cent (normal 45.8±3.2 per cent) (International Species Information System 2002). Generalised decreased bone opacity and widening of the proximal radial metaphysis were seen on whole body (ventrodorsal and lateral projections) radiographs (Fig 1a, b) taken with computed radiography (Kodak DirectView CR 950; Eastman …

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