Friday, 2 January 2015

New study links neurological disorders in captive felids to improper diet

Date:
December 30, 2014

Source:
Cheetah Conservation Fund

Summary:
A new research study confirms the connection between high incidence of spinal cord issues in cheetahs and lions kept as exotic pets in the United Arab Emirates with dietary deficiencies. The study compared blood and tissue samples among captive felids, including cheetahs, lions and snow leopards, that were fed different diets. Thirty percent of the animals that did not receive supplements and existed primarily on a poultry muscle meat diet displayed clinical neurological signs such as ataxia, lack of coordination, swaying gait and moderate to severe hind limb weakness. Despite having normal appetites, these animals developed hind limb paresis and were eventually unable to stand. They either died or were euthanized, as damage is permanent and there is no treatment.


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