Serum vitamin A concentrations in captive sea otters (Enhydra lutris)

Alison L. Righton, Judy A. St. Leger, Todd Schmitt, Michael J. Murray, Lance Adams, Andrea J Fascetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Individual dietary preferences and difficulty with animal training create challenges and nutritional concerns when evaluating a captive sea otter (Enhydra lutris) diet. The importance of vitamin A within the body reflects the necessity that it be ingested in adequate amounts to ensure optimal health. To compare levels of serum vitamin A concentrations from captive sea otters on daily oral vitamin A supplementation, serum samples from eight adult sea otters from three institutions were evaluated for serum vitamin A concentrations. The eight animals were fed a total of four different diets and received oral supplementation via three different methods. Multiple diet items were analyzed for vitamin A content and were found to have low to nondetectable levels of vitamin A. Oral vitamin A supplementation, as a slurry with dietary items, was shown to be effective and a mean serum concentration of approximately 170 ± 51 μg/L was obtained for serum vitamin A concentrations in captive sea otters. Captive diets can be modified to increase vitamin A concentration and supplementation and, if accepted, can be used as a means to ensure adequate vitamin A intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-127
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

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Otters
Enhydra lutris
Vitamin A
vitamin A
Serum
Diet
mouth
diet
training (animals)

Keywords

  • Enhydra lutris
  • sea otter
  • serum concentration
  • supplementation
  • vitamin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Serum vitamin A concentrations in captive sea otters (Enhydra lutris). / Righton, Alison L.; St. Leger, Judy A.; Schmitt, Todd; Murray, Michael J.; Adams, Lance; Fascetti, Andrea J.

In: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, Vol. 42, No. 1, 03.2011, p. 124-127.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Righton, Alison L. ; St. Leger, Judy A. ; Schmitt, Todd ; Murray, Michael J. ; Adams, Lance ; Fascetti, Andrea J. / Serum vitamin A concentrations in captive sea otters (Enhydra lutris). In: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 2011 ; Vol. 42, No. 1. pp. 124-127.
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