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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2008 Jul;20(4):517-20.

Cholangiectasis and duodenal diverticulosis in a farm-raised elk (Cervus elaphus).

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  • 1Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and Deapartment of Comparative Pathobiology, School fo Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. mowston@purdue.edu


A 6-year-old male elk presented in August with a 4-month history of weight loss and a 1-day history of being recumbent and unable to rise. The elk's body condition score was 1.5/5. Hematology and blood chemistry showed an inflammatory leukogram, mild electrolyte abnormalities, and elevated liver enzyme activities. Because of poor prognosis, the owner elected euthanasia. On necropsy, 8 diverticula were in the duodenum distal to the common bile duct, which was dilated and filled with feed material. Many intrahepatic bile ducts were dilated up to 5 cm, were filled with ingesta and gritty material, and had walls thickened up to 1.5 mm. On histologic examination, mural thickening of dilated bile ducts was because of increased fibrous connective tissue with inflammatory cell infiltration and hyperplastic and hypertrophic epithelial lining. Portal tracts diffusely contained hyperplastic bile ducts and had increased amounts of fibrous connective tissue. Abscesses that contained bacteria were scattered throughout the liver. Duodenal diverticula lacked the tunica muscularis, and the muscularis mucosa was hypertrophied. Caudal to some diverticula, the duodenal lumen was narrowed. An additional finding was embolic pneumonia with fungi morphologically and immunohistochemically consistent with Aspergillus spp.

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