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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2002 Nov;14(6):512-5.

Hepatic lipidosis in pregnant captive American bison (Bison bison).

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Bacterial Diseases of Livestock Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, United States Department of Agriculture, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Hepatic lipidosis, a hallmark lesion of lipid mobilization disorders in ruminants, was noted in four 3-year-old, pregnant bison (Bison bison) after periods of anorexia that progressed to recumbency and death. The affected bison were part of a herd at the National Animal Disease Center (NADC) that was used for brucellosis vaccine research. Microscopically, the liver contained swollen hepatocytes with numerous, variably sized, round, smoothly contoured vacuoles that displaced cytoplasmic structures. Hepatocytes in all zones of the lobule were affected equally. Hypoglycemia, decreased total carbon dioxide, elevated gamma-glutamyltransferase, elevated alkaline phosphatase, and increased nonesterified fatty acid levels were noted. As in the case of cattle, altered nutritional demands of late gestation combined with management factors such as obesity, nutrition, stress, and concomitant disease may be critical in the pathophysiology of lipid mobilization disorders in bison. Additionally, stressors unique to this research herd likely contributed to fatal hepatic lipidosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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