Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Guinea Pigs

Muscular dystrophy: nutritional

Synonym(s): Vitamin E and/or selenium deficiency myopathy, White muscle disease

Contributor(s): Cathy Johnson-Delaney, Anna Meredith

Introduction

  • Cause: vitamin E/selenium dietary nutritional deficiency.
  • Signs: depression, lethargy, reluctance to move, spontaneous weakness particularly in the hindquarters, reduction in reproductive performance, death.
  • Diagnosis: diet history, serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) elevation.
  • Treatment: supplementation with alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) and selenium.
  • Prognosis: if caught early, good; poor if severely debilitated from inability to ambulate, feed.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Deficiency of vitamin E and selenium affect skeletal and cardiac muscle function.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Feed grown from soil deficient in selenium (largest part of the diet).

Specific

  • Actively growing guinea pigs.
  • Breeding sows with higher metabolic needs.

Pathophysiology

  • As in other herbivores.
  • Muscles require selenium and vitamin E for function.

Timecourse

  • Severely affected animals may die within a week.
  • May take several weeks.

Epidemiology

  • Entire colony may be affected if inadequate diet is fed.
  • Owners in selenium deficient soil areas should be encouraged to feed hays and vegetables from several sources and areas. Commercial pellets should be part of the diet.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Hrapkiewicz K & Medina L (2007) Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine an introduction. 3rd edn. Blackwell Publishing. pp 176.
  • Percy D H & Barthold S W (2007) Guinea Pigs. In: Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits. 3rd edn. Eds: Percy D H & Barthold S W. Blackwell Publishing. pp 217-251.


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