The causes of morbidity and mortality in a population of cane rats (Thryonomys swinderianus) on an experimental farm in Gabon were monitored for 21 months; 94 of 546 animals (17.2 per cent) died and were examined postmortem, and complementary laboratory examinations were carried out on 23 of the cases together with samples from 13 other animals kept elsewhere in similar conditions. Twenty-six (28 per cent) of the deaths occurred in preweaned kits, 40 (42 per cent) in subadults and 28 (30 per cent) in adults. The average monthly mortality was 2.5 per cent. Trauma was responsible for 29 of the deaths, 12 were due to septicaemia, 10 to primary respiratory lesions, five to digestive disorders, four to urinary lesions, three to reproductive problems and three to other causes; no diagnosis could be reached in 28 cases.
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