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  • Author or Editor: Drury R. Reavill x
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Case Description—A 5-year-old male guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) was examined because of lethargy, weight loss, and episodic neurologic signs, including paddling in lateral recumbency, head tilt, and circling. Prior to initial examination, the animal was treated with corn syrup whenever it appeared lethargic, plus an unknown dosage of sulfadimethoxazole.

Clinical Findings—The animal was thin, with abdominal distention and subtle torticollis. Chemistry panel results documented hypoglycemia (45 mg/dL). Corn syrup was discontinued in favor of a high-fiber formula fed via a syringe. Measurement of blood insulin concentration demonstrated hyperinsulinemia (> 1,440 pmol/L [> 201 μU/L]), with concurrent hypoglycemia (0.6 mmol/L [11 mg/dL]).

Treatment and Outcome—Diazoxide treatment for presumptive insulinoma was started at a dosage of 5 mg/kg (2.3 mg/lb), PO, every 12 hours. A blood glucose curve demonstrated persistent hypoglycemia, and the diazoxide dosage was gradually increased to 25 mg/kg (11.4 mg/lb), PO, every 12 hours. A second glucose curve measurement 12 days later confirmed adequate euglycemic control. Three weeks after the initial diazoxide dosage increase, the animal was reexamined for constipation and abdominal distension and died the following day. Histologic analysis confirmed a pancreatic beta-cell tumor (insulinoma).

Clinical Relevance—To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of premortem diagnosis and treatment of an insulinoma in a guinea pig. This case demonstrates that diazoxide treatment can help achieve euglycemia in hypoglycemic guinea pigs and is a potential treatment option for guinea pigs with insulinoma.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To assess the clinical differences between induction of anesthesia in ball pythons with intracardiac administration of propofol and induction with isoflurane in oxygen and to assess the histologic findings over time in hearts following intracardiac administration of propofol.

Design—Prospective randomized study.

Animals—30 hatchling ball pythons (Python regius).

Procedures—Anesthesia was induced with intracardiac administration of propofol (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb]) in 18 ball pythons and with 5% isoflurane in oxygen in 12 ball pythons. Induction time, time of anesthesia, and recovery time were recorded. Hearts from snakes receiving intracardiac administration of propofol were evaluated histologically 3, 7, 14, 30, and 60 days following propofol administration.

Results—Induction time with intracardiac administration of propofol was significantly shorter than induction time with 5% isoflurane in oxygen. No significant differences were found in total anesthesia time. Recovery following intracardiac administration of propofol was significantly longer than recovery following induction of anesthesia with isoflurane in oxygen. Heart tissue evaluated histologically at 3, 7, and 14 days following intracardiac administration of propofol had mild inflammatory changes, and no histopathologic lesions were seen 30 and 60 days following propofol administration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intracardiac injection of propofol in snakes is safe and provides a rapid induction of anesthesia but leads to prolonged recovery, compared with that following induction with isoflurane. Histopathologic lesions in heart tissues following intracardiac injection of propofol were mild and resolved after 14 days.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To estimate the prevalence of clinically relevant atherosclerotic lesions in birds and identify epidemiological variables and illness types associated with development of atherosclerosis.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Sample—Records of 7683 psittacine birds, including 525 with advanced atherosclerosis.

Procedures—5 pathology centers provided databases and access to histopathology slides. Age and sex were collected for all birds of the Amazona, Ara, Cacatua, Nymphicus, and Psittacus genera. Databases were searched for atherosclerosis cases, and slides were reviewed for the presence of type IV through VI atherosclerotic lesions. Results were used to build several multiple logistic models to define the association between advanced atherosclerosis and age, sex, genus, illness type, and specific lesions. Prevalence was reported as a function of age, sex, and genus.

Results—In the first model including 7683 birds, age, female sex, and the genera Psittacus, Amazona, and Nymphicus were significantly associated with clinically relevant atherosclerosis detected via necropsy. Subsequent models of 1,050 cases revealed further associations with reproductive disease, hepatic disease, and myocardial fibrosis, controlling for age, sex, and genus.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Age, female sex, and 3 genera appeared to be positively associated with the presence of advanced atherosclerotic lesions in psittacine birds. This information may be useful in clinical assessment of the cardiovascular system and patient management. Reproductive diseases were the only potentially modifiable risk factor identified and could be a target for prevention in captive psittacine birds.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To report clinical, surgical, and pathological findings in client-owned rabbits with histologically confirmed appendicitis.


19 rabbits.


Medical records for client-owned rabbits that had a histologic diagnosis of appendicitis were reviewed.


Median age of the rabbits at presentation was 24.0 months (range, 4 to 84 months). Seventeen cases occurred during the summer and fall seasons. Decreased appetite (17/19 rabbits), abnormal rectal temperature (hyperthermia, 9/16 rabbits; hypothermia, 4/16 rabbits), hypocalcemia (8/11 rabbits), and hypoglycemia (7/15 rabbits) were common signs. Abdominal ultrasonography and CT findings were suggestive of appendicitis in 6 of 8 rabbits and in 1 of 2 rabbits, respectively. Of the 6 rabbits that received medical treatment, 3 died at 48 hours, 1 died at 24 hours after hospitalization, and 1 died at 10 days after presentation; 1 rabbit was alive at 1,030 days after presentation. Of the 8 rabbits that underwent appendectomy, 3 died before discharge from the hospital and 1 died 113 days after surgery; 4 rabbits were alive at 315, 334, 1,433, and 1,473 days after presentation. The remaining 5 rabbits either died or were euthanized before treatment could be instituted. In each of the 19 rabbits, the appendix had evidence of severe inflammation with mucosal ulceration, heterophilic inflammation, and necrotic debris.


For rabbits with decreased appetite and an apparently painful abdomen, hyperthermia, hypocalcemia, or hypoglycemia, appendicitis should be considered as a differential diagnosis. Further comparisons of medical and surgical treatments are required to establish treatment recommendations for rabbits with appendicitis.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association