Objective—To evaluate physical methods for inducing death during the slaughter of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).
Animals—24 captive hatched-and-reared American alligators.
Procedures—Baseline electroencephalograms (EEGs) were obtained for awake and anesthetized alligators. Corneal reflex, spontaneous blinking, and EEGs were evaluated after severance of the spinal cord, severance of the spinal cord followed by pithing of the brain, application of a penetrating captive bolt, or application of a nonpenetrating captive bolt (6 alligators/group).
Results—Overall, alligators subjected to spinal cord severance alone differed from those subjected to the other techniques. Spinal cord severance alone resulted in postprocedure EEG power values greater than those in anesthetized alligators, whereas the postprocedure EEG power values were isoelectric for the other 3 techniques. Corneal reflex and spontaneous blinking were absent in all alligators immediately after application of a penetrating or nonpenetrating captive bolt. One of 6 alligators had a corneal reflex up to 1 minute after pithing, but all others within that group had immediate cessation of reflexes after pithing. Mean time to loss of spontaneous blinking and corneal reflex for alligators subjected to spinal cord severance alone was 18 minutes (range, 2 to 37 minutes) and 54 minutes (range, 34 to 99 minutes), respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Spinal cord severance followed by pithing of the brain and application of a penetrating or nonpenetrating captive bolt appeared to be humane and effective techniques for inducing death in American alligators, whereas spinal cord severance alone was not found to be an appropriate method.
Procedures—For each bird, anesthesia was induced and maintained by use of isoflurane. A pediatric, multiplane transesophageal ultrasound probe was passed into the esophagus and adjusted to the level of the heart for echocardiography. Probe positions were recorded via fluoroscopy, and associated imaging planes were described.
Results—TEE was performed successfully in all birds except the pelicans, 1 Hispaniolan Amazon parrot, and the red-fronted macaws. Five imaging planes of the heart were consistently viewed from 3 positions of the probe (identified as caudal, middle, and cranial positions relative to the cardiac silhouette). M-mode echocardiography of the left ventricle and the aortic root was performed. Color flow and spectral Doppler ultrasonographic images of in- and outflow regions were obtained. One Hispaniolan Amazon parrot died as a result of esophageal perforation.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—TEE examination of birds was feasible and provided a larger number of imaging planes with better resolution and details than those typically achieved via a transcoelomic approach. However, TEE should be performed with caution in psittacines.
Objective—To evaluate the effectiveness and treatment outcome of a minimal surgical debridement and antimicrobial-impregnated gauze packing technique for treatment of dental abscesses in rabbits.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—13 rabbits with 14 dental abscesses.
Procedures—Medical records of pet rabbits with dental abscesses were reviewed. Rabbits that underwent a wound-packing treatment protocol with a follow-up period of > 6 months were included. Pretreatment evaluation included physical examination, skull radiography, CBC and plasma biochemical profile, and an endoscopically guided dental examination. The surgical procedure consisted of lancing the abscess, cleaning the cavity, minimal debridement, and packing with strips of synthetic gauze impregnated with a selected antimicrobial. Purulent material from abscesses was submitted for bacterial culture. The procedure was repeated weekly until abscess resolution. Rabbits also received systemic treatment with antimicrobials.
Results—Rabbit ages ranged from 1 to 5 years. Anaerobic bacteria were cultured from 6 abscesses and aerobic bacteria from 5; no bacteria were cultured from 4 abscesses. Antimicrobials most commonly used in packing procedures were ampicillin and clindamycin; trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole with metronidazole and azithromycin were given most often for systemic treatment. Thirteen of 14 abscesses resolved, and rabbits were followed for a mean ± SD period of 32.6 ± 24.3 months. Number of packing procedures used to obtain resolution of infection was 4.8 ± 2.2.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Minimal surgical debridement followed by antimicrobial-impregnated gauze packing of the abscess cavity is an effective and practical option for the long-term resolution of dental abscesses in rabbits when combined with systemic treatment with appropriate antimicrobials.
To compare the effects of a dexmedetomidine-ketamine-midazolam (DKM) anesthetic protocol versus isoflurane inhalation anesthesia on echocardiographic variables and plasma cardiac troponin 1 (cTnI) concentration in black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPDs; Cynomys ludovicianus).
Nine 6-month-old sexually intact male captive BTPDs.
Each BTPD was randomly assigned to be anesthetized by IM administration of dexmedetomidine (0.25 mg/kg), ketamine (40 mg/kg), and midazolam (1.5 mg/kg) or via inhalation of isoflurane and oxygen. Three days later, each BTPD underwent the alternative anesthetic protocol. Echocardiographic data and a blood sample were collected within 5 minutes after initiation and just prior to cessation of each 45-minute-long anesthetic episode.
Time or anesthetic protocol had no significant effect on echocardiographic variables. For either protocol, plasma cTnI concentration did not differ with time. When administered as the first treatment, neither anesthetic protocol significantly affected plasma cTnI concentration. However, with regard to findings for the second treatments, plasma cTnI concentrations in isoflurane-treated BTPDs (n = 4; data for 1 animal were not analyzed because of procedural problems) were higher than values in DKM-treated BTPDs (4), which was suspected to be a carryover effect from prior DKM treatment.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
The DKM and isoflurane anesthetic protocols did not have any significant effect on echocardiographic measurements in the BTPDs. Increases in plasma cTnI concentration during the second anesthetic episode were evident when BTPDs underwent the DKM anesthetic protocol as the first of the 2 treatments, suggestive of potential myocardial injury associated with that anesthetic protocol. Clinicians should consider these findings, especially when evaluating BTPDs with known or suspected cardiac disease.
To assess the effects of 3 intra-abdominal pressures (IAPs) on pneumoperitoneal (laparoscopic working space) volume in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
6 female New Zealand White rabbits.
A Latin-square design was used to randomly allocate sequences of 3 IAPs (4, 8, and 12 mm Hg) to each rabbit in a crossover study. Rabbits were anesthetized, subumbilical cannulae were placed, and CT scans were performed to obtain baseline measurements. Each IAP was achieved with CO2 insufflation and maintained for ≥ 15 minutes; CT scans were performed with rabbits in dorsal, left lateral oblique, and right lateral oblique recumbency. The abdomen was desufflated for 5 minutes between treatments (the 3 IAPs). Pneumoperitoneal volumes were calculated from CT measurements with 3-D medical imaging software. Mixed linear regression models evaluated effects of IAP, rabbit position, and treatment order on working space volume.
Mean working space volume at an IAP of 8 mm Hg was significantly greater (a 19% increase) than that at 4 mm Hg, and was significantly greater (a 6.9% increase) at 12 mm Hg than that at 8 mm Hg. Treatment order, but not rabbit position, also had a significant effect on working space. Minor adverse effects reported in other species were observed in some rabbits.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
A nonlinear increase in abdominal working space was observed with increasing IAP. Depending on the type of procedure and visual access requirements, IAPs > 8 mm Hg may not provide a clinically important benefit for laparoscopy in rabbits.
To describe a retroesophagoscopic approach (ROSA) to nasopharyngoscopy and compare it with the conventional retroflexed endoscopic approach (REA).
36 feline cadavers and 2 client-owned cats with nasopharyngeal disorders.
36 veterinarians participated in the experimental portion of the study involving feline cadavers. Each veterinarian performed the ROSA and REA to nasopharyngoscopy on a feline cadaver once, attempting to identify and biopsy 2 landmarks (soft palate and choanae) with each approach while time was recorded. Numeric scales were used to measure perceived ease of use and image quality for both techniques. Data were compared between approaches by an independent statistician. The ROSA approach was also used as part of the diagnostic workup for the 2 client-owned cats.
35 of the 36 (97%) veterinarians were able to identify and biopsy both landmarks using the ROSA, whereas 21 (58%) veterinarians were able to visualize both landmarks using the REA and 19 (53%) successfully biopsied the landmarks. Image quality for the soft palate was scored higher with the ROSA (median score, 7.5/10) than with the REA (4.5/10). The ROSA was fast and easy to perform. This approach was also successfully performed in the 2 client-owned cats with nasopharyngeal disorders, with no complications reported.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
The ROSA was found to be a fast, effective, and easy alternative endoscopic technique for assessment of the nasopharynx in cats. This approach may allow use of various instruments that could be relevant for interventional procedures. However, the ROSA was also invasive and should be considered for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes for selected indications only when REA is unsuccessful. (Am J Vet Res 2021;82:752–759)
CASE DESCRIPTION A 16-year-old female hawk-headed parrot (Deroptyus accipitrinus) was evaluated because of beak trauma and difficulty eating.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination revealed a lateral tissue protrusion in the left half of the oropharyngeal cavity ventral to the proximal aspect of the maxillary tomium as well as a small bony prominence on the left jugal arch. Range of motion of the beak appeared normal. A CT scan of the skull revealed rostroventral displacement of the left palatine bone from the maxilla and left lateral subluxation and lateral luxation of the pterygoid-parasphenoid-palatine complex and pterygoid-palatine articulation, respectively; and transverse fractures of the ipsilateral pterygoid bone, jugal arch, and palatine bone.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Palatine bone displacement was reduced, and surgical fixation was achieved with an interfragmentary wire inserted through the rostral aspect of the affected palatine bone, maxilla, and rhinotheca. The lateral aspect of the wire was covered with dental acrylic. The wire was removed 2 weeks later owing to concerns over local vascular compromise and potential for infection. The bird started eating pelleted food approximately 3 months after surgery; full return of apparently normal beak function was regained by 10 months after surgery.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE To the authors’ knowledge, the described beak trauma and surgical approach have not previously been reported for Psittaciformes. Use of CT imaging was invaluable in diagnosing multiple traumatic bone abnormalities and planning surgical correction.
To characterize the CT findings and epidemiological features of acquired dental disease in rabbits.
100 client-owned rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Medical records were searched to identify rabbits that underwent skull CT for any reason from 2009 to 2017. History, signalment, and physical examination findings were recorded. The CT images were reevaluated retrospectively for evidence of dental disease and graded according to a previously described system (from 1 [no evidence of disease] to 5 [severe dental disease]) for acquired dental disease in rabbits, and an overall (mean) grade was assigned. Descriptive analyses were performed. Factors were assessed for associations between dental disease grade and malocclusion stage.
Common findings included premolar or molar tooth curvature in transverse (n = 100 rabbits) and sagittal (95) planes, apical elongation of premolar or molar teeth (99), sharp dental points (93), deformation of the mandibular canal (82), and periodontal ligament space widening (76). Acquired dental disease was classified as grade 1 (n = 2 rabbits), 2 (60), 3 (14), 4 (4), or 5 (20). Most CT findings were significantly correlated with each other. Agreement of grades was fair between left- and right-sided quadrants and between maxillary and mandibular quadrants. Age was associated with increasing dental disease grade and malocclusion stage (proportional ORs, 1.21 and 1.32/y, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Fair agreement in disease grades between dental quadrant pairs indicated a degree of asynchrony in the development of dental disease. Findings suggested premolar or molar tooth curvature in a sagittal plane, subtle elongation at premolar or molar tooth apices, and mandibular canal deformation should be added to the grading system.
To evaluate and compare the anesthetic effects of alfaxalone-ketamine-midazolam (AKM) and alfaxalone-ketamine-dexmedetomidine (AKD) in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus).
9 male black-tailed prairie dogs.
Prairie dogs were anesthetized with AKM (6 mg/kg alfaxalone, 30 mg/kg ketamine, and 1.5 mg/kg midazolam) and AKD (6 mg/kg alfaxalone, 30 mg/kg ketamine, and 0.15 mg/kg dexmedetomidine) in a prospective, complete cross-over study. Atipamezole (1.5 mg/kg) after AKD or flumazenil (0.1mg/kg) after AKM was administered 45 minutes after induction of anesthesia. Onset of general anesthesia, physiologic parameters, depth of anesthesia, and time to recovery after reversal administration were evaluated for each treatment.
Both AKM and AKD produced a deep plane of anesthesia in black-tailed prairie dogs that varied in duration. The median induction times for AKM and AKD were 82 and 60 seconds, respectively. The median recovery times for AKM and AKD were 27 and 21 minutes, respectively. There were no significant differences between protocols for induction (P = .37) and recovery (P = .51) times. All measured reflexes were absent in all animals at 5 minutes postinduction, with hindlimb reflexes returning prior to forelimb reflexes. Heart rate was lower but respiratory rate was higher in the AKD treatment. Body temperature decreased significantly for both protocols (P < .001) and was significantly lower with AKM than AKD (P < .001).
Both AKM and AKD produced a deep plane of anesthesia in black-tailed prairie dogs. For both protocols, heat support and oxygen support are indicated.
A 5.5-year-old 0.929-kg spayed female domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) underwent serial abdominal ultrasonographic and clinicopathologic examinations after multiple renal cysts were detected bilaterally during a routine examination.
The ferret was apparently healthy at the start of the monitoring period and had no clinical signs for > 20 months. Four months after the initial examination, the largest cyst became increasingly mineralized; 17 months after detection, it had increased in size and become amorphous, and the ferret’s plasma BUN concentration was mildly high. Within 21 months after the first visit, a nodule was detectable, and hydronephrosis developed in the kidney with the largest cyst. Findings for fine-needle aspirates from the nodule were consistent with renal carcinoma.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
Contrast-enhanced CT revealed severe unilateral nephromegaly with no contrast uptake in the affected ureter. Following surgical removal of the affected kidney, histologic examination identified renal adenocarcinoma replacing the entire renal cortex and medulla. The ferret was euthanized postoperatively because of declining condition. On necropsy, metastasis to a mesenteric lymph node was identified; comorbidities included 2 other neoplasms and acute, severe injury of the contralateral kidney.
Neoplastic transformation of a renal cyst was suspected in the ferret of this report on the basis of observed ultrasonographic changes over time and extensive infiltration of the neoplasm throughout the affected kidney. Renal cysts are linked to renal neoplasia in other species, and the findings for this patient supported the need for periodic monitoring of renal cysts in ferrets.