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Summary

We evaluated the effect of anticoagulant (lithium heparin, sodium heparin, or none) and type of autoanalyzer on selected blood biochemical values of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). More differences were observed between the analytes in serum and those in the 2 types of plasma than were observed between the 2 types of plasma. Differences in electrolyte concentrations were not significant when plasma from sodium-heparinized blood was compared with plasma from lithium-heparinized blood. Serum is not recommended for reptilian studies because clot formation is unpredictable and because the time required for clotting may allow substantial changes in the chemical composition of the sample. For most determinants, values varied more between the 2 types of autoanalyzers than among the 3 anticoagulant treatments. These sources of variation must be considered when performing comparative studies.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To describe the gross cross-sectional anatomy of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and evaluate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for detection of internal tumors in green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—3 dead green turtles, 1 healthy green turtle, and 8 green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis.

Procedures—Gross cross-sectional anatomy of a dead turtle was described. Each live turtle underwent a complete physical examination, and dorsoventral whole-body survey radiographic views were obtained. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed in dorsal and transverse planes. Radiographs and magnetic resonance images were examined for evidence of internal nodules. Results were compared with necropsy findings in 5 of 8 turtles.

Results—Nodules in the lungs of 2 turtles were detected via radiography, whereas pulmonary nodules were detected in 5 turtles via MRI. No other visceral nodules were detected via radiography; however, masses in the stomach and adjacent to the bladder and kidneys were detected in 1 turtle via MRI. Other extrapulmonary abnormalities observed at necropsy were not detected on MR images.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—MRI may be valuable for detection of internal tumors in green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis. Nodules were more apparent in the lungs than in other organs. Results of MRI may serve as prognostic indicators for sea turtles undergoing assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation. Clinical application may be limited by cost and availability of MRI technology. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1428–1435)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To develop mouse monoclonal and rabbit polyclonal antibodies against immunoglobulin of Argentine boa constrictors and to demonstrate the ability of these reagents to detect antibody responses in boa constrictors by use of an ELISA and western blot analysis.

Animals—Two 3-year-old Argentine boa constrictors.

Procedure—Boa constrictors were immunized with 2,4-dinitrophenylated bovine serum albumin (DNP-BSA). Each snake received biweekly inoculations of 250 µg of DNP-BSA (half SC, half IP) for a total of 6 inoculations followed by monthly inoculations for 3 months. Preimmune blood samples were collected. Subsequently, blood was collected immediately prior to each booster inoculation. Anti-DNP antibodies were isolated from immune plasma samples by affinity chromatography. Affinity-purified boa anti-DNP immunoglobulin was used for production of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. An ELISA and western blot analysis were used to monitor immune responses, for purification of boa anti-DNP immunoglobulin, and for assessment of polyclonal and monoclonal antibody specificity.

Results—A 6-fold increase in optical density (OD405) of immune boa plasma, compared with preimmune plasma, was detected by the polyclonal antibody, and a 12- and 15-fold increase was detected by monoclonal antibodies HL1787 and HL1785, respectively, between weeks 4 and 8. Results of western blot analysis confirmed anti-DNP antibody activity in immunized boa plasma and in affinity column eluates. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies detected specific anti-DNP antibody responses in immunized boas.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies recognized boa constrictor immunoglobulin. These antibodies may be useful in serologic tests to determine exposure of snakes to pathogens. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:388–395)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate complications and outcomes associated with use of gastrostomy tubes in dogs with renal failure.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—56 dogs.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for dogs with renal failure that were treated by use of gastrostomy tubes.

Results—Mean ± SD BUN concentration was 134 ± 79 mg/dl and mean serum creatinine concentration was 9.0 ± 3.8 mg/dl. Low-profile gastrostomy tubes were used for initial placement in 10 dogs, and traditional gastrostomy tubes were used in 46 dogs. Mild stoma-site complications included discharge, swelling, erythema, and signs of pain in 26 (46%) of dogs. Twenty-six gastrostomy tubes were replaced in 15 dogs; 11 were replaced because of patient removal, 6 were replaced because of tube wear, and 3 were replaced for other reasons. Six tubes were replaced by low-profile gastrostomy tubes. Gastrostomy tubes were used for 65 ± 91 days (range, 1 to 438 days). Eight dogs gained weight, 11 did not change weight, and 17 lost weight; information was not available for 20 dogs. Three dogs were euthanatized because they removed their gastrostomy tubes, 2 were euthanatized because of evidence of tube migration, and 1 died of peritonitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gastrostomy tubes appear to be safe and effective for improving nutritional status of dogs with renal failure. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1337–1342)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To investigate Mycoplasma agassizii-specific maternal antibodies in desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) hatchlings.

Sample Population

Plasma from 43 captive-reared desert tortoise hatchlings.

Procedure

ELISA for M agassizii-specific antibodies was performed. Four hatchlings from 4 clutches of 3 M agassizii-seropositive females with chronic upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) were tested on the day of hatching (set 1), and 20 hatchlings from 4 clutches of 4 M agassizii-seropositive females with URTD and 19 hatchlings from 4 M agassizii-seronegative healthy females were tested at 4, 8, 12, and 29 months old (set 2). Immunoblot analysis was performed to determine immunoglobulin classes in yolk and plasma of hatchlings. To determine infection status of hatchlings, yolk, egg shell membranes (set 1), and nasal lavage fluid (sets 1 and 2) were examined for M agassizii by use of polymerase chain reaction.

Results

Yolk and hatchling plasma had significantly lower amounts of specific antibodies than did plasma from adult females. The IgG and IgM antibodies were transferred, but M agassizii-specific antibodies were of the IgG class. Hatchlings were not infected with mycoplasmas. Offspring of sick females had significantly higher specific antibody titers than did offspring of healthy females. Titers were still significantly different in 1-year-old hatchlings.

Conclusions

Desert tortoise females transfer specific IgG and IgM antibodies to their offspring that are still detectable after 1 year.

Clinical Relevance

Infection with M agassizii may be misdiagnosed in hatchlings with persistent maternal antibodies. Passively acquired antibodies may have a role in pathogenesis of mycoplasma-induced respiratory tract disease and other diseases. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:826–831)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine reference intervals for concentrations of plasma total protein (TP) and electrophoretogram fractions (ELFs) for healthy, wild loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and to assess relationships between TP and ELF concentrations and health status, body size, body mass, and water temperature.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—437 healthy and 35 ill Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles and 152 healthy and 3 ill Atlantic green turtles.

Procedures—Free-ranging turtles were captured from a nuclear power plant intake canal in southern Florida. Plasma samples were obtained from all turtles. Plasma TP and ELF concentrations were measured, and reference intervals were calculated. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to compare TP and ELF values between healthy and ill loggerhead sea turtles. Spearman rank correlations were evaluated between concentrations of TP and ELFs and carapace length, body mass, and water temperature.

Results—Reference intervals for TP concentrations were 2.2 to 5.2 g/dL and 2.0 to 5.4 g/dL for loggerhead sea turtles and green turtles, respectively. Except for γ-globulin, concentrations of ELFs were significantly higher in healthy than in ill loggerhead sea turtles. There was a positive correlation between TP, α-globulin, β-globulin, and γ-globulin concentrations and water temperature in loggerhead sea turtles and between only TP and α-globulin concentrations and water temperature in green turtles.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Reference intervals for concentrations of TP and ELFs for healthy, free-ranging loggerhead sea turtles and green turtles can be used in combination with other diagnostic tools to assess health status of sea turtles.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine blood cell morphologic characteristics and hematologic and plasma biochemical reference ranges for iguanas housed in a warm indoor and outdoor environment with regular exposure to direct sunlight.

Design—Original study.

Animals—51 clinically normal iguanas (18 males, 25 females, and 8 juveniles) housed in 3 Florida locations.

Procedure—Blood was collected from the coccygeal or ventral abdominal vein. Any samples that had obvious hemolysis or clot formation were not used. Leukocyte counts were determined manually; other hematologic values were obtained by use of a commercially available cell counter. Plasma biochemical values were determined by use of a spectrophotometric chemistry analyzer. Blood smears were stained with Wright-Giemsa and cytochemical stains for morphologic and cytochemical evaluation.

Results—Hematologic ranges were generally higher in this study than previously reported. Thrombocytes were variable in appearance between individuals and sometimes difficult to distinguish from lymphocytes on a Wright-Giemsa preparation. Concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, total protein, globulins, and cholesterol were significantly higher, and the albumin:globulin ratio was significantly lower, in healthy gravid females than in male or nongravid female iguanas. Nongravid females had significantly higher calcium and cholesterol concentrations, compared with males. The calcium:phosphorus ratio was > 1 in all iguanas. Gravid females had a calcium phosphorus product ranging between 210 and 800. Intracytoplasmic inclusions were identified within the erythrocytes of some iguanas.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hematologic ranges for iguanas in this study are higher than those reported for iguanas. Sex and age of the iguana should be considered when evaluating biochemical values. Healthy ovulating and gravid females may have significantly increased electrolyte and protein concentrations, but maintain a calcium:phosphorus ratio > 1. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:915–921)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify risk factors that may predispose California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) to development of cutaneous poxvirus nodules during hospitalization in a rehabilitation center.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—90 California sea lions admitted to a rehabilitation center.

Procedure—Hospital records of 275 stranded California sea lions admitted to the rehabilitation center between January 1 and December 31, 2002, were reviewed. All California sea lions (n = 18) that developed ≥ 1 cutaneous poxvirus nodule during hospitalization were classified as cases. Seventy-two California sea lions that did not develop poxvirus lesions during hospitalization were randomly selected (control group). The frequencies of various exposure factors prior to admission, at admission, and during hospitalization for cases and control sea lions were compared by use of logistic regression.

Results—California sea lions that had previously been admitted to the rehabilitation center were 43 times as likely to develop poxvirus lesions as sea lions admitted for the first time; those with high band neutrophil counts (> 0.69 × 103 bands/μL) at admission were 20 times less likely to develop poxvirus lesions than sea lions with counts within reference limits.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that sea lions with a history of prior hospitalization or band neutrophil counts within reference limits at admission were more likely to develop poxvirus lesions during hospitalization. Sea lions with histories of hospitalization should be kept in quarantine and infection control measures implemented to help prevent disease transmission to attending personnel and other hospitalized animals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:467–473)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

The effects of different arterial carbon dioxide tensions (PaCO2 ) on cerebrospinal fluid pressure (csfp) and intraocular pressure (iop) were studied in 6 male halothane-anesthetized horses positioned in left lateral recumbency. Steady-state anesthetic conditions (1.06% end-tidal halothane concentration) commenced 60 minutes following anesthetic induction with only halothane in oxygen. During atracurium neuromuscular blockade, horses were ventilated, and respiratory rate and peak inspiratory airway pressure were maintained within narrow limits. The csfp and iop were measured at 3 different levels of PaCO2 (approx 40, 60, and 80 mm of Hg). The PaCO2 sequence in each horse was determined from a type of switchback design with the initial PaCO2 (period 1), established 30 minutes after the commencement of steady-state anesthesia, being repeated in the middle (period 3) and again at the end (period 5) of the experiment. Measurements taken from the middle 3 periods (2, 3, and 4) would form a Latin square design replicated twice. The interval between each period was approximately 45 minutes.

Data from periods 2, 3, and 4 indicated that csfp (P < 0.05) and mean systemic arterial pressure increased significantly (P < 0.05) with high PaCO2 . Mean central venous pressure, heart rate, and iop did not change significantly during these same conditions. Measurements taken during periods 1, 3, and 5 were compared to assess the time-related responses to anesthesia and showed a significant increase in csfp, a significant decrease in mean central venous pressure, and a small (but not statistically significant) increase in mean systemic arterial pressure.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research