The Eurasian Otter 's Optimal Nutritional Requirements Essay

756 Words Nov 18th, 2015 4 Pages
Similar to other captive carnivorous mammals, the Eurasian otter’s optimal nutritional requirements have not been studied to a great extent. Usually in captivity, most of the diet that is used was created for the nutritional needs of other otters, like Asian small-clawed otters and North American River otters. These diets have been derived from the domestic cat, farm mink, and fox because the study of nutrition for captive carnivorous species is fairly rare. Eurasian otters suffer from urolithiasis in the wild at 23.4% and in captivity at 69.2%. They mainly form ammonium urate calculi primarily in the kidney. These calculi usually form because the pH in the urine is above 5.75. This causes the dissociation of uric acid to urate which is not easily soluble in mammals. The study conducted to test the formation of urate crystals found that when the urine pH was higher than 5.75 the uric acid is present as a salt. The salts aggregated into a colloid state as small molecule, and with added urate they increase in size. Ammonium ions are the most prone to become flakes and leave the colloid suspension causing buildup of aggregates that obstruct the urinary tract. The article found that dietary purine helps to increase the amount of uric acid being excreted. These types of uroliths are not common in most mammals with the exception of Dalmatian dogs, humans, apes, and Eurasian otters because they lack uricase to convert uric acid into allantoin. Allantoin can pass through the kidneys…

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