Objective—To compare relative sensitivity and overall yields of various methods of fecal examination for gastrointestinal parasites in llamas and alpacas.
Sample Population—Fecal samples from 42 alpacas and 62 llamas.
Procedures—Fecal samples were analyzed via direct smear, a modified McMaster technique with sucrose solution or saturated saline (approx 36% NaCl) solution, and a centrifugation-flotation procedure. McMaster flotation chambers were examined 15 and 60 minutes after loading. Centrifugation-flotation samples were examined after 10 and 60 minutes of flotation. The proportions of samples with positive results and concentrations of parasites were compared among methods.
Results—The centrifugation-flotation technique yielded more positive results than other methods for all parasites except small coccidia. Longer flotation time increased the proportion of positive results and parasite concentrations for all parasites except Nematodirus spp. Longer time in the McMaster chamber made little difference. By use of the modified McMaster technique, sucrose solution yielded more positive results for Trichuris spp, Eimeria macusaniensis, and strongyles, whereas saline solution yielded more positive results for Nematodirus spp and small coccidia. The saline solution McMaster test yielded more positive results for small coccidia than did most other methods, and the sucrose McMaster technique yielded more positive results for Trichuris spp.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The centrifugation-flotation technique appeared to offer clear advantages in detecting infection with E macusaniensis, Trichuris spp, Nematodirus spp, and capillarids. The saline McMaster technique appeared to offer an advantage in detecting small coccidia.
Objective—To investigate glucose tolerance and
insulin sensitivity in llama crias.
Animals—7 llamas (age range, 14 to 30 days).
Procedure—On each of 2 sequential days, crias were
administered glucose (0.5 g/kg) via rapid IV injection.
On 1 day (randomly determined for each cria), regular
insulin (0.2 U/kg) or 0.9% NaCl solution (0.002 mL/kg)
was administered IV 15 minutes after glucose administration.
Blood samples were collected before (baseline)
and at 5, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240
minutes after glucose administration for determination
of plasma glucose and insulin concentrations;
fractional turnover rates and plasma half-life of glucose
were calculated. The data were compared over
time and between days (ie, between glucose treatments
with and without insulin administration).
Results—A peak plasma glucose concentration of
342 ± 47 mg/dL was detected at 5 minutes after glucose
administration and llamas cleared glucose from
plasma within 60 minutes; at 15 minutes, plasma
insulin concentration attained a peak value of 33 ± 13
µU/mL (ie, triple the baseline value). During the 15- to
45-minute interval, fractional turnover rate of glucose
was 1.10 ± 0.24%/min and plasma half-life was
65.7 ± 13.4 minutes. Insulin significantly increased
glucose turnover and resulted in hypoglycemia within
75 minutes of administration.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Healthy
immature llamas have glucose tolerance and insulin
sensitivity superior to that of adults. However,
whether sick crias retain the pancreatic sufficiency
and tissue responsiveness that are likely responsible
for the rapid glucose clearance in healthy individuals
is not known. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1013–1017)
Objective—To describe the metabolic effects of epinephrine
administration in New World camelids and
investigate whether these effects are influenced by
administration of insulin.
Animals—6 llamas and 8 alpacas (all adult castrated
Procedure—Prior to each experiment, food was withheld
from camelids for 8 hours. On each of 2 consecutive
days, alpacas were administered epinephrine
(10 mg/kg, IM; time 0); alpacas were randomly
assigned to receive regular insulin (0.2 U/kg, IV)
immediately after epinephrine administration on one
of those days. In llamas, the experiment was performed
once after administration of epinephrine only.
At 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, and 240 minutes
after treatment, blood samples were collected and
several serum or plasma biochemical variables were
assessed; in addition, plasma samples from llamas
were assessed for insulin concentrations. Data were
compared between days (alpacas only) and between
Results—Administration of epinephrine induced
mobilization of glucose, triglycerides, nonesterified
fatty acids, and β-hydroxybutyrate. A small increase in
endogenous insulin concentration was detected in
epinephrine-treated llamas, compared with baseline
values. Overall, insulin administration decreased,
negated, or delayed the epinephrine-associated
increases in serum or plasma concentrations of circulating
energy substrates, except that it augmented
the epinephrine-associated increase in concentration
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Epinephrine
appeared to mobilize energy substrates in camelids
and hence may be involved in the pathogenesis of disorders
of glucose and fat metabolism. Insulin
appeared to antagonize most of these effects, and its
administration may have therapeutic value in
camelids. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1692–1696)
Objective—To describe a technique for abdominocentesis in camelids and report peritoneal fluid biochemical and cytologic findings from healthy llamas and alpacas.
Animals—17 adult llamas and 5 adult alpacas.
Procedures—Right paracostal abdominocentesis was performed. Peritoneal fluid was collected by gravity flow into tubes containing potassium-EDTA for cell count and cytologic evaluation and lithium heparin for biochemical analysis. Blood samples were collected via jugular venipuncture into heparinized tubes at the same time. Cytologic components were quantified. Fluid pH and concentrations of total carbon dioxide, sodium, potassium, chloride, lactate, and glucose were compared between peritoneal fluid and venous blood.
Results—All but 3 camelids had peritoneal fluid cell counts of < 3,000 nucleated cells/μL, with < 2,000 neutrophils/μL and < 1,040 large mononuclear cells/μL. All but 1 had peritoneal fluid protein concentrations of ≥ 2.5 g/dL. Peritoneal fluid of camelids generally contained slightly less glucose, lactate, and sodium and roughly equal concentrations of potassium and chloride as venous blood.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Peritoneal fluid was collected safely from healthy camelids. Compared with blood, peritoneal fluid usually had a low cell count and protein concentration, but some individuals had higher values. Electrolyte concentrations resembled those found in blood. High cell counts and protein concentrations found in peritoneal fluid of some healthy camelids may overlap with values found in diseased camelids, complicating interpretation of peritoneal fluid values.
Objective—To evaluate camelids with hypertriglyceridemia with regard to signalment, clinical features of disease, and response to treatment with insulin.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—23 alpacas and 8 llamas with hypertriglyceridemia.
Procedures—For analysis of medical record data, 20 hypertriglyceridemic camelids with multiple recorded measurements of serum or plasma triglycerides concentration were classified as follows: those with an initial triglycerides concentration > 60 to ≥ 500 mg/dL that were or were not treated with insulin (HT-I and HT-N camelids, respectively) and those with an initial triglycerides concentration > 500 mg/dL that were treated with insulin (lipemic [LIP-I] camelids). Only 1 recorded triglycerides concentration was available for an additional 11 hypertriglyceridemic camelids; data from those records were included in the characterization of signalment and clinical features of disease.
Results—Compared with the general population of hospitalized camelids, hypertriglyceridemic camelids did not differ significantly with respect to age or sex. Of 22 female camelids, only 7 were lactating or pregnant. Serum or plasma triglycerides concentrations in HT-N and HT-I camelids did not differ significantly at admission, but triglycerides concentrations in HT-I camelids decreased significantly after insulin treatment. Posttreatment triglycerides concentrations in HT-I camelids were significantly lower than those in HT-N camelids. During the period of hospitalization, triglycerides concentrations in HT-N camelids increased, whereas those in LIP-I camelids decreased significantly.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that hypertriglyceridemia affects llamas and alpacas of all ages and both sexes. Insulin treatment may reduce serum or plasma triglycerides concentrations in camelids with hypertriglyceridemia.
Objective—To test the ability of a nested PCR assay to detect Eimeria macusaniensis at various stages of infection in alpacas.
Animals—4 healthy adult alpacas with no detectable E macusaniensis.
Procedures—Alpacas were inoculated with 2 × 104 sporulated oocysts. Serial fecal samples collected during the next 38 days were tested via sucrose flotation and PCR assay.
Results—Oocyst passage was detected via fecal flotation in all 4 alpacas 31 to 35 days after inoculation. Three had positive results for PCR assays on samples obtained 7 to 14 days after inoculation. One alpaca subsequently was removed from the study because of weight loss and inappetence. Two remaining alpacas had positive PCR reactions 28 and 31 days after inoculation, up to 7 days before oocysts appeared in the feces. All fecal samples with positive results for flotation also had positive results for PCR assay.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The PCR assay was able to detect early (7 to 14 days) and late (28 to 31 days) prepatent infection. These positive results suggested that the assay could have been detecting DNA unassociated with oocysts or detecting shedding earlier than has been previously recognized. The gap between the early and late detection periods may not be evident in alpacas receiving a larger or continuous inoculum, as might occur with natural infection. Use of a PCR assay for analysis of fecal samples may be valuable for detection of E macusaniensis during the prepatent period, thus aiding in the identification and control of infected animals.
Objective—To describe the microanatomic features of pancreatic islets and the immunohistochemical distribution of glucose transporter (GLUT) molecules in the pancreas and other tissues of New World camelids.
Animals—7 healthy adult New World camelids, 2 neonatal camelids with developmental skeletal abnormalities, and 2 BALB/c mice.
Procedure—Samples of pancreas, liver, skeletal muscle, mammary gland, brain, and adipose tissue were collected postmortem from camelids and mice. Pancreatic tissue sections from camelids were assessed microscopically. Sections of all tissues from camelids and mice (positive control specimens) were examined after staining with antibodies against GLUT-1, -2, -3, and -4 molecules.
Results—In camelids, pancreatic islets were prominent and lacked connective tissue capsules. Numerous individual endocrine-type cells were visible distant from the islets. Findings in neonatal and adult tissues were similar; however, the former appeared to have more non–islet-associated endocrine cells. Via immunostaining, GLUT-2 molecules were detected on pancreatic endocrine cells and hepatocytes in camelids, GLUT-1 molecules were detected on the capillary endothelium of the CNS, GLUT-3 molecules were detected throughout the gray matter, and GLUT-4 molecules were not detected in any camelid tissues. Staining characteristics of neonatal and adult tissues were similar.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In New World camelids, microanatomic features of pancreatic islets are similar to those of other mammals. Data suggest that the poor glucose clearance and poor insulin response to hyperglycemia in adult camelids cannot be attributed to a lack of islet cells or lack of GLUT molecules on the outer membrane of those cells.
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 characterize signalment, clinical signs of disease, and clinical response to insulin in equids with hypertriglyceridemia.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—20 horses, 17 ponies, and 7 donkeys with hypertriglyceridemia.
Procedures—For analysis of medical record data, horses, donkeys, and ponies with multiple serum or plasma triglycerides measurements were separated into groups. Hypertriglyceridemic equids that were (HT-I; n = 14) or were not (HT-N; 10) treated with insulin consisted of equids with an initial triglycerides concentration > 44 mg/dL but < 500 mg/dL. Equids with an initial triglycerides concentration > 500 mg/dL, all of which were treated with insulin, constituted the lipemic group (LIP-I; 20). Each group included a full range of ages. Pretreatment and posttreatment values from serum or plasma biochemical analyses were compared among groups.
Results—No age predilection for hypertriglyceridemia was apparent. Of the 29 female equids, only 7 (24%) were lactating or pregnant. Multiple illnesses were diagnosed in hypertriglyceridemic equids, including colitis (14/44; 32%) and colic (9/44; 20%). Many breeds were affected, including 16 (36%) American Miniature Horses and 9 (20%) Arabians or Arabian crossbreds. The mean posttreatment triglycerides concentration was not significantly different from the initial value in HT-N equids (175 vs 125 mg/dL) but was significantly lower than the pretreatment triglycerides concentration in HT-I (252 vs 55 mg/dL) and LIP-I (872 vs 87 mg/dL) equids.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Equids of all ages and sexes with various diseases had hypertriglyceridemia. Insulin treatment decreased the triglycerides concentrations in affected equids.