Objective—To evaluate serum antibody titers in captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) following routine vaccination with a commercially available, inactivated rabies vaccine.
Animals—14 captive African elephants from a single herd.
Procedures—Elephants were vaccinated as part of a routine preventive health program. Initially, elephants were vaccinated annually (2 mL, IM), and blood was collected every 4 or 6 months for measurement of rabies virus–neutralizing antibody titer by means of the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test. Individual elephants were later switched to an intermittent vaccination schedule to allow duration of the antibody response to be determined.
Results—All elephants had detectable antibody responses following rabies vaccination, although there was great variability among individual animals in regard to antibody titers, and antibody titers could be detected as long as 24 months after vaccine administration. Young animals were found to develop an antibody titer following administration of a single dose of the rabies vaccine. Age and time since vaccination had significant effects on measured antibody titers.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that African elephants developed detectable antibody titers in response to inoculation with a standard large animal dose of a commercially available, inactivated rabies vaccine. The persistence of detectable antibody titers in some animals suggested that vaccination could be performed less frequently than once a year if antibody titers were routinely monitored.
Case Description—4 North American porcupines were evaluated because of diarrhea or neutropenia (or both) that developed after treatment with fenbendazole for intestinal parasites.
Clinical Findings—Complete blood cell count abnormalities included severe neutropenia in all affected porcupines and mild anemia in some of them. In 2 porcupines, postmortem findings included bone marrow hypoplasia and intestinal crypt cell necrosis.
Treatment and Outcome—Affected porcupines received supportive care including fluid supplementation and broad-spectrum antimicrobials. The 2 surviving animals recovered after 9 to 33 days of treatment.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Fenbendazole is an anthelminthic that may be used in an extralabel manner for the treatment of intestinal parasitism in wildlife species. The drug inhibits mitosis and can affect rapidly dividing cell lines, such as those in the bone marrow and intestinal crypt mucosa. Fenbendazole may not be an appropriate anthelminthic choice in North American porcupines.