To compare progesterone (P4) concentrations measured with surface plasmon field-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy (SPFS) and chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) in serum and plasma samples of client-owned bitches of various ages and breeds and to determine reference ranges for P4 concentrations at various stages of the estrous cycle.
102 serum samples and 104 plasma samples.
In experiment 1, 1 aliquot each of serum and plasma was analyzed for P4 concentration by use of SPFS incorporated in a veterinary-specific point-of-care immunologic analyzer and CLIA. In experiment 2, serum collected from bitches in various stages of the estrous cycle was analyzed for P4 concentration by use of SPFS to establish reference ranges for each stage.
In experiment 1, P4 concentrations measured by SPFS and CLIA were highly correlated (serum, r = 0.966; plasma, r = 0.968). In experiment 2, ranges of serum basal (proestrous) P4 concentrations (n = 114) and P4 concentrations at the estimated time of ovulation (76), during pregnancy or diestrus (107), and during the prepartum period (50) measured with SPFS were 0.42 to 1.46 ng/mL, 3.69 to 7.85 ng/mL, 11.73 to 28.24 ng/mL, and 1.54 to 3.22 ng/mL, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Because serum and plasma P4 concentrations measured with SPFS were highly correlated with those measured with CLIA and ranges of serum P4 concentrations measured with SPFS for each of phase of the estrous cycle were well-defined for the large sample size, veterinarians may be able to accurately use this veterinary-specific point-of-care immunologic analyzer with SPFS methodology to determine P4 concentrations of bitches in their daily practice.
To assess the effect of transrectal palpation (TRP) performed with the fetal membrane slip (FMS) technique for early pregnancy diagnosis on the proportion and type of associated pregnancy losses (PLs) in dairy cattle.
580 healthy pregnant cattle.
Data for artificially inseminated females with 1 or 2 viable embryos detected by transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) at approximately 30 days of gestation were retrospectively assessed. Cattle were assigned to 1 of 2 groups on the basis of whether they did or did not undergo TRP once between 34 and 41 days of gestation (palpation and control group, respectively). At approximately 45 and 60 days of gestation, all cattle were reevaluated by TRUS; PL was categorized as type I (FMS detectable by TRP and TRUS-confirmed evidence of embryo or fetus degeneration and a functional corpus luteum) or type II (FMS undetectable by TRP and no TRUS-confirmed evidence of an embryo or fetus or of a functional corpus luteum).
Of the 580 healthy pregnant cattle, 271 underwent TRP and 309 did not. In the palpation and control groups, PL occurred in 40 (14.8%) and 47 (15.2%) cattle, respectively. Among the palpation group's PLs, 17 (43%) were type I and 23 (58%) were type II. Among the control group's PLs, 27 (57%) were type I and 20 (43%) were type II. The prevalance and type of PL did not differ between groups.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
TRP with the FMS technique for early pregnancy diagnosis did not increase the prevalence of PL in dairy cattle or alert the proportion of type I versus type II PL.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate use of flunixin meglumine as a treatment to postpone ovulation in mares, mare fertility after flunixin meglumine treatment during estrous cycles, and effects of flunixin meglumine on function of the corpus luteum after ovulation.
ANIMALS 13 healthy mares.
PROCEDURES A single-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study was conducted. Flunixin meglumine (1.1 mg/kg, IV, q 24 h) or lactated Ringer solution (placebo treatment) was administered for 2 days to mares with a dominant follicle (≥ 35 mm in diameter) and behavioral signs of estrus. Mares then were bred by artificial insemination. Number of days to ovulation from initial detection of a follicle ≥ 30 mm in diameter, uterine edema score, and pregnancy were determined by ultrasonography; the examiner was unaware of the treatment of each mare. Serum progesterone concentrations were evaluated 5 and 12 days after ovulation by use of radioimmunoassay.
RESULTS Data were available for 45 estrus cycles of the 13 mares. Number of days to ovulation from initial detection of a follicle ≥ 30 mm was not significantly affected by administration of flunixin meglumine versus the placebo. Per-cycle pregnancy rate was not significantly different between flunixin meglumine (20/24 [83%] breedings) and the placebo (13/19 [68%] breedings). Flunixin meglumine did not significantly affect behavioral signs of estrus, uterine edema, or serum progesterone concentrations.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings did not support the use of flunixin meglumine to postpone ovulation in mares.
OBJECTIVE To investigate effects of metoclopramide orally administered to healthy bitches on serum prolactin and milk lactose concentrations, gross energy, and dry matter content and on puppy weight gain during early lactation.
ANIMALS 20 client-owned bitches and their 121 puppies.
PROCEDURES 10 bitches received metoclopramide (0.2 mg/kg, PO, q 6 h for 6 days; treatment group) starting 10 to 24 hours after birth of the last puppy of the litter (day 0), and 10 bitches served as the control group. Blood and milk samples from all bitches were collected on days 0, 1, 2, 4, and 6. Milk samples for days 1 and 2 and days 4 and 6 were pooled because of small volume. Puppies were weighed twice daily.
RESULTS Serum prolactin concentration increased significantly over time in both groups, and no treatment effect was detected. When day-to-day changes were analyzed, the prolactin concentration increased from day 0 to day 1 in the treatment group but not in the control group. Milk lactose concentration increased significantly and was higher in the treatment group than in the control group. Milk dry matter content was unchanged, whereas the time course for milk gross energy content differed significantly between treatment and control bitches. Puppy weight gain was not affected by metoclopramide treatment.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Oral administration of metoclopramide to healthy bitches after parturition induced a transient increase in serum prolactin concentration and stimulated milk lactose production. It is likely bitches with insufficient or delayed milk production could benefit from metoclopramide treatment.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate effects of administration of a 4.7-mg deslorelin acetate implant on egg laying in healthy cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus).
ANIMALS 52 cockatiels.
PROCEDURES 26 breeding pairs (a female and its respective male in each pair) were selected on the basis of their history of egg laying. Female birds were sedated and received a 4.7-mg deslorelin acetate implant (n = 13) or placebo implant (13) in the subcutaneous tissues between the scapulae. Male and female birds of each breeding pair were placed in separate but adjacent cages. Birds were exposed to 16 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness. A nest box was placed in cages of female birds to stimulate reproductive activity. Egg production and quality were monitored daily for 365 days.
RESULTS Deslorelin acetate implants significantly suppressed egg laying in cockatiels, compared with effects for the placebo implants. Eleven of 13 placeboimplanted birds laid eggs between 12 and 42 days after implantation. None of the deslorelin-implanted birds laid eggs within 180 days after implantation, and only 5 of 13 deslorelin-implanted birds laid an egg during the study period (first egg laid between 192 and 230 days after implantation). No differences in egg quality or number of eggs per clutch were observed between the 2 groups.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Insertion of a 4.7-mg deslorelin acetate implant suppressed egg laying in healthy cockatiels for at least 180 days. Studies are necessary to evaluate effects of a deslorelin acetate implant in other avian species or in association with reproductive disorders.
Objective—To establish a nonterminal semen collection method for use in captive Chilean rose tarantulas (Grammostola rosea) and to evaluate tools for investigating morphology and viability of spermatozoa.
Animals—7 mature male Chilean rose tarantulas.
Procedures—Each tarantula was anesthetized in a 500-mL induction chamber containing a cotton ball infused with 2 mL of isoflurane. Semen collection was performed by applying direct pressure to the palpal bulbs (sperm storage organs) located on the distal segment of the palpal limbs. Morphology of spermatozoa was examined by light microscopy and transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Propidium iodide and a fluorescent membrane-permeant nucleic acid dye were used to evaluate cell viability.
Results—Semen was collected successfully from all 7 tarantulas. Microscopic examination of semen samples revealed coenospermia (spherical capsules [mean ± SD diameter, 10.3 ± 1.6 μm] containing many nonmotile sperm cells [mean number of sperm cells/capsule, 18.5 ± 3.8]). Individual spermatozoa were characterized by a spiral-shaped cell body (mean length, 16.7 ± 1.4 μm; mean anterior diameter, 1.5 ± 0.14 μm). Each spermatozoon had no apparent flagellar structure. The fluorescent stains identified some viable sperm cells in the semen samples.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The described technique allowed simple and repeatable collection of semen from Chilean rose tarantulas. Semen from this species was characterized by numerous spherical capsules containing many nonmotile spermatozoa in an apparently quiescent state. Fluorescent staining to distinguish live from dead spermatozoa appeared to be a useful tool for semen evaluation in this species.
Objective—To determine clinical sensitivity and specificity of a quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) assay for Campylobacter fetus subsp venerealis (Cfv) in preputial samples of bulls.
Animals—313 beef bulls.
Procedures—Preputial samples were collected from 300 virgin bulls and 13 Cfv-infected bulls. Specificity of the qRT-PCR assay, determined on the basis of results for samples collected from virgin bulls, was compared with specificity of bacteriologic culture performed with transport enrichment medium (TEM). Sensitivity of the qRT-PCR assay, determined on the basis of results for multiple samples collected at weekly intervals from infected bulls, was compared with sensitivity of the direct fluorescent antibody test (DFAT), bacteriologic culture, and bacteriologic culture with TEM.
Results—Specificity was 85% for the qRT-PCR assay and 100% for bacteriologic culture; results were significantly different. Mean sensitivity was 85.4% for the qRT-PCR assay, 82.3% for direct culture in blood agar, 72.1% for the DFAT, 32.7% for direct culture in Skirrow agar, 30% for bacteriologic culture with TEM and blood agar, and 38.1% for bacteriologic culture with TEM and Skirrow agar. Differences in sensitivity among tests varied with ambient outdoor temperature. Repeated sampling significantly increased sensitivity of the qRT-PCR assay.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of the qRT-PCR assay as a screening test on direct preputial samples had comparable sensitivity to bacteriologic culture, and repeated sampling improved sensitivity. Although improved performance of the qRT-PCR assay, compared with direct bacteriologic culture, was dependent on temperature, transport times that allow direct culture are unlikely under field conditions. The qRT-PCR assay would provide a fast and sensitive screening method for Cfv in bulls.
Objective—To determine an efficient method for the collection of semen samples by means of electroejaculation, characterize spermatozoa quality and quantity, and determine the effect of refrigerated storage on motility of spermatozoa obtained from green iguanas (Iguana iguana).
Animals—18 adult green iguanas.
Procedures—Green iguanas were anesthetized, and semen samples were obtained by means of electroejaculation. Up to 3 series of electrostimulations were performed; the procedure was stopped after a semen sample was obtained. Various semen sample variables were evaluated.
Results—Semen samples were obtained from 16 iguanas; most (n = 10) iguanas produced a semen sample after the second series of electrostimulations. Median semen sample volume was 0.05 mL. Mean spermatozoa concentration was 2 69.0 × 106 spermatozoa/mL. Median percentage of motile spermatozoa was 78%. The only morphological abnormality of spermatozoa was bent tails (mean percentage in a semen sample, 5.7%). Spermatozoa motility decreased significantly during refrigeration (4°C); median percentage motility after 24, 48, and 72 hours of refrigeration was 60%, 33%, and 0%, respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study suggested electroejaculation can be performed to collect semen samples from green iguanas, characteristics of iguana semen samples are similar to those for semen samples obtained from other reptiles, and motility of iguana spermatozoa decreases during refrigeration within 48 to 72 hours.
Objective—To evaluate the effects of 4.7-mg deslorelin acetate implants on egg production and plasma concentrations of 17β-estradiol and androstenedione in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) over 180 days and assess safety of the implants in quail via gross and histologic examination.
Animals—20 female Japanese quail.
Procedures—Following a 7-day period of consistent egg laying, quail were anesthetized and received a 4.7-mg deslorelin implant (treatment group; n = 10) or identical placebo implant (control group; 10) SC between the scapulae. Egg production was monitored daily. Plasma concentrations of 17β-estradiol and androstenedione were measured on days 0 (immediately prior to implant injection), 14, 29, 62, 90, 120, 150, and 180 via radioimmunoassay. Birds were weighed periodically and euthanized at day 180 for complete necropsy.
Results—Egg production was significantly decreased in the treatment group, compared with the control group, from 2 to 12 weeks after implant injection. Egg production ceased in 6 of 10 quail in the treatment group (mean duration of cessation, 70 days). Plasma androstenedione and 17β-estradiol concentrations were significantly lower on day 29 in the treatment group than in the control group. Plama androstenedione and 17β-estradiol concentrations were significantly lower on day 29 in the treatment group then in the control group.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—4.7-mg deslorelin acetate implants reversibly decreased egg laying for approximately 70 days in most of the Japanese quail evaluated. Further studies evaluating implants containing different concentrations of the drug are needed in quail and other avian species.
Objective—To develop a broad-range 28S ribosomal DNA quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay for detection of fungal DNA in equine endometrial samples.
Sample—12 fungal samples from a clinical diagnostic laboratory and 29 samples obtained from 17 mares.
Procedures—The qPCR assay was optimized with commercially acquired fungal organisms and validated with samples obtained from the clinical diagnostic laboratory. Subsequently, 29 samples from 17 mares suspected of having fungal endometritis were evaluated via the qPCR assay and via traditional fungal culture and endometrial cytology. Amplicons from the qPCR assay were subjected to genetic sequencing to identify the organisms.
Results—The qPCR assay theoretically had a detection threshold of 2 organisms of Candida albicans. Fungal DNA was amplified from all 12 fungal samples from the commercial diagnostic laboratory. Fungal identification by use of genetic sequencing was successful for 34 of 36 amplicons from the 12 samples assayed. A fungal agent was identified via qPCR assay and genetic sequencing in all 12 samples; in contrast, a fungal agent was identified in only 8 of 12 samples via standard fungal culture and biochemical analysis. The qPCR assay detected fungal DNA in samples from 12 of 17 mares suspected of having fungal endometritis.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A rapid, sensitive, and repeatable qPCR assay was developed for detection of fungal DNA from equine endometrial samples. The qPCR may prove to be clinically useful as an adjunct to microbial culture and cytologic examination to provide identification of fungal organisms in a timely manner.