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Abstract

Objective—To assess the agreement and reliability of cardiac measurements obtained with 3 echocardiographic techniques in anesthetized red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis).

Animals—10 red-tailed hawks.

Procedures—Transcoelomic, contrast transcoelomic, and transesophageal echocardiographic evaluations of the hawks were performed, and cineloops of imaging planes were recorded. Three observers performed echocardiographic measurements of cardiac variables 3 times on 3 days. The order in which hawks were assessed and echocardiographic techniques were used was randomized. Results were analyzed with linear mixed modeling, agreement was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficients, and variation was estimated with coefficients of variation.

Results—Significant differences were evident among the 3 echocardiographic methods for most measurements, and the agreement among findings was generally low. Interobserver agreement was generally low to medium. Intraobserver agreement was generally medium to high. Overall, better agreement was achieved for the left ventricular measurements and for the transesophageal approach than for other measurements and techniques.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Echocardiographic measurements in hawks were not reliable, except when the left ventricle was measured by the same observer. Furthermore, cardiac morphometric measurements may not be clinically important. When measurements are required, one needs to consider that follow-up measurements should be performed by the same echocardiographer and should show at least a 20% difference from initial measurements to be confident that any difference is genuine.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the safety and efficacy of an experimental adjuvanted DNA-plasmid vaccine against West Nile virus (WNV) in red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis).

Animals—19 permanently disabled but otherwise healthy red-tailed hawks of mixed ages and both sexes without detectable serum antibodies against WNV.

Procedures—Hawks were injected IM with an experimental WNV DNA-plasmid vaccine in an aluminum-phosphate adjuvant (n = 14) or with the adjuvant only (control group; 5). All birds received 2 injections at a 3-week interval. Blood samples for serologic evaluation were collected before the first injection and 4 weeks after the second injection (day 0). At day 0, hawks were injected SC with live WNV. Pre- and postchallenge blood samples were collected at intervals for 14 days for assessment of viremia and antibody determination; oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs were collected for assessment of viral shedding.

Results—Vaccination was not associated with morbidity or deaths. Three of the vaccinated birds seroconverted after the second vaccine injection; all other birds seroconverted following the live virus injection. Vaccinated birds had significantly less severe viremia and shorter and less-intense shedding periods, compared with the control birds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of the WNV DNA-plasmid vaccine in red-tailed hawks was safe, and vaccination attenuated but did not eliminate both the viremia and the intensity of postchallenge shedding following live virus exposure. Further research is warranted to conclusively determine the efficacy of this vaccine preparation for protection of red-tailed hawks and other avian species against WNV-induced disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To establish a computed tomography (CT)-angiography protocol and measure the diameters of major arteries in parrots.

Animals—13 Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

Procedures—16-slice CT scanning was used to measure the apparent diameter of the ascending aorta, abdominal aorta, pulmonary arteries, and brachiocephalic trunk. Before scanning, all birds underwent ECG and echocardiographic assessment and were considered free of detectable cardiovascular diseases. Each bird was anesthetized, and a precontrast helical CT scan was performed. Peak aortic enhancement was established with a test bolus technique via dynamic axial CT scan over a predetermined single slice. An additional bolus of contrast medium was then injected, and a helical CT-angiography scan was performed immediately afterward. Arterial diameter measurements were obtained by 2 observers via various windows before and after injection, and intra- and interobserver agreement was assessed.

Results—Reference limits were determined for arterial diameter measurements before and after contrast medium administration in pulmonary, mediastinal, and manual angiography windows. Ratios of vertebral body diameter to keel length were also calculated. Intraobserver agreement was high (concordance correlation coefficients ≥ 0.95); interobserver agreement was medium to high (intraclass correlation coefficients ≥ 0.65).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CT-angiography was safe and is of potential diagnostic value in parrots. We recommend performing the angiography immediately after IV injection of 3 mL of iohexol/kg. Arterial diameter measurements at the described locations were reliable.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine plasma osmolality in healthy adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) and validate osmolality equations in these parrots.

Animals—20 healthy adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots.

Procedures—A blood sample (0.5 mL) was collected from the right jugular vein of each parrot and placed into a lithium heparin microtainer tube. Samples were centrifuged, and plasma was harvested and frozen at −30°C. Samples were thawed, and plasma osmolality was measured in duplicate with a freezing-point depression osmometer. The mean value was calculated for the 2 osmolality measurements.

Results—Plasma osmolality values were normally distributed, with a mean ± SD of 326.0 ± 6.878 mOsm/kg. The equations (2 × [Na+ + K+]) + (glucose/18), which resulted in bias of 2.3333 mOsm/kg and limits of agreement of −7.0940 to 11.7606 mOsm/kg, and (2 × [Na+ + K+]) + (uric acid concentration/16.8) + (glucose concentration/18), which resulted in bias of 5.8117 mOsm/kg and limits of agreement of −14.6640 to 3.0406 mOsm/kg, yielded calculated values that were in good agreement with the measured osmolality.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—IV administration of large amounts of hypotonic fluids can have catastrophic consequences. Osmolality of the plasma from parrots in this study was significantly higher than that of commercially available prepackaged fluids. Therefore, such fluids should be used with caution in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots as well as other psittacines. Additional studies are needed to determine whether the estimation of osmolality has the same clinical value in psittacines as it does in other animals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the degree of agreement between 3 commercially available point-of-care blood glucose meters and a laboratory analyzer for measurement of blood glucose concentrations in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

Animals—20 healthy adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots.

Procedures—A 26-gauge needle and 3-mL syringe were used to obtain a blood sample (approx 0.5 mL) from a jugular vein of each parrot. Small volumes of blood (0.6 to 1.5 μL) were used to operate each of the blood glucose meters, and the remainder was placed into lithium heparin microtubes and centrifuged. Plasma was harvested and frozen at −30°C. Within 5 days after collection, plasma samples were thawed and plasma glucose concen-trations were measured by means of the laboratory analyzer. Agreement between pairs of blood glucose meters and between each blood glucose meter and the laboratory analyzer was evaluated by means of the Bland-Altman method, and limits of agreement (LOA) were calculated.

Results—None of the results of the 3 blood glucose meters agreed with results of the laboratory analyzer. Each point-of-care blood glucose meter underestimated the blood glucose concentration, and the degree of negative bias was not consistent (meter A bias, −94.9 mg/dL [LOA, −148.0 to −41.7 mg/dL]; meter B bias, −52 mg/dL [LOA, −107.5 to 3.5 mg/dL]; and meter C bias, −78.9 mg/dL [LOA, −137.2 to −20.6 mg/dL]).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of these results, use of handheld blood glucose meters in the diagnosis or treatment of Hispaniolan Amazon parrots and other psittacines cannot be recommended.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the pharmacokinetics and safety of voriconazole administered orally in single and multiple doses in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

Animals—15 clinically normal adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots.

Procedures—Single doses of voriconazole (12 or 24 mg/kg) were administered orally to 15 and 12 birds, respectively; plasma voriconazole concentrations were determined at intervals via high-pressure liquid chromatography. In a multiple-dose trial, voriconazole (18 mg/kg) or water was administered orally to 6 and 4 birds, respectively, every 8 hours for 11 days (beginning day 0); trough plasma voriconazole concentrations were evaluated on 3 days. Birds were monitored daily, and clinicopathologic variables were evaluated before and after the trial.

Results—Voriconazole elimination half-life was short (0.70 to 1.25 hours). In the single-dose experiments, higher drug doses yielded proportional increases in the maximum plasma voriconazole concentration (Cmax) and area under the curve (AUC). In the multiple-dose trial, Cmax, AUC, and plasma concentrations at 2 and 4 hours were decreased on day 10, compared with day 0 values; however, there was relatively little change in terminal half-life. With the exception of 1 voriconazole-treated parrot that developed polyuria, adverse effects were not evident.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, oral administration of voriconazole was associated with proportional kinetics following administration of single doses and a decrease in plasma concentration following administration of multiple doses. Oral administration of 18 mg of voriconazole/kg every 8 hours would require adjustment to maintain therapeutic concentrations during long-term treatment. Safety and efficacy of voriconazole treatment in this species require further investigation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess the effects of dopamine and dobutamine on the blood pressure of isoflurane-anesthetized Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

Animals—8 Hispaniolan Amazon parrots.

Procedures—A randomized crossover study was conducted. Each bird was anesthetized (anesthesia maintained by administration of 2.5% isoflurane in oxygen) and received 3 doses of each drug during a treatment period of 20 min/dose. Treatments were constant rate infusions (CRIs) of dobutamine (5, 10, and 15 μg/kg/min) and dopamine (5, 7, and 10 μg/kg/min). Direct systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure measurements, heart rate, esophageal temperature, and end-tidal partial pressure of CO2 were recorded throughout the treatment periods.

Results—Mean ± SD of the systolic, mean, and diastolic arterial blood pressures at time 0 (initiation of a CRI) were 132.9 ± 22.1 mm Hg, 116.9 ± 20.5 mm Hg, and 101.9 ± 22.0 mm Hg, respectively. Dopamine resulted in significantly higher values than did dobutamine for the measured variables, except for end-tidal partial pressure of CO2. Post hoc multiple comparisons revealed that the changes in arterial blood pressure were significantly different 4 to 7 minutes after initiation of a CRI. Overall, dopamine at rates of 7 and 10 μg/kg/min and dobutamine at a rate of 15 μg/kg/min caused the greatest increases in arterial blood pressure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dobutamine CRI at 5, 10, and 15 μg/kg/min and dopamine CRI at 5, 7, and 10 μg/kg/min may be useful in correcting severe hypotension in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots caused by anesthesia maintained with 2.5% isoflurane.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To use CT-derived measurements to create a ferret-specific formula for body surface area (BSA) to improve chemotherapeutic dosing.

ANIMALS 25 adult ferrets (19 live and 6 cadavers).

PROCEDURES Live subjects were weighed, and body measurements were obtained by each of 3 observers while ferrets were awake and anesthetized. Computed tomography was performed, and a 3-D surface model was constructed with open-source imaging software, from which BSA was estimated. The CT-derived values were compared with BSA calculated on the basis of the traditional tape method for 6 cadavers. To further validate CT analysis software, 11 geometric shapes were scanned and their CT-derived values compared with those calculated directly via geometric formulas. Agreement between methods of surface area estimation was assessed with linear regression. Ferret-specific formulas for BSA were determined with nonlinear regression models.

RESULTS Repeatability among the 3 observers was good for all measurements, but some measurements differed significantly between awake and anesthetized ferrets. Excellent agreement was found between measured versus CT-derived surface area of shapes, traditional tape– versus CT-derived BSA of ferret cadavers, and CT-derived BSA of cadavers with and without monitoring equipment. All surface area formulas performed relatively similarly.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE CT-derived BSA measurements of ferrets obtained via open-source imaging software were reliable. On the basis of study results, the recommended formula for BSA in ferrets would be 9.94 × (body weight)2/3; however, this represented a relatively minor difference from the feline-derived formula currently used by most practitioners and would result in little practical change in drug doses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the pharmacokinetics of a solution containing cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), administered orally in 2 single-dose studies (with and without food), in the domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

ANIMALS

6 healthy New Zealand White rabbits.

PROCEDURES

In phase 1, 6 rabbits were administered 15 mg/kg CBD with 16.4 mg/kg CBDA orally in hemp oil. In phase 2, 6 rabbits were administered the same dose orally in hemp oil followed by a food slurry. Blood samples were collected for 24 hours to determine the pharmacokinetics of CBD and CBDA. Quantification of plasma CBD and CBDA concentrations was determined using a validated liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) assay. Pharmacokinetics were determined using noncompartmental analysis.

RESULTS

For CBD, the area under the curve extrapolated to infinity (AUC)0–∞ was 179.8 and 102 hours X ng/mL, the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) was 30.4 and 15 ng/mL, the time to Cmax (tmax) was 3.78 and 3.25 hours, and the terminal half-life (t1/2λ) was 7.12 and 3.8 hours in phase 1 and phase 2, respectively. For CBDA, the AUC0–∞ was 12,286 and 6,176 hours X ng/mL, Cmax was 2,573 and 1,196 ng/mL, tmax was 1.07 and 1.12 hours, and t1/2λ was 3.26 and 3.49 hours in phase 1 and phase 2, respectively. Adverse effects were not observed in any rabbit.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

CBD and CBDA reached a greater Cmax and had a longer t1/2λ in phase 1 (without food) compared with phase 2 (with food). CBDA reached a greater Cmax but had a shorter t1/2λ than CBD both in phase 1 and phase 2. These data may be useful in determining appropriate dosing of cannabinoids in the domestic rabbit.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research