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Prevalence of macropod progressive periodontal disease (“lumpy jaw”) in wild western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus)

Rendle, J., Yeap, L.ORCID: 0000-0002-9419-5333, Jackson, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-8622-8035, Warren, K.ORCID: 0000-0002-9328-2013, Ward, S.J., Donaldson, R., Mayberry, C., Richardson, J. and Vaughan-Higgins, R.ORCID: 0000-0001-7609-9818 (2020) Prevalence of macropod progressive periodontal disease (“lumpy jaw”) in wild western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus). Journal of Vertebrate Biology, 69 (4). Article 20030.1-12.

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Macropod Progressive Periodontal Disease (MPPD), colloquially referred to as “lumpy jaw”, is a commonly observed disease in captive macropods. However, the prevalence of this disease in the wild is largely unknown. A systematic study of MPPD in wild macropods would provide an indication of the endemic presence of this disease in wild populations, and could assist those managing disease in captive populations, by highlighting potential risk factors for disease development. Utilising kangaroos culled as part of a population management program, this study used visual observation and computer tomography (CT) of skulls to investigate the prevalence of MPPD in wild western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) from the Perth metropolitan region, Western Australia. The sample suitable for visual and CT analysis comprised 121 specimens, 71 (58.7%) male and 50 (41.3%) female, with the mean age for all 121 specimens being 4.5 years (±2.63 SD). No evidence of MPPD was detected in any of the specimens examined. Overabundance may not be associated with the development of MPPD, as previously considered, and age-related factors should not be eliminated. This results may reflect low susceptibility to MPPD in western grey kangaroos, given low prevalence is reported in this species in captive populations. Further investigation into species-specificity is recommended, and should include samples with soft tissue to improve sensitivity of disease detection. Surveillance of MPPD in wild populations of macropods helps to improve our understanding of the biological significance, development and potential spread of this disease. Notably, this information may assist in the management of MPPD in captive populations, and may have a positive impact on both the welfare and conservation of macropods in captivity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: Bioone Complete
Copyright: © 2020 BioOne
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