Pulmonary silicosis in three North American river otters (Lutra canadensis)

Wm Kirk Suedmeyer, Gayle Johnson, Mark A. Lovell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Three adult female North American river otters (Lutra canadensis) demonstrated severe anesthetic complications shortly after being immobilized for dental procedures. Two of the animals died shortly after anesthesia, and the third otter died 2 mo after immobilization. All three animals were diagnosed with pulmonary silicosis on the basis of histopathology, polarized light microscopy, and mass spectrometry. One animal also had primary pulmonary bronchoalveolar carcinoma. Significant concurrent disease was not found in other organs. Analysis of the lung tissue by laser microbe mass spectrometry confirmed the presence of an aluminum silicate in the lung tissue associated with insulation material used in nest box construction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-572
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Laser microbe mass spectrometry
  • Lutra canadensis
  • North American river otter
  • Pulmonary silicosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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