Fractures of the radius and ulna secondary to possible vitamin D deficiency in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus)
Lin, Rebecca C.
Fractures in captive polar bears are not uncommon. The purpose of this study was to identify any common etiologic factors in cases of antebrachial fractures in captive polar bears and to evaluate the success of fracture repair in these animals. Furthermore, there has been no case report published on fracture repair in any bear species. It was hypothesized that a certain percentage of fractures in polar bears could be due to decreased mineral density in the affected bones secondary to vitamin or mineral deficits, specifically deficits of Vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus. Decreased Vitamin D intake or availability combined with lack of exercise (captivity) could lead to decreased bone density and strength and thus, predispose bones to fracture. Serum 25-OH-Vitamin D values in several polar bears were low. Results of this study suggest that internal fixation of antebrachial fractures is feasible, reasonably tolerated by the animal, and has been successful. Additional research is necessary to explore the role of nutrition in polar bear fracture disease.
Senior seminar paperSeminar SF610.1 2004 L56
Senior seminar (D.V.M.) -- Cornell University, 2004. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 13-14).
Emmanuel Engeli, Med. Vet., DACVS; Laurie R. Goodrich DVM, MS, DACVS; Allan W. Prowton DVM
Polar bear -- Diseases -- Nutritional aspects -- Case studies; Bears -- Diseases -- Case studies; Polar bear -- Fractures -- Case studies