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Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 14-year-old 4.1-kg (9.02-lb) male harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) was evaluated because of vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, and weight loss (decrease of 0.35 kg [0.77 lb]) of 4 weeks' duration. The bird had previously been treated orally with fenbendazole after the initial onset of clinical signs.

CLINICAL FINDINGS An initial CBC revealed marked heteropenia and anemia, but whole-body contrast-enhanced CT images and other diagnostic test findings were unremarkable. Clinical signs persisted, and additional diagnostic testing failed to reveal the cause. During celiotomy, a biopsy specimen of the duodenum was obtained for histologic examination, which revealed lymphoplasmacytic inflammation, consistent with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Prior to histopathologic diagnosis of IBD, barium sulfate administered via gavage resulted in a temporary improvement of clinical signs. Following diagnosis of IBD, corticosteroid administration was initiated in conjunction with antifungal prophylaxis. Cessation of vomiting and a return to normal appetite occurred within 3 days. Fifteen months after cessation of corticosteroid treatment, the eagle continued to do well.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE To our knowledge, this was the first report of diagnosis and management of IBD in an avian species. For the eagle of the present report, results of several diagnostic tests increased clinical suspicion of IBD, but histologic examination of an intestinal biopsy specimen was required for definitive diagnosis. Although successful in this case, steroid administration in avian species must be carefully considered. Conclusive evidence of fenbendazole toxicosis was not obtained, although it was highly suspected in this bird.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify pain-related behaviors and assess the effects of butorphanol tartrate and morphine sulfate in koi (Cyprinus carpio) undergoing unilateral gonadectomy.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—90 adult male and female koi.

Procedures—Each fish received saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (which is physiologically compatible with fish) IM, butorphanol (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], IM), or morphine (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], IM) as an injection only (6 fish/treatment); an injection with anesthesia and surgery (12 fish/treatment); or an injection with anesthesia but without surgery (12 fish/treatment). Physiologic and behavioral data were recorded 12 hours before and at intervals after treatment.

Results—Compared with baseline values, the saline solution–surgery group had significantly decreased respiratory rates (at 12 to 24 hours), food consumption assessed as a percentage of floating pellets consumed (at 0 to 36 hours), and activity score (at 0 to 48 hours). Respiratory rate decreased in all butorphanol-treated fish; significant decreases were detected at fewer time points following morphine administration. In the butorphanol-surgery group, the value for food consumption initially decreased but returned to baseline values within 3 hours after treatment; food consumption did not change in the morphine-surgery group. Surgery resulted in decreased activity, regardless of treatment, with the most pronounced effect in the saline solution–surgery group. Changes in location in water column, interactive behavior, and hiding behavior were not significantly different among groups. Butorphanol and morphine administration was associated with temporary buoyancy problems and temporary bouts of excessive activity, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Butorphanol and morphine appeared to have an analgesic effect in koi, but morphine administration caused fewer deleterious adverse effects. Food consumption appeared to be a reliable indicator of pain in koi.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of body position and extension of the neck and extremities on CT measurements of ventilated lung volume in red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans).

Design—Prospective crossover-design study.

Animals—14 adult red-eared slider turtles.

Procedures—CT was performed on turtles in horizontal ventral recumbent and vertical left lateral recumbent, right lateral recumbent, and caudal recumbent body positions. In sedated turtles, evaluations were performed in horizontal ventral recumbent body position with and without extension of the neck and extremities. Lung volumes were estimated from helical CT images with commercial software. Effects of body position, extremity and neck extension, sedation, body weight, and sex on lung volume were analyzed.

Results—Mean ± SD volume of dependent lung tissue was significantly decreased in vertical left lateral (18.97 ± 14.65 mL), right lateral (24.59 ± 19.16 mL), and caudal (9.23 ± 12.13 mL) recumbent positions, compared with the same region for turtles in horizontal ventral recumbency (48.52 ± 20.08 mL, 50.66 ± 18.08 mL, and 31.95 ± 15.69 mL, respectively). Total lung volume did not differ among positions because of compensatory increases in nondependent lung tissue. Extension of the extremities and neck significantly increased total lung volume (127.94 ± 35.53 mL), compared with that in turtles with the head, neck, and extremities withdrawn into the shell (103.24 ± 40.13 mL).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Vertical positioning of red-eared sliders significantly affected lung volumes and could potentially affect interpretation of radiographs obtained in these positions. Extension of the extremities and neck resulted in the greatest total lung volume.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the microcrystalline sodium urate (MSU) method for inducing arthritis in parrots and to compare the analgesic efficacy of long-acting liposome-encapsulated butorphanol (LEBT), carprofen, or a combination of both.

Animals—20 Hispaniolan parrots.

Procedures—MSU was injected into a tibiotarsal-tarsometatarsal (intertarsal) joint to induce arthritis (time 0). Four treatments were compared (LEBT [15 mg/kg, SC] administered once at time 0; injections of carprofen [3 mg/kg, IM, q 12 h] starting at time 0; administration of LEBT plus carprofen; and a control treatment of saline [0.9% NaCl] solution). Weight load testing and behavioral scoring were conducted at 0, 2, 6, 26, and 30 hours.

Results—Injection of MSU into the intertarsal joint induced arthritis, which resolved within 30 hours. Treatment with LEBT or LEBT plus carprofen resulted in significantly greater weight-bearing load on the limb with induced arthritis, compared with the control treatment. Treatment with carprofen alone caused a slight but nonsignificant improvement in weight-bearing load on the arthritic limb, compared with the control treatment. Behaviors associated with motor activity and weight bearing differed between the control and analgesic treatments.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Butorphanol was an effective treatment for pain associated with arthritis, but carprofen administered every 12 hours was insufficient. Injection of MSU to induce arthritis in a single joint was a good method for evaluating tonic pain in parrots, and measurement of the weight-bearing load was accurate for assessment of arthritic pain; however, behavioral changes associated with pain were subtle.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate injection of microcrystalline sodium urate (MSU) for inducing articular pain in green-cheeked conures (Pyrrhura molinae) and the analgesic efficacy of liposome-encapsulated butorphanol tartrate (LEBT) by use of weight load data, behavioral scores, and fecal corticosterone concentration.

Animals—8 conures.

Procedures—In a crossover study, conures were randomly assigned to receive LEBT (15 mg/kg) or liposomal vehicle subsequent to experimental induction of arthritis or sham injection. The MSU was injected into 1 tibiotarsal-tarsometatarsal (intertarsal) joint to induce arthritis (time 0). Weight-bearing load and behavioral scores were determined at 0, 2, 6, 26, and 30 hours.

Results—MSU injection into 1 intertarsal joint caused a temporary decrease in weight bearing on the affected limb. Treatment of arthritic conures with LEBT resulted in significantly more weight bearing on the arthritic limb than treatment with vehicle. Administration of vehicle to arthritic conures caused a decrease in activity and feeding behaviors during the induction phase of arthritis, but as the arthritis resolved, there was a significant increase in voluntary activity at 30 hours and feeding behaviors at 26 and 30 hours, compared with results for LEBT treatment of arthritic birds. Treatment with LEBT or vehicle in conures without arthritis resulted in similar measurements for weight bearing and voluntary and motivated behaviors.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Experimental induction of arthritis in conures was a good method for evaluating tonic pain. Weight-bearing load was the most sensitive measure of pain associated with induced arthritis. Pain associated with MSU-induced arthritis was alleviated by administration of LEBT.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate serial blood gas values and lactate concentrations in 3 fish species undergoing surgery and to compare blood lactate concentrations between fish that survived and those that died during the short-term postoperative period.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—10 yellow perch, 5 walleye pike, and 8 koi.

Procedures—Blood samples were collected from each fish at 3 time points: before anesthesia, during anesthesia, and immediately after surgery. Blood gas values and blood lactate concentrations were measured. Fish were monitored for 2 weeks postoperatively.

Results—All walleye and koi survived, but 2 perch died. Blood pH significantly decreased in perch from before to during anesthesia, but increased back to preanesthesia baseline values after surgery. Blood Pco 2 decreased significantly in perch from before anesthesia to immediately after surgery, and also from during anesthesia to immediately after surgery, whereas blood Pco 2 decreased significantly in koi from before to during anesthesia. Blood Po 2 increased significantly in both perch and koi from before to during anesthesia, and also in koi from before anesthesia to immediately after surgery. For all 3 species, blood lactate concentrations increased significantly from before anesthesia to immediately after surgery. Blood lactate concentration (mean ± SD) immediately after surgery for the 8 surviving perch was 6.06 ± 1.47 mmol/L, which was significantly lower than blood lactate concentrations in the 2 nonsurviving perch (10.58 and 10.72 mmol/L).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—High blood lactate concentrations following surgery in fish may be predictive of a poor short-term postoperative survival rate.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To quantify plasma fentanyl concentrations (PFCs) and evaluate antinociceptive and respiratory effects following application of transdermal fentanyl patches (TFPs) and assess cerebrospinal μ-opioid receptor mRNA expression in ball pythons (compared with findings in turtles).

ANIMALS 44 ball pythons (Python regius) and 10 turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans).

PROCEDURES To administer 3 or 12 μg of fentanyl/h, a quarter or whole TFP (TFP-3 and TFP-12, respectively) was used. At intervals after TFP-12 application in snakes, PFCs were measured by reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography. Infrared heat stimuli were applied to the rostroventral surface of snakes to determine thermal withdrawal latencies after treatments with no TFP (control [n = 16]) and TFP-3 (8) or TFP-12 (9). Breathing frequency was measured in unrestrained controls and TFP-12–treated snakes. μ-Opioid receptor mRNA expression in brain and spinal cord tissue samples from snakes and turtles (which are responsive to μ-opioid receptor agonist drugs) were quantified with a reverse transcription PCR assay.

RESULTS Mean PFCs were 79, 238, and 111 ng/mL at 6, 24, and 48 hours after TFP-12 application, respectively. At 3 to 48 hours after TFP-3 or TFP-12 application, thermal withdrawal latencies did not differ from pretreatment values or control treatment findings. For TFP-12–treated snakes, mean breathing frequency significantly decreased from the pretreatment value by 23% and 41% at the 24- and 48-hour time points, respectively. Brain and spinal cord tissue μ-opioid receptor mRNA expressions in snakes and turtles did not differ.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In ball pythons, TFP-12 application resulted in high PFCs, but there was no change in thermal antinociception, indicating resistance to μ-opioid-dependent antinociception in this species.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research