Coatis, also called coatimundis, are from temperate and tropical regions of South America. Seven coatis from 4 litters of the same parents were borne with abnormal hair coats. The normal guard hairs were missing, and the animals were almost totally alopecic except for small dark hairs. Lichenification, scaling, and crusting were present. Three of the affected animals were euthanized at birth or died of natural causes. Histologic tissue was available from 5 of the animals, and all had similar findings: a normal hair bulb, but at the area of cornification the shaft became disorganized, fragmented, and constricted. The coatis were diagnosed with a genetic hair follicle dysplasia.

COMMENTARY: Coatis are unusual nondomestic pets. When kept as pets and fed all-meat or all-fruit diets, they are particularly susceptible to nutritional deficiencies that cause alopecia, scaling, and fine hair. Zinc deficiencies have been found to be the cause in some cases. These animals are also susceptible to sarcoptic mange and fleas. -- Karen A. Moriello, DVM, Diplomate ACVD


Congenital follicular dysplasia in five related coatimundis (Nasua nasua). Nicolier A, Welle M, Walzers C, Robert N. VET DERMATOL 16:420-424, 2005.