Total Parenteral Nutrition in a Premature Rhinoceros Calf

Virginia M. Herrmann, R. Eric Miller

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1 Scopus citations


A female black rhinoceros calf developed significant hypoglycemia (blood glucose, 30 mg/dL) and hypothermia (97°F) within 48 hours of birth and refused to nurse. Normal gestation of the black rhinoceros is 15 months, but elongated hoof slippers and low birth weight (30 kg) suggested prematurity in this calf. Clinical symptoms of neonatal sepsis including lassitude and poor sucking continued in spite of the aggressive use of antibiotics, and the calf required mechanical ventilatory support on day 7. Nutritional support including enteral gavage feedings (Pedialyte/4 ounces of SMA [Wyeth Ayerst] with sucraflox) had been instituted and was supplemented with total parenteral nutrition on day 5. Central venous access was obtained via a jugular cutdown. The total parenteral nutrition included appropriate electrolytes and vitamins for the neonatal calf but did not include trace elements. The use of total parenteral nutrition by our zoos for therapeutic purposes is increasing. Experience with total parenteral nutrition in exotic animals such as the black rhinoceros is limited, yet this may be an important therapeutic modality in these animals, particularly those in danger of extinction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-196
Number of pages4
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1991


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