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  • Author or Editor: Gregory A. Lewbart x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of Salmonella spp in samples collected from wild North American turtles.

Animals—94 wild North American turtles of 6 species in 2 genera.

Design—Prospective microbiologic study.

Procedures—A convenience sample of wild North Carolina turtles admitted to a veterinary college was evaluated for Salmonella spp by use of standard techniques via microbiologic culture of cloacal swab and fecal samples. Gastrointestinal mucosa samples were also collected at necropsy from turtles that died or were euthanized. Cloacal swab samples were also collected from wild pond turtles for bacteriologic culture. Controls were established by use of wild-type Salmonella Typhimurium LT2.

Results—94 turtles were tested for Salmonella spp; Salmonella spp were not detected in any sample. By use of a pathogen-prevalence and sample-size table, the true prevalence of Salmonella spp was estimated as < 5%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that wild turtles in central North Carolina may not be active shedders or carriers of Salmonella spp. Despite this 0% prevalence of infection, proper hygiene practices should be followed when handling wild turtles.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

4 wild adult rat snakes (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) were evaluated after ingesting spherical or ovoid foreign bodies.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Physical examination revealed a large, firm mass at the level of the stomach in each snake. Radiographic findings were consistent with ingestion of a golf ball (3 snakes) or an artificial egg (1 snake). Signs consistent with prolonged impaction included scale loss, dermal abrasions, and apparent loss of body condition in one snake and regional skin ulceration, dehydration, and generalized muscle atrophy in another.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

Nonsurgical removal of the foreign body was attempted in anesthetized or heavily sedated snakes by external manipulation in the orad direction. A golf ball was removed through the oral cavity without complications in 1 snake. In the other 3 snakes, tension caused by the advancing foreign body resulted in full-thickness skin rupture in the cervical region. The procedure was completed with the use of a balloon catheter to aid foreign body advancement for 1 of the 3 snakes, and the skin defect was closed. The procedure was converted to esophagotomy for the other 2 snakes. Three snakes recovered and were released; 1 died of complications from prolonged impaction and esophageal perforation.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The described nonsurgical techniques for removal of ingested round or ovoid foreign bodies were associated with substantial complications in 3 of 4 treated rat snakes. Although a nonsurgical method for removal of ingested objects such as golf balls could benefit snakes, the methods used for these patients did not appear to be more beneficial than traditional gastrotomy.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess reproducibility of an in-house tabletop biochemical analyzer for measurement of plasma biochemical analytes and establish reference intervals in adult koi.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—71 healthy adult koi.

Procedures—Plasma was analyzed for concentrations or activities of albumin, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, bile acids, BUN, calcium, cholesterol, creatine kinase, γ-glutamyltransferase, globulin, glucose, K, Na, P, total bilirubin, total protein, and uric acid. Duplicate samples were evaluated by use of the intraclass correlation coefficient to determine reproducibility. To assess the magnitude of differences between replicate samples, the absolute mean difference, SD, and minimum and maximum values were calculated for each analyte. Median values and reference intervals were calculated.

Results—Intraclass correlation coefficient values were excellent for all analytes except alanine aminotransferase (good), Na (poor), γ-glutamyltransferase (poor), and P (poor). Reference intervals were established.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The in-house tabletop biochemical analyzer had good precision for measuring most plasma biochemical analytes. Further research and comparison with other reference procedures are needed before reference intervals and precision can be established for globulin, Na, P, K, and albumin. Aquatic veterinarians may be able to use the reference intervals for adult koi as an important diagnostic tool or as part of a fish wellness program, as commonly done in other domestic species.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine efficacy of propofol as an immersion agent to induce general anesthesia in koi (Cyprinus carpio).

Design—Prospective, crossover study.

Animals—10 adult koi (mean ± SD weight, 325 ± 81 g).

Procedures—Koi were exposed to each of 4 concentrations of propofol (1, 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/L) with a 1-week washout period between trials. In a subsequent trial, koi were anesthetized with propofol (5 mg/L) and anesthesia was maintained with propofol (3 mg/L) for 20 minutes. Response to a noxious stimulus was assessed by means of needle insertion into an epaxial muscle.

Results—At a propofol concentration of 1 mg/L, koi were sedated but never anesthetized. At propofol concentrations of 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/L, mean ± SD anesthetic induction times were 13.4 ± 3.3, 3.8 ± 1.1, and 2.3 ± 0.9 minutes, respectively; mean recovery times were 12.9 ± 8.3, 11.0 ± 6.3, and 18.1 ± 13.0 minutes; mean heart rates were 57 ± 25, 30 ± 14, and 22 ± 14 beats/min; mean opercular rates were 58 ± 18, 68 ± 15, and 48 ± 22 beats/min; and 1 of 10, 2 of 10, and 0 of 10 fish responded to needle insertion. All fish recovered satisfactorily. Following 20 minutes of anesthesia, 2 fish had recovery times > 4 hours and 1 fish died.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Immersion in propofol at concentrations ≥ 2.5 mg/L induced general anesthesia in koi. Maintenance of anesthesia with propofol for 20 minutes was associated with prolonged recovery times in 2 of 9 and death in 1 of 9 koi.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To establish a nonterminal semen collection method for use in captive Chilean rose tarantulas (Grammostola rosea) and to evaluate tools for investigating morphology and viability of spermatozoa.

Animals—7 mature male Chilean rose tarantulas.

Procedures—Each tarantula was anesthetized in a 500-mL induction chamber containing a cotton ball infused with 2 mL of isoflurane. Semen collection was performed by applying direct pressure to the palpal bulbs (sperm storage organs) located on the distal segment of the palpal limbs. Morphology of spermatozoa was examined by light microscopy and transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Propidium iodide and a fluorescent membrane-permeant nucleic acid dye were used to evaluate cell viability.

Results—Semen was collected successfully from all 7 tarantulas. Microscopic examination of semen samples revealed coenospermia (spherical capsules [mean ± SD diameter, 10.3 ± 1.6 μm] containing many nonmotile sperm cells [mean number of sperm cells/capsule, 18.5 ± 3.8]). Individual spermatozoa were characterized by a spiral-shaped cell body (mean length, 16.7 ± 1.4 μm; mean anterior diameter, 1.5 ± 0.14 μm). Each spermatozoon had no apparent flagellar structure. The fluorescent stains identified some viable sperm cells in the semen samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The described technique allowed simple and repeatable collection of semen from Chilean rose tarantulas. Semen from this species was characterized by numerous spherical capsules containing many nonmotile spermatozoa in an apparently quiescent state. Fluorescent staining to distinguish live from dead spermatozoa appeared to be a useful tool for semen evaluation in this species.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine safety and efficacy of an anesthetic protocol incorporating medetomidine, ketamine, and sevoflurane for anesthesia of injured loggerhead sea turtles.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—13 loggerhead sea turtles.

Procedure—Anesthesia was induced with medetomidine (50 µg/kg [22.7 µg/lb], IV) and ketamine (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], IV) and maintained with sevoflurane (0.5 to 2.5%) in oxygen. Sevoflurane was delivered with a pressure-limited intermittent-flow ventilator. Heart rate and rhythm, end-tidal partial pressure of CO2, and cloacal temperature were monitored continuously; venous blood gas analyses were performed intermittently. Administration of sevoflurane was discontinued 30 to 60 minutes prior to the end of the surgical procedure. Atipamezole (0.25 mg/kg [0.11 mg/lb], IV) was administered at the end of surgery.

Results—Median induction time was 11 minutes (range, 2 to 40 minutes; n = 11). Median delivered sevoflurane concentrations 15, 30, 60, and 120 minutes after intubation were 2.5 (n = 12), 1.5 (12), 1.25 (12), and 0.5% (8), respectively. Heart rate decreased during surgery to a median value of 15 beats/min (n = 11). End-tidal partial pressure of CO2 ranged from 2 to 16 mm Hg (n = 8); median blood gas values were within reference limits. Median time from atipamezole administration to extubation was 14 minutes (range, 2 to 84 minutes; n = 7).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a combination of medetomidine and ketamine for induction and sevoflurane for maintenance provides safe, effective, controllable anesthesia in injured loggerhead sea turtles. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1019–1025)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare physiologic and anesthetic effects of alfaxalone administered IV to yearling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at 3 different doses.

DESIGN Randomized crossover study.

ANIMALS 9 healthy yearling loggerhead sea turtles.

PROCEDURES Animals received each of 3 doses of alfaxalone (3 mg/kg [1.4 mg/lb], 5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], or 10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb]) administered IV in randomly assigned order, with a minimum 7-day washout period between doses. Endotracheal intubation was attempted following anesthetic induction, and heart rate, sedation depth, cloacal temperature, and respirations were monitored. Times to first effect, induction, first voluntary muscle movement, first respiration, and recovery were recorded. Venous blood gas analysis was performed at 0 and 30 minutes. Assisted ventilation was performed if apnea persisted 30 minutes following induction.

RESULTS Median anesthetic induction time for all 3 doses was 2 minutes. Endotracheal intubation was accomplished in all turtles following induction. Heart rate significantly increased after the 3- and 5-mg/kg doses were administered. Median intervals from alfaxalone administration to first spontaneous respiration were 16, 22, and 54 minutes for the 3-, 5-, and 10-mg/kg doses, respectively, and median intervals to recovery were 28, 46, and 90 minutes, respectively. Assisted ventilation was required for 1 turtle after receiving the 5-mg/kg dose and for 5 turtles after receiving the 10-mg/kg dose. The 10-mg/kg dose resulted in respiratory acidosis and marked hypoxemia at 30 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE IV alfaxalone administration to loggerhead sea turtles resulted in a rapid anesthetic induction and dose-dependent duration of sedation. Assisted ventilation is recommended if the 10 mg/kg dose is administered.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
History

An approximately 7-year-old 5.6-kg sexually intact male carpet python (Morelia spilota) was evaluated for a more than 7-month history of decreased mobility and abnormal behavior, including dull mentation, reduced righting reflex, and anorexia. The snake had not ingested any whole rats or mice for the previous 2 months; therefore, oral tube-feeding with a liquid diet for carnivores had been performed monthly.

Clinical and Gross Findings

On physical examination, the snake was quiet and dull with an altered head carriage, decreased righting reflex, poor body condition (body condition score of 2 on a scale of 1 to 9),

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare the anesthetic efficacy and physiologic changes associated with exposure to tricaine methanesulfonate and clove oil (100% eugenol).

Animals—15 adult cultured red pacu (Piaractus brachypomus).

Procedure—Fish were exposed to each of 6 anesthetic concentrations in a within-subjects complete crossover design. Stages of anesthesia and recovery were measured, and physiologic data were collected before and during anesthesia.

Results—Interval to induction was more rapid and recovery more prolonged in fish exposed to eugenol, compared with those exposed to tricaine methanesulfonate. The margin of safety for eugenol was narrow, because at the highest concentration, most fish required resuscitation. Mixed venous-arterial PO2 consistently decreased with anesthesia, while PCO2 consistently increased with anesthesia in all fish regardless of anesthetic agent. The increase in PCO2 was accompanied by a decrease in pH, presumably secondary to respiratory acidosis. Anesthesia was associated with increased blood glucose, potassium, and sodium concentrations as well as Hct and hemoglobin. Fish anesthetized with eugenol were more likely to react to a hypodermic needle puncture than fish anesthetized with tricaine methanesulfonate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Anesthesia induced with tricaine methanesulfonate or eugenol contributes to hypoxemia, hypercapnia, respiratory acidosis, and hyperglycemia in red pacu. Similar to tricaine methanesulfonate, eugenol appears to be an effective immobilization compound, but eugenol is characterized by more rapid induction, prolonged recovery, and a narrow margin of safety. Care must be taken when using high concentrations of eugenol for induction, because ventilatory failure may occur rapidly. In addition, analgesic properties of eugenol are unknown. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:337–342)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research