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  • Author or Editor: Mélanie Ammersbach x
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To investigate associations between hepatic fat accumulation, fibrosis, and plasma values of primary metabolites, biochemical measurands, insulin, and lipoproteins in bearded dragons.


48 adult central bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).


Dragons were sedated with alfaxalone, and a blood sample was collected. Plasma was submitted for untargeted primary metabolomics using gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry, a biochemistry panel, and a lipoprotein panel determined by PAGE. Hepatic lipid content was quantified by liver attenuation measurements from CT images and digital image analysis of standardized histologic sections of the liver. Fibrosis was quantified by digital image analysis on Masson’s trichrome–stained histologic sections. Severity was determined from pathologic review of liver sections according to a standardized grading system. Statistical associations were investigated using serial linear models adjusted for false discovery rate and multivariate statistics.


Both hepatic fat and fibrosis had a significant effect on CT liver attenuation values. Several oligosaccharides (maltotriose, maltose, ribose, trehalose) and alkaline phosphatase were significantly and linearly increased with hepatic lipid content (all q < .05). On partial least square–discriminant analysis, β-hydroxybutyric acid was the most important discriminatory variable between fatty liver severity grades on histology. No significant associations were found with insulin, lipoproteins, and succinic acid.


Bearded dragons with hepatic lipid accumulation experienced multiple metabolic pathway disruptions, some being compatible with mitochondrial dysfunction. No evidence of insulin resistance or dyslipidemia was found. Hepatic biopsy and histopathology remain recommended for reliably diagnosing and staging fatty liver disease in bearded dragons.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate peripheral blood and abdominal fluid variables as predictors of intestinal surgical site failure in dogs with septic peritonitis following celiotomy and closed-suction abdominal drain (CSAD) placement.

DESIGN Prospective study.

ANIMALS 26 dogs with septic peritonitis that underwent celiotomy and CSAD placement.

PROCEDURES Abdominal fluid and blood samples were collected prior to surgery and daily thereafter until CSAD removal. Abdominal fluid was collected through the CSAD. Analysis of all samples included pH, PCO2, PO2, PCV, WBC count, and total solids, glucose, lactate, and electrolyte concentrations. Abdominal fluid samples also underwent cytologic evaluation and bacterial culture, and the volume of fluid removed through the drain was recorded daily. The blood-to-fluid glucose and lactate differences, fluid-to-blood lactate ratio and blood-to-fluid WBC and neutrophil ratios were determined daily. Dogs were categorized into 2 groups on the basis of whether they had an uneventful recovery (UR) or developed postoperative septic peritonitis (POSP).

RESULTS 23 dogs had a UR and 3 developed POSP. On the third day after surgery, the abdominal fluid WBC count was significantly lower and the blood-to-fluid WBC and neutrophil ratios were significantly higher for dogs in the POSP group, compared with those for dogs in the UR group. None of the other blood and abdominal fluid variables assessed differed significantly between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results failed to identify any objective predictive indicators for POSP in dogs with CSADs. Use of blood-to-fluid WBC and neutrophil ratios as predictive indicators for POSP requires further investigation.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To estimate the prevalence of clinically relevant atherosclerotic lesions in birds and identify epidemiological variables and illness types associated with development of atherosclerosis.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Sample—Records of 7683 psittacine birds, including 525 with advanced atherosclerosis.

Procedures—5 pathology centers provided databases and access to histopathology slides. Age and sex were collected for all birds of the Amazona, Ara, Cacatua, Nymphicus, and Psittacus genera. Databases were searched for atherosclerosis cases, and slides were reviewed for the presence of type IV through VI atherosclerotic lesions. Results were used to build several multiple logistic models to define the association between advanced atherosclerosis and age, sex, genus, illness type, and specific lesions. Prevalence was reported as a function of age, sex, and genus.

Results—In the first model including 7683 birds, age, female sex, and the genera Psittacus, Amazona, and Nymphicus were significantly associated with clinically relevant atherosclerosis detected via necropsy. Subsequent models of 1,050 cases revealed further associations with reproductive disease, hepatic disease, and myocardial fibrosis, controlling for age, sex, and genus.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Age, female sex, and 3 genera appeared to be positively associated with the presence of advanced atherosclerotic lesions in psittacine birds. This information may be useful in clinical assessment of the cardiovascular system and patient management. Reproductive diseases were the only potentially modifiable risk factor identified and could be a target for prevention in captive psittacine birds.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association