Ten cases of otitis in nine captive okapi were observed at a captive zoological institution. Duration of clinical signs ranged from 3 days to 7 months. Two individuals each had a recurrence. A variety of fungi and bacteria were isolated from the aural canals of healthy okapi and their environments. Numerous different bacterial and fungal pathogens were cultured. Surveys investigating the occurrence of ear disease and related environmental factors from 15 other institutions that house okapi revealed otitis was only seen at one institution. While it appears that many bacterial and fungal pathogens are found in the okapi ear canal, it is suspected that environmental conditions, such as fungal load, air and hay quality, humidity, and temperature may be predisposing factors leading to ear infections in this species.
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