Calcinosis in alpaca crias (Vicugna pacos) due to vitamin D intoxication : clinical, laboratory and pathological findings with a focus on kidney fnction
Alpacas kept in Central Europe are often deficient in vitamin D3, which is supplemented orally or by injection by the owners or veterinarians. Vitamin D3 can be specified in two different units (IU and µg), which differ by a factor of 40. By mixing up these units, an overdosage can be induced. In this study, three alpaca crias were examined after vitamin D3 intoxication, with particular reference to kidney function. All three animals developed non-specific clinical alterations 1-2 weeks after a vitamin D3 overdose of approximately 40 times. Plasma of the animals revealed several alterations. The main findings were severe azotemia, hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia, 15 days after treatment. Kidney function analysis (endogenous creatinine clearance) in two of the crias revealed severe glomerular damage. All crias died despite intensive treatment within 23 days after vitamin D3 treatment. Necropsy revealed calcification in different organs, mainly the kidneys, lungs and liver. Since nine other crias in the same group were treated with comparable doses of vitamin D3 and no clinical signs were observed in these animals, it is concluded that individual animals show different levels of sensitivity to vitamin D3.