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  • Author or Editor: Laura L. Hungerford x
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Objective—To determine the distribution of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in pasture-based cattle production areas.

Sample Population—Two 100-km2 agricultural areas consisting of 207 pasture, 14 beef-confinement, and 3 dairy locations within 24 cattle operations.

Procedure—13,726 samples from cattle, wildlife, and water sources were obtained during an 11-month period. Escherichia coli O157:H7 was identified by use of culture and polymerase chain reaction assays and characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).

Results—Odds of recovering E coli O157:H7 from feeder-aged cattle were > 4 times the odds for cowcalf or dairy cattle. There was no difference in prevalence for pastured versus confined cattle after controlling for production age group. Number of samples collected (37 to 4,829), samples that yielded E coli O157:H7 (0 to 53), and PFGE subtypes (0 to 48) for each operation varied and were highly correlated. Although most PFGE subtypes were only detected once, 17 subtypes were detected on more than 1 operation. Ten of 12 operations at which E coli O157:H7 was detected had at least 1 subtype that also was detected on another operation. We did not detect differences in the probability of having the same subtype for adjacent operations, nonadjacent operations in the same study area, or operations in the other study area.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Strategies aimed at controlling E coli O157:H7 and specific subtypes should account for the widespread distribution and higher prevalence in feeder-aged cattle regardless of production environment and the fact that adjacent and distant cattle operations can have similar subtypes. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1367–1376)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To critically evaluate and summarize available information on the safety of potassium bromide in dogs.

Design—Systematic review.

Sample—111 references reporting safety information relevant to potassium bromide published between 1938 and 2011.

Procedures—PubMed searches without date limitations were conducted with the terms “potassium bromide” and “sodium bromide” in December 2009 and October 2011. Additional articles were identified through examination of article reference lists and book chapters on seizures in dogs and pharmacology.

Results—Reversible neurologic signs were the most consistently reported toxicoses and were generally associated with adjunctive potassium bromide treatment or high serum bromide concentrations. Dermatologic and respiratory abnormalities were rare in dogs. Insufficient information was available to assess the effects of potassium bromide on behavior or to determine the incidence of vomiting, weight gain, polyphagia, pancreatitis, polyuria, polydipsia, or reproductive abnormalities associated with potassium bromide administration. Evidence suggested that administration of potassium bromide with food may alleviate gastrointestinal irritation and that monitoring for polyphagia, thyroid hormone abnormalities, and high serum bromide concentrations may be beneficial.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that potassium bromide is not an appropriate choice for treatment of every dog with seizures and that practitioners should tailor therapeutic regimens and clinical monitoring to each dog. Abrupt dietary changes or fluid therapy may compromise seizure control or increase the likelihood of adverse events. Availability of an appropriately labeled, approved potassium bromide product could provide better assurance for veterinarians and their clients of the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the product for veterinary use.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To characterize infection patterns and identify factors associated with avian mycobacteriosis among zoo birds that were housed with infected enclosure mates.

Design—Matched case-control study.

Animals—79 birds with avian mycobacteriosis (cases) and 316 nondiseased birds (controls) of similar age and taxonomic group that were present in the bird collection of the Zoological Society of San Diego from 1991 through 2005.

Procedures—Inventory and necropsy records from all eligible, exposed birds (n = 2,413) were examined to determine disease incidence and prevalence in the exposed cohort. Cases were matched in a 1:4 ratio to randomly selected controls of similar age and taxonomic grouping. Risk factors for mycobacteriosis (demographic, temporal, enclosure, and exposure characteristics as well as translocation history) were evaluated with univariate and multivariable conditional logistic regression analyses.

Results—Disease prevalence and incidence were estimated at 3.5% and 8 cases/1,000 bird-years at risk, respectively. In the multivariable model, cases were more likely to have been imported into the collection, exposed to mycobacteriosis at a young age, exposed to the same bird species, and exposed in small enclosures than were controls. Odds for disease increased with an increasing amount of time spent with other disease-positive birds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The low incidence of mycobacteriosis and the risk factors identified suggested that mycobacteria may not be easily transmitted through direct contact with infected enclosure mates. Identification of risk factors for avian mycobacteriosis will help guide future management of this disease in zoo bird populations.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate associations between neonatal serum IgG1 concentration and pre- and postweaning morbidity and mortality rates and average daily gains (ADGs) in beef calves and define a cutoff point for serum IgG1 concentration necessary for optimal health and performance of beef calves.

Design—Nonconcurrent cohort study.

Animals—1,568 crossbred beef calves.

Procedure—Single radial immunodiffusion was used to quantitate IgG1 concentration in sera collected from calves between 24 and 72 hours after birth. Logistic regression, ANCOVA, and likelihood ratios were used to analyze data.

Results—In the preweaning period, lower perinatal IgG1 concentrations were significantly associated with higher morbidity rates, higher mortality rates, and lower ADGs. Calves with serum IgG1 concentration < 2,400 mg/dL were 1.6 times as likely to become ill before weaning and 2.7 times as likely to die before weaning as calves with higher serum IgG1 concentrations. Calves with serum IgG1 concentration of at least 2,700 mg/dL weighed an estimated 3.35 kg (7.38 lb) more at 205 days of age than calves with lower serum IgG1 concentration. No significant association of serum IgG1 concentration with feedlot morbidity, death, or ADG was identified.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—By use of likelihood ratios, the threshold of serum IgG1 concentration for optimal health and performance of calves was higher than values reported previously. Implementation and maintenance of management and intervention strategies designed for early detection and treatment of calves at risk for failure of passive transfer will likely result in increases in preweaning health and performance parameters.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine the incidence of and risk factors for clinical feline herpesvirus (FHV) infection in zoo-housed cheetahs and determine whether dam infection was associated with offspring infection.

DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.

ANIMALS 144 cheetah cubs born in 6 zoos from 1988 through 2007.

PROCEDURES Data were extracted from the health records of cheetahs and their dams to identify incident cases of clinical FHV infection and estimate incidence from birth to 18 months of age. Univariate and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models, controlling for correlations among cheetahs with the same dam, were used to identify risk factors for incident FHV infection.

RESULTS Cumulative incidence of FHV infection in cheetah cubs was 35% (50/144). No significant association between dam and offspring infection was identified in any model. Factors identified as significant through multivariable analysis varied by age group. For cheetahs up to 3 months of age, the most important predictor of FHV infection was having a dam that had received a preparturition FHV vaccine regimen that included a modified-live virus vaccine versus a dam that had received no preparturition vaccine. Other risk factors included being from a small litter, being born to a primiparous dam, and male sex.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE This study provided the first population-level characterization of the incidence of and risk factors for FHV infection in cheetahs, and findings confirmed the importance of this disease. Recognition that clinical FHV infection in the dam was not a significant predictor of disease in cubs and identification of other significant factors have implications for disease management.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association