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Case Description—An underweight, lethargic adult female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) became stranded along the California shore and was captured and transported to a rehabilitation hospital for assessment and care.

Clinical Findings—Initial physical assessment revealed the sea lion was lethargic and in poor body condition. Active myositis was diagnosed on the basis of concurrent elevations in activities of alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase detected during serum biochemical analysis. Infection with Sarcocystis neurona was diagnosed after serologic titers increased 4-fold over a 3-week period. Diagnosis was confirmed on the basis of histopathologic findings, positive results on immunohistochemical staining, and results of quantitative PCR assay on biopsy specimens obtained from the diaphragm and muscles of the dorsal cervical region.

Treatment and Outcome—Anticoccidial treatment was instituted with ponazuril (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) and continued for 28 days. Prednisone (0.2 mg/kg [0.09 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) was administered for 2 days and then every 24 hours for 5 days to treat associated inflammation. At the end of treatment, the sea lion was clinically normal, alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase values were within reference limits, and antibody titers against S neurona had decreased 6-fold. The sea lion was released approximately 3 months after becoming stranded.

Clinical RelevanceS neurona–induced myositis was diagnosed in a free-ranging California sea lion. On the basis of the successful treatment and release of this sea lion, anticoccidial treatment should be considered for marine mammals in which protozoal disease is diagnosed.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of MgSO4, alone and in combination with propofol, on the minimum alveolar concentration preventing motor movement (MACNM) in sevoflurane-anesthetized dogs.

ANIMALS 6 healthy purpose-bred adult male Beagles (least squares mean ± SEM body weight, 12.0 ± 1.1 kg).

PROCEDURES Dogs were anesthetized 3 times at weekly intervals. The MACNM was measured 45 minutes after induction of anesthesia (baseline; MACNM-B) and was determined each time by use of a noxious electrical stimulus. Treatments were administered as a loading dose and constant rate infusion (CRI) as follows: treatment 1, MgSO4 loading dose of 45 mg/kg and CRI of 15 mg/kg/h; treatment 2, propofol loading dose of 4 mg/kg and CRI of 9 mg/kg/h; and treatment 3, MgSO4 and propofol combination (same doses used previously for each drug). A mixed-model ANOVA and Tukey-Kramer tests were used to determine effects of each treatment on the percentage decrease from MACNM-B. Data were reported as least squares mean ± SEM values.

RESULTS Decrease from MACNM-B was 3.4 ± 3.1%, 48.3 ± 3.1%, and 50.3 ± 3.1%, for treatments 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The decrease for treatments 2 and 3 was significantly different from that for treatment 1; however, no significant difference existed between results for treatments 2 and 3.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE MgSO4 did not affect MACNM, nor did it potentiate the effects of propofol on MACNM. Administration of MgSO4 in this study appeared to provide no clinical advantage as an anesthetic adjuvant.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine types and estimate prevalence of potentially zoonotic enteric pathogens shed by wild animals admitted to either of 2 wildlife hospitals and to characterize distribution of these pathogens and of aerobic bacteria in a hospital environment.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample—Fecal samples from 338 animals in 2 wildlife hospitals and environmental samples from 1 wildlife hospital.

Procedures—Fecal samples were collected within 24 hours of hospital admission. Environmental samples were collected from air and surfaces. Samples were tested for zoonotic pathogens via culture techniques and biochemical analyses. Prevalence of pathogen shedding was compared among species groups, ages, sexes, and seasons. Bacterial counts were determined for environmental samples.

ResultsCampylobacter spp, Vibrio spp, Salmonella spp, Giardia spp, and Cryptosporidium spp (alone or in combination) were detected in 105 of 338 (31%) fecal samples. Campylobacter spp were isolated only from birds. Juvenile passerines were more likely to shed Campylobacter spp than were adults; prevalence increased among juvenile passerines during summer. Non-O1 serotypes of Vibrio cholerae were isolated from birds; during an oil-spill response, 9 of 10 seabirds screened were shedding this pathogen, which was also detected in environmental samples. Salmonella spp and Giardia spp were isolated from birds and mammals; Cryptosporidium spp were isolated from mammals only. Floors of animal rooms had higher bacterial counts than did floors with only human traffic.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Potentially zoonotic enteric pathogens were identified in samples from several species admitted to wildlife hospitals, indicating potential for transmission if prevention is not practiced.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To evaluate efficacy and nephrotoxicity of amphotericin B lipid complex used for treatment of dogs with naturally developing blastomycosis.


Prospective clinical trial.


11 dogs with blastomycosis.


All dogs were treated with an amphotericin B lipid complex. Two dogs received a cumulative dose of 8 mg/kg of body weight, 1 received a cumulative dose of 10 mg/kg, and 8 received a cumulative dose of 12 mg/kg.


The 2 dogs that received a cumulative dose of 8 mg/kg and 1 of the dogs that received a cumulative dose of 12 mg/kg had a relapse of blastomycosis within 30 days after treatment. Seven of the remaining 8 dogs were clinically free of blastomycosis 6 months after treatment. One dog died of an unrelated cause 5.5 months after treatment, but did not have clinical signs of blastomycosis at the time of death. There were not any adverse clinical effects attributable to drug administration in any of the dogs in this study, and none of the dogs developed clinical signs of renal disease or failure.

Clinical Implications

Amphotericin B lipid complex was a safe and effective treatment for blastomycosis in these dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:2073–2075)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To compare serum cardiac troponin I (cTnI) concentrations between sea otters with and without cardiomyopathy and describe 2 cases of cardiomyopathy with different etiologies.


25 free-ranging southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) with (n = 14; cases) and without (11; controls) cardiomyopathy and 17 healthy managed southern sea otters from aquariums or rehabilitation centers (controls).


Serum cTnI concentration was measured in live sea otters. Histopathologic and gross necropsy findings were used to classify cardiomyopathy status in free-ranging otters; physical examination and echocardiography were used to assess health status of managed otters. Two otters received extensive medical evaluations under managed care, including diagnostic imaging, serial cTnI concentration measurement, and necropsy.


A significant difference in cTnI concentrations was observed between cases and both control groups, with median values of 0.279 ng/mL for cases and < 0.006 ng/mL for free-ranging and managed controls. A cutoff value of ≥ 0.037 ng/mL yielded respective sensitivity and specificity estimates for detection of cardiomyopathy of 64.3% and 90.9% for free-ranging cases versus free-ranging controls and 64.3% and 94.1% for free-ranging cases versus managed controls.


Cardiomyopathy is a common cause of sea otter death that has been associated with domoic acid exposure and protozoal infection. Antemortem diagnostic tests are needed to identify cardiac damage. Results suggested that serum cTnI concentration has promise as a biomarker for detection of cardiomyopathy in sea otters. Serial cTnI concentration measurements and diagnostic imaging are recommended to improve heart disease diagnosis in managed care settings.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research