Haemolytic anaemia – This was an emerging disease
of captive black rhinos in the 1990s. There were 44
cases in 36 black rhinos, resulting in 23 mortalities.
Although the aetiology is unknown, it has been
linked to Leptospirosis, oxidative damage to red
blood cells or nutritional deficiency (vitamin E,
hypophosphataemia). Clinically, rhinos have pale
mucous membranes, weakness, haemoglobinuria,
and often progress to death.
The diagnosis is based on haematocrit, urinalysis,
and clinical signs.
Idiopathic Haemorrhagic Vasculopathy Syndrome
(IVHS) – This disease also emerged in captive black
rhinos in the late 1990s. The majority of cases had
lived in Texas, USA. Clinical signs included severe
non-haemolytic anaemia (hct = 9-3%), swelling of the
shoulder, neck and forelimbs, lethargy, laminitis and
sloughing of nails, respiratory stridor, and oral ulcers.
Aetiology is unknown but may be immune-mediated,
similar to equine Streptococcal vasculitis. Often fatal,
although survivors have recurrence of signs.
Idiopathic oral and skin diseases – These syndromes
are one of the most prevalent health problems of
captive black rhinos. It is estimated that 50% of adults
have had at least one episode of skin or oral/nasal
mucosal lesions. Most episodes are associated with
other health problems or stressful events, and may
be fatal. Multiple syndromes have been described;
superficial necrolytic dermatopathy, nodular collagen
degeneration, eosinophilic granulomas and dermatitis,
and episodic epistaxis.
Iron Overload Disorder (IOD) – Previously known
as iron storage disease, this is an important disease
of captive black rhinos. It has also been observed
in recently captured black rhinos placed in bomas