Objective—To determine whether repeated exposure to clinically relevant concentrations of tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222) would alter retinal function or induce histologically detectable retinal lesions in koi carp (Cyprinus carpio).
Procedures—2 fish were euthanized at the start of the study, and eyes were submitted for histologic evaluation as untreated controls. Anesthesia was induced in the remaining fish with 200 mg of MS-222/L and maintained with concentrations of 125 to 150 mg/L for a total exposure time of 20 minutes daily on 1 to 13 consecutive days. On days 1, 7, and 13, electroretinography of both eyes was performed in all fish remaining in the study, and 2 fish were euthanized immediately after each procedure for histologic evaluation of the eyes. Median b-wave amplitudes were compared among study days for right eyes and for left eyes via 1-way repeated-measures ANOVA with a Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons.
Results—Median b-wave amplitudes on days 1, 7, and 13 were 17.7, 20.9, and 17.6 μV, respectively, for right eyes and 15.1, 16.9, and 14.3 μV, respectively, for left eyes. No significant differences in b-wave amplitudes were detected among study days. No histopathologic abnormalities were identified in the retinas of any fish treated with MS-222 or in control fish.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Short-term exposure of koi carp to clinically relevant concentrations of MS-222 daily for up to 13 days was not associated with changes in retinal structure or function as measured in this study.
CASE DESCRIPTION A 22-year-old male gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) housed in a zoo was evaluated for signs of lethargy, head-holding, and cervical stiffness followed by development of neurologic abnormalities including signs of depression, lip droop, and tremors.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination under general anesthesia revealed a tooth root abscess and suboptimal body condition. A CBC and serum biochemical analysis revealed mild anemia, neutrophilia and eosinopenia consistent with a stress leukogram, and signs consistent with dehydration. Subsequent CSF analysis revealed lymphocytic pleocytosis and markedly increased total protein concentration.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Despite treatment with antimicrobials, steroids, and additional supportive care measures, the gorilla's condition progressed to an obtunded mentation with grand mal seizures over the course of 10 days. Therefore, the animal was euthanized and necropsy was performed. Multifocal areas of malacia and hemorrhage were scattered throughout the brain; on histologic examination, these areas consisted of necrosis and hemorrhage associated with mixed inflammation, vascular necrosis, and intralesional amoebic trophozoites. Tan foci were also present in the kidneys and pancreas. Immunohistochemical testing positively labeled free-living amoebae within the brain, kidneys, eyes, pancreas, heart, and pulmonary capillaries. Subsequent PCR assay of CSF and frozen kidney samples identified the organism as Balamuthia mandrillaris, confirming a diagnosis of amoebic meningoencephalitis.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Infection with B mandrillaris has been reported to account for 2.8% of captive gorilla deaths in North America over the past 19 years. Clinicians working with gorillas should have a high index of suspicion for this diagnosis when evaluating and treating animals with signs of centrally localized neurologic disease.