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  • Author or Editor: Michael A. Royals x
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Objective—To evaluate humoral immune responses of emus vaccinated with commercially available equine polyvalent or experimental monovalent eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus and western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) virus vaccines and to determine whether vaccinated emus were protected against challenge with EEE virus.

Design—Cohort study.

Animals—25 emus.

Procedure—Birds were randomly assigned to groups (n = 5/group) and vaccinated with 1 of 2 commercially available polyvalent equine vaccines, a monovalent EEE virus vaccine, or a monovalent WEE virus vaccine or were not vaccinated. Neutralizing antibody responses against EEE and WEE viruses were examined at regular intervals for up to 9 months. All emus vaccinated with the equine vaccines and 2 unvaccinated control birds were challenged with EEE virus. An additional unvaccinated bird was housed with the control birds to assess the possibility of contact transmission.

Results—All 4 vaccines induced detectable neutralizing antibody titers, and all birds vaccinated with the equine vaccines were fully protected against an otherwise lethal dose of EEE virus. Unvaccinated challenged birds developed viremia (> 109 plaque-forming units/ml of blood) and shed virus in feces, oral secretions, and regurgitated material. The unvaccinated pen-mate became infected in the absence of mosquito vectors, presumably as a result of direct virus transmission between birds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that emus infected with EEE virus develop a hightiter viremia and suggest that they may serve as important virus reservoirs. Infected emus shed EEE virus in secretions and excretions, making them a direct hazard to pen-mates and attending humans. Commercially available polyvalent equine vaccines protect emus against EEE virus infection. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1469–1473)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—An adult male American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) was evaluated by the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Turtle Rescue Team following vehicular trauma.

Clinical Findings—A fracture of the left femur was suspected on examination and palpation of the hind limbs, but no other injuries or abnormalities were detected. While the bullfrog was sedated, whole-body radiographic views were obtained, which revealed a closed midshaft comminuted fracture of the left femur.

Treatment and Outcome—The fracture was repaired by use of an internal fixation technique that included Kirschner wires, a positive-profile pin secured along the femur with encircling sutures, and polymethylmethacrylate molded around the entire apparatus. There were no major complications during the postoperative rehabilitation period. One year after surgery, radiography revealed complete fracture healing and the bullfrog was released back into the wild.

Clinical Relevance—Presently, there are no widely accepted methods for fracture fixation in amphibians. Factors associated with their aquatic environment and lengthy fracture healing time must be addressed when planning fracture fixation strategies. In the bullfrog of this report, the applied internal fixation method provided effective long-term stabilization of the femur, allowed for normal movement, and enabled the bullfrog to be housed in an aquatic environment immediately after surgery.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association