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  • Author or Editor: Keith E. Baptiste x
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Objective—To describe clinical signs and clinicopathologic findings in donkeys with hypothermia.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—10 hypothermic donkeys.

Procedure—Information on signalment, history, physical examination findings, results of diagnostic tests, treatments, and necropsy findings was extracted from medical records of all donkeys with hypothermia between 1988 and 1998 and compared with information from medical records of all normothermic donkeys and hypothermic horses admitted to the hospital during the same period.

Results—Donkeys were more likely to be hypothermic than horses. The mean age of hypothermic donkeys was 6 years (range, 7 months to 11 years), compared with 4.2 years (range, < 1 month to 15 years) for normothermic donkeys; this difference was not significant. Ten of 12 horses with hypothermia were neonates; there were no hypothermic neonatal donkeys. At admission, 7 of 8 hypothermic donkeys were in good body condition and all hypothermic donkeys were weak. Six hypothermic donkeys were able to maintain sternal recumbency, 1 remained in lateral recumbency, and 3 were able to stand. Of the 10 hypothermic donkeys, 2 survived, 1 died, and 7 were euthanatized. Histologically, the thyroid glands from 4 of 5 hypothermic donkeys appeared abnormal and were similar to those of foals with hypothyroidism. During the months that hypothermic donkeys were admitted, there was not a significant difference in environmental temperatures on days of admission between hypothermic and normothermic donkeys.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hypothermia is a problem in donkeys during cold winter months, and may not be secondary to other diseases or related to diet or management. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:725–729)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To characterize hypernatremia in neonatal elk calves, including clinical signs, incidence, physical examination findings, and possible causes.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—26 neonatal elk calves were examined; 4 calves were evaluated twice, for a total of 30 examinations.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment, history, physical examination findings, results of diagnostic tests, and response to treatment. Hypernatremia was defined as serum sodium concentration > 153 mEq/L.

Results—Hypernatremia was diagnosed in 14 calves and was significantly associated with diarrhea, high WBC count, high anion gap, and high serum concentrations of albumin, chloride, creatinine, and urea. Hypernatremia was not significantly associated with survival, but high serum albumin concentration and rectal temperature were significantly associated with survival of calves. Animals given antibiotics and electrolyte solutions orally prior to evaluation were significantly more likely to die than those untreated. Dehydration was a common reason for evaluation but was not significantly associated with survival.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hypernatremia was significantly associated with diarrhea. Treatment of diarrheic elk calves is often the same as that used in bovine calves with diarrhea; however, bovine calves are commonly hypo- or normonatremic. Our experience suggests that treatment protocols used in bovine calves are unsatisfactory for elk calves. The rate at which serum sodium concentration is reduced should be < 1.7 mEq Na/L/h to avoid development of neurologic signs associated with iatrogenically induced cerebral edema. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:68–70)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association