Animals (2023)

DOI: 10.3390/ani13243767


In this case report, we present a rare occurrence of a narrow-ridged finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis sunameri), discovered on the coast of Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, that was afflicted with adhesive bowel obstruction (ABO), a life-threatening condition that has scarcely been reported in cetaceans. Diagnosis of ABO was confirmed via radiological and clinical assessments. Post-mortem computed tomography and necropsy revealed ABO between two loops of the jejunum at the L8 level. The mesenteric tissue covering the intestinal lesion was severely thickened with increased tension. Both bowel loops were fixed to the mesentery and acutely angulated, leading to asymmetrical thickening of the cross-sectional bowel walls. The intestinal lumen was stenosed because of pressure from the firm mesenteric band, and no fecal matter was observed in the lumen of the posterior bowel or rectum. Calcified nodules were detected, and histological analysis suggested parasitic or suspected post-parasitic infections. The primary cause of the intestinal lesions is presumed to be a reaction related to parasitic infection. However, further investigations would establish a definitive link between parasitic infections and ABO in this species. This case highlights the importance of studying rare medical conditions in wildlife, providing valuable insights into marine mammal health.