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J Zoo Wildl Med. 1997 Mar;28(1):101-4.

Zinc toxicosis in a Celebes ape (Macaca nigra) following ingestion of pennies.

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National Zoological Park, Conservation and Research Center, Front Royal, Virginia 22630, USA.


An adult Celebes ape (Macaca nigra) was presented for a routine yearly evaluation. Abdominal radiographs revealed four radiodense metallic foreign objects resembling coins within the gastrointestinal tract. Hematologic abnormalities included a mild nonregenerative anemia and a mild leukocytosis, and the biochemical profile reflected renal dysfunction. Serum zinc levels were elevated. The animal was denied food for 24 hr in preparation for the endoscopic removal of the foreign objects. During this period, two partially eroded pennies were passed in the feces. Endoscopy was temporarily postponed, and the animal was offered food. Two days later a third penny was passed. When the fourth coin did not pass within the next 2 days, the animal was once again denied food, and the fourth coin was passed within 24 hr. Because of the temporal association between the fasting cycles and the passage of the coins, a causal relationship is suggested. Following the passage of all coins, serum zinc levels decreased, and hematologic and serum biochemical abnormalities improved. Six months later, all abnormalities had resolved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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