Cardiomyopathy in stranded pygmy and dwarf sperm whales.

G. D. Bossart, D. K. Odell, N. H. Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Necropsy and histologic examinations were performed in 23 pygmy sperm whales (Kogia breviceps) and 6 dwarf sperm whales (Kogia simus) that had been stranded singly or in cow-calf pairs along the southeastern coastline of the United States. At necropsy, the gross findings in the adult whales included pale, flabby right ventricles. Microscopically, lesions in the hearts of the whales were characterized by moderate to extensive myocellular degeneration, atrophy, and fibrosis. Similar changes were not seen in 5 of 6 sexually immature whales or in the whale calves. Hepatic changes were consistent with heart failure. The cause of the myocardial lesions was not determined. The systemic effects of failing myocardium probably were a major reason for the stranding of the adult whales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1140
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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