CASE DESCRIPTION An adult sexually intact female Harris hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) housed at a wildlife hospital was evaluated because of acute collapse during an educational exhibition.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination and hematologic analysis revealed no abnormalities; radiography revealed findings consistent with a previous tibiotarsal fracture. Coelioscopy with histologic examination and fungal culture of lung and air sac samples revealed anthracosis but no fungal infection. The hawk was discharged and temporarily removed from the education program; 1 month later, upon reintroduction into the program, it collapsed again. Physical examination and hematologic findings were similar to those after the first episode. Transcoelomic and transesophageal echocardiography and CT angiocardiography findings were consistent with cardiomyopathy.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Initial cardiac treatment included furosemide (0.5 mg/kg [0.23 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) and pimobendan (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h). After 10 days of treatment, peak and trough plasma concentrations of pimobendan were measured at 25, 196 and 715.97 ng/mL, respectively; the dosage was decreased to 0.25 mg/kg (0.11 mg/lb), PO, every 12 hours. No overt signs of toxicosis were detected. A sample was collected to reevaluate plasma pimobendan concentration after 30 days of treatment; results were not obtained prior to the patient's death but revealed a peak concentration of 16.8 ng/mL, with an undetectable trough concentration. The hawk was found dead 6 months after initial evaluation. Necropsy revealed cardiomegaly, but histologic examination did not reveal an inciting cause of cardiac dysfunction.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cardiac disease in raptors may be underreported. Transcoelomic and transesophageal echocardiography and CT angiography provided useful information for the diagnosis of cardiac disease in the hawk of this report.
Objective—To estimate the prevalence of clinically relevant atherosclerotic lesions in birds and identify epidemiological variables and illness types associated with development of atherosclerosis.
Design—Retrospective case-control study.
Sample—Records of 7683 psittacine birds, including 525 with advanced atherosclerosis.
Procedures—5 pathology centers provided databases and access to histopathology slides. Age and sex were collected for all birds of the Amazona, Ara, Cacatua, Nymphicus, and Psittacus genera. Databases were searched for atherosclerosis cases, and slides were reviewed for the presence of type IV through VI atherosclerotic lesions. Results were used to build several multiple logistic models to define the association between advanced atherosclerosis and age, sex, genus, illness type, and specific lesions. Prevalence was reported as a function of age, sex, and genus.
Results—In the first model including 7683 birds, age, female sex, and the genera Psittacus, Amazona, and Nymphicus were significantly associated with clinically relevant atherosclerosis detected via necropsy. Subsequent models of 1,050 cases revealed further associations with reproductive disease, hepatic disease, and myocardial fibrosis, controlling for age, sex, and genus.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Age, female sex, and 3 genera appeared to be positively associated with the presence of advanced atherosclerotic lesions in psittacine birds. This information may be useful in clinical assessment of the cardiovascular system and patient management. Reproductive diseases were the only potentially modifiable risk factor identified and could be a target for prevention in captive psittacine birds.
OBJECTIVE To compare analgesic and gastrointestinal effects of lidocaine and buprenorphine administered to rabbits undergoing ovariohysterectomy.
ANIMALS Fourteen 12-month-old female New Zealand White rabbits.
PROCEDURES Rabbits were assigned to 2 treatment groups (7 rabbits/group). One group received buprenorphine (0.06 mg/kg, IV, q 8 h for 2 days), and the other received lidocaine (continuous rate infusion [CRI] at 100 μg/kg/min for 2 days). Variables, including food and water consumption, fecal output, glucose and cortisol concentrations, and behaviors while in exercise pens, were recorded.
RESULTS Rabbits receiving a lidocaine CRI had significantly higher gastrointestinal motility, food intake, and fecal output and significantly lower glucose concentrations, compared with results for rabbits receiving buprenorphine. Rabbits receiving lidocaine also had a higher number of normal behaviors (eg, sprawling, traveling, and frolicking) after surgery, compared with behaviors such as crouching and sitting that were seen more commonly in rabbits receiving buprenorphine. Both groups had significant weight loss after surgery. Pain scores did not differ significantly between treatment groups. Significant decreases in heart rate and respiratory rate were observed on the day of surgery, compared with values before and after surgery. Rabbits in the lidocaine group had significantly overall lower heart rates than did rabbits in the buprenorphine group.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A CRI of lidocaine to rabbits provided better postoperative outcomes with respect to fecal output, food intake, and glucose concentrations. Thus, lidocaine appeared to be a suitable alternative to buprenorphine for alleviating postoperative pain with minimal risk of anorexia and gastrointestinal ileus.