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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine reproductive capacity of naturally breeding free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate.

Design—Prospective cohort and retrospective crosssectional study.

Animals—2,332 female cats brought to a trap-neuterreturn clinic for neutering and 71 female cats and 171 kittens comprising 50 litters from a cohort study of feral cats in managed colonies.

Procedure—Data collected for all cats included pregnancy, lactation, and estrus status and number of fetuses for pregnant cats. Additional data collected for feral cats in managed colonies included numbers of litters per year and kittens per litter, date of birth, kitten survival rate, and causes of death.

Results—Pregnant cats were observed in all months of the year, but the percentage of cats found to be pregnant was highest in March, April, and May. Cats produced a mean of 1.4 litters/y, with a median of 3 kittens/litter (range, 1 to 6). Overall, 127 of 169 (75%) kittens died or disappeared before 6 months of age. Trauma was the most common cause of death.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results illustrate the high reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats. Realistic estimates of the reproductive capacity of female cats may be useful in assessing the effectiveness of population control strategies. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1399–1402)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the time and financial costs of programs for live trapping feral cats and determine whether allowing cats to become acclimated to the traps improved trapping effectiveness.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—107 feral cats in 9 colonies.

Procedure—15 traps were set at each colony for 5 consecutive nights, and 5 traps were then set per night until trapping was complete. In 4 colonies, traps were immediately baited and set; in the remaining 5 colonies, traps were left open and cats were fed in the traps for 3 days prior to the initiation of trapping. Costs for bait and labor were calculated, and trapping effort and efficiency were assessed.

Results—Mean ± SD overall trapping effort (ie, number of trap-nights until at least 90% of the cats in the colony had been captured or until no more than 1 cat remained untrapped) was 8.9 ± 3.9 trap-nights per cat captured. Mean overall trapping efficiency (ie, percentage of cats captured per colony) was 98.0 ± 4.0%. There were no significant differences in trapping effort or efficiency between colonies that were provided an acclimation period and colonies that were not. Overall trapping costs were significantly higher for colonies provided an acclimation period.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that these live-trapping protocols were effective. Feeding cats their regular diets in the traps for 3 days prior to the initiation of trapping did not have a significant effect on trapping effort or efficiency in the present study but was associated with significant increases in trapping costs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1403–1405)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

State veterinarians in 11 southeastern states completed a questionnaire designed to determine the proportion of equids in the region that were seropositive for equine infectious anemia (eia). Cases of eia were diagnosed in each of the states surveyed. Distinct geographic clusters of cases were apparent in Tennessee and Kentucky adjacent to the Mississippi River, in the Piedmont of North Carolina at the Virginia border, in north central Georgia, and throughout the Florida peninsula. It is suggested that the national eia program could be improved by standardization and wider application of uniform active surveillance measures, and improved documentation of eia status of horses on acquisition and transfer records.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether FIV infection in captive African lions is associated with changes in immune cell variables similar to those detected in domestic cats infected with FIV.

Animals—5 captive African lions naturally infected with FIV (FIV+) and 5 lions not infected with FIV (FIV).

Procedure—Peripheral blood samples were collected from FIV+ lions during annual examinations conducted during a 7-year period and at a single time point from the FIV lions. From results of CBC and flow cytometry, lymphocyte subsets were characterized and compared.

Results—Flow cytometric analysis revealed that the percentage and absolute number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were significantly lower in FIV+ lions, compared with these values in FIV– lions. In FIV+ lions, severe depletion in the absolute number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was detected, although this did not correlate with clinical signs. Muscle wasting was the most consistent clinical sign of infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that FIV+ African lions develop lymphocyte deficiencies, including significant decreases in the absolute number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells; these findings of immune dysfunction are similar to those defined for FIV+ domestic cats. It is important to monitor the number of CD4+ T cells in infected animals as a measure of disease progression. (Am J Vet Res 2003; 64:1293–1300)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Medical records of horses that underwent surgical treatment for colic between 1990 and 1992 were reviewed. Horses with a pulse rate of ≥ 60 beats/min or signs of abdominal pain, which were also accompanied by a volume of > 2 L of material that refluxed from the stomach during the postoperative period (excluding horses with anterior enteritis), comprised the postoperative ileus (poi) group. Horses that had < 2 L of material reflux during the postoperative period and survived > 3 days after surgery comprised the reference population. The association of preoperative and intraoperative clinical variables with development of poi was evaluated by use of logistic regression analysis.

Of 148 horses, 117 were assigned to the reference population, and 31 (21%) developed poi. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine that pcv, pulse rate, type and location of lesion detected during surgery, and serum glucose concentration were the most important variables associated with development of poi. Time of recovery from anesthesia to development of poi was 0.5 to 120 hours (median, 13 hours). Duration of poi was 1 to 7 days (median, 1 day). Four of 31 (13%) horses with poi died. Of 148 horses, only 10 (7%) died; however, 4 of the 10 (40%) deaths in the short-term postoperative period were attributable to poi.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare seroprevalences of antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Toxoplasma gondii and fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and Toxocara cati in feral and pet domestic cats.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional serologic and coprologic survey.

Animals—100 feral cats and 76 pet domestic cats from Randolph County, NC.

Procedure—Blood and fecal samples were collected and tested.

Results—Percentages of feral cats seropositive for antibodies against B henselae and T gondii (93% and 63%, respectively) were significantly higher than percentages of pet cats (75% and 34%). Percentages of feral and pet cats with Cryptosporidium spp (7% of feral cats; 6% of pet cats), Giardia spp (6% of feral cats; 5% of pet cats), and T cati ova (21% of feral cats; 18% of pet cats) in their feces were not significantly different between populations. Results of CBCs and serum biochemical analyses were not significantly different between feral and pet cats, except that feral cats had a significantly lower median PCV and significantly higher median neutrophil count.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that feral and pet cats had similar baseline health status, as reflected by results of hematologic and serum biochemical testing and similar prevalences of infection with Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and T cati. Feral cats did have higher seroprevalences of antibodies against B henselae and T gondii than did pet cats, but this likely was related to greater exposure to vectors of these organisms. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1394–1398)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To ascertain whether dogs are naturally infected with Ehrlichia chaffeensis.

Animals

74 dogs from 5 animal shelters and 1 kennel in 3 cities and 3 counties in southeastern Virginia were tested during June 1991.

Procedure

Blood was drawn from 74 dogs; 73 were tested serologically for antibodies reactive to E chaffeensis and E canis, and 38 were tested for the presence of E chaffeensis, E canis, and E ewingii by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Serologic testing by indirect fluorescent antibody assay. Nested PCR used Ehrlichia-wide outside primers to detect initial products, followed by use of species-specific primers for identification.

Results

28 (38.4%) dogs had a positive test result (minimum titer, ≥ 1:64) for antibodies reactive to E chaffeensis, and 28 (38.4%) had a positive reaction to E canis. PCR analysis indicated that 8 (42.1 %) dogs were positive for E chaffeensis and 6 dogs (31.6%) were positive for E ewingii. All dogs had negative results of the PCR test for E canis.

Conclusion

Dogs are potential reservoirs of E chaffeensis.

Clinical Relevance

Canine E chaffeensis infection may be more prevalent than E canis or E ewingii infection in this region of the United States. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1175-1179)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To characterize the pathogenic potential of a unique Borrelia isolate obtained from a dog from Florida (FCB isolate).

Design

Prospective experimental infection.

Animals

32 preweanling Swiss Webster mice and 12 adult male Hartley guinea pigs were injected intraperitoneally with 105 spirochetes.

Procedure

Mice were used as controls and blood recipients, and at 3- to 4-day intervals, 1 control mouse and 2 infected mice were necropsied, tissues were cultured, and a recipient mouse was inoculated with blood. Guinea pigs were randomized to 4 groups and inoculated intradermally with 100, 102, 103, or 104 spirochetes. For 48 days, clinical, hematologic, serologic, and microbiologic tests were performed on them, after which they were necropsied.

Results

In mice, spirochetemia was detectable between postinoculation days (PID) 3 and 13, and seroreactivity to homologous antigen was detectable during PID 10 through 31. Compared with control mice, infected mouse spleens were 2 to 3 times larger. Histologic lesions included lymphoid hyperplasia, neutrophilic panniculitis, epicarditis, and myocarditis, with intralesional spirochetes detected from PID 3 through 6. During PID 10 through 31, nonsuppurative epicarditis developed. Signs of illness and hematologic abnormalities were not observed in guinea pigs, despite isolating spirochetes from blood during PID 7 to 27. When necropsied on PID 48, histologic lesions included lymphoid hyperplasia and lymphocytic plasmacytic epicarditis.

Conclusions

The FCB isolate causes spirochetemia, lymphoid hyperplasia, dermatitis, and myocardial injury in Swiss Webster mice and can be transmitted by blood inoculation. In Hartley guinea pigs, the isolate causes spirochetemia, lymphoid hyperplasia, and epicarditis. Documentation of disease in mice, guinea pigs, and, presumably, dogs raises the level of concern that the FCB isolate might be pathogenic for man and other animal species. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:505–511)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research