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J Wildl Dis. 1992 Jul;28(3):428-34.

Pathological findings in the Hawaiian monk seal.

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  • 1Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2396.


Postmortem examinations were performed on 45 Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) collected during field research on the beaches of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (USA) from 1981 to 1985. Both males and females of all age groups, perinatal through adult, were examined. Frequent findings included parasites, trauma, cardiovascular disease (congenital and acquired), and respiratory infections. Emaciation was a common condition. All animals except neonates were infected with parasites; infection was severe in several cases. Splenic hematopoiesis was a universal histopathologic finding. Some cases exhibited lesions consistent with renal, gastrointestinal, and toxic disorders; ectopic tissue calcification; gallstones; and ophthalmologic and dental problems.

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