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  • Author or Editor: Felicia B. Nutter x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the time and financial costs of programs for live trapping feral cats and determine whether allowing cats to become acclimated to the traps improved trapping effectiveness.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—107 feral cats in 9 colonies.

Procedure—15 traps were set at each colony for 5 consecutive nights, and 5 traps were then set per night until trapping was complete. In 4 colonies, traps were immediately baited and set; in the remaining 5 colonies, traps were left open and cats were fed in the traps for 3 days prior to the initiation of trapping. Costs for bait and labor were calculated, and trapping effort and efficiency were assessed.

Results—Mean ± SD overall trapping effort (ie, number of trap-nights until at least 90% of the cats in the colony had been captured or until no more than 1 cat remained untrapped) was 8.9 ± 3.9 trap-nights per cat captured. Mean overall trapping efficiency (ie, percentage of cats captured per colony) was 98.0 ± 4.0%. There were no significant differences in trapping effort or efficiency between colonies that were provided an acclimation period and colonies that were not. Overall trapping costs were significantly higher for colonies provided an acclimation period.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that these live-trapping protocols were effective. Feeding cats their regular diets in the traps for 3 days prior to the initiation of trapping did not have a significant effect on trapping effort or efficiency in the present study but was associated with significant increases in trapping costs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1403–1405)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine reproductive capacity of naturally breeding free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate.

Design—Prospective cohort and retrospective crosssectional study.

Animals—2,332 female cats brought to a trap-neuterreturn clinic for neutering and 71 female cats and 171 kittens comprising 50 litters from a cohort study of feral cats in managed colonies.

Procedure—Data collected for all cats included pregnancy, lactation, and estrus status and number of fetuses for pregnant cats. Additional data collected for feral cats in managed colonies included numbers of litters per year and kittens per litter, date of birth, kitten survival rate, and causes of death.

Results—Pregnant cats were observed in all months of the year, but the percentage of cats found to be pregnant was highest in March, April, and May. Cats produced a mean of 1.4 litters/y, with a median of 3 kittens/litter (range, 1 to 6). Overall, 127 of 169 (75%) kittens died or disappeared before 6 months of age. Trauma was the most common cause of death.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results illustrate the high reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats. Realistic estimates of the reproductive capacity of female cats may be useful in assessing the effectiveness of population control strategies. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1399–1402)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare seroprevalences of antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Toxoplasma gondii and fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and Toxocara cati in feral and pet domestic cats.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional serologic and coprologic survey.

Animals—100 feral cats and 76 pet domestic cats from Randolph County, NC.

Procedure—Blood and fecal samples were collected and tested.

Results—Percentages of feral cats seropositive for antibodies against B henselae and T gondii (93% and 63%, respectively) were significantly higher than percentages of pet cats (75% and 34%). Percentages of feral and pet cats with Cryptosporidium spp (7% of feral cats; 6% of pet cats), Giardia spp (6% of feral cats; 5% of pet cats), and T cati ova (21% of feral cats; 18% of pet cats) in their feces were not significantly different between populations. Results of CBCs and serum biochemical analyses were not significantly different between feral and pet cats, except that feral cats had a significantly lower median PCV and significantly higher median neutrophil count.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that feral and pet cats had similar baseline health status, as reflected by results of hematologic and serum biochemical testing and similar prevalences of infection with Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and T cati. Feral cats did have higher seroprevalences of antibodies against B henselae and T gondii than did pet cats, but this likely was related to greater exposure to vectors of these organisms. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1394–1398)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To characterize clinical features of avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) in American coots.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—26 AVM-affected American coots and 12 unaffected coots.

Procedures—Complete physical, neurologic, hematologic, and plasma biochemical evaluations were performed. Affected coots received supportive care. All coots died or were euthanatized, and AVM status was confirmed via histopathologic findings.

Results—3 severely affected coots were euthanatized immediately after examination. Seventeen affected coots were found dead within 7 days of admission, but 5 affected coots survived > 21 days and had signs of clinical recovery. Abnormal physical examination findings appeared to be related to general debilitation. Ataxia (88%), decreased withdrawal reflexes (88%), proprioceptive deficits (81%), decreased vent responses (69%), beak or tongue weakness (42%), and head tremors (31%), as well as absent pupillary light responses (46%), anisocoria (15%), apparent blindness (4%), nystagmus (4%), and strabismus (4%) were detected. Few gross abnormalities were detected at necropsy, but histologically, all AVM-affected coots had severe vacuolation of white matter of the brain. None of the control coots had vacuolation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although there was considerable variability in form and severity of clinical neurologic abnormalities, clinical signs common in AVM-affected birds were identified. Clinical recovery of some AVM-affected coots can occur when supportive care is administered. Until the etiology is identified, caution should be exercised when rehabilitating and releasing coots thought to be affected by AVM. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221: 80–85)

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine (1) if chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1), matrix metalloproteinase 8 (MMP8), interleukin-10 (IL-10), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) can be detected in serum from Asian elephants, and (2) if their concentrations are significantly elevated in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) culture–positive elephants compared to –negative elephants. CXCL1, MMP8, IL-10, IFN-γ, and TNF-α were recently identified as potential diagnostic biomarkers for pulmonary tuberculosis in experimental studies in animals and humans. Therefore, we hypothesized that they would be detectable and significantly elevated in M.tb culture–positive elephants compared to M.tb culture–negative elephants.

SAMPLE

101 Asian elephant serum samples, including 91 samples from 6 M.tb-negative elephants and 10 samples from 5 M.tb-positive elephants (none of which exhibited clinical signs of disease). M.tb status was determined by trunk wash culture.

PROCEDURES

Commercially available ELISA kits were used to determine the concentrations of each biomarker in serum samples.

RESULTS

Biomarker concentrations were below the limit of detection for the assay in 100/101 (99%) samples for CXCL1, 98/101 (97%) samples for MMP8, 85/101 (84%) samples for IL-10, 75/101 (74%) samples for IFN-γ, and 45/101 (45%) samples for TNF-α. Multiple M.tb culture–positive elephants did not have detectable levels of any of the 5 biomarkers.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

CXCL1, MMP8, IL-10, IFN-γ, and TNF-α were not elevated in M.tb culture–positive Asian elephants compared to M.tb culture–negative Asian elephants. This may be related to disease state (ie, clinically asymptomatic). More sensitive assays are needed to better understand the role of these biomarkers in M.tb infection in Asian elephants.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research