Routine postmortem examination and histologic evaluation of tissue sections demonstrated hepatic lipidosis (HL) in 2 adult captive porcupines with a history of sudden death. The male porcupine had a markedly enlarged pale liver that microscopically showed large unilocular vacuoles within hepatocellular cytoplasm. The periparturient female had similar but less marked hepatic lesions and an incidental pulmonary mycosis. These findings suggest HL as an important differential of spontaneous death in captive porcupines. It is hypothesized that in addition to the widely documented causes, HL in captive porcupines may be specifically associated with nutritional imbalances caused by the feeding of unsuitable commercial diets. The possible association of the condition with dietary and other factors in captive porcupines needs to be thoroughly investigated.
- Hepatic lipidosis (HL)
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