Short Communication

A case of anaemia in a neonatal warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) and evaluation of serum-soluble iron in warthogs : short communication

D.E. Kenny, W.E. Braselton, R.A. Taylor, T. Morgan, R.B. Hesky
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 73, No 3 | a579 | DOI: | © 2002 D.E. Kenny, W.E. Braselton, R.A. Taylor, T. Morgan, R.B. Hesky | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 July 2002 | Published: 06 July 2002

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D.E. Kenny,
W.E. Braselton,
R.A. Taylor,
T. Morgan,
R.B. Hesky,

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A 38-day-old male warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) with marked anaemia (haematocrit = 14 %) presented to the Denver Zoological Gardens hospital with ataxia, tachypnoea, suspected stunted growth and cardiomegaly. The piglet demonstrated some features consistent with both iron deficiency anaemia and autoimmune haemolytic anaemia. Serum-soluble iron was below the level of detection (<8.96 mmol/l). Iron deficiency anaemia is a well recognised entity in domestic swine reared on concrete and denied access to soil. Fifteen captive warthogs were subsequently evaluated for serum soluble iron content (mean = 21.62±4.36 mmol/l) as well as 5 neonatal warthog piglets that required hand-rearing. Only 1 of 5 neonatal warthog piglets had measurable serum soluble iron (9.50 mmol/l). These data suggest that warthogs are similar to domestic swine and are born with low iron stores. Some form of iron supplementation should be considered for captive neonatal warthog piglets, especially if they are reared on concrete.


Anaemia; Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia; Iron Deficiency; Phacochoerus Aethiopicus; Warthog


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