Volvulus in a 20 years old captive hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius, Linnaeus, 1758)
Keywords:Hippopotamus amphibius, mortality, volvus, pathology, intestine
A volvulus is a twisting of the intestine on its mesenteric axis that could result in bowel obstruction and ischemic injury. Here the authors report a case of intestinal volvulus in a 20 years old captive hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius, Linnaeus, 1758), the first well described case in this specie. The animal died suddenly after a previous history of diarrhea. At post mortem examination the animal presented a good body condition and abdominal distention. Upon opening of the peritoneal cavity, a large twisted segment of small intestine was observed. The segment rotated on its mesenteric axis and was dilated with gas and fluid and with dark red coloration, due to hemorrhage. The cause of death was intestinal volvulus. Its diagnosis is a challenging to veterinary surgeons due to the progressive onset of the symptoms that can delay the both diagnosis and the treatment thus resulting in progressing to the acute fulminating type with bowel infarction and death.
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