Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Nutrition: muscular dystrophy

Synonym(s): Muscular dystrophy, Nutritional myopathy

Contributor(s): Molly Varga, Anna Meredith

Introduction

  • Muscular dystrophy is the principal clinical sign of hypovitaminosis E Hypovitaminosis E.
  • Cause: deficiency of vitamin E.
  • Signs: hindlimb weakness Floppy rabbit syndrome that progresses to hindlimb paralysis Paresis / paralysis: limb is seen in weanling rabbits (3-10 weeks of age).
  • In many species, deficiency of vitamin E and or selenium can result in nutritional muscular dystrophy which resolves with the supplementation of either nutrient - this is not the case in rabbits, selenium supplementation has no effect. This is thought to be because of the relatively abundant non-selenium glutathione peroxidases present in the rabbit.
  • Diagnosis: serology, fecal evaluation, hematology, electrolyte levels, radiography.
  • Treatment: pain relief; address concomitant issues, eg urine scalding, hepatic coccidiosis; ensure fluid/nutritional requirements are met; vitamin E supplementation; supportive care.
  • Prognosis: poor if severe.
Print off the Owner factsheet on Muscular dystrophy and other muscular conditions to give to your clients.

Presenting signs

Acute presentation

Age predisposition

  • Typically reported in juvenile rabbits 3-10 weeks of age.

Cost considerations

  • May be significant in breeding colonies.

Special risks, eg anesthetic

  • May be potential for concurrent myocardial dysfunction in hypovitaminosis E which poses an increased anesthetic risk.

Pathogenesis

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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

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Castellini C, Mourvaki E, Dal Bosco A et al (2007) Vitamin E - biology and function: A case study in male rabbit. Reprod Dom Anim 42 (3), 248-256 PubMed
  • Czarnecki W & Zimmer L (2006) Pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of alpha-tocopherol in rabbits. Annales Universitatis Mariae Curie-Skladowska Lublin-Polonia 19 (2, 22), 153-160.
  • Schneider C (2005) Chemistry and biology of vitamin E. Mol Nutr Food Res 49 (1), 7-30 PubMed.
  • St Claire M B, Kennett M J & Besch-Williford C L (2004) Vitamin A toxicity and vitamin E deficiency in a rabbit colony. Contemp Top Lab Anim Sci 43 (4), 26-30 PubMed
  • Axford-Gatley R A & Wilson G J (1990) Reduction of experimental myocardial infarct size by oral administration of alpha-tocopherol. Cardiovasc Res 25 (2), 89-92 PubMed.
  • Godfried S L, Combs G F Jr., Saroka J M et al (1989) Potentiation of atherosclerotic lesions in rabbits by a high dietary level of vitamin E. Br J Nutr 61 (3), 607-617 PubMed.
  • Bardosi A & Dickmann U (1987) Necrotizing myopathy with paracrystalline inclusion bodies in hypervitaminosis E. Acta Neuropathologica 75 (2), 166-172 PubMed.
  • Yang N Y J & Desai I D (1977) Effect of high levels of dietary vitamin E on hematological indices and biochemical parameters in rats. J Nutr 107 (8), 1410-1417 PubMed.
  • March B E, Wong E, Seier L et al (1972) Hypervitaminosis E in the chick. J Nutr 103 (3), 371-377 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Higdon J, Drake V J & Traber M G (2008) Vitamin E. Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center. Website:http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminE.
  • Higdon J, Drake V J & Russell R M (2007) Vitamin A. Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center. Website:http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminA.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002) Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. Butterworth Heinemann.
  • McDonald P, Edwards R A, Greenhalgh J F D & Morgan C A (1996) Animal Nutrition. 5th edn. Longman.
  • Lowe J A (1998) Pet Rabbit Feeding and Nutrition. In: Nutrition of the Rabbit.Eds: de Blas C & Wiseman J. CABI Publishing. pp 309-332.
  • Cheeke P R (1994) Nutrition and Nutritional diseases. In: Biology of the Laboratory Rabbit.2nd edn. Eds: Manning P J, Ringler D H & Newcomer C E. Academic Press. pp 321-333.
  • Hunt C E & Harrington D D (1974) Nutrition and Nutritional diseases of the Rabbit. In: Biology of the Laboratory Rabbit. 1st edn. Eds: Manning P J, Ringler D H & Newcomer C E. Academic Press. pp 403-428.

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