Plasma biochemistry and urinalysis variables of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) with and without oxalate nephrosis
Version of Record online: 28 APR 2014
© 2014 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology and European Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology
Veterinary Clinical Pathology
Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 244–254, June 2014
How to Cite
Speight, K. N., Haynes, J. I., Boardman, W., Breed, W. G., Taggart, D. A., Rich, B. and Woolford, L. (2014), Plasma biochemistry and urinalysis variables of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) with and without oxalate nephrosis. Veterinary Clinical Pathology, 43: 244–254. doi: 10.1111/vcp.12145
- Issue online: 3 JUN 2014
- Version of Record online: 28 APR 2014
- Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment
- Zoos SA
- Calcium oxalate;
- renal insufficiency
Oxalate nephrosis is a highly prevalent disease in the Mount Lofty Ranges koala population in South Australia, but associated clinicopathologic findings remain undescribed.
The aims of this study were to determine plasma biochemical and urinalysis variables, particularly for renal function and urinary crystal morphology and composition, in koalas with oxalate nephrosis.
Blood and urine samples from Mount Lofty Ranges koalas with oxalate nephrosis were compared with those unaffected by renal oxalate crystal deposition from Mount Lofty and Kangaroo Island, South Australia and Moggill, Queensland. Plasma and urine biochemistry variables were analyzed using a Cobas Bio analyzer, and urinary oxalate by high-performance liquid chromatography. Urinary crystal composition was determined by infrared spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis.
Azotemia (urea > 6.6 mmol/L, creatinine > 150 μmol/L) was found in 93% of koalas with oxalate nephrosis (n = 15). All azotemic animals had renal insufficiency (urine specific gravity [USG] < 1.035), and in 83%, USG was < 1.030. Koalas with oxalate nephrosis were hyperoxaluric compared with Queensland koalas (P < .01). Urinary crystals from koalas with oxalate nephrosis had atypical morphology and were composed of calcium oxalate. Mount Lofty Ranges koalas unaffected by renal oxalate crystal deposition had renal insufficiency (43%), although only 14% had USG < 1.030 (n = 7). Unaffected Mount Lofty Ranges and Kangaroo Island koalas were hyperoxaluric compared with Queensland koalas (P < .01).
Koalas with oxalate nephrosis from the Mount Lofty Ranges had renal insufficiency, hyperoxaluria, and pathognomonic urinary crystals. The findings of this study will aid veterinary diagnosis of this disease.