Sudden death in a captive meerkat (Suricata suricatta) with arterial medial and myocardial calcification
A 1-year-old male meerkat was found dead by the owner. The animal was clinically healthy and was regularly vaccinated for distemper virus. Necropsy revealed multifocal to confluent dry white areas in the myocardium, pneumonia and congestive hepatopathy. All the other organs, including gross vessels, were macroscopically normal. The heart showed histologically large, multifocal to confluent areas of mineralization of the myocardium and the wall of small coronary artery. Vascular calcifications were also observed in the hepatic portal tracts and kidneys arteries of small/medium sizes. The arterial lumen appeared narrowed and the wall thickened due to the calcification of the tunica media. In veterinary medicine, arterial mineralization is regarded as a metastatic calcification, as the result of hypercalcemia and/or hyperphosphatemia. However, today, the pathogenesis of medial artery calcification in humans seems to be the results of an active process resembling embryonic osteogenesis, rather than a mere passive process.
Laura Bongiovann, Nicola Di Girolamo, Leonardo Della Salda, Marcella Massimi, Mariarita Romanucci, Paolo Selleri. Sudden death in a captive meerkat (Suricata suricatta) with arterial medial and myocardial calcification. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2016; 6(4): 357-359.