Diagnosis and treatment of Sarcocystis neurona in a captive harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)

  • Mylniczenko N
  • Kearns K
  • Melli A
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Abstract

A captive harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) presented with partial anorexia, ataxia, and head bobbing, which progressed to complete anorexia, lethargy, and persistent whole-body intention tremors within several days. Response to treatment with ponazuril, serology, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis supported a diagnosis of Sarcocystis neurona. Analysis of serum levels for ponazuril indicated that therapeutic levels could be achieved at a dosage of 5 mg/kg p.o. s.i.d., whereas clinical response was improved at a dosage of 10 mg/kg. Several months after initiation of antiprotozoal therapy, the neurologic signs resolved, although rare intermittent tremors were seen with significant exertion.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Animals Antibodies
  • Protozoan/blood Central Nervous System/pathology

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Authors

  • N D Mylniczenko

  • K S Kearns

  • A C Melli

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