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Investigation of neonatal disorders in New World camelids and factors associated with death during and after hospitalization of affected crias

Stephanie L. Frank DVM1, Brad B. Nelson DVM, MS, PhD1, Katharine M. Simpson DVM, MS1, Timothy N. Holt DVM1, Robert J. Callan DVM, MS, PhD1, and Eileen S. Hackett DVM, MS, PhD1
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess signalment, clinical findings, and treatments for New World camelids (NWCs) hospitalized for evaluation and treatment of neonatal disorders and investigate associations between these factors and death during and after hospitalization.

ANIMALS

267 NWCs ≤ 30 days of age.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of a veterinary teaching hospital were retrospectively reviewed to identify NWCs admitted for evaluation and treatment of neonatal disorders between 2000 and 2010. Signalment, physical examination data, diagnostic findings, treatments, and outcomes were recorded. Factors were examined for association with death during hospitalization and the overall hazard of death by use of multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards analysis, respectively.

RESULTS

The sample comprised alpacas (n = 255) and llamas (12). Median age at admission was 3 days, and median hospitalization time was 2 days; 208 of the 267 (77.9%) neonatal NWCs survived to hospital discharge. Factors associated with increased odds of death during hospitalization included prematurity or dysmaturity, hypothermia, sepsis, toxic changes in neutrophils, and undergoing surgery. The odds of death during hospitalization also increased as anion gap increased. After discharge, 151 of 176 (85.8%) animals had follow-up information available (median follow-up time, 2,932 days); 126 (83%) were alive and 25 (17%) had died. Prematurity or dysmaturity, congenital defects, sepsis, oxygen administration, and undergoing surgery as a neonate were associated with an increased hazard of death; the hazard of death also increased as serum chloride concentration at the time of hospitalization increased.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested the prognosis for survival during and after hospitalization is good for most NWCs hospitalized because of neonatal disorders.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess signalment, clinical findings, and treatments for New World camelids (NWCs) hospitalized for evaluation and treatment of neonatal disorders and investigate associations between these factors and death during and after hospitalization.

ANIMALS

267 NWCs ≤ 30 days of age.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of a veterinary teaching hospital were retrospectively reviewed to identify NWCs admitted for evaluation and treatment of neonatal disorders between 2000 and 2010. Signalment, physical examination data, diagnostic findings, treatments, and outcomes were recorded. Factors were examined for association with death during hospitalization and the overall hazard of death by use of multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards analysis, respectively.

RESULTS

The sample comprised alpacas (n = 255) and llamas (12). Median age at admission was 3 days, and median hospitalization time was 2 days; 208 of the 267 (77.9%) neonatal NWCs survived to hospital discharge. Factors associated with increased odds of death during hospitalization included prematurity or dysmaturity, hypothermia, sepsis, toxic changes in neutrophils, and undergoing surgery. The odds of death during hospitalization also increased as anion gap increased. After discharge, 151 of 176 (85.8%) animals had follow-up information available (median follow-up time, 2,932 days); 126 (83%) were alive and 25 (17%) had died. Prematurity or dysmaturity, congenital defects, sepsis, oxygen administration, and undergoing surgery as a neonate were associated with an increased hazard of death; the hazard of death also increased as serum chloride concentration at the time of hospitalization increased.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested the prognosis for survival during and after hospitalization is good for most NWCs hospitalized because of neonatal disorders.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix S1 (PDF 64 KB)
    • Supplementary Appendix S2 (PDF 108 KB)

Contributor Notes

Dr. Frank's present address is Equine Medical Associates Inc, Lake Forest, CA 92630.

Address correspondence to Dr. Hackett (eileen.hackett@colostate.edu).