Objective—To determine whether results of cytologic evaluation of preputial epithelial cells correspond to results of a serum endocrine hormone assay and clinical signs associated with adrenocortical disease in castrated ferrets.
Animals—13 clinically normal ferrets and 8 ferrets with signs of adrenocortical disease.
Procedures—Blood and preputial lavage samples were collected from each ferret. Serum samples were submitted to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for performance of an endocrine hormone assay. Differential epithelial cell counts were performed on preputial lavage samples to determine the percentage of cornified cells. Results of cytologic evaluation were compared with results of the endocrine hormone assay and clinical status of ferrets.
Results—The percentage of cornified preputial epithelial cells was not significantly correlated with serum 17B-estradiol or androstenedione concentration but was significantly correlated with serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentration (r = 0.60). The percentage of cornified preputial epithelial cells was higher in ferrets with clinical signs of adrenocortical disease (mean ± SD, 71.3 ± 16.9%) than in clinically normal ferrets (55.5 ± 19.0%).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cornification of preputial epithelial cells was correlated with an increase in serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentration as well as clinical signs of adrenocortical disease in castrated ferrets. Additional investigation is needed to elucidate the mechanism of preputial epithelial cell cornification in castrated ferrets.
Objective—To evaluate signalment, history, clinical and pathologic findings, and seasonal weather patterns in association with fatal gastrointestinal parasitism in goats.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—152 goats that were > 1 day of age.
Procedures—Characteristics including age and counts of coccidia oocysts and trichostrongyle ova (eggs) per gram of feces (EPG) in goats that died because of gastrointestinal parasitism and goats that died because of other causes were compared. Weather data and annual incidence of caprine fatal gastrointestinal parasitism were investigated.
Results—Death was attributed to gastrointestinal parasitism in 31 of 152 (20%) goats (median age, 5 months; range, 1 month to 7 years); deaths were attributed to coccidiosis (n = 7 goats; median age, 4 months; median EPG, 2,225), trichostrongylosis (6 goats; median age, 1.25 years; median EPG, 3,700), or dual infection (18 goats; median age, 6.7 months; median EPG, 8,088 coccidia and 5,475 trichostrongyles). Sudden onset of weakness or death was a common historical finding; diarrhea was evident in 15 goats. Common postmortem findings in these goats included cachexia, tissue pallor, poorly formed feces, and mesenteric lymphadenomegaly. Wet weather in spring and summer was associated with increased annual incidence of fatal gastrointestinal parasitism in goats.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gastrointestinal parasitism is an important cause of death in goats. Clinical signs may not develop until just prior to death, and diagnosis is achieved via parasitologic evaluation of feces and necropsy. Seasonal weather patterns should be considered on an annual basis when designing parasite control programs for goats.
Objective—To determine the morphologic and biochemical characteristics of hyperextension of the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints in llamas.
Animals—12 adult llamas (6 with bilateral hyperextension of the metacarpophalangeal or metatarsophalangeal joints and 6 age- and sex-matched control llamas).
Procedures—Llamas were evaluated by use of lameness examination, ultrasonography, and radiography. A CBC, serum biochemical analysis, and determination of concentrations of trace minerals in serum and liver samples were performed. Llamas were euthanized, and samples of the superficial digital flexor tendon, deep digital flexor tendon, and suspensory ligament were obtained from 4 areas and snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen or suspended in neutral-buffered 10% formalin. Immunohistochemical evaluation of collagen types I and III and assays for measurement of lysyl oxidase activity were performed.
Results—2 affected llamas had a visible gait deficit associated with metacarpophalangeal joint hyperextension. Radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis was detected in 1 severely affected llama, and ultrasonographic changes of soft tissue mineralization and suspensory desmitis were observed in 2 llamas. Liver concentrations of copper were lower and serum concentrations of zinc higher in affected llamas, compared with values in control llamas. Lysyl oxidase activity and collagen distribution did not differ significantly between groups.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hyperextension of the metacarpophalangeal or metatarsophalangeal joints in llamas does not appear to be the result of injury or degeneration of the suspensory ligament or flexor tendons. Lower copper concentrations coupled with higher zinc concentrations in affected llamas may be indicative of secondary copper deficiency.
Objective—To compare morphologic diagnoses determined
from needle biopsy specimens obtained from
the livers of dogs and cats with morphologic diagnoses
determined from wedge biopsy specimens.
Animals—124 dogs and cats.
Procedure—2 needle biopsy specimens were
obtained from each animal; wedge biopsy specimens
were obtained from the same liver lobe during laparotomy
or postmortem examination. Histologic features
were scored independently by 3 individuals; a morphologic
diagnosis was rendered after histologic features
were scored. Cases were included only if at least 2 of
the 3 examiners agreed on the morphologic diagnosis;
the definitive diagnosis was considered to be the morphologic
diagnosis rendered for the wedge biopsy
specimen. Physical characteristics (length, width, surface
area, degree of fragmentation, and number of portal
triads for needle biopsy specimens and surface area
for wedge biopsy specimens) were determined.
Results—Definitive diagnoses included hepatic necrosis
(n = 10), cholangitis-cholangiohepatitis (13), chronic
hepatitis-cirrhosis (12), canine vacuolar hepatopathy
(11), portosystemic vascular anomaly-microvascular
dysplasia (17), neoplasia (10), miscellaneous hepatic
disorders (18), and no hepatic disease (33). For individual
examiners, the morphologic diagnosis assigned
to needle biopsy specimens agreed with the morphologic
diagnosis assigned to wedge biopsy specimens
for 56 and 67% of the specimens. All 3 examiners
agreed on the morphologic diagnosis assigned to needle
and wedge biopsy specimens for 44 and 65% of
the specimens, respectively. Morphologic diagnoses
assigned to needle biopsy specimens concurred with
the definitive diagnosis for 59 of 124 (48%) animals.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results
suggest that needle biopsy specimens of the liver
from dogs and cats must be interpreted with caution.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1483–1490)
Case Description—15 llamas and 34 alpacas between 3 weeks and 18 years old with fecal oocysts or intestinal coccidial stages morphologically consistent with Eimeria macusaniensis were examined. Nineteen of the camelids were admitted dead, and 30 were admitted alive. Camelids admitted alive accounted for 5.5% of all camelid admissions during this period.
Clinical Findings—Many severely affected camelids had signs of lethargy, weight loss, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. Camelids with clinical infection also commonly had evidence of circulatory shock, fat mobilization, and protein loss. Nonsurviving camelids also had evidence of shock, edema, bile stasis, renal insufficiency, hepatic lipidosis, muscle damage, relative hemoconcentration, and sepsis. Postmortem examination frequently re-vealed complete, segmental replacement of the mucosa of the distal portion of the jejunum with coccidial meronts and gamonts. For 17 of 42 camelids, results of initial fecal examinations for E macusaniensis were negative.
Treatment and Outcome—Most camelids admitted alive were treated with amprolium hydrochloride, plasma, and various supportive treatments. Fifteen of the 30 treated camelids died or were euthanized.
Clinical Relevance—Findings suggest that E macusaniensis may be an important gastrointestinal tract pathogen in camelids of all ages. Clinical signs were frequently nonspecific and were often evident before results of fecal examinations for the parasite were positive. As with other coccidia, severity of disease was probably related to ingested dose, host immunity, and other factors. The clinical and herd relevance of positive fecal examination results must be determined.