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CASE DESCRIPTION A 20-year-old female south-central black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor) was evaluated because of an acute onset of CNS deficits.
CLINICAL FINDINGS The rhinoceros had no history of illness. Clinical signs included acute lethargy, ataxia, and decreased appetite. Hematologic abnormalities included leukocytosis with neutrophilia and a profound left shift. Results of serum biochemical analysis revealed hypophosphatemia but no other abnormalities. Results of a quantitative PCR assay for West Nile virus and an assay for anti–Neosporum caninum antibodies in serum were negative; the patient was seropositive for multiple Leptospira serovars.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Antimicrobials and anti-inflammatory agents were administered, but the condition of the rhinoceros worsened overnight; despite treatment with additional anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents, IV fluids, and thiamine, it became obtunded and died of respiratory arrest ≤ 24 hours later. Necropsy revealed severe, diffuse, suppurative, and histiocytic meningo-encephalomyelitis involving the cerebrum, cerebellum, and spinal cord. Amebic trophozoites were observed on histologic examination of affected tissue. Infection with Naegleria fowleri was confirmed by results of immuno-histochemical analysis and a multiplex real-time PCR assay.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that south-central black rhinoceros are susceptible to the free-living ameba N fowleri. Ameba-induced meningoencephalomyelitis should be considered as a differential diagnosis for rhinoceros that have an acute onset of neurologic signs. Diagnosis of N fowleri infection in an animal has a profound public health impact because of potential human exposure from the environment and the high fatality rate in people with N fowleri infection.
Objective—To determine whether a diagnosis of chronic small bowel disease could be established in a subset of cats that had clinical signs of chronic vomiting, chronic small bowel diarrhea, weight loss, or a combination of these, combined with ultrasonographically determined thickening of the small bowel.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—100 client-owned domestic cats.
Procedures—Medical records of cats with clinical signs of chronic vomiting, chronic small bowel diarrhea, weight loss, or a combination of these, combined with ultrasonographically determined small bowel thickening, that underwent laparotomy and multiple small bowel biopsies between 2008 and 2012 were examined. Biopsy specimens were submitted for histologic evaluation, immunohistochemical evaluation, and, when findings were ambiguous, PCR assay for antigen receptor rearrangement.
Results—Chronic small bowel disease was diagnosed in 99 of the 100 cats. The most common diagnoses were chronic enteritis and intestinal lymphoma.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that cats with clinical signs of chronic small bowel disease should undergo detailed diagnostic testing because they are likely to have clinically important, diagnosable, treatable disease. Clinical signs of small bowel disease, especially weight loss and chronic or recurrent vomiting, are extremely common in cats. These signs should not be considered a normal condition and should not be ignored, regardless of common explanations given by owners, and cats with these signs should undergo appropriate diagnostic testing.
Objective—To determine prevalence of histologic abnormalities in cats suspected, on the basis of compatible clinical signs and ultrasonographic findings, to have chronic small bowel disease; identify the most common underlying causes in affected cats; and compare methods for differentiating among the various causes of chronic small bowel disease.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—300 client-owned domestic cats suspected to have chronic small bowel disease.
Procedures—Medical records were reviewed to identify cats evaluated because of chronic vomiting, chronic small bowel diarrhea, or weight loss that also had ultrasonographic evidence of thickening of the small intestine. Cats were included in the study if full-thickness biopsy specimens had been obtained from ≥ 3 locations of the small intestine by means of laparotomy and biopsy specimens had been examined by means of histologic evaluation and, when necessary to obtain a diagnosis, immunohistochemical analysis and a PCR assay for antigen receptor rearrangement.
Results—Chronic small bowel disease was diagnosed in 288 of the 300 (96%) cats. The most common diagnoses were chronic enteritis (n = 150) and intestinal lymphoma (124).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that a high percentage of cats with clinical signs of chronic small bowel disease and ultrasonographic evidence of thickening of the small intestine had histologic abnormalities. Furthermore, full-thickness biopsy specimens were useful in differentiating between intestinal lymphoma and chronic enteritis, but such differentiation was not possible with ultrasonography or clinicopathologic testing alone.
To evaluate clinical, serologic, parasitological, and histologic outcomes of dogs with naturally occurring Trypanosoma cruzi infection treated for 12 months with amiodarone and itraconazole.
121 dogs from southern Texas and southern Louisiana.
Treatment group dogs (n = 105) received a combination of amiodarone hydrochloride (approx 7.5 mg/kg [3.4 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h, with or without a loading dosage protocol) and itraconazole (approx 10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h, adjusted to maintain a plasma concentration of 1 to 2 μg/mL) for 12 months. Control group dogs (n = 16) received no antitrypanosomal medications. Serologic assays for anti-T cruzi antibodies, PCR assays for T cruzi DNA in blood, and physical evaluations were performed 1, 6, 9, 12, and 24 months after study initiation. Adverse events were recorded. Outcomes of interest were recorded and compared between groups.
86 of 105 treatment group dogs and 8 of 16 control group dogs survived and completed the study (5/19 and 6/7 deaths of treatment and control group dogs, respectively, were attributed to T cruzi infection). Mean survival time until death attributed to T cruzi was longer (23.19 vs 15.64 months) for the treatment group. Results of PCR assays were negative for all (n = 92) tested treatment group dogs (except for 1 dog at 1 time point) from 6 to 24 months after study initiation. Clinical improvement in ≥ 1 clinical sign was observed in 53 of 54 and 0 of 10 treatment and control group dogs, respectively; adverse drug events were minor and reversible.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested efficacy of this trypanocidal drug combination for the treatment of T cruzi infection in dogs.