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To characterize clinical and pathological findings of rabbits evaluated at a veterinary teaching hospital because of dystocia.


Retrospective case series.


9 client-owned rabbits and 1 wild rabbit with signs of dystocia evaluated at a veterinary teaching hospital from 1996 through 2016.


Medical records of rabbits were reviewed to collect data on signalment; medical history; physical examination, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and procedural findings; treatment; final diagnosis; and outcome. Data were summarized.


Dystocia in 7 rabbits was successfully managed through medical treatment, assisted vaginal delivery, or both (n = 6) or surgery alone (1); 3 rabbits were euthanized. Primiparous does, does ≤ 4 years old, and does of small breeds (< 2 kg [4.4 lb]) were most common. All client-owned rabbits had clinical signs of abnormal second-stage parturition, whereas the wild rabbit had only hemorrhagic vulvar discharge. Imaging was used to identify the number, size, and state of fetuses in most rabbits. Overall, 35 fetuses were accounted for, 25 of which were dead or later died. The cause of dystocia was determined for 8 rabbits and included fetal-maternal mismatch (n = 4), uterine inertia (2), fetal death or mummification (1), and stress-induced abortion (1).


Obstructive dystocia from fetal macrosomia with or without secondary uterine inertia was the most common cause of dystocia in the evaluated rabbits. Although medical management was successful for many rabbits with dystocia in this study, surgery could still be required in other affected rabbits, particularly when fetal-maternal mismatch is involved.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine how viral shedding and development or lack of clinical disease relate to contact transmission of vesicular stomatitis virus New Jersey (VSV-NJ) in pigs and determine whether pigs infected by contact could infect other pigs by contact.

Animals—63 pigs.

Procedure—Serologically naive pigs were housed in direct contact with pigs that were experimentally inoculated with VSV-NJ via ID inoculation of the apex of the snout, application to a scarified area of the oral mucosa, application to intact oral mucosa, or ID inoculation of the ear. In a second experiment, pigs infected with VSV-NJ by contact were moved and housed with additional naive pigs. Pigs were monitored and sampled daily for clinical disease and virus isolation and were serologically tested before and after infection or contact.

Results—Contact transmission developed only when vesicular lesions were evident. Transmission developed rapidly; contact pigs shed virus as early as 1 day after contact. In pens in which contact transmission was detected, 2 of 3 or 3 of 3 contact pigs were infected.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Transmission was lesion-dependent; however, vesicular lesions often were subtle with few or no clinical signs of infection. Contact transmission was efficient, with resulting infections ranging from subclinical (detected only by seroconversion) to clinical (development of vesicular lesions). Long-term maintenance of VSV-NJ via contact transmission alone appears unlikely. Pigs represent an efficient large-animal system for further study of VSV-NJ pathogenesis and transmission. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:516–520)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether pigs can be infected with strains of vesicular stomatitis virus New Jersey (VSV-NJ) and vesicular stomatitis virus Indiana (VSV-I) isolated during recent vesicular stomatitis outbreaks that primarily involved horses in the western United States and determine the potential for these viruses to be transmitted by contact.

Animals—128 pigs.

Procedure—Pigs were challenged with VSV-NJ or VSV-I from the 1995 and 1997 outbreaks of vesicular stomatitis in the western United States, respectively, or with VSV-NJ (OS) associated with vesicular stomatitis in feral pigs on Ossabaw Island, Ga. Pigs (3/group) were inoculated with each virus via 3 routes and evaluated for viral shedding, seroconversion, and the development of vesicular lesions. In another experiment, the potential for contact transmission of each virus from experimentally infected to naïve pigs was evaluated.

Results—Infection of pigs was achieved for all 3 viruses as determined by virus isolation and detection of seroconversion. In inoculated pigs, all 3 viruses were isolated from multiple swab samples at concentrations sufficient to infect other pigs. However, compared with results obtained with the 2 VSV-NJ strains, viral titers associated with VSV-I were low and the duration of virus shedding was reduced. Results from the contact transmission trials were consistent with these results; virus transmission was detected most frequently with the VSV-NJ strains.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pigs can be infected with VSV-NJ and VSV-I. Differences in the extent of viral shedding and potential for contact transmission were apparent between serotypes but not between the VSV-NJ strains investigated. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1233–1239)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the effects of meloxicam on values of hematologic and plasma biochemical analysis variables and results of histologic examination of tissue specimens of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica).

Animals—30 adult Japanese quail.

Procedures—15 quail underwent laparoscopic examination of the left kidneys, and 15 quail underwent laparoscopic examination and biopsy of the left kidneys. Quail in each of these groups received meloxicam (2.0 mg/kg, IM, q 12 h; n = 10) or a saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (0.05 mL, IM, q 12 h; control birds; 5) for 14 days. A CBC and plasma biochemical analyses were performed at the start of the study and within 3 hours after the last treatment. Birds were euthanized and necropsies were performed.

Results—No adverse effects of treatments were observed, and no significant changes in values of hematologic variables were detected during the study. Plasma uric acid concentrations and creatine kinase or aspartate aminotransferase activities were significantly different before versus after treatment for some groups of birds. Gross lesions identified during necropsy included lesions at renal biopsy sites and adjacent air sacs (attributed to the biopsy procedure) and pectoral muscle hemorrhage and discoloration (at sites of injection). Substantial histopathologic lesions were limited to pectoral muscle necrosis, and severity was greater for meloxicam-treated versus control birds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Meloxicam (2.0 mg/kg, IM, q 12 h for 14 days) did not cause substantial alterations in function of or histopathologic findings for the kidneys of Japanese quail but did induce muscle necrosis; repeated IM administration of meloxicam to quail may be contraindicated.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine community approaches to medical and behavioral diseases in dogs and cats.

Design—Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Sample—97 companion animal veterinarians and 424 animal owners.

Procedures—Companion animal veterinarians in central Iowa ranked medical or behavioral diseases or conditions by what they thought most clients would consider healthy, treatable, manageable, or unhealthy (unmanageable or untreatable). In a parallel survey, cat- or dog-owning households in central Iowa responded to a telephone survey regarding the relationship of their animal in the household, owner willingness to provide medical or behavioral interventions, and extent of financial commitment to resolving diseases.

Results—One hundred twenty common health or behavioral disorders in cats and dogs were ranked by veterinarians as healthy, treatable, manageable, or unhealthy (unmanageable or untreatable) on the basis of their opinion of what most clients would do. Findings were in congruence with animal owners' expressed willingness to provide the type of care required to maintain animals with many acute or chronic medical and behavioral conditions. In general, owners indicated a willingness to use various treatment modalities and spend money on veterinary services when considering current or previously owned animals as well as hypothetical situations with an animal. Past experiences with veterinary care in which an animal did not recover fully did not diminish the willingness of respondents to use veterinary services again in the future.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These results provide a baseline indication of community willingness to address medical or behavioral conditions in dogs and cats. These considerations can be used in conjunction with Asilomar Accords recommendations to assess adoptability of cats and dogs in animal shelters.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association