Dietary management of an obese kinkajou (Potos flavus) with congestive heart failure secondary to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

  • David Eshar University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine


An adult castrated male pet kinkajou (Potos flavus) with a history of bilateral stifle osteoarthritis was diagnosed and successfully treated for congestive heart failure secondary to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The animal was markedly obese and with a presenting body weight of 8.8 kg. The kinkajou’s home diet was not balanced and there was no energy restriction. Dietary modification was directed as part of the patient’s clinical management, and owners were given guidance on content and proportions of the recommended diet. Dietary changes were implemented over several months with some adaptations based on the kinkajou’s food preferences and clinical improvement. The maintenance diet was calculated to about 1047 KJ/day and mainly consisted of an assortment of fruit and sugar-free juice. The kinkajou responded well to its new diet, and over a 6-month period its weight decreased by almost 40%. Obesity is considered a major risk factor for developing cardiac disease in many mammalian species and may contribute to the high prevalence of cardiomyopathy in this particular species. Proper diet composition, adhering to what is known about diets in the wild, along with controlled energy intake, can reduce the health risks commonly related to obesity, increase longevity, and offer better care for captive kinkajous.

Author Biography

David Eshar, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia
Evidence Based Practice