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  • Author or Editor: Jerry R. Heidel x
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Objective—To compare numbers of L cells in intestinal samples and blood concentrations of glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 between neonatal and mature alpacas.

Sample—Intestinal samples from carcasses of 4 suckling crias and 4 postweaning alpacas for immunohistochemical analysis and blood samples from 32 suckling crias and 19 healthy adult alpacas for an ELISA.

Procedures—Immunohistochemical staining was conducted in accordance with Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory standard procedures with a rabbit polyclonal anti–GLP-1 primary antibody. Stained cells with staining results in ileal tissue were counted in 20 fields by 2 investigators, and the mean value was calculated. For quantification of GLP-1 concentrations, blood samples were collected into tubes containing a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor. Plasma samples were tested in duplicate with a commercial GLP-1 ELISA validated for use in alpacas.

Results—Counts of stained cells (mean ± SD, 50 ± 18 cells) and plasma GLP-1 concentrations (median, 0.086 ng/mL; interquartile range, 0.061 to 0.144 ng/mL) were higher for suckling alpacas than for postsuckling alpacas (stained cells, 26 ± 4 cells; plasma GLP-1 concentration, median, 0.034 ng/mL; interquartile range, 0.015 to 0.048 ng/mL).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Older alpacas had lower numbers of L cells in intestinal tissues and lower blood concentrations of GLP-1 than those in neonates. These findings suggested that there may be a decrease in the contribution of GLP-1 to insulin production in adult alpacas, compared with the contribution in neonates.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objectives—To test whether generalized Streptococcus zooepidemicus infection could be induced by intratracheal inoculation in llamas and to characterize this infection.

Animals—6 test and 3 control llamas.

Procedure—Test llamas received 1 of 3 dosages of S zooepidemicus by intratracheal injection, whereas control llamas received sterile culture medium. Physical examination variables and results of clinicopathologic analyses of blood, peritoneal fluid, and tracheal wash fluid were compared in test llamas between, before, and during the development of bacteremia and with control llamas. Bacteriologic culture was performed on all collected body fluids and tissue specimens that were collected at necropsy. Tissue specimens that were collected at necropsy were examined histologically.

Results—Infection induced fever, anorexia, and signs of depression. Five of 6 infected llamas developed specific signs of inflammation in the thorax or abdomen, bacteremia, neutrophilic leukocytosis with toxic changes and high band neutrophil cell counts, hyperfibrinogenemia, and high peritoneal fluid WBC counts and protein concentrations. On development of bacteremia, llamas had significant decreases in serum iron (from 118 ± 25 to 6 ± 4 µg/ml) and increases in serum glucose (from 131 ± 5 to 253 ± 48 mg/dl) concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceStreptococcus zooepidemicus spreads rapidly to other body compartments after intratracheal inoculation in llamas. Fever, anorexia, and signs of depression are the most consistent clinical signs, although other signs are possible. Clinicopathologic analysis of body fluids yields evidence of inflammation. Infection by S zooepidemicus can be proven by bacteriologic culture of body fluids before death or of tissue specimens after death. (Am J Vet Res 2000:61;1525–1529)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—15 llamas and 34 alpacas between 3 weeks and 18 years old with fecal oocysts or intestinal coccidial stages morphologically consistent with Eimeria macusaniensis were examined. Nineteen of the camelids were admitted dead, and 30 were admitted alive. Camelids admitted alive accounted for 5.5% of all camelid admissions during this period.

Clinical Findings—Many severely affected camelids had signs of lethargy, weight loss, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. Camelids with clinical infection also commonly had evidence of circulatory shock, fat mobilization, and protein loss. Nonsurviving camelids also had evidence of shock, edema, bile stasis, renal insufficiency, hepatic lipidosis, muscle damage, relative hemoconcentration, and sepsis. Postmortem examination frequently re-vealed complete, segmental replacement of the mucosa of the distal portion of the jejunum with coccidial meronts and gamonts. For 17 of 42 camelids, results of initial fecal examinations for E macusaniensis were negative.

Treatment and Outcome—Most camelids admitted alive were treated with amprolium hydrochloride, plasma, and various supportive treatments. Fifteen of the 30 treated camelids died or were euthanized.

Clinical Relevance—Findings suggest that E macusaniensis may be an important gastrointestinal tract pathogen in camelids of all ages. Clinical signs were frequently nonspecific and were often evident before results of fecal examinations for the parasite were positive. As with other coccidia, severity of disease was probably related to ingested dose, host immunity, and other factors. The clinical and herd relevance of positive fecal examination results must be determined.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association