Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) is an acquired disorder of hemostasis resulting in activation of the coagulation and fibrinolytic pathways. It is reported secondarily to multiple disease processes and can be associated with increased mortality. Previous research at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo (LPZ) demonstrated that Florida manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris) with cold stress syndrome (CSS) demonstrated thromboembolic disease. The object of this retrospective study was to establish the presence and clinical relevance of DIC in Florida manatees admitted to LPZ for rehabilitation from 07 March 2010 to 15 August 2015. A coagulation panel, including prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, platelet count, fibrinogen level, and D-dimer level was used to diagnose DIC. There were 100 cases identified in the study period: 35 trauma, 43 CSS, 17 secondary to harmful algae blooms (HAB), and five miscellaneous. Manatees with CSS had the highest incidence of DIC with 24 of 43 cases (56%) affected, followed by trauma with 18 of 35 cases (52%) affected. None of the manatees with HAB were found to have DIC. Manatees that developed DIC during rehabilitation or when DIC progressed did not survive. Due to the clinical implications of DIC, identifying its presence and recognizing its severity could improve clinical outcomes by enabling more intensive treatment protocols.
Keywords: Coagulation; D dimer; Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris); disseminated intravascular coagulation; rehabilitation.