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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the sedative effects of IM administration of a high or low dose of dexmedetomidine in combination with midazolam in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus).

ANIMALS

20 healthy adult budgerigars.

PROCEDURES

In a prospective, randomized, blinded study, birds were sedated with a high dose (HD; 0.04 mg/kg, IM; n = 10) or low dose (LD; 0.01 mg/kg, IM; 10) of dexmedetomidine in combination with midazolam (3 mg/kg, IM). Twenty minutes later, atipamezole (0.4 mg/kg [HD group] or 0.1 mg/kg [LD group], IM) and flumazenil (0.1 mg/kg, IM) were administered for reversal of sedation.

RESULTS

Times to first effect and to sternal recumbency after administration of the sedatives and times to standing and eating after administration of the antagonists did not differ between groups. Most birds (9/10 in the HD group and 7/10 in the LD group) lost the righting response by 10 minutes after sedative administration, and the peak effect for radiographic positioning was by 15 minutes. Although it was not clinically relevant, most birds showed mild resedation by 60 minutes after administration of the reversal agents. There was no significant cardiorespiratory compromise detected with either protocol.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Dexmedetomidine-midazolam can safely and effectively provide a dose-dependent level of sedation in healthy budgerigars. The HD protocol is recommended for radiographic positioning, as it allows for a more reliable, deeper plane of sedation.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether plasma uric acid concentration in inland bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) was affected by recent ingestion of a meal of crickets.

ANIMALS

12 healthy adult inland bearded dragons.

PROCEDURES

Food was withheld for 48 hours prior to experiments. Animals (6/group) were randomly assigned to receive a meal of crickets (equivalent to 1% of the animal's body weight; 10 g/kg [4.5 g/lb]; treatment group) or have food withheld for an additional 48 hours (control group). Blood samples were collected for plasma uric acid measurement just before (time 0) and 4, 24, and 48 hours after feeding. Effects of feeding and time on the targeted measurement were assessed by repeated-measures ANOVA.

RESULTS

Mean plasma uric acid concentration for the treatment group was significantly increased from the time 0 value (2.5 ± 1.5 mg/dL) 24 hours following meal ingestion (6.5 ± 1.2 mg/dL), but not at the 4-hour time point, and returned to the time 0 value by the 48-hour time point. No significant changes in plasma uric acid concentration were detected for the control group.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested food should be withheld for ≥ 48 hours prior to blood collection if inland bearded dragons are used to establish reference intervals for plasma uric acid concentration or if feasible when obtaining samples from these animals for clinical evaluation. Veterinarians should consider the time from last meal consumption when interpreting plasma uric acid concentration for this species and potentially other terrestrial insectivorous and omnivorous lizards.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 13-year-old female Timneh African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus timneh) was evaluated because of the presence of a bald patch of skin caudal to the sternum and increased territorial and nesting behavior of 2 weeks' duration.

Clinical Findings—Whole-body radiography revealed a mineralized egg of normal size and shape. However, no oviposition occurred, and the bird had no signs consistent with dystocia. After 7 days, repeated radiography revealed that the egg had rotated by approximately 180° along its short axis, leading to a diagnosis of ectopic egg retention, which was supported by the results of ultrasonography.

Treatment and Outcome—Surgical removal of the ectopic egg was performed by means of a ventral midline approach 14 days after administration of leuprolide acetate (800 μg/kg [364 μg/lb], IM). No intracoelomic abnormalities, such as coelomitis or oviductal disease, were diagnosed, and the bird recovered without complications. Physical examination and whole-body radiography at 8 months and a follow-up phone call with the owner at 16 months after surgical treatment revealed no evidence of ectopic egg recurrence or reproductive behavior.

Clinical Relevance—Clinical management of ectopic egg retention differs considerably from treatment of intraoviductal egg binding. Therefore, careful evaluation of avian patients with radiographic evidence of egg binding should be performed to avoid possible iatrogenic deterioration of the patient's condition, secondary to inappropriate treatment attempts such as hormonal induction of oviposition or attempts to remove the retained egg via the cloaca. Repeated radiography and ultrasonography and close monitoring of the patient's general condition as well as the lack of clinical signs consistent with dystocia will facilitate the diagnosis of ectopic egg retention.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION 2 client-owned rabbits were evaluated for signs of chronic upper respiratory tract disease.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Clinical signs had been present for 3 weeks and 4 years and included mucopurulent nasal discharge, right-sided maxillary swelling, recurrent dacryocystitis, and intermittent sneezing. One rabbit had been treated with nasolacrimal duct lavage and topical and systemic antimicrobial administration without resolution of clinical signs. Results of CT of the head in both cases indicated severe rhinosinusitis.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Both rabbits underwent unilateral rhinostomy by means of a lateral approach. Access was established via the facies cribrosa of the maxillary bone. Purulent material was removed from the affected nasal cavity and the maxillary sinus by means of debridement and lavage. After endoscopic exploration, marsupialization was performed to create a stoma. Both rabbits recovered from surgery without apparent complications, and the surgical site healed within 1 month in both. Computed tomography was repeated 5 months after surgery in one rabbit and 13 months after surgery in the other and indicated patent nasal passages and no evidence of recurrence or persistence of disease.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that lateral rhinostomy should be considered for treatment of chronic severe rhinosinusitis in rabbits. Such an approach may be less technically demanding and could decrease the likelihood of postsurgical complications reported with other techniques.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate antinociceptive efficacy and safety of SC buprenorphine hydrochloride administration in African pygmy hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris).

ANIMALS

12 healthy adult hedgehogs (7 males and 5 females).

PROCEDURES

3 crossover experimental trials were performed. In the first trial, all 12 hedgehogs were given single SC injections of buprenorphine (0.01 mg/kg [0.0045 mg/lb]), buprenorphine (0.03 mg/kg [0.014 mg/lb]), or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (0.16 mL/kg [0.073 mL/lb]), and sedation and hind limb thermal withdrawal latency were measured. In the second trial, 6 hedgehogs were given single SC injections of buprenorphine (0.05 mg/kg [0.023 mg/lb]) or saline solution (0.16 mL/kg), and sedation and withdrawal latency were evaluated. In the third trial, 10 hedgehogs were given 3 doses of buprenorphine (0.05 mg/kg, SC, q 24 h) or saline solution (0.16 mL/kg, SC, q 24 h), and food intake and body weight were measured for 6 days.

RESULTS

For all 3 experimental trials, the sedation score was 0 for all hedgehogs at all assessment times. A single 0.01-mg/kg dose of buprenorphine significantly increased thermal withdrawal latency for 36 hours, and single 0.03- and 0.05-mg/kg doses significantly increased latencies for 48 hours. Increased locomotor activity was noted in a few hedgehogs after administration of the 0.03- and 0.05-mg/kg doses. Daily administration of buprenorphine did not have significant effects on food intake or body weight.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

SC administration of buprenorphine at single doses of 0.01, 0.03, and 0.05 mg/kg provided safe, long-lasting antinociception in African pygmy hedgehogs without apparent sedative effects.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—3 female African spurred tortoises (Geochelone sulcata) of various body weights (0.22, 0.77, and 2.86 kg [0.48, 1.69, and 6.29 lb]) were examined because of reduced food intake and lack of fecal output. Owners reported intermittent tenesmus in 2 of the tortoises.

Clinical Findings—Physical examinations revealed no clinically important abnormalities in the tortoises. Cloacal calculi were diagnosed on the basis of radiography and cloacoscopy in all 3 tortoises. One tortoise had another calculus in the urinary bladder.

Treatment and Outcome—Tortoises were anesthetized, and cloacal calculi were removed by use of a cutting burr (plain-fissure cutting burr and a soft tissue protector mounted to a dental handpiece that had a low-speed motor and a straight nose cone) and warm water irrigation with endoscopic guidance. Complete removal of calculus fragments was achieved by use of forceps and irrigation. In 1 tortoise, removal of the cloacal calculus was staged (2 separate procedures). In another tortoise, a second cloacal calculus (which had been located in the urinary bladder during the first examination) was successfully removed 25 days after removal of the first calculus. All 3 tortoises recovered uneventfully, and serious complications secondary to removal of the cloacal calculi were not detected.

Clinical Relevance—Cloacoscopy combined with the use of a low-speed dental drill and warm water irrigation should be considered a simple, safe, and nontraumatic treatment option for removal of obstructive cloacal calculi in tortoises.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the effects of 3 electrolyte solutions administered SC to experimentally dehydrated inland bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).

ANIMALS

9 inland bearded dragons.

PROCEDURES

In a randomized, complete crossover study, experimental dehydration was induced by means of furosemide (10 mg/kg, SC, q 12 h for 4 doses), and then lactated Ringer solution, Plasma-Lyte A, or reptile Ringer solution (RRS; 1:1 mixture of 5% dextrose solution and isotonic crystalloid solution) was administered SC in a single 50-mL/kg dose in 3 treatments sessions separated by a minimum of 14 days. Food and water were withheld during treatment sessions. Plasma biochemical values, PCV, blood total solids and lactate concentrations, and plasma osmolarity were measured prior to (baseline) and 4 and 24 hours after fluid administration.

RESULTS

Administration of RRS resulted in severe hyperglycemia (mean ± SD plasma glucose concentration, 420 ± 62 mg/dL), compared with baseline values (190 ± 32 mg/dL), and this hyperglycemia persisted for at least 24 hours. It also resulted in significant reductions in plasma osmolarity and sodium and phosphorus concentrations, which were not observed after administration of the other 2 solutions. Administration of lactated Ringer solution caused no significant increase in blood lactate concentration.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The changes in plasma glucose, sodium, and phosphorus concentrations and plasma osmolarity observed after SC administration of a single dose of RRS suggested this type of electrolyte solution should not be used for rehydration of bearded dragons. Rather, lactated Ringer solution or Plasma-Lyte A should be considered instead.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the diuretic effects and associated changes in hematologic and plasma biochemical values following SC furosemide administration to water-deprived inland bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).

ANIMALS 9 bearded dragons.

PROCEDURES In a crossover study design, furosemide (5 or 10 mg/kg) was administered SC every 12 hours for 4 doses or no treatment (control treatment) was provided for the same period. Food and water were withheld. Body weight was recorded before (baseline) and 12 hours after treatment sessions ended and then after 5 minutes of soaking in a water bath. Blood samples were collected at baseline and 12 hours after treatment sessions ended for various measurements.

RESULTS Compared with control values, a significant decrease from baseline in body weight was detected after furosemide treatment at 5 and 10 mg/kg (mean ± SD percentage decrease, 5.5 ± 3.2% and 5.2 ± 4.1%, respectively). Soaking resulted in a significant increase in body weight after the 5- and 10-mg/kg furosemide treatments (mean ± SD percentage increase, 2.9 ± 1.8% and 5.6 ± 2.5%, respectively), compared with change in body weight after the control treatment (0.7 ± 0.7%). Plasma total solids and total protein concentrations increased significantly with both furosemide treatments, and PCV increased significantly with the 10 mg/kg treatment only. No significant or relevant differences were identified in plasma osmolarity or uric acid or electrolyte concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Furosemide as administered resulted in hemoconcentration and weight loss in bearded dragons, most likely owing to its diuretic effects. With additional research, furosemide could be considered for treatment of congestive heart failure and other conditions requiring diuresis in bearded dragons.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the outcome of surgical fixation of shell fractures in rehabilitated wild freshwater turtles.

ANIMALS

51 freshwater turtles with 86 shell fractures.

PROCEDURES

The medical record database of a wildlife rehabilitation center in Wisconsin was searched from 2014 through 2019 for records of freshwater turtles with shell fractures repaired with a plate technique, screws and wire technique, or both. Signalment, fracture location, therapeutic approach (including the type of hardware used for repair), dry-docking duration, time to hardware removal, postremoval care, and outcome were evaluated.

RESULTS

36 of 51 (71%) turtles with shell fractures experienced successful fracture healing following surgical hardware fixation, and 33 (65%) were released. Shells of 38 (75%) turtles were repaired with plates only, 5 (10%) turtles with wire only, and 8 (16%) turtles with a combination of plates and screws and wires. Of the 51 turtles, 13 (25%) did not survive > 4 weeks following hardware repair, leaving 38 animals available to assess fracture healing. Median time to start staged removal was 42 days (range, 35 to 49 days) and to complete removal of the applied hardware was 56 days (range, 26 to 77 days). Complications associated with placement of the hardware occurred in 6 of 38 (16%) turtles. Complications included screw hole infection (4/38 [11%]), fracture necrosis (1/38 [3%]), and deep screw hole penetration (1/38 [3%]).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that shell fractures in freshwater turtles treated with surgical fixation techniques had a successful outcome. Most complications were minor, and fractures improved with time, resulting in acceptable fracture healing for release.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate gastrointestinal transit times in red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) by use of contrast fluoroscopic imaging and investigate the effect of falconry hooding in these hawks on gastrointestinal transit time.

DESIGN Prospective, randomized, blinded, complete crossover study.

ANIMALS 9 healthy red-tailed hawks.

PROCEDURES Hawks were gavage-fed a 30% weight-by-volume barium suspension (25 mL/kg [11.3 mL/lb]) into the crop. Fluoroscopic images were obtained at multiple time points after barium administration. Time to filling and emptying of various gastrointestinal tract organs and overall transit time were measured. The effect of hooding (hooded vs nonhooded) on these variables was assessed in a randomized complete crossover design.

RESULTS In nonhooded birds, overall gastrointestinal transit time ranged from 30 to 180 minutes (mean ± SD, 100 ± 52 min). Time to complete crop emptying ranged from 30 to 180 minutes (83 ± 49 min). Contrast medium was present in the ventriculus in all birds within 5 minutes of administration and in the small intestines within 5 to 15 minutes (median, 5 min). Hooding of red-tailed hawks resulted in a significant delay of complete crop emptying (no hood, 83 ± 49 minutes; hood, 133 ± 48 minutes), but no significant effects of hooding were found on other measured variables.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE These results indicated that overall gastrointestinal transit times are faster in red-tailed hawks than has been reported for psittacines and that the use of a falconry hood in red-tailed hawks may result in delayed crop emptying. Hooding did not exert significant effects on overall gastrointestinal transit time in this raptorial species.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association