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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.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

  • This report illustrates the feasibility of radiography, anesthesia, and coelomic surgery in a pet fish.

  • Pneumocystectomy can improve certain buoyancy disorders in fish.

Free access
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.

Full access
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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

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.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare dexmedetomidine-ketamine (DK; 0.1 and 10 mg/kg, respectively) with midazolam (M; 1.0 mg/kg) or 0.9% sodium chloride (S; 0.2 mL/kg) administered IM in the forelimb (F) or hindlimb (H) in eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina).

ANIMALS

20 clinically healthy, captive adult eastern box turtles.

METHODS

In a randomized, blinded, complete crossover study with 1-week washout periods, turtles were administered each of 3 treatments: F-DKS, F-DKM, or H-DKM. Palpebral reflex, muscle tone, and withdrawal responses were serially assessed and used to calculate cumulative sedation scores at each 5-minute time point. The ability to intubate was evaluated. At 60 minutes, atipamezole (1.0 mg/kg) and either flumazenil (F-DKM, H-DKM; 0.05 mg/kg) or 0.9% sodium chloride (F-DKS; 0.5 mL/kg) were administered IM.

RESULTS

All treatments resulted in clinically relevant anesthetic effects. F-DKM produced significantly higher sedation scores than H-DKM or F-DKS at all time points between 10 and 60 minutes (P < .05). Sedation score variability was observed with all treatments with significantly higher variability for H-DKM (P < .05). Intubation was successful in 32, 89, and 11% of turtles in F-DKS, F-DKM, and H-DKM, respectively. Median (range) recovery time was 10 (5–22), 16 (7–45), and 12 (4–28) minutes for F-DKS, F-DKM, and H-DKM, respectively.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

In eastern box turtles, forelimb dexmedetomidine-ketamine resulted in clinically relevant anesthetic effects that were heightened with the addition of midazolam. Hindlimb administration of midazolam-dexmedetomidine-ketamine resulted in reduced and more variable anesthetic effects compared to forelimb administration, supporting a hepatic first-pass effect.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
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.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether Scyphomedusa jellyfish with eversion syndrome had alterations in husbandry conditions, elemental content, or histologic appearance, compared with unaffected jellyfish.

Animals—123 jellyfish (44 with eversion syndrome and 79 without) at 6 institutions.

Procedures—Elemental analyses were performed on 24 jellyfish with eversion syndrome and 49 without, and histologic examinations were performed on 20 jellyfish with eversion syndrome and 30 without. A questionnaire distributed to 39 institutions with Scyphomedusa jellyfish was used to gather information about husbandry, environmental conditions, and prevalence of eversion syndrome.

Results—For the 39 institutions that responded to the questionnaire, prevalence of eversion syndrome ranged from 0% to 30%. For Aurelia aurita, eversion was more common at institutions with only captive-raised and no wild-caught jellyfish. Eversion was most common among young (approx 1- to 2-month-old) growing jellyfish and older (> 6-month-old) jellyfish. Elemental analysis revealed only minor differences between affected and unaffected jellyfish, with great variation among jellyfish from the same institution and among jellyfish from different institutions. Striated muscle degeneration and necrosis and extracellular matrix (mesoglea) degeneration were evident on histologic examination of affected jellyfish.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that eversion syndrome is a complex phenomenon associated with degenerative changes of the bell matrix.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research