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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine hepatic copper concentrations and zonal distribution in ferrets with and without hepatobiliary disease, validate rhodanine-based qualitative copper scoring and digital copper quantification in ferret hepatic samples, and ascertain whether clinical features predicted copper accumulation.


34 ferrets, including 7 with necroinflammatory disease, 5 with hepatocellular carcinoma, 13 with non-necroinflammatory disease, and 9 with no hepatobiliary disease.


Rhodanine-based digital copper quantification was validated by use of liver dually measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy and digital scanning (R 2 = 0.98). Clinical features and hepatic copper scores and concentrations (dry weight liver) were compared between groups. Zonal copper distribution was determined.


Hepatic copper concentration was strongly correlated with copper scores (ρ = 0.88). Ferrets with hepatobiliary disease were significantly older and had significantly higher serum alkaline phosphatase and γ-glutamyltransferase activities and creatinine concentrations. Centrilobular copper accumulated in 23 of 34 (64%) ferrets with (n = 15) and without (8) hepatobiliary disease. Median copper concentrations were not significantly different between ferrets with and without hepatobiliary disease but were significantly higher within neoplastic hepatic tissue in ferrets with hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatic copper concentrations exceeded feline (> 180 µg/g) and canine (> 400 µg/g) reference limits in 19 and 9 ferrets, respectively. Hepatic copper > 1,000 µg/g occurred in 5 ferrets with and 2 without hepatobiliary disease. Clinical features did not predict copper accumulation.


Rhodanine-based digital copper quantification and qualitative copper scoring discerned liver copper accumulation in ferrets. Ferrets with and without hepatobiliary disease displayed a propensity for centrilobular hepatic copper accumulation of uncertain clinical importance. Clinical and clinicopathologic features could not exclusively implicate pathologic copper accumulation.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—A cohort of 35,200, 13-week-old, female rainbow trout at a fish farm was evaluated because of a 2-week history of anorexia and lethargy and a mortality rate of approximately 100 fish/d.

Clinical Findings—Affected fish were lethargic and thin and had disequilibrium, bilateral exophthalmia, pale red gills and kidneys, red-tinged coelomic fluid, and pale brown livers. Some fish were differentially pigmented bilaterally. The presumptive diagnosis was bacterial or viral septicemia. The definitive diagnosis was rainbow trout fry syndrome caused by infection with Flavobacterium psychrophilum.

Treatment and Outcome—A strategy for controlling the outbreak based on reducing pathogen numbers in affected tanks and reducing pathogen spread among tanks was developed. The option of treating with antimicrobial-medicated feed was discussed with the farmer, but was declined. After changes were made, mortality rate declined quickly, with no more deaths within 10 days after the initial farm visit.

Clinical Relevance—Bacterial coldwater disease is the most common manifestation of infection with F psychrophilum in fingerling and adult rainbow trout. However, the organism can also cause rainbow trout fry syndrome. This condition should be included on a list of differential diagnoses for septicemia in hatchery-reared rainbow trout fry.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


CASE DESCRIPTION 10 large felids at 8 facilities were determined or suspected to have developed gastric dilatation with or without enterotoxemia over a 20-year period. Four felids were found dead with no premonitory signs.

CLINICAL FINDINGS 4 felids (2 male snow leopards [Uncia uncia], 1 male Amur tiger [Panthera tigris altaica], and 1 male Sumatran tiger [Panthera tigris sumatrae]) were found dead or died before they could be evaluated. Six felids had hematemesis (1 male and 1 female African lion [Panthera leo] and 1 male jaguar [Panthera onca]) or abdominal distention and signs of lethargy with or without vomiting (1 male African lion, 1 male Malayan tiger [Panthera tigris jacksoni], and 1 female Sumatran tiger). Gastric dilatation was radiographically and surgically confirmed in the male Malayan and female Sumatran tigers and the jaguar.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME In 3 felids with an antemortem diagnosis, the gastric dilatation resolved with decompressive laparotomy but then recurred in 1 felid, which subsequently died. Three others died at various points during hospitalization. Although Clostridium perfringens type A was recovered from 3 of the 5 felids for which microbial culture was performed, and 2 felids had a recent increase in the amount fed, no single factor was definitively identified that might have incited or contributed to the gastric dilatation.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Gastric dilatation was a life-threatening condition in the large felids of this report, causing sudden death or clinical signs of hematemesis, abdominal distention, or vomiting. Even with rapid diagnosis and surgical decompression, the prognosis was poor. Research is needed into the factors that contribute to this emergent condition in large felids so that preventive measures might be taken.

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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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine optimal site for collection of bone marrow from desert tortoises, and to characterize cytologic staining and morphologic features of bone marrow hematopoietic cells.


16 desert tortoises.


Bone marrow was obtained at necropsy from the pelvis, proximal portion of the humerus, femur, and thickened portions of the cranial to craniolateral and caudal to caudolateral margins of the carapace and plastron for histologic and cytologic examinations. Cytocentrifuged preparations of marrow cells were evaluated for reactivity to cytochemical stains.


Histologic sections were adequate for evaluating acidophils, acidophil precursors, and erythrocyte precursors. It was difficult to differentiate among monocytes, lymphocytes, thrombocytes, and blast cells, and eosinophils could not be differentiated from heterophils. Basophils were in rare, small clusters of 3 to 12 cells. A few lymphoid follicles were found in the pelvis and long bones.

Use of cytochemical staining accomplished differentiation between agranular heterophil precursors and granulated heterophils, and between granulated eosinophils and basophils. Monocytes, azurophils, and monoblasts had similar staining features. Staining of erythrocyte precursors with Sudan black B differentiated them from lymphocytes. Only a few small cells with periodic acid-Schiff-positive cytoplasm were identified as thrombocytes. Lymphocytes did not stain with any of the cytochemical stains.


For histologic and cytologic evaluation of bone marrow hematopoietic cells, pelvis, proximal portion of the humerus, femur, and thickened portions of the peripheral cranial and caudal regions of the carapace and plastron are suitable sites to collect specimens. There are distinct cytochemical markers for heterophil, monocyte, and erythrocyte precursors, as well as later stage heterophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, and azurophils. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1608–1615)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research