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Abstract

Objective—To determine which organs can be reliably visualized ultrasonographically in bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps), describe their normal ultrasonographic appearance, and describe an ultrasonographic technique for use with this species.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—14 healthy bearded dragons (6 females and 8 males).

Procedures—Bearded dragons were manually restrained in dorsal and sternal recumbency, and coelomic organs were evaluated by use of linear 7- to 15-MHz and microconvex 5- to 8-MHz transducers. Visibility, size, echogenicity, and ultrasound transducer position were assessed for each organ.

Results—Coelomic ultrasonography with both microconvex and linear ultrasound transducers allowed for visualization of the heart, pleural surface of the lungs, liver, caudal vena cava, aorta, ventral abdominal vein, gallbladder, fat bodies, gastric fundus, cecum, colon, cloaca, kidneys, and testes or ovaries in all animals. The pylorus was visualized in 12 of 14 animals. The small intestinal loops were visualized in 12 of 14 animals with the linear transducer, but could not be reliably identified with the microconvex transducer. The hemipenes were visualized in 7 of 8 males. The adrenal glands and spleen were not identified in any animal. Anechoic free coelomic fluid was present in 11 of 14 animals. Heart width, heart length, ventricular wall thickness, gastric fundus wall thickness, and height of the caudal poles of the kidneys were positively associated with body weight. Testis width was negatively associated with body weight in males.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated coelomic ultrasonography is a potentially valuable imaging modality for assessment of most organs in bearded dragons and can be performed in unsedated animals.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

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

DESIGN

Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS

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

PROCEDURES

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.

RESULTS

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).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine pharmacokinetics after IV and oral administration of a single dose of tramadol hydrochloride to Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis).

Animals—9 healthy adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (3 males, 5 females, and 1 of unknown sex).

Procedures—Tramadol (5 mg/kg, IV) was administered to the parrots. Blood samples were collected from −5 to 720 minutes after administration. After a 3-week washout period, tramadol (10 and 30 mg/kg) was orally administered to parrots. Blood samples were collected from −5 to 1,440 minutes after administration. Three formulations of oral suspension (crushed tablets in a commercially available suspension agent, crushed tablets in sterile water, and chemical-grade powder in sterile water) were evaluated. Plasma concentrations of tramadol and its major metabolites were measured via high-performance liquid chromatography.

Results—Mean plasma tramadol concentrations were > 100 ng/mL for approximately 2 to 4 hours after IV administration of tramadol. Plasma concentrations after oral administration of tramadol at a dose of 10 mg/kg were < 40 ng/mL for the entire time period, but oral administration at a dose of 30 mg/kg resulted in mean plasma concentrations > 100 ng/mL for approximately 6 hours after administration. Oral administration of the suspension consisting of the chemical-grade powder resulted in higher plasma tramadol concentrations than concentrations obtained after oral administration of the other 2 formulations; however, concentrations differed significantly only at 120 and 240 minutes after administration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Oral administration of tramadol at a dose of 30 mg/kg resulted in plasma concentrations (> 100 ng/mL) that have been associated with analgesia in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the pharmacokinetics of hydromorphone hydrochloride after IM and IV administration to orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica).

ANIMALS

8 orange-winged Amazon parrots (4 males and 4 females).

PROCEDURES

Hydromorphone (1 mg/kg) was administered once IM. Blood samples were collected 5 minutes and 0.5, 1.5, 2, 3, 6, and 9 hours after drug administration. Plasma hydromorphone concentrations were determined with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated with a compartmental model. The experiment was repeated 1 month later with the same dose of hydromorphone administered IV.

RESULTS

Plasma hydromorphone concentrations were > 1 ng/mL for 6 hours in 8 of 8 and 6 of 7 parrots after IM and IV injection, respectively. After IM administration, mean bioavailability was 97.6%, and mean maximum plasma concentration was 179.1 ng/mL 17 minutes after injection. Mean volume of distribution and plasma drug clearance were 4.24 L/kg and 64.2 mL/min/kg, respectively, after IV administration. Mean elimination half-lives were 1.74 and 1.45 hours after IM and IV administration, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Hydromorphone hydrochloride had high bioavailability and rapid elimination after IM administration, with rapid plasma clearance and a large volume of distribution after IV administration in orange-winged Amazon parrots. Drug elimination half-lives were short. Further pharmacokinetic studies of hydromorphone and its metabolites, including investigation of multiple doses, different routes of administration, and sustained-release formulations, are recommended.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine epidemiological features of cardiovascular disease in rabbits examined at a veterinary teaching hospital and characterize clinical and pathological findings.

ANIMALS

59 rabbits.

PROCEDURES

Medical records from 2001 to 2018 were reviewed, and data were collected. Echocardiographic images and histologic diagnoses were reviewed.

RESULTS

The prevalence of cardiovascular disease was 2.6% (59/2,249). Clinical signs related to cardiac disease included heart murmur (n = 25 rabbits), arrhythmia (22), tachypnea or dyspnea (13), hyporexia or anorexia (13), and muscle wasting (9). Radiographic (n = 39) abnormalities included cardiomegaly (19) and peritoneal (12) and pleural (11) effusion. Common echocardiographic (n = 37) diagnoses included degenerative valve disease (15), dilated cardiomyopathy (7), unclassified cardiomyopathy (4), restrictive cardiomyopathy (3), and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (2). On ECG (n = 19), supraventricular arrhythmias (16) were more common than ventricular arrhythmias (12). Thirty-five necropsy reports were available, and diagnoses included cardiomyopathy (n = 14), myocarditis (10), and arteriosclerosis (9). Medical management (n = 20) included a wide range of drugs and dosages with few adverse effects. Survival times (n = 36 rabbits) ranged from 1 to 2,353 days with a median cardiac disease–specific survival time of 306 days.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The findings provided information on the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in rabbits and survival times for affected rabbits. Right-sided, left-sided, and biventricular congestive heart failure occurred equally. Median survival time was lower than that reported for other species. Further research on the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease in rabbits is needed.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize the CT findings and epidemiological features of acquired dental disease in rabbits.

ANIMALS

100 client-owned rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

PROCEDURES

Medical records were searched to identify rabbits that underwent skull CT for any reason from 2009 to 2017. History, signalment, and physical examination findings were recorded. The CT images were reevaluated retrospectively for evidence of dental disease and graded according to a previously described system (from 1 [no evidence of disease] to 5 [severe dental disease]) for acquired dental disease in rabbits, and an overall (mean) grade was assigned. Descriptive analyses were performed. Factors were assessed for associations between dental disease grade and malocclusion stage.

RESULTS

Common findings included premolar or molar tooth curvature in transverse (n = 100 rabbits) and sagittal (95) planes, apical elongation of premolar or molar teeth (99), sharp dental points (93), deformation of the mandibular canal (82), and periodontal ligament space widening (76). Acquired dental disease was classified as grade 1 (n = 2 rabbits), 2 (60), 3 (14), 4 (4), or 5 (20). Most CT findings were significantly correlated with each other. Agreement of grades was fair between left- and right-sided quadrants and between maxillary and mandibular quadrants. Age was associated with increasing dental disease grade and malocclusion stage (proportional ORs, 1.21 and 1.32/y, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Fair agreement in disease grades between dental quadrant pairs indicated a degree of asynchrony in the development of dental disease. Findings suggested premolar or molar tooth curvature in a sagittal plane, subtle elongation at premolar or molar tooth apices, and mandibular canal deformation should be added to the grading system.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

An 8-year-old sexually intact female eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus) with a 4-day history of hyporexia and lethargy and a 1-day history of tenesmus was examined.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Severe leukocytosis characterized by severe heterophilia and moderate monocytosis was present. Marked dilation of the proventriculus and ventriculus and ascites were identified by means of radiography, coelomic ultrasonography, and contrast-enhanced CT, with no clinically relevant motility noted on ultrasonography. Results of coelomic fluid analysis were consistent with pyogranulomatous effusion. Endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract following proventricular and ventricular lavage showed a thick caseous plaque occupying 30% of the caudal proventricular mucosa. Abundant yeast organisms were evident during cytologic examination of a proventricular and ventricular wash sample, and fecal culture yielded Candida glabrata.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

The bird was treated with SC fluids, assisted feedings, nystatin, fluconazole, amoxicillin–clavulanic acid, enrofloxacin, gastroprotectants, maropitant, and analgesics and slowly improved during hospitalization. A marked decrease in proventricular dilation was evident on serial radiographs obtained over a 12-month period. One year after diagnosis, the bird was presented with a 1-week history of hyporexia and lethargy, and fecal culture grew C glabrata. Antifungal treatment was resumed for 3 months. The bird had no clinical signs of infection 16 months after this recurrence, and subsequent fecal cultures were negative for fungal growth.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings illustrate the importance of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in diagnosing proventricular and ventricular dilation in birds and emphasize the need for long-term antifungal treatment and monitoring in birds with fungal infections.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the thermal antinociceptive and sedative effects and duration of action of tramadol hydrochloride after oral administration to American kestrels (Falco sparverius).

Animals—12 healthy 3-year-old American kestrels.

Procedures—Tramadol (5, 15, and 30 mg/kg) and a control suspension were administered orally in a masked randomized crossover experimental design. Foot withdrawal response to a thermal stimulus was determined 1 hour before (baseline) and 0.5, 1.5, 3, 6, and 9 hours after treatment. Agitation-sedation scores were determined 3 to 5 minutes before each thermal stimulus test.

Results—The lowest dose of tramadol evaluated (5 mg/kg) significantly increased the thermal foot withdrawal thresholds for up to 1.5 hours after administration, compared with control treatment values, and for up to 9 hours after administration, compared with baseline values. Tramadol at doses of 15 and 30 mg/kg significantly increased thermal thresholds at 0.5 hours after administration, compared with control treatment values, and up to 3 hours after administration, compared with baseline values. No significant differences in agitation-sedation scores were detected between tramadol and control treatments.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated oral administration of 5 mg of tramadol/kg significantly increased thermal nociception thresholds for kestrels for 1.5 hours, compared with a control treatment, and 9 hours, compared with baseline values; higher doses resulted in less pronounced antinociceptive effects. Additional studies with other types of stimulation, formulations, dosages, routes of administration, and testing times would be needed to fully evaluate the analgesic and adverse effects of tramadol in kestrels and other avian species.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the thermal antinociceptive effects and pharmacokinetics of hydromorphone hydrochloride after IM administration to cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus).

ANIMALS 16 healthy adult cockatiels.

PROCEDURES During the first of 2 study phases, each cockatiel received each of 4 treatments (hydromorphone at doses of 0.1, 0.3, and 0.6 mg/kg and saline [0.9% NaCl] solution [0.33 mL/kg; control], IM), with a 14-day interval between treatments. For each bird, foot withdrawal to a thermal stimulus was determined following assignment of an agitation-sedation score at predetermined times before and for 6 hours after each treatment. During the second phase, a subset of 12 birds received hydromorphone (0.6 mg/kg, IM), and blood samples were collected at predetermined times for 9 hours after drug administration. Plasma hydromorphone concentration was determined by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. Noncompartmental analysis of sparse data was used to calculate pharmacokinetic parameters.

RESULTS Thermal withdrawal response did not differ among the 4 treatment groups at any time. Agitation-sedation scores following administration of the 0.3-and 0.6-mg/kg doses of hydromorphone differed significantly from those treated with saline solution and suggested the drug had a sedative effect. Plasma hydromorphone concentrations were > 1 ng/mL for 3 to 6 hours after drug administration in all birds.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that IM administration of hydromorphone at the evaluated doses did not increase the thermal withdrawal threshold of cockatiels despite plasma drug concentrations considered therapeutic for other species. Further research is necessary to evaluate the analgesic effects of hydromorphone in cockatiels.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the antinociceptive and sedative effects of tramadol in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) following IV administration.

Animals—11 healthy Hispaniolan Amazon parrots of unknown sex.

Procedures—Tramadol hydrochloride (5 mg/kg, IV) and an equivalent volume (≤ 0.34 mL) of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution were administered to parrots in a complete crossover study design. Foot withdrawal response to a thermal stimulus was determined 30 to 60 minutes before (baseline) and 15, 30, 60, 120, and 240 minutes after treatment administration; agitation-sedation scores were determined for parrots at each of those times.

Results—The estimated mean changes in temperature from the baseline value that elicited a foot withdrawal response were 1.65° and −1.08°C after administration of tramadol and saline solution, respectively. Temperatures at which a foot withdrawal response was elicited were significantly higher than baseline values at all 5 evaluation times after administration of tramadol and were significantly lower than baseline values at 30, 120, and 240 minutes after administration of saline solution. No sedation, agitation, or other adverse effects were observed in any of the parrots after administration of tramadol.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Tramadol hydrochloride (5 mg/kg, IV) significantly increased the thermal nociception threshold for Hispaniolan Amazon parrots in the present study. Sedation and adverse effects were not observed. These results are consistent with results of other studies in which the antinociceptive effects of tramadol after oral administration to parrots were determined.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research