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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Heart Disease Halted (do animals get atheroscerosis?)
Date: 21 Dec 1997 22:08:50 GMT

   Scudamore doesn't post this kind of malarky on veterinary medical
groups because they'd doubtless tell him they see atherosclerosis
commonly in pet birds (Maca, pigeons), rabbits and monkeys.  And even
the occasional overfed dog.

   And I'm sure that then Scudamore would say that he and his
ignormamous doc Rath were only talking about animals in
the WILD eating the natural diet, that never get heart disease.
Except this isn't true either.  Several primate species,
including baboons and howler monkeys, get atherosclerosis in the
wild.  And so do a variety of other animals from turkeys to hares
to wild deer.

   This stuff about wild animals being immune to human
degenerative diseases is a sort of Rouseavean nonsense.  We see
it pop up all the time.  It's the 19th century romantic view of
nature, The Garden of Eden, where all the animals live forever
and all of man's problems are due to eating what he's not
supposed to (see Genesis).  But it's a load of crap, of course, and
won't withstand even a cursory knowledge of zoology.  You would have
thought the romantic view of nature wouldn't survive the teachings of
Darwin and the great naturalists, but there's no shortage of uneducated

                                  Steve Harrris, M.D.

Adv Exp Med Biol 1976;67(00):77-87
The baboon in atherosclerosis research: comparison with other
species and use in testing drugs affecting lipid metabolism.
Despite the deomnstration of spontaneous atherosclerosis in the
wild state, the baboon is not the best species for the production
of atherosclerosis experimentally since it develops only a mild
hypercholesterolaemia when fed cholesterol. Nevertheless, it is
useful for the study of mild lipid deposition in the aorta and
the effect of drugs thereon, particularly if protein antigens are
also employed in addition. For studies of the hypocholesterolae-
mic effect of potential therapeutic compounds in man, the baboon
fed a high protein commercial diet, with and without cholesterol,
is a useful second species to smaller laboratory animals.

Experientia 1993 Sep 15;49(9):820-824
Fatty acid profiles of major food sources of howler monkeys
(Alouatta palliata) in the neotropics.
Chamberlain J, Nelson G, Milton

Wild howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) get most of their
calories from carbohydrates (65%) and fats (18%) of native
tropical plants, but little is known about their intake of
individual fatty acids. The fatty acid composition of several
natural food sources of howler monkeys collected in Panama was
determined by gas-liquid chromatography. The predominant fatty
acids were palmitic (30%), linoleic (23%), alpha-linolenic (16%)
and oleic (15%). Fatty acids with less than 16, and more than 18,
carbon chains were uncommon (0-7%). Although total saturated
fatty acids were high in some specific food sources (22-54% of
total fatty acids and 8 energy %), most of the calories from fat
in the animals' diets are derived from mono- and polyunsaturated
fatty acids (9.75 energy %). All food sources had significant
amounts of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (2.9
energy %). In terms of human diets, the howler monkey's fat
consumption would not be considered atherogenic. Unless these
animals show a particular adverse susceptibility to dietary fat,
it is unlikely that their fat intake is the primary cause of the
low, but significant, incidence of atherosclerosis that develops
in these animals in the wild state.

Am J Vet Res 1988,  49(9):1582-1
Atherosclerosis in coronary, aortic, and sciatic arteries from
wild male turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris).
Krista LM, McQuire JA

Atherosclerosis in coronary, aortic, and sciatic arteries from
wild male turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris).
Heart, aorta, and sciatic arteries were collected from 157 wild
male turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) by hunters in 9
states during the spring 1983 and 1984 hunting seasons. In
descending order of extent and severity, intimal vascular changes
were observed in the left sciatic artery, aorta at the celiac
region, cranial abdominal portion of the aorta, sciatic bifurcat-
ion, caudal abdominal portion of the aorta, coronary arteries,
and thoracic portion of the aorta. Only the aorta from the celiac
region and right sciatic artery had significant differences (P
less than 0.05) among turkeys from various locations. Turkeys
from Indiana had significantly (P less than 0.05) larger plaque
scores in the celiac region than did those from Alabama, Missou-
ri, and South Carolina. Turkeys from Indiana also had significan-
tly (P less than 0.05) greater plaque scores in the right sciatic
artery than did turkeys from Arkansas. When all tissues were
considered, tissues from turkeys from Michigan had the highest
plaque scores and those from Iowa had the lowest. Plaque scores
for turkeys from Michigan were significantly (P less than 0.05)
higher overall (including all blood vessels) than were plaque
scores for turkeys from Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, and South
Carolina. Few significant (P less than 0.05) correlations were
detected among plaque scores in turkeys from within states of
origin (geographic location). Also, only a few significant (P
less than 0.05) correlations were determined between age or body
weight and atherosclerosis for blood vessels from turkeys within
various states.

J Wildl Dis 1987 Oct;23(4):527-533
A review of wildlife diseases from Scandinavia.
Borg K

The epidemiological and historical aspects of some important and
representative wildlife diseases from Scandinavia are discussed.
In noninfectious diseases, examples include cataract in moose
(Alces alces), atherosclerosis in hybrid hares (Lepus timidus X
L. europaeus), and ethmoid tumors in moose. The epizootiological
and historical aspects of the recent epizootics of myxomatosis in
European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and rabies and sarcoptic
mange in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are reviewed. The decline and
subsequent increase in population abundances of tetraonids
including the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), black grouse
(Lyrurus tetrix), and hazel hen (Tetrastes bonasia) are discuss-
ed, and an hypothesis on predation by foxes is presented as a
possible explanation for these population fluctuations. The
potential impact of environmental pollution on wildlife populati-
ons is emphasized with reference to mercury in wildlife from
Sweden and the possible effects of cadmium and selenium resulting
from acidification. A bibliography of important references is
presented pertaining to these and other diseases of wildlife from

Med Interne 1976 Jul;14(3):215-218
Spontaneous aorta and coronary lesions in mountain mammals. I.
The Carpathian deer (Cervus elaphus)
Cucu, F

Arterial lesions were investigated in 48 adult wild Carpathian
deers (Cervus elaphus). Aortas from 36 animals and fragments from
the main coronary trunks of all the animals were studied histolo-
gically and histochemically. In 44.4% of the animals the specim-
ens studied presented gross intimal lesions in the aorta consist-
ing histologically of fibrous plaques (especially situated in the
thoracic segment) and/or intimal musculo-elastic thickenings with
lipid deposits or fatty streaks (especially in the abdominal
segments). In only 5 of the 48 animals the coronary arteries
presented slight intimal thickenings, free of lipids. The results
obtained are discussed in relation with the possible effect of
natural nutrition.

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