RESOLUTION OF CALVARIAL HYPEROSTOSIS IN AFRICAN LION CUBS (PANTHERA LEO LEO) AFTER VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENTATION

Johannes S. Siedenburg*, Stefanie I. Weiß, Viktor Molnár, Julia Tunsmeier, Merav Shamir, Veronika M. Stein, Andrea Tipold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two female (FL 1, FL 2) and one male (ML) 11-wk-old, intact, captive African lion cubs (Panthera leo leo) were presented with a history of mild vestibular signs. Initial serum vitamin A concentrations were low (140 nmol/L) for ML. Calvarial hyperostosis was confirmed using computed tomography (CT) of the head and cervical vertebrae in each cub. CT measurements were adapted in relation to the skull width. ML showed the most pronounced thickening of the tentorium cerebelli and occipital bone, represented by a tentorium cerebelli to skull width ratio (TCR) of 0.08 (FL 1: 0.06, FL 2: 0.05) and a basisphenoid to skull width ratio (BBR) of 0.07 (FL 1: 0.06, FL 2: 0.04). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed cerebellar herniation and cervical intramedullary T2-weighted hyperintensity from C1, extending caudally for at least two cervical vertebrae in all cubs. Treatment was initiated with subcutaneous vitamin A supplementation and feeding of whole carcasses. Improvement in ataxia was noticed 3 wk later. Follow-up CT and MRI examinations were performed in ML after 3 and 8 mon. The affected bones appeared slightly less thickened and TCR and BBR had decreased to 0.05 after 3 mon. The cerebellum remained mildly herniated, accompanied by amelioration of cervical T2w hyperintensities. After 8 mon, evaluation and diagnostic imaging revealed further improvement regarding the neurologic status and measurements (TCR 0.05, BBR 0.04) despite persistence of a subtle cerebellar herniation. In conclusion, bone remodeling and improvement in clinical signs may be achievable in young lion cubs presented with calvarial hyperostosis and may be attributable to high-dose vitamin A supplementation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Mar 2024

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© 2024 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. All rights reserved.

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