Cold stress syndrome (CSS) in the Florida manatee Trichechus manatus latirostris has been defined as morbidity and mortality resulting from prolonged exposure to water temperatures <20°C. The pathophysiology is described as multifactorial, involving nutritional, immunological and metabolic disturbances; however, the exact mechanisms are unknown. We hypothesized that thromboembolic complications contribute to the pathophysiology of CSS in addition to the previously described factors. During the winter of 2014-2015, 10 Florida manatees with clinical signs of CSS were presented to Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa, FL, USA. Thromboelastography (TEG) and coagulation panels were performed at admission. In addition, coagulation panel data from 23 retrospective CSS cases were included in the analyses. There were numerous differences between mean values of TEG and coagulation parameters for healthy manatees and those for CSS cases. Among TEG parameters, reaction time (R), clot formation time (K) and percentage of clot lysed after 30 min (LY30) values were significantly different (p < 0.05) between the 2 groups. CSS cases also had significantly higher mean D-dimer concentration and coagulation factor XI activity, prolonged mean activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and significantly decreased mean antithrombin activity. These combined abnormalities include clinicopathologic criteria of disseminated intravascular coagulation, indicating an increased risk of thromboembolic disease associated with manatee CSS.
Keywords: Coagulopathy; Cold stress syndrome; Florida manatee; Thromboelastography; Thromboembolic disease; Trichechus manatus latirostris.