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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



4 alpacas and 2 llamas (11 months to 11 years old) from 2 properties were examined for lethargy (6/6), salivation and regurgitation (4/6), and recumbency (3/6). Signs developed approximately 48 to 72 hours after accidental access to black oil sunflower seeds.


3 alpacas died suddenly prior to treatment and were necropsied. One llama survived, and 1 alpaca and 1 llama died after days of medical treatment. All 3 treated animals had systemic inflammatory signs including tachycardia, fever, and hematologic changes. Biochemical anomalies included azotemia, hyperglycemia, hyponatremia, hypochloremia, and hypoalbuminemia. Necropsy identified numerous sunflower seeds in the gastrointestinal tract of all 5 animals that died, with pulmonary congestion (5/5 animals), mild centrilobular vacuolar hepatic degeneration (4/5), and erosions of the esophagus (3/5) and first (3/5) and third (1/5) compartments of the forestomach. Renal tubular necrosis was found in the 2 animals that died on day 4 of treatment.


One llama responded successfully to intensive medical management including supplemented IV fluid therapy, oral and partial parenteral nutrition, and administration of antimicrobials, furosemide, and insulin and was clinically normal with plasma biochemical analysis values within reference range 12 weeks later. Vitamin D, oxalates, heavy metals, and mycotoxins were excluded as the cause of clinical signs on the basis of screening of uneaten seeds and tissue samples and gastric content from the treated llama that died.


Inadvertent large volume black oil sunflower seed ingestion resulted in a high mortality rate in camelids. A specific toxic principle was not identified. Feeding this product to camelids is not recommended to avoid the risk of accidental overingestion and subsequent disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021;259:406–414)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To describe the clinical presentation and outcome in dogs diagnosed with Trypanosoma cruzi infection in nonendemic areas and to survey veterinary cardiologists in North America for Chagas disease awareness.


12 client-owned dogs; 83 respondents from a veterinary cardiology listserv.


A retrospective, multicenter medical records review to identify dogs diagnosed with American trypanosomiasis between December 2010 and December 2020. An anonymous online survey was conducted August 9 to 22, 2022.


Diagnosis was made using indirect fluorescent antibody titer (n = 9), quantitative PCR assay (1), or postmortem histopathology (2). Time spent in Texas was < 1 year (n = 7) or 2 to 8 years (5). Time in nonendemic areas prior to diagnosis was < 1 year (n = 10) and > 3 years (2). Eleven had cardiac abnormalities. Of the 12 dogs, 5 had died unexpectedly (range, 1 to 108 days after diagnosis), 4 were still alive at last follow-up (range, 60 to 369 days after diagnosis), 2 were euthanized because of heart disease (1 and 98 days after diagnosis), and 1 was lost to follow-up. Survey results were obtained from 83 cardiologists in North America, of which the self-reported knowledge about Chagas disease was limited in 49% (41/83) and 69% (57/83) expressed interest in learning resources.


Results highlight the potential for encountering dogs with T cruzi infection in nonendemic areas and need for raising awareness about Chagas disease in North America.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association