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Study of Rickets and Osteomalacia in Tibetan Gazelle

Study of Rickets and Osteomalacia in Tibetan Gazelle

Bin Huo1 and Xiaoyun Shen1,2,3*

1School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China
2World Bank Poverty Alleviation Project Office in Guizhou, Southwest China, Guiyang 550004, China.
3State Engineering Technology Institute for Karst Desertification Control, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550025, China.

*      Corresponding author:


Tibetan Gazelle (Procapra picticaudata) are native wildlife to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. During the past five years, Tibetan Gazelle have been affected by rickets and osteomalacia, characterized by emaciation, growth retardation, lameness,enlargement of the costochondral junctions and abnormal curvature in long bones. The aim of the study was to determine possible relationships between the illness and mineral deficiency. The present result showed that phosphorus contents in soil and forage from affected pastures were significantly lower than those from healthy areas (P<0.01) and the ratio of calcium to phosphorus (Ca:P) in affected herbages was 13.16:1. Phosphorus contents of blood and hair from the affected animals were also significantly lower than those from healthy animals (P<0.01). Serum alkaline phosphatase values from affected Tibetan gazelles were significantly higher than those from healthy ones (P<0.01). Serum inorganic phosphorus contents of affected Tibetan gazelles were about half of those in healthy animals. Oral supplementation of disodium hydrogen phosphate in affected Tibetan gazelles successfully treated the illness. This study demonstrated that the ailment of the Tibetan gazelle was mainly caused by the phosphorus deficiency in forage.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 52, Iss. 5, Pages 1631-2026


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