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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate efficacy and safety of anesthesia with dexmedetomidine-ketamine-midazolam (DKM) in five-striped palm squirrels (Funambulus pennantii).

ANIMALS

8 male squirrels.

PROCEDURES

Squirrels were anesthetized with DKM (dexmedetomidine, 0.1 mg/kg; ketamine hydrochloride, 30 mg/kg; and midazolam, 0.75 mg/kg) administered IM. Atipamezole (0.15 mg/kg) and flumazenil (0.1 mg/kg) were administered IM 40 minutes after induction of anesthesia. Vital signs and responses were recorded every 5 minutes during anesthesia.

RESULTS

Anesthetic induction and recovery from anesthesia were rapid and without complications in all squirrels. Median anesthetic induction time was 67.5 seconds (interquartile [25th to 75th percentile] range, 5.5 seconds), and mean ± SD recovery time after drug reversal was 147 ± 79 seconds. Heart rate, respiratory rate, and rectal temperature significantly decreased during the anesthetic period. All squirrels became hypothermic by 40 minutes after induction. The righting reflex was absent during the 40-minute anesthetic period in all squirrels, with variable responses for the palpebral reflex, jaw tone, forelimb withdrawal reflex, and hind limb withdrawal reflex. Only 2 of 8 squirrels had loss of the limb withdrawal reflex in both the forelimbs and hind limbs from anesthetic induction to 25 minutes after induction.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

DKM appeared to provide safe and effective anesthesia in five-striped palm squirrels, but oxygen and thermal support were indicated. At the doses administered, deep surgical anesthesia was not consistently achieved, and anesthetic depth of individual squirrels must be determined before surgical procedures are performed in palm squirrels anesthetized with this drug combination.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To investigate effects of storage duration and temperature on biochemical analytes in plasma from red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans).

ANIMALS 8 red-eared sliders.

PROCEDURES Blood samples were collected. Plasma was harvested and analyzed at room temperature (approx 23°C; time = 1 hour) and then fractioned into 0.1-mL aliquots that were stored at room temperature or were refrigerated (4°C) or frozen (−20°C). Biochemical analysis of stored samples was performed at 4 (room temperature), 8 (4°C), 24 (4°C), 48 (4° and −20°C), and 72 (−20°C) hours and at 7 days (−20°C). For each time point for each storage temperature, bias was calculated by subtracting values from the value obtained at 1 hour. Bias was modeled by use of a linear mixed model.

RESULTS Storage temperature had a significant effect on several plasma biochemical analytes. In general, aspartate aminotransferase activity and uric acid, total protein, and potassium concentrations increased after storage at 4° and −20°C. Differences in values after storage were mostly within the acceptable range for allowable total error, except for calcium and potassium concentrations for samples stored at −20°C. Both storage temperatures increased variability of measurement results. Results for samples stored at room temperature for 4 hours did not differ significantly from values at 1 hour. Results differed significantly between refrigerated and frozen samples stored for 48 hours.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Short-term storage conditions influenced results for some biochemical analytes. These effects should be considered when performing biochemical analyses of plasma samples obtained from red-eared sliders.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare intraoperative and short-term postoperative variables pertaining to laparoscopic ovariectomy (LapOVE) and open ovariectomy (OVE) in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

ANIMALS

Twelve 4− to 5-month-old female New Zealand White rabbits.

PROCEDURES

Rabbits were randomly assigned to undergo LapOVE (n = 6) or OVE (6), with a vessel-sealing device used to seal and transect the ovarian pedicles. Laparoscopic ovariectomy was performed with a 3-port approach. Variables were measured during surgery (surgery and anesthesia times and incision lengths) and for up to 7 days after surgery (food consumption, feces production, body weight, vital parameters, blood glucose and cortisol concentrations, abdominal palpation findings, facial grimace scale scores, and ethograms).

RESULTS

Mean surgery (43.2 vs 21.7 minutes) and anesthesia (76.2 vs 48.8 minutes) times were longer and mean incision length was shorter (24.0 vs 41.5 mm) for LapOVE versus OVE. No significant differences in postoperative variables were identified between groups. During LapOVE, small intestinal perforation occurred in 1 rabbit, which was then euthanized. Postoperative complications for the remaining rabbits included superficial incisional dehiscence (LapOVE, 1/5; OVE, 2/6), subcutaneous emphysema (LapOVE, 1/5; OVE, 0/6), and seroma formation (LapOVE, 1/5; OVE, 0/6).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Surgery time for LapOVE was twice that of OVE, and LapOVE resulted in unique complications in rabbits. No evidence of a reduction in pain or faster return to baseline physiologic status was found for LapOVE. Further evaluation of LapOVE in rabbits is warranted, with modification to techniques used in this study or a larger sample size.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the association between urine osmolality and specific gravity (USG) in dogs and to evaluate the effect of commonly measured urine solutes on that association.

Animals—60 dogs evaluated by an internal medicine service.

Procedures—From each dog, urine was obtained by cystocentesis and USG was determined with a refractometer. The sample was divided, and one aliquot was sent to a diagnostic laboratory for urinalysis and the other was frozen at −80°C until osmolality was determined. Urine samples were thawed and osmolality was measured in duplicate with a freezing-point depression osmometer. The correlation between mean urine osmolality and USG was determined; the effect of pH, proteinuria, glucosuria, ketonuria, bilirubinuria, and hemoglobinuria on this relationship was investigated with multiple regression analysis.

Results—The Pearson correlation coefficient between urine osmolality and USG was 0.87. The final multivariable regression model for urine osmolality included USG and the presence of ketones; ketonuria had a small negative association with urine osmolality.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated a strong linear correlation between osmolality and USG in urine samples obtained from dogs with various pathological conditions, and ketonuria had a small negative effect on that correlation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effects of restraint time and thermometer insertion depth on rectal temperature measurements in chinchillas and determine the extent of agreement between temperatures measured with 2 tympanic and a rectal thermometer.

DESIGN Prospective method comparison study.

ANIMALS 47 healthy chinchillas.

PROCEDURES Effects of 1- and 2-cm rectal thermometer insertion depths and the effect of manual restraint for up to 5 minutes were evaluated. Near simultaneous temperature measurements were obtained with a human tympanic, a veterinary tympanic, and a rectal thermometer by 2 observers. Duplicate temperature measurements were obtained for each method, and the sequence of measurements was randomized for each animal.

RESULTS Rectal temperature readings obtained at a depth of 2 cm were significantly higher (mean ± SD, 1.14 ± 0.77°C [2.05° ± 1.39°F]) than those obtained at 1 cm. After 3 minutes, manual restraint had a significant effect on rectal temperature. The reference interval for rectal temperature in chinchillas with a 2-cm thermometer insertion depth was calculated as 34.9° to 37.9°C (94.8° to 100.2°F). Both tympanic infrared thermometers had significant systematic bias (0.42 ± 0.12°C [0.76° ± 0.22°F]) and proportional bias (0.88 ± 0.14°C [1.58° ± 0.25°F]). The coefficients of reliability for the rectal thermometer, the human tympanic thermometer, and the veterinary tympanic thermometer were 0.86, 0.85, and 0.69, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Rectal thermometer insertion depth and duration of manual restraint had a significant effect on rectal temperature measurements in chinchillas. Because of significant systematic and proportional bias, tympanic thermometry was not considered a suitable replacement for rectal thermometry in chinchillas.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the utility of commercially available reagent test strips for estimation of BUN concentration and detection of azotemia in pet rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

SAMPLE

65 blood samples from 53 rabbits and 71 blood samples from 50 ferrets of various health statuses.

PROCEDURES

BUN concentrations were measured with a clinical laboratory biochemical analyzer and estimated with a reagent test strip. Results obtained with both methods were assigned to a BUN category (range, 1 to 4; higher categories corresponded to higher BUN concentrations). Samples with a biochemical analyzer BUN concentration ≥ 27 mg/dL (rabbits) or ≥ 41 mg/dL (ferrets) were considered azotemic. A test strip BUN category of 3 or 4 (rabbits) or 4 (ferrets) was considered positive for azotemia.

RESULTS

Test strip and biochemical analyzer BUN categories were concordant for 46 of 65 (71%) rabbit blood samples and 58 of 71 (82%) ferret blood samples. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the test strips for detection of azotemia were 92%, 79%, and 82%, respectively, for rabbit blood samples and 80%, 100%, and 96%, respectively, for ferret blood samples.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Test strips provided reasonable estimates of BUN concentration but, for rabbits, were more appropriate for ruling out than for ruling in azotemia because of false-positive test strip results. False-negative test strip results for azotemia were more of a concern for ferrets than rabbits. Testing with a biochemical analyzer remains the gold standard for measurement of BUN concentration and detection of azotemia in rabbits and ferrets.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the agreement between plasma total solids (TS) concentration as measured by refractometry and plasma total protein (TP) concentration as measured by biuret assay in pet rabbits and ferrets.

SAMPLE

253 and 146 blood samples from 146 and 121 ferrets and rabbits, respectively, with results of CBC and plasma biochemical analyses.

PROCEDURES

Data were collected from medical records regarding plasma TS and TP concentrations, PCV, plasma biochemical values, plasma appearance, and patient signalment. Agreement was determined between refractometer and biuret assay (reference method) values for plasma TS and TP concentration. Other variables were examined for an impact on this agreement.

RESULTS

Mean ± SD plasma TP and TS concentrations were 6.4 ± 0.8 mg/dL and 6.6 ± 0.8 mg/dL, respectively, for rabbits and 6.3 ± 1.2 mg/dL and 6.4 ± 1.1 mg/dL for ferrets. On average, refractometer values overestimated plasma TP concentrations as measured by biuret assay. Plasma cholesterol, glucose, and BUN concentrations and hemolysis and lipemia had significant effects on this bias for ferrets; only BUN concentration had an effect on bias for rabbits given the available data. Other variables had no influence on bias. The limits of agreement were wider than the total allowable analytic error, and > 5% of the data points were outside acceptance limits, indicating that the 2 methods were not in clinical agreement.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Refractometer measurements of plasma TS concentration failed to provide a good estimation of biuret assay measurements of plasma TP concentration in rabbits and ferrets, suggesting that these 2 analytic methods and the results they yield cannot be used interchangeably in these species.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate and compare the anesthetic effects of alfaxalone-ketamine-midazolam (AKM) and alfaxalone-ketamine-dexmedetomidine (AKD) in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus).

ANIMALS

9 male black-tailed prairie dogs.

PROCEDURES

Prairie dogs were anesthetized with AKM (6 mg/kg alfaxalone, 30 mg/kg ketamine, and 1.5 mg/kg midazolam) and AKD (6 mg/kg alfaxalone, 30 mg/kg ketamine, and 0.15 mg/kg dexmedetomidine) in a prospective, complete cross-over study. Atipamezole (1.5 mg/kg) after AKD or flumazenil (0.1mg/kg) after AKM was administered 45 minutes after induction of anesthesia. Onset of general anesthesia, physiologic parameters, depth of anesthesia, and time to recovery after reversal administration were evaluated for each treatment.

RESULTS

Both AKM and AKD produced a deep plane of anesthesia in black-tailed prairie dogs that varied in duration. The median induction times for AKM and AKD were 82 and 60 seconds, respectively. The median recovery times for AKM and AKD were 27 and 21 minutes, respectively. There were no significant differences between protocols for induction (P = .37) and recovery (P = .51) times. All measured reflexes were absent in all animals at 5 minutes postinduction, with hindlimb reflexes returning prior to forelimb reflexes. Heart rate was lower but respiratory rate was higher in the AKD treatment. Body temperature decreased significantly for both protocols (P < .001) and was significantly lower with AKM than AKD (P < .001).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Both AKM and AKD produced a deep plane of anesthesia in black-tailed prairie dogs. For both protocols, heat support and oxygen support are indicated.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare stress markers, gastrointestinal motility, and behavioral indicators of pain between guinea pigs undergoing pneumoperitoneum with carbon dioxide (CO2) and control guinea pigs.

ANIMALS

Fourteen 4- to 5-month-old intact female Hartley guinea pigs.

PROCEDURES

Guinea pigs were randomized to receive insufflation or serve as controls (anesthesia and abdominal catheter placement without insufflation), with 7 animals/group. Insufflated animals underwent 6 mm Hg of CO2 pneumoperitoneum for 30 minutes. Afterward, results for vital signs, blood glucose, fecal cortisol, appetite, fecal output, and behaviors (via video recording) were compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

There was no difference between groups and over time for body temperature, heart rate, fecal output in grams, pellets consumed, blood glucose, and fecal cortisol. Guinea pigs that underwent insufflation had significantly more fecal pellets at 36 hours after the procedure. Several behaviors were expressed similarly between groups and over time, such as body turns, incomplete movement, rearing, lying down, drinking, and hiding. Coprophagy occurred less often in the insufflated versus noninsufflated group at 12 h postprocedure but was similar between groups at other time points. At 60 hours after the procedure, insufflated animals spent less time squinting compared to noninsufflated animals. Other behaviors were differentially expressed over time but not between treatments.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Overall, there were no major differences in appetite, stress markers, and behaviors between insufflated and control guinea pigs. CO2 insufflation did not appear to cause undue pain or stress in guinea pigs and may be a reasonable technique to use during laparoscopy.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate a carrageenan-induced inflammatory model in the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) using weight-bearing load, rotational perch locomotion, thermal threshold withdrawal, and footpad dimensions.

ANIMALS

16 adult cockatiels (8 males and 8 females).

PROCEDURES

Cockatiels were randomly assigned into 2 groups as either treatment (carrageenan injection; n = 8) or control (handling only; 8). Treatment of cockatiels involved unilateral subcutaneous injection of 0.05 mL of 1% lambda carrageenan solution into the left footpad. Control birds were handled in a similar manner without an injection. Following baseline measurements and treatment or control procedures, posttreatment measurements at multiple time points involving weight-bearing perch load (for up to 336 hours), locomotive abilities when placed on a rotating perch (for up to 96 hours), thermal withdrawal threshold (for the 24- to 30-hour period), and both vertical and horizontal left footpad size and degree of swelling (for up to 84 days) were obtained.

RESULTS

Treatment cockatiels had a significant decrease in left foot weight-bearing load and increase in left footpad dimensions and swelling grade over time compared to control cockatiels. Rotational perch locomotion and thermal withdrawal threshold, conversely, did not differ significantly between groups. Cockatiels injected with carrageenan returned to normal weight-bearing within 2 weeks; however, left footpad dimensions did not return to baseline.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Carrageenan footpad injection prompts a measurable and grossly visible inflammatory response in the cockatiel. Additionally, it induces alterations in weight-bearing distribution in injected birds. This model provides a method to evaluate inflammation and lameness in small psittacine species.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research