Objective—To determine reproductive capacity of
naturally breeding free-roaming domestic cats and kitten
Design—Prospective cohort and retrospective crosssectional
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)
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)
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
Animals—100 feral cats and 76 pet domestic cats
from Randolph County, NC.
Procedure—Blood and fecal samples were collected
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)
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.
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.
Commercially available ELISA kits were used to determine the concentrations of each biomarker in serum samples.
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.
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.
Objective—To characterize clinical features of avian
vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) in American coots.
Animals—26 AVM-affected American coots and 12
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: