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Objective—To establish reference range values for synovial fluid from clinically normal New World camelids.

Animals—15 llamas and 15 alpacas.

Procedure—Llamas and alpacas were anesthetized with an IM injection of a xylazine hydrochloride, butorphanol tartrate, and ketamine hydrochloride combination. Synovial fluid (1 to 2 ml) was obtained by aseptic arthrocentesis from the radiocarpal and tarsocrural joints. Synovial fluid evaluation included determination of total nucleated cell count (NCC), absolute number and percentage of polymorphonuclear (PMN) and mononuclear leukocytes, total protein, and specific gravity.

Results—Synovial fluid evaluation revealed a total NCC of 100 to 1,400 cells/μl (mean ± SD, 394.8 ± 356.2 cells/μl; 95% confidence interval [CI], 295.2 to 494.6 cells/μl). Mononuclear leukocytes were the predominant cell type with lymphocytes, composing 50 to 90% (mean, 75.6 ± 17.2%; 95% CI, 70.8 to 80.4%) of the mononuclear leukocytes. Approximately 0 to 12% (mean, 1.3 ± 2.9%; 95% CI, 0.49 to 2.11%) of the cells were PMN leukocytes. Total protein concentrations ranged from 2.0 to 3.8 g/dl (mean, 2.54 ± 0.29 g/dl; 95% CI, 2.46 to 2.62 g/dl); the specific gravity ranged between 1.010 and 1.026 (mean, 1.017 ± 0.003; 95% CI, 1.016 to 1.018).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—In llamas and alpacas, significant differences do not exist between species or between limbs (left vs right) or joints (radiocarpal vs tarsocrural) for synovial fluid values. Total NCC and absolute number and percentage of PMN and mononuclear leukocyte are similar to those of other ruminants and horses. However, synovial fluid total protein concentrations in New World camelids are high, compared with other domestic species. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:576–578)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine sensitivity and specificity of cytologic examination used in a clinical setting.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—216 dogs, 44 cats, 4 horses, 2 ferrets, 1 llama, 1 rat, and 1 mouse.

Procedure—Records were reviewed of cases in which a cytologic diagnosis was followed by a surgical biopsy or postmortem examination within 3 days with subsequent histopathologic diagnosis. Diagnoses were compared for agreement at various levels, including complete agreement, partial agreement, no agreement, or no comparison possible because of insufficient or incorrect cytologic specimen. Levels of agreement were compared for different categories of lesions, including neoplastic, inflammatory, dysplastic-hyperplastic-other, and normal tissue. Additionally, levels of agreement for neoplastic lesions were categorized with regard to cell type, degree of malignancy, and location. Sensitivity and specificity of cytologic examination were calculated.

Results—At the level of general agreement (complete and partial agreement), the sensitivity of cytologic examination ranged from 33.3 to 66.1%, depending on the location of the lesion. Cytologic examination was most accurate when used to diagnose cutaneous and subcutaneous lesions and least accurate for diagnosis of liver lesions. Cytologic examination was most effective in diagnosis of neoplastic disease and least effective in diagnosis of dysplastic or hyperplastic conditions.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cytologic examination is a valuable diagnostic tool, although our results indicated lower accuracy than previously reported. False-negative results (missing a diagnosis) were far more common than false-positive results (categorizing a healthy animal as diseased); therefore, if the clinical index of suspicion is high, cytologic examination should be repeated or another technique should be selected to rule out the suspected condition. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:964–967)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To study the musculoskeletal development of Great Dane puppies fed various dietary concentrations of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) in fixed ratio by use of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), determination of serum insulin-like growth factor I and parathyroid hormone concentrations, radiography, and blood chemistry analysis results.

Animals—32 purebred Great Dane puppies from 4 litters.

Procedure—At weaning, puppies were assigned randomly to 1 of 3 diets. Blood was collected for biochemical analyses and hormone assays, and radiography and DEXA were performed through 18 months of age. Changes in body weight, bone mineral content, fat tissue weight, lean mass, result of serum biochemical analyses, hormonal concentrations, and radius lengths were analyzed through 18 months of age.

Results—Bone mineral content of puppies correlated positively with Ca and P content of the diets fed. Significant differences between groups in bone mineral content, lean mass, and body fat were apparent early. The disparity among groups increased until 6 months of age and then declined until body composition was no longer different at 12 months of age. Accretion rates for skeletal mineral content, fat, and lean tissue differed from each other and by diet group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ca and P concentrations in the diet of young Great Dane puppies are rapidly reflected in the bone mineral content of the puppies until 5 to 6 months of age, after which hormonal regulation adjusts absorption and excretion of these minerals. Appropriate Ca and P concentrations in diets are important in young puppies < 6 months of age. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1036–1047)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research