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A survey of urinary tract disease in New South Wales koalas 


Department of Veterinary Pathology B12 University of Sydney New South Wales 2006 


From 1980 to 1988 235 koalas were necropsied and 67 were found to have urinary tract disease. Six affected koalas out of 48 were derived from wildlife parks around Sydney while 61 of 187 were derived from free living populations on the central and north coasts of New South Wales. Sixteen had cystitis alone, 5 had cystitis and associated renal disease only, 16 females had cystitis with genital disease, 23 had urinary disease in combination with other systemic disease and 7 had renal disease only. Overall 49 animals had cystitis (30 females and 19 males; 47 being free living) with 12 of these having renal extension (all free living). Cystitis tended to be active but chronic while associated renal disease was mainly designated as hydronephrosis and pyelonephritis. Other forms of renal disease included lymphosarcoma, oxalate nephrosis, acute and chronic nephritis, and microabscessation related to septicaemia. Female genital disease associated with cystitis was commonly vaginitis and metritis. Paraovarian cysts were detected with and without metritis. Other diseases occurring with urinary tract disease included conjunctivitis, dermatitislstomatitis, pneumonia and hepatic disease. The higher prevalence of urinary tract disease in free living koalas, especially cystitis, is in contrast to captive koalas and may reflect the interaction between disease cause and habitat. 

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