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Objective—To critically evaluate plasma fibrinogen concentration as a diagnostic indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans).
Design—Prospective induced-disease model and prospective cross-sectional study.
Sample—Plasma samples from 12 purpose-bred red-eared sliders and 153 farm-raised red-eared sliders.
Procedures—A modification of the Jacobsson method was developed to measure fibrinogen concentration in platelet-poor plasma from red-eared sliders. Purpose-bred turtles had been inoculated with a ranavirus (n = 4) or sterile PBS solution (8) as part of another study. Farm-raised red-eared sliders were categorized as healthy (n = 138) or overtly ill (15) on the basis of physical examination findings at the time of blood sample collection. Samples from 124 of the 138 healthy red-eared sliders were used to establish a fibrinogen concentration reference interval as measured by the modified Jacobsson method. Fibrinogen concentrations in ranavirus-infected and physically ill turtles were compared with those of healthy turtles to determine whether fibrinogen concentration would be a useful diagnostic indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders.
Results—The modified Jacobsson method was reliably used to measure fibrinogen concentration. The fibrinogen concentration reference interval from healthy reproductively active female red-eared sliders was right skewed. Fibrinogen concentration did not differ significantly between healthy red-eared sliders and ranavirus-infected or overtly ill red-eared sliders.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A reference interval for red-eared slider plasma fibrinogen concentration was established and partitioned by sex to account for considerable right skewing observed for females. Fibrinogen concentration was not a useful indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders with ranavirus infection or other overt illnesses.
Objective—To determine the pharmacokinetics of a long-acting formulation of ceftiofur, ceftiofur crystalline-free acid (CCFA), following SC injection to Asian elephants (Elephas maxim us).
Animals—11 adult Asian elephants.
Procedures—Each elephant received CCFA (6.6 mg/kg, SC) in the area caudoventral to the base of an ear. Blood samples were collected from an ear vein immediately prior to and at 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144, and 168 hours after CCFA administration. Plasma concentrations of desfuroylceftiofur acetamide (the acetamide derivative of ceftiofur) were measured via ultrahigh-pressure liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Data were analyzed via a noncompartmental pharmacokinetics approach.
Results—The mean ± SD maximum plasma concentration of desfuroylceftiofur acetamide was 1.36 ± 0.74 μg/mL and was detected at 4718 ± 31.30 hours. The mean ± SD area under the curve from time 0 to infinity was 2278 ± 55.8 μg•h/mL, and the mean residence time from time 0 to infinity was 158.2 ± 90.2 hours. The terminal elimination half-life associated with the slope of the terminal phase had a harmonic mean ± pseudo-SD of 83.36 ± 30.01 hours.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Elephants tolerated CCFA at a dose of 6.6 mg/kg, SC, well. Dosing recommendations will depend on the mean inhibitory concentration of ceftiofur for each bacterial pathogen. Desfuroylceftiofur acetamide concentrations remained > 0.25 μg/mL for the entire 168-hour study period, which suggested CCFA would provide clinically relevant antimicrobial activity against certain pathogens for 7 to 10 days.
Objective—To determine the effects of UVB radiation produced by artificial lights on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculi).
Animals—9 juvenile domestic rabbits.
Procedures—After an acclimation period, rabbits were anesthetized with isoflurane, and an initial blood sample was collected for determination of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. Rabbits were randomly assigned to receive 12-hour exposure to UVB radiation produced by 2 compact fluorescent lights daily (n = 5) or no UVB supplementation (4) commencing on day 1. The UVB radiation emitted into the cage was measured at 9 points approximately 34 cm from the surface of the UVB light sources (representing the position of the rabbits in the cage) after 10 hours of exposure on days 1, 8, and 14. On day 14, another blood sample was collected from anesthetized rabbits for determination of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration.
Results—The UVB radiation level was 8.3 to 58.1 μW/cm2 for the exposed rabbits and consistently < 0.001 μW/cm2 for the control rabbits. Mean ± SD serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in the rabbits that were or were not provided supplemental UVB radiation for 14 days differed significantly (66.4 ± 14.3 nmol/L and 31.7 ± 9.9 nmol/L, respectively).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure to UVB radiation produced by artificial light significantly increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration in juvenile rabbits. Because vitamin D is an essential hormone in vertebrates, these findings suggested that the provision of supplemental UVB radiation to captive rabbits may be important.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the anesthetic and cardiorespiratory effects of IM alfaxalone and isoflurane administration in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and compare use of these agents with use of manual restraint.
ANIMALS 42 healthy budgerigars.
PROCEDURES For dose comparison, birds received alfaxalone (5 or 10 mg/kg [2.27 or 4.54 mg/lb], IM; groups A5 and A10, respectively; n = 6/group). For treatment comparison, birds received alfaxalone (10 mg/kg, IM) or isoflurane (via face mask) or were manually restrained (groups A, I, and M, respectively; n = 10/group). Data were obtained on onset, degree, and duration of sedation or anesthesia; heart and respiratory rates; and recovery times. Birds in the treatment comparison underwent physical examination and blood gas analysis.
RESULTS All group A5 birds became sedate, but not recumbent. In group A10, 5 of 6 birds lost the righting reflex; however, none lost the noxious stimulus response. Median time to initial effects was significantly shorter and mean time to complete recovery was significantly longer in group A10 than in group A5. Heart and respiratory rates in group A10 remained clinically acceptable; however, some birds had signs of excitement during induction and recovery. Times to initial effects, recumbency, and complete recovery were significantly longer, yet clinically practical, in group A than in group I. Plasma lactate concentrations were significantly higher in group M than in groups A and I.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Alfaxalone administered IM at 10 mg/kg produced effective sedation in healthy budgerigars and may be a viable alternative to isoflurane and manual restraint for brief, minimally invasive procedures. Brief manual restraint resulted in a significant increase in plasma lactate concentration.
A 12-year-old sexually intact male zoo-managed Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) was evaluated for a 3-day history of vomiting, hyporexia, and lethargy. Radiographs were supportive of gastrointestinal obstruction, and an exploratory laparotomy was performed.
Diffuse tan foci were present on the liver parenchyma, and the tiger became icteric throughout the procedure. Hepatic histopathology and immunohistochemistry resulted in a diagnosis of leptospirosis. Serum microagglutination testing for Leptospira spp antibody titers were positive for L kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa, rising from 1:400 to 1:3,200 in 2 days.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
The tiger was treated with antimicrobials, ursodiol, and mirtazapine, and increased biosecurity measures were instituted. Free-ranging wildlife on grounds were trapped, euthanized, and submitted for necropsy to screen for disease vectors. The tiger’s urine was intermittently opportunistically collected from the enclosure and remained PCR assay negative for Leptospira spp until being positive once again on day 595. Although the tiger was without clinical signs at that time, antimicrobial therapy and increased biosecurity protocols were instituted a second time until urinary Leptospira shedding was confirmed to have stopped. By 1,071 days after initial presentation, the tiger remained nonclinical, with no additional urinary shedding episodes.
While domestic and nondomestic free-ranging felids have been reported as subclinical Leptospira spp carriers, this report indicates the clinical importance of leptospirosis when a tiger presents with generalized gastrointestinal signs and icterus. Due to the zoonotic potential, biosecurity measures are necessary. This patient had a clinically successful outcome with antimicrobial therapy and supportive care.
To characterize induction and recovery characteristics of 3 commonly used inhalant anesthetics in prairie rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis): isoflurane, sevoflurane, and desflurane.
12 healthy adult prairie rattlesnakes.
In a randomized crossover design, snakes underwent anesthetic induction with 5% isoflurane, 8% sevoflurane, or 18% desflurane, with a washout period of ≥ 7 days between anesthetic events. Anesthetic depth parameters were recorded throughout induction and recovery, including time to loss and return of righting reflex, muscle tone, ability to intubate, response to pressure, and time to return to spontaneous respiration. Every 5 minutes throughout the anesthetic procedures, heart rate, respiratory rate, and percentage expired anesthetic gas were recorded.
No snakes died during the study. Sevoflurane anesthesia resulted in anesthetic gas avoidance behavior in snakes during induction and had the significantly longest recovery time to extubation and time to return of pressure response, compared with the other inhalant anesthetics. Anesthesia with isoflurane resulted in a significantly longer time to return of righting reflex, compared with sevoflurane or desflurane. No significant difference was noted in time to loss of pressure response among the 3 anesthetic gases. Desflurane anesthesia resulted in the significantly quickest loss of righting reflex among the anesthetic protocols; despite this, 4 of 12 desflurane anesthetized snakes did not achieve an anesthetic plane deep enough for intubation.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Isoflurane and sevoflurane, but not desflurane, inhalation anesthesia resulted in consistent and predictable loss of righting reflex and induction of anesthesia deep enough to allow intubation in snakes.
Bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps), a popular zoological companion species, frequently require sedation for procedures. A novel formulation of alfaxalone with preservatives was FDA approved for 28-day use after the vial is breached. Research has been performed in squamate species using alfaxalone without preservatives at various doses and routes of administration, but it is unknown whether preservatives affect quality of sedation or cardiac function.
10 bearded dragons.
This complete crossover study evaluated the pharmacodynamic effects of alfaxalone with preservatives administered to bearded dragons via intracoelomic (ICo; n = 10), SC (10), IM (9), and IV (9) injection at 15 mg/kg.
Deep sedation was achieved in 9 of 10 ICo, 8 of 10 SC, 8 of 9 IM, and 9 of 9 IV administrations. Heart rate significantly decreased from baseline for ICo (P = .008; median heart rate, 46), IM (P = .018; 54), and IV (P = .033; 54) routes, but maintained within clinically acceptable limits. Respiratory rate significantly decreased from baseline for ICo (P = .011; median respiratory rate, 30), SC (P = .024; 12), IM (P = .028; 12), and IV (P = .043; 12) routes. Spontaneous ventilation was retained during all events. Time to first effects was significantly sooner with IV (0 min) administration compared with ICo (P = .02; 5 min) and IM (P = .008; 5 min). Time to loss and recovery of withdrawal, righting reflex, deep pain, and purposeful movement were not significantly different between routes of administration. End-systolic volume was the only echocardiographic parameter significantly affected by IV sedation.
Sedation quality was most consistent via IV administration at 15 mg/kg, and minimal changes in cardiac function were observed.
Objective—To determine the characteristics of, prevalence of, and risk factors for corneal pigmentation (CP) in Pugs.
Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.
Animals—295 Pugs > 16 weeks old.
Procedures—Ophthalmic examination of the anterior segment of each eye was performed, including determination of tear film characteristics (Schirmer tear test and tear film breakup time) and corneal sensitivity. Digital photographs of the head and each eye were obtained. Corneal pigmentation of eyes was graded as absent, very mild, mild, moderate, or severe. Signalment and medical history information and American Kennel Club registration status were recorded.
Results—CP was detected in at least 1 eye of 243 of the 295 (82.4%) Pugs; CP was typically very mild or mild. Detection of CP was not significantly associated with coat color, age, eyelid conformation, or tear film characteristics but was significantly associated with sex of dogs. The severity of CP was not significantly associated with American Kennel Club registration status or age, but was significantly associated with sex, tear film characteristics, and coat color. Iris hypoplasia was detected in 72.1% of the Pugs. Iris-to-iris persistent pupillary membranes were detected in 85.3% of the Pugs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prevalence of CP in Pugs in this study was high. Unexpectedly high prevalences of iris hypoplasia and persistent pupillary membranes were also identified. The condition identified in these Pugs was a pigmentary keratopathy, rather than pigmentary keratitis or corneal melanosis. This condition may have a genetic basis, and further studies are warranted to determine etiology.
Case Description—A 5-month-old captive female striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) was evaluated because of lethargy, signs of depression, azotemia, and erythema of the skin around the eyes.
Clinical Findings—Antemortem diagnostic tests revealed renal disease but failed to identify an etiologic agent. A diagnosis of severe nonsuppurative interstitial nephritis was made on the basis of results of histologic examination of renal biopsy specimens.
Treatment and Outcome—The skunk was administered isotonic fluids SC daily and later every other day because of the handling-related stress. Because of the skunk's deteriorating condition, it was euthanized after 24 days of supportive care. Aleutian disease was diagnosed on the basis of positive results of a PCR assay that targeted the DNA from Aleutian disease virus (ADV); positive results for ADV were also obtained by use of plasma counterimmunoelectrophoresis and an ELISA. Genetic sequencing of the 365-base pair PCR product revealed 90% sequence identity with mink ADV.
Clinical Relevance—In the skunk of this report, infection with a skunk-specific parvovirus resulted in clinical signs and pathologic changes similar to those associated with ADV infection in mink. For skunks with signs of renal failure, differential diagnoses should include parvovirus infection. In confirmed cases of infection with this ADV-like virus, appropriate quarantine and biosecurity measures should be in place to prevent spread to other susceptible animals within a zoological collection.