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  • Author or Editor: George M. Strain x
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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate physical methods for inducing death during the slaughter of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

Animals—24 captive hatched-and-reared American alligators.

Procedures—Baseline electroencephalograms (EEGs) were obtained for awake and anesthetized alligators. Corneal reflex, spontaneous blinking, and EEGs were evaluated after severance of the spinal cord, severance of the spinal cord followed by pithing of the brain, application of a penetrating captive bolt, or application of a nonpenetrating captive bolt (6 alligators/group).

Results—Overall, alligators subjected to spinal cord severance alone differed from those subjected to the other techniques. Spinal cord severance alone resulted in postprocedure EEG power values greater than those in anesthetized alligators, whereas the postprocedure EEG power values were isoelectric for the other 3 techniques. Corneal reflex and spontaneous blinking were absent in all alligators immediately after application of a penetrating or nonpenetrating captive bolt. One of 6 alligators had a corneal reflex up to 1 minute after pithing, but all others within that group had immediate cessation of reflexes after pithing. Mean time to loss of spontaneous blinking and corneal reflex for alligators subjected to spinal cord severance alone was 18 minutes (range, 2 to 37 minutes) and 54 minutes (range, 34 to 99 minutes), respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Spinal cord severance followed by pithing of the brain and application of a penetrating or nonpenetrating captive bolt appeared to be humane and effective techniques for inducing death in American alligators, whereas spinal cord severance alone was not found to be an appropriate method.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine functional and morphologic changes in palmar digital nerves after nonfocused extracorporeal shock wave (ESW) treatment in horses.

Animals—6 horses.

Procedures—The medial and lateral palmar digital nerves of the left forelimb were treated with nonfocused ESWs. The medial palmar digital nerve of the right forelimb served as a nontreated control nerve. At 3, 7, and 35 days after treatment, respectively, 2 horses each were anesthetized and nerves were surgically exposed. Sensory nerve conduction velocities (SNCVs) of treated and control nerves were recorded, after which palmar digital neurectomies were performed. Morphologic changes in nerves were assessed via transmission electron microscopy.

Results—Significantly lower SNCV in treated medial and lateral nerves, compared with control nerves, was found 3 and 7 days after treatment. A significantly lower SNCV was detected in treated medial but not lateral nerves 35 days after treatment. Transmission electron microscopy of treated nerves revealed disruption of the myelin sheath with no evidence of damage to Schwann cell bodies or axons, 3, 7, and 35 days after treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Nonfocused ESW treatment of the metacarpophalangeal area resulted in lower SNCV in palmar digital nerves. This effect likely contributes to the post-treatment analgesia observed in horses and may result in altered peripheral pain perception. Horses with preexisting lesions may be at greater risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries when exercised after treatment. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1714–1718)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) would affect incorporation of an autogenous cancellous bone graft in diaphyseal ulnar defects in cats.

Animals—12 mature cats.

Procedure—Bilateral nonunion diaphyseal ulnar defects were created in each cat. An autogenous cancellous bone graft was implanted in 1 ulnar defect in each cat, with the contralateral ulnar defect serving as a nongrafted specimen. Six cats were treated by use of hyperbaric oxygen at 2 atmospheres absolute for 90 minutes once daily for 14 days, and 6 cats were not treated (control group). Bone labeling was performed, using fluorochrome markers. Cats were euthanatized 5 weeks after implanting, and barium sulfate was infused to evaluate vascularization of grafts. Ulnas were evaluated by use of radiography, microangiography, histologic examination, and histomorphometric examination.

Results—Radiographic scores did not differ between treatment groups. Microangiographic appearance of grafted defects was similar between groups, with all having adequate vascularization. Differences were not observed between treated and nontreated groups in the overall histologic appearance of decalcified samples of tissue in grafted defects. Mean distance between fluorescent labels was significantly greater in cats given HBOT than in nontreated cats. Median percentage of bone formation in grafted defects was significantly greater in cats given HBOT.

Conclusions—Hyperbaric oxygen treatment increased the distance between fluorescent labels and percentage of bone formation when incorporating autogenous cancellous bone grafts in induced nonunion diaphyseal ulnar defects in cats, but HBOT did not affect revascularization, radiographic appearance, or qualitative histologic appearance of the grafts. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:691–698)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research