Hypocalcaemic Tetany in Elephants

Summary Information
Diseases / List of Micronutrient (Vitamin / Mineral) Diseases / Disease summary
Alternative Names  
Disease Agents Hypocalcemic tetany is associated with lack of vitamin D in housed elephants, together with a calcium:phosphorus imbalance in the diet. (B453.7.w7)
Infectious Agent(s) --
Non-infectious Agent(s)
Physical Agent(s) --
General Description Hypocalcaemic tetany has been reported to occur in elephants kept indoors with inadequate exposure to sunlight that resulted in a vitamin D deficiency (and therefore inadequate calcium uptake), and in elephants with marginal calcium reserves under very stressful situations, such as shipment. (B10.49.w21, B64.27.w4, B214.3.7.w3) 

Clinical signs:

  • Signs of tetany. (B10.49.w21, B64.27.w4, B214.3.7.w3)
    • Muscular spasms, cramps, signs of acute distress, sometimes convulsions. (B453.7.w7)
Further Information Treatment:
  • A case of hypocalcaemic tetany was treated with a deep intramuscular injection of 50 g of calcium and symptomatic cardiac drugs. (B214.3.7.w3)
Associated Techniques
Host taxa groups /species Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken).

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this disease)

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