LaDouceur, Elise E. B., Murphy, Brian G., Garner, Michael M. and Cartoceti, Andrew N.
Four captive, lesser hedgehog tenrecs ( Echinops telfairi) were euthanized for soft bones that prevented normal mastication and/or ambulation. Antemortem radiographs (available in 2 cases) revealed osteopenia. Antemortem bloodwork (available in 2 cases) revealed hypophosphatemia. Dietary history (available in 2 cases) indicated the animals were eating only insects. Histologically, all examined bones had wide osteoid seams that caused expansion of the cortices. Osteoid deposition was exuberant and it partially filled marrow cavities (hyperostosis). Nondecalcified sections of bone (available in 2 cases) revealed that osteoid was poorly mineralized, consistent with osteomalacia. Insects are poor dietary sources of vitamin D, and dietary vitamin D deficiency is considered the most likely cause for metabolic bone disease in these animals.