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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128


CHU, Caroline et al. A review of pathological findings in impalas (Aepyceros melampus) in South Africa. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2020, vol.91, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 2224-9435.

Impalas (Aepyceros melampus) are common African antelope. A retrospective study was conducted of 251 impala cases from game farms, national parks and zoos submitted by veterinarians and pathologists in South Africa (2003-2016). Histopathology slides as well as records of macroscopic lesions and additional diagnostic tests performed were examined. Non-infectious conditions, such as acute pulmonary congestion and oedema, cachexia, traumatic injury and anaesthetic-related mortality were the most common causes of morbidity and mortality. Bacterial sepsis was the most common infectious disease, whilst skeletal muscle and myocardial sarcocystosis and verminous cholangitis and pneumonia were the most common parasitic diseases. Although the retrospective nature of this study limits the significance of the relative prevalence of lesions in the three locations, management decisions and diagnostic plans may be informed by the results. Impala from game farms had significantly more cachexia cases than those from other locations. Impala from zoos had significantly more lymphoid depletion than those from other locations. These findings suggest that nutrition and pasture management, enclosure design, management of intra- and interspecies aggression and improved anaesthetic protocols could improve animal welfare and survival of impala on game farms and in zoos. This report presents a detailed survey of diseases and conditions found in impala that provides baseline data for veterinary pathologists.

Keywords : Aepyceros melampus; disease; impala; parasites; pathology.

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