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Torsion of the caudate lobe of the liver and concurrent necrohemorrhagic typhlocolitis in a zoo-housed Patagonian mara.

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Wilson, Catherine 
Philp, Steven J 


Liver lobe torsion has been reported in many species, with frequent reports in rabbits. Here we describe caudate liver lobe torsion and concurrent necrohemorrhagic typhlocolitis in a Patagonian mara (syn: Patagonian cavy, Patagonian hare, Dolichotis patagonum). Following acute death, postmortem examination findings included torsion of the hepatic caudate process, which had fibrous adhesions to the pancreas indicating chronicity. The cecal apex and proximal 30 cm of colon had regionally reddened serosa and diffusely roughened and reddened mucosa with brown-red and granular luminal contents. Key histologic findings included massive necrosis of the torsed hepatic caudate lobe, consistent with infarction, necrotizing hepatitis in remaining areas of liver, necrohemorrhagic typhlocolitis, adrenocortical necrosis and hemorrhage, and renal tubular degeneration and necrosis with tubular casts. Bacterial culture of cecal contents yielded pure growth of Salmonella spp. Death was attributed to toxemia or bacteremia resulting from Salmonella spp. infection, as the hepatic lobe torsion appeared chronic. It was undetermined if the liver lobe torsion predisposed to gastrointestinal compromise and infection. Patagonian maras have some anatomical similarities to rabbits and are highly cursorial, not dissimilar to hares, Lepus spp. We speculate that these characteristics may increase the likelihood of hepatic caudate lobe torsion in this species.



Patagonian mara, Salmonella, liver, pathology, torsion, typhlocolitis

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J Vet Diagn Invest

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SAGE Publications