Vol. 7, Issue 1, Part A (2022)
Occurrence of extrahepatic biliary tract pathologies in rehabilitated captive dancing sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) and its diagnostic challenges
Author(s): S Ilayaraja and Arun A Sha
Abstract: Sloth bears are large, charismatic mammals that belong to the order carnivora and the family Ursidae. Each mammalian species possesses the unique size and structure of its extrahepatic biliary tract. While the gallbladder is present in many species, others are lacking this organ. Sloth bears have a well-developed gallbladder and bile ducts with Penta lobed liver. Since they possess a gallbladder; they are more prone to cholecystolithiasis, cholecystitis, varied degree of sludge formation, and cholangiocarcinoma. In the sloth bears at Wildlife SOS, Agra Bear Rescue Facility, such cases were encountered and provided with disease-specific treatment to stabilize the health condition. Trans abdominal ultrasonography examination was conducted to evaluate the liver, gallbladder, and ascites to diagnose the extrahepatic biliary tract pathologies along with haemato-biochemical indices and visible external symptoms such as inappetence, general weakness, bulged abdomen, hair loss, allergic dermatitis on limbs, passing mucoid brownish-black diarrhoeic feces and icteric mucous membrane. This study aims to disseminate knowledge on extrahepatic biliary tract pathologies of sloth bears that will help wildlife veterinary professionals, wildlife neophytes to enhance their early diagnosis and treatments, as well as scientists in evolutionary biology and oncology for conducting further studies.