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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the reasons for evaluation on an emergency basis of and short-term outcomes for chickens from backyard flocks.

DESIGN

Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS

78 chickens.

PROCEDURES

For chickens evaluated on an emergency basis at a New England veterinary teaching hospital in January 2014 through March 2017, information including age, sex, flock size, primary medical problem, final diagnosis, and immediate outcome was obtained from electronic medical records. Primary medical problems were classified as abnormal droppings, crop or gastrointestinal tract disease, lameness, neurologic disease, nonspecific signs (ie, undefined illness), respiratory tract disease, reproductive tract disease, and trauma.

RESULTS

78 chickens were evaluated on an emergency basis, of which 71 were females from small flocks. The median age of the chickens was 1 year (range, 0.1 to 7 years). The most common problem was trauma (n = 25), followed by nonspecific signs (11) and reproductive tract disease (10); 18 birds had neurologic disease (6), lameness (6), or gastrointestinal tract disease (6). Five birds had respiratory tract disease, and 3 had abnormal droppings. Six birds were brought to the emergency service for euthanasia only. Trauma, reproductive tract disease, and signs of Marek disease were most frequently identified in birds that were fully evaluated. Thirty-five (45%) chickens were discharged from the hospital.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that backyard flock chickens were evaluated on an emergency basis most commonly because of trauma and reproductive tract disease. Although approximately half of the evaluated chickens were euthanized, the remainder were discharged from the hospital and required medical management. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2019;254:1196–1203)

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess whether IV regional limb perfusion (IVRLP) and intraosseous regional limb perfusion (IORLP) of ceftiofur sodium resulted in clinically relevant drug concentrations in the synovial fluid of the tibiotarsal-tarsometatarsal joint of chickens (ie, an avian model) and to determine whether one of those techniques was superior to the other.

ANIMALS

12 healthy adult hens.

PROCEDURES

Birds were randomly assigned to receive ceftiofur sodium (2 mg/kg) by the IVRLP (n = 4), IORLP (4), or IM (control; 4) route once daily for 6 consecutive days. Blood and tibiotarsal-tarsometatarsal synovial fluid samples were collected 15 minutes after ceftiofur administration on predetermined days for quantification of ceftiofur concentration. Plasma and synovial fluid ceftiofur concentrations were compared among the 3 groups.

RESULTS

All 4 birds in the IVRLP group developed mild to moderate bruising around the injection site, but this bruising did not prohibit completion of the prescribed treatment regimen. No adverse effects were observed in any of the other birds. The mean plasma and synovial fluid ceftiofur concentrations exceeded the therapeutic threshold for most common bacterial pathogens (> 1.0 μg/mL) at all sample acquisition times for all 3 groups. The mean synovial fluid ceftiofur concentration for the IVRLP group was significantly greater than that for the IORLP and control groups at all sample acquisition times.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that IVRLP may be a safe and effective technique for antimicrobial administration to birds with joint infections, contaminated wounds, pododermatitis, and other musculoskeletal infections of the distal aspect of a limb.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare effectiveness of glycerol, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), and hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solutions for cryopreservation of avian RBCs.

SAMPLE RBCs from 12 healthy Ameraucana hens (Gallus gallus domesticus).

PROCEDURES RBCs were stored in 20% (wt/vol) glycerol, 10% (wt/vol) DMSO freezing medium, or various concentrations of HES solution (7.5%, 11.5%, and 20% [wt/vol]) and frozen for 2 months in liquid nitrogen. Cells were then thawed and evaluated by use of cell recovery and saline stability tests, cell staining (7-aminoactinomycin D and annexin V) and flow cytometry, and scanning electron microscopy.

RESULTS Percentage of RBCs recovered was highest for 20% glycerol solution (mean ± SE, 99.71 ± 0.04%) and did not differ significantly from the value for 7.5% HES solution (99.57 ± 0.04%). Mean saline stability of RBCs was highest for 10% DMSO (96.11 ± 0.25%) and did not differ significantly from the value for 20% HES solution (95.74 ± 0.25%). Percentages of cells with 7-aminoactinomycin D staining but without annexin V staining (indicating necrosis or late apoptosis) were lowest for 10% DMSO freezing medium (3%) and 20% glycerol solution (1%) and highest for all HES concentrations (60% to 80%). Scanning electron microscopy revealed severe membrane changes in RBCs cryopreserved in 20% HES solution, compared with membrane appearance in freshly harvested RBCs and RBCs cryopreserved in 10% DMSO freezing medium.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cryopreservation of avian RBCs with HES solution, regardless of HES concentration, resulted in greater degrees of apoptosis and cell death than did cryopreservation with other media. Transfusion with RBCs cryopreserved in HES solution may result in posttransfusion hemolysis in birds.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the clinical findings and short-term outcomes for rabbits with signs of gastrointestinal tract dysfunction or rabbit gastrointestinal syndrome (RGIS).

ANIMALS

117 client-owned rabbits.

PROCEDURES

The electronic medical records database of a veterinary teaching hospital was searched to identify rabbits that were examined because of altered or absent food intake and decreased or absent fecal output between June 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016. For each rabbit, information extracted from the record included history of prior episodes of gastrointestinal tract dysfunction, signalment, physical examination and diagnostic test results, and outcome.

RESULTS

117 of the 484 (24%) rabbits examined at the hospital during the study period met the inclusion criteria and were enrolled in the study. Fifty-nine and 58 rabbits were managed on an inpatient and outpatient basis, respectively. Gastrointestinal stasis without overt obstruction was diagnosed for 43 rabbits on the basis of abdominal radiographic, ultrasonographic, or necropsy results. Many rabbits had concurrent disease and biochemical abnormalities. Fifteen, 18, and 84 rabbits died, were euthanized, and survived to hospital discharge, respectively. Rabbits that were hypothermic (rectal temperature, ≤ 36.6°C [97.9°F]) during the initial examination were 5 times as likely to die or be euthanized as were euthermic rabbits, after controlling for potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that the prognosis was generally good for rabbits with signs of RGIS unless they were hypothermic during initial examination. Prospective studies are warranted to further elucidate and characterize RGIS and assess the efficacy of various treatments and outcomes for affected rabbits.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess the use of a caudal external thoracic artery axial pattern flap to treat sternal cutaneous wounds in birds.

Animals—16 adult Japanese quail.

Procedure—A cutaneous defect in the region of the mid-sternum was surgically created in all quail. In 6 quail (group I), an axial pattern flap was created from the skin of the lateral aspect of the thorax and advanced over the sternal defect. In 8 quail (group II), a flap was similarly created and advanced but the flap vasculature was ligated. All quail were euthanatized at 14 days after surgery and had necropsies performed. Sections of the flap and the surrounding tissue were examined histologically to assess flap viability.

Results—All axial pattern flaps in group-I quail had 100% survival. In group II, mean percentage area of flap survival was 62.5%; mean area of necrosis and dermal fibrosis of flaps were significantly greater than that detected in group I. In flaps of group-II quail, neovascularization in the deep dermis and profound necrosis of the vascular plexus in the superficial dermis were observed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the caudal external thoracic artery axial pattern flap could be used successfully in the treatment of surgically created sternal cutaneous defects in quail with no signs of tissue necrosis or adverse effects overall. Use of this technique to treat selfmutilation syndromes or application after surgical debulking of tumors or other masses might be beneficial in many avian species. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:497–502)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To use duplex Doppler ultrasonography to compare gastrointestinal activity in healthy sedated versus nonsedated rabbits and to evaluate agreement between B-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler (PWD) ultrasonographic measurements.

ANIMALS

10 healthy client-owned rabbits brought for routine physical examination and 11 brought for routine ovariohysterectomy or castration.

PROCEDURES

Duplex Doppler ultrasonography of the gastrointestinal tract was performed once for the 10 rabbits that underwent physical examination and twice (before and after presurgical sedation) for the 11 rabbits that underwent routine ovariohysterectomy or castration. Mean number of peristaltic contractions during a 30-second period was determined for the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, cecum, and colon from B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic images that had been video recorded. Findings for the duodenum and jejunum were compared between B-mode and PWD ultrasonography and between sedated and nonsedated rabbits.

RESULTS

Duodenal and jejunal segments had measurable peristaltic waves; however, the stomach, cecum, and colon had no consistent measurable activity. B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic measurements for the duodenum and jejunum had high agreement. No significant difference was identified between nonsedated and sedated rabbits in mean number of peristaltic contractions of the duodenum or jejunum.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that both B-mode and PWD ultrasonography of the duodenum and jejunum may be suitable for noninvasive evaluation of small intestinal motility in rabbits and that the sedation protocol used in this study had no impact on measured peristaltic values.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine hepatic copper concentrations and zonal distribution in ferrets with and without hepatobiliary disease, validate rhodanine-based qualitative copper scoring and digital copper quantification in ferret hepatic samples, and ascertain whether clinical features predicted copper accumulation.

ANIMALS

34 ferrets, including 7 with necroinflammatory disease, 5 with hepatocellular carcinoma, 13 with non-necroinflammatory disease, and 9 with no hepatobiliary disease.

PROCEDURES

Rhodanine-based digital copper quantification was validated by use of liver dually measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy and digital scanning (R 2 = 0.98). Clinical features and hepatic copper scores and concentrations (dry weight liver) were compared between groups. Zonal copper distribution was determined.

RESULTS

Hepatic copper concentration was strongly correlated with copper scores (ρ = 0.88). Ferrets with hepatobiliary disease were significantly older and had significantly higher serum alkaline phosphatase and γ-glutamyltransferase activities and creatinine concentrations. Centrilobular copper accumulated in 23 of 34 (64%) ferrets with (n = 15) and without (8) hepatobiliary disease. Median copper concentrations were not significantly different between ferrets with and without hepatobiliary disease but were significantly higher within neoplastic hepatic tissue in ferrets with hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatic copper concentrations exceeded feline (> 180 µg/g) and canine (> 400 µg/g) reference limits in 19 and 9 ferrets, respectively. Hepatic copper > 1,000 µg/g occurred in 5 ferrets with and 2 without hepatobiliary disease. Clinical features did not predict copper accumulation.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Rhodanine-based digital copper quantification and qualitative copper scoring discerned liver copper accumulation in ferrets. Ferrets with and without hepatobiliary disease displayed a propensity for centrilobular hepatic copper accumulation of uncertain clinical importance. Clinical and clinicopathologic features could not exclusively implicate pathologic copper accumulation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Case Description—4 rabbits (1.5 to 6 years old) were evaluated at the Angell Animal Medical Center from June 2007 to March 2009 because of nonspecific clinical signs including anorexia, lethargy, and decreased fecal output.

Clinical Findings—Physical examination revealed signs of pain in the cranial portion of the abdomen, gas distention of the gastrointestinal tract, and diminished borborygmi. Serum biochemical analyses and CBCs revealed moderately to markedly high alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase activities and mild to moderate anemia with polychromasia. Abdominal radiographic findings were nonspecific. Three of the 4 rabbits underwent abdominal ultrasonography; abnormalities in shape, size, echogenicity, and blood flow of the liver, indicative of liver lobe torsion, were detected.

Treatment and Outcome—All 4 rabbits underwent surgery, during which liver lobe torsion was confirmed and the affected liver lobe was resected. Histologic examination of sections of the excised lobe obtained from 3 of the 4 rabbits revealed severe, diffuse, acute to sub-acute hepatic ischemic necrosis. All rabbits recovered from surgery; owners reported that the rabbits were doing well 22 to 43 months after surgery.

Clinical Relevance—Liver lobe torsions in any species are rarely reported, yet 4 cases of liver lobe torsion in domestic rabbits were treated at 1 referral center in a 2-year period. In rabbits, clinical signs of this condition are nonspecific and results of additional tests, including abdominal ultrasonography and serum biochemical analysis, are necessary for diagnosis. Prompt diagnosis and hepatectomy of the affected lobe are recommended and appear to be associated with an excellent prognosis.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To document clinicopathologic findings in domestic rabbits with liver lobe torsion and identify prognostic factors.

ANIMALS

82 rabbits.

PROCEDURE

Medical records of 4 institutions were reviewed to identify rabbits with an antemortem diagnosis of liver lobe torsion that were examined between 2010 and 2020.

RESULTS

The prevalence of liver lobe torsion was 0.7% (82/11,402). In all 82 rabbits, the diagnosis was made by means of abdominal ultrasonography. Fifty (60.1%) rabbits underwent liver lobectomy, 23 (28%) received medical treatment alone, and 9 (10.9%) were euthanized or died on presentation. Overall, 32 (39%) rabbits died within 7 days of initial presentation and 50 (61%) survived. Seven-day survival rate did not differ significantly between medical treatment alone and surgical treatment. However, median survival time following medical treatment (530 days) was shorter than that following surgical treatment (1,452 days). Six of 14 rabbits had evidence of systemic inflammatory disease on necropsy. Rabbits with right liver lobe torsion were less likely to survive for 7 days than were those with caudate torsions (P = 0.046; OR, 3.27; 95% CI, 1.04 to 11.3). Rabbits with moderate to severe anemia were less likely to survive for 7 days than were rabbits that were not anemic or had mild anemia (P = 0.006; OR, 4.41; 95% CI, 1.55 to 12.51). Other factors associated with a decreased 7-day survival rate were high heart rate at admission (P = 0.013) and additional days without defecation after admission (P < 0.001). Use of tramadol was associated with an increased survival rate (P = 0.018).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The prognosis for rabbits with liver lobe torsions was more guarded than previously described. Rabbits that underwent liver lobectomy had a longer median survival time than did rabbits that only received medical treatment.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association