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  • Author or Editor: E. P. Scott Weber III x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To calculate the prevalence of urolithiasis in client-owned chelonians examined at a veterinary teaching hospital and to describe the clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment of urolithiasis in chelonians.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—40 client-owned turtles and tortoises with urolithiasis.

Procedures—The medical record database of a veterinary teaching hospital was searched from 1987 through 2012 for records of client-owned chelonians with urolithiasis. The prevalence of urolithiasis was calculated for client-owned chelonians examined at the hospital. Signalment and physical examination, hematologic, biochemical, urinalysis, diagnostic imaging, treatment, and necropsy results were described.

Results—The mean prevalence of urolithiasis in client-owned chelonians for the study period was 5.1 cases/100 client-owned chelonians examined. Thirty-one of the 40 chelonians were desert tortoises. Only 5 of 40 chelonians had physical examination abnormalities associated with the urogenital tract. Surgery was performed on 17 chelonians; 5 developed postoperative complications, and 4 of those died. Necropsy was performed on 18 chelonians, and urolithiasis contributed to the decision to euthanize or was the cause of death for 9. Uroliths from 13 chelonians were analyzed, and all were composed of 100% urate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated chelonians with urolithiasis have various clinical signs and physical examination findings that may or may not be associated with the urinary tract. Hematologic, biochemical, and urinalysis findings were nonspecific for diagnosis of urolithiasis. Many chelonians died or were euthanized as a consequence of urolithiasis, which suggested the disease should be identified early and appropriately treated.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate the long-term protective immunity of a cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV3) vaccine in naïve koi (Cyprinus carpio koi).

Animals—72 koi.

Procedures—Vaccinated koi (n = 36) and unvaccinated control koi (36) were challenge exposed to a wild-type CyHV3 strain (KHVp8 F98-50) 13 months after vaccination.

Results—The CyHV3 vaccine provided substantial protective immunity against challenge exposure. The proportional mortality rate was less in vaccinated koi (13/36 [36%]) than in unvaccinated koi (36/36 [100%]). For koi that died during the experiment, mean survival time was significantly greater in vaccinated than in unvaccinated fish (17 vs 10 days).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The CyHV3 vaccine provided substantial protective immunity against challenge exposure with CyHV3 13 months after vaccination. This provided evidence that koi can be vaccinated annually with the CyHV3 vaccine to significantly reduce mortality and morbidity rates associated with CyHV3 infection.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To investigate safety and efficacy of a cyprinid herpesvirus type 3 (CyHV3) modified-live virus vaccine for the prevention of koi herpesvirus disease (KHVd).

Animals—420 healthy koi (Cyprinus carpio koi).

Procedures—Fish were vaccinated with a 1× dose or 10× overdose of CyHV3 modified-live virus vaccine or a placebo through bath exposure in tanks at 22°C. Horizontal transmission of vaccine virus was evaluated by commingling unvaccinated and vaccinated fish. Efficacy was evaluated by challenge exposure of vaccinated and naïve fish to a wild-type virus. Fish that died were submitted for quantitative PCR assay for CyHV3 and histologic evaluation.

Results—The CyHV3 vaccine was safe and efficacious, even at a 10× overdose. Vaccine-associated mortality rate was inversely associated with body weight, with a cumulative mortality rate of 9.4% (18/192) in fish weighing ≤ 87 g and no deaths in fish weighing > 87 g (0/48). Horizontal transfer of vaccine virus from vaccinates to naïve fish was negligible. For efficacy, the vaccine provided a significant reduction in mortality rate after challenge exposure to a wild-type virus, with a prevented fraction of 0.83 versus the placebo control fish.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—KHVd is highly contagious and commonly leads to deaths in 80% to 100% of exposed fish, representing a major threat to koi and common carp populations throughout the world. The CyHV3 modified-live virus vaccine had a favorable safety profile and was an effective vaccine for the control of KHVd in koi weighing > 87 g.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research