Enzootic ataxia associated with copper deficiency in a farmed red deer: a case report

https://doi.org/10.17221/8444-VETMEDCitation:Vengust G., Svara T., Goc M., Zele D. (2015): Enzootic ataxia associated with copper deficiency in a farmed red deer: a case report. Veterinarni Medicina, 60: 522-526.
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The occurrence of enzootic ataxia in a farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) is reported. A nine-year-old male presented with progressive ataxia, hind limb weakness, sudden falling down while running and temporary inability to rise. Gross and histopathological examinations of organs, haematology, serum biochemistry and measurement of concentrations of copper and molybdenum in the liver were done. Examination of fresh liver tissue and blood serum revealed very low copper concentrations of 15.7 mmol/kg and 1 mmol/l, respectively. Histopathology revealed typical severe bilaterally symmetrical vacuolisation of white matter of pons cerebelli and spinal cord, and hepatic haemosiderosis. According to the clinical signs and laboratory results, a diagnosis of enzootic ataxia due to copper deficiency was made. To the best of our knowledge, these cooper values in blood serum and liver tissue are the lowest ever reported in deer with clinically expressed enzootic ataxia.
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