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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether IV administration of a combination of medetomidine and ketamine depresses cardiopulmonary function in healthy adult gopher tortoises.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—3 adult male and 3 adult female nonreleasable gopher tortoises.

Procedure—Prior to the study, carotid and jugular catheters were surgically placed in each tortoise for blood collection, direct arterial blood pressure monitoring, and drug administration. Heart rate, direct carotid arterial blood pressure, and body temperature were measured before and every 5 minutes for 45 minutes after IV injection of medetomidine (100 µg/kg [45.5 µg/lb]) and ketamine (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb]). Carotid arterial blood samples were collected before and 5, 15, 30, and 45 minutes after medetomidineketamine administration to determine pH, PO2, and PCO2. Atipamezole (500 mg/kg [227 µg/lb], IV) was administered 30 minutes after administration of medetomidine-ketamine.

Results—The medetomidine-ketamine combination caused a moderate increase in arterial blood pressure, and moderate hypercapnia and hypoxemia. There were no significant changes in heart rate or body temperature. Intravenous administration of atipamezole rapidly induced severe hypotension.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The combination of medetomidine and ketamine administered IV resulted in effective short-term immobilization adequate for minor diagnostic procedures in gopher tortoises. This combination also caused moderate hypoventilation, and it is recommended that a supplemental source of oxygen or assisted ventilation be provided. Atipamezole administration hastens recovery from chemical immobilization but induces severe hypotension. It is recommended that atipamezole not be administered IV for reversal of medetomidine in tortoises and turtles. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220: 1516–1519)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To measure plasma concentration of ionized calcium in healthy green iguanas.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—9 juvenile and 21 (10 male, 11 female) adult iguanas.

Procedure—Blood samples were obtained from each iguana, and plasma calcium, glucose, phosphorus, uric acid, total protein, albumin, globulin, potassium, and ionized calcium concentrations, aspartate transaminase (AST) activity, and pH were measured. Heparinized blood was used for measurement of ionized calcium concentration and blood pH. A CBC was also performed to assess the health of the iguanas.

Results—Significant differences were not detected among the 3 groups (juveniles, males, and females) with regard to ionized calcium concentration. Mean ionized calcium concentration measured in blood was 1.47 ± 0.105 mmol/L. Significant differences were detected between juveniles and adults for values of phosphorus, glucose, total protein, albumin, globulin, and AST activity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ionized calcium concentration provides a clinical measurement of the physiologically active calcium in circulation. Evaluation of physiologically active calcium in animals with suspected calcium imbalance that have total plasma calcium concentrations within reference range or in gravid animals with considerably increased total plasma calcium concentrations is vital for determining a therapeutic plan. Accurate evaluation of calcium status will provide assistance in the diagnosis of renal disease and seizures and allow for better evaluation of the health status of gravid female iguanas. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:326–328)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the protein and cellular composition of CSF in healthy adult ferrets.

Animals—42 clinically normal adult ferrets.

Procedure—CSF samples were collected from the cerebellomedullary cistern of anesthetized ferrets by use of disposable 25-gauge, 1.6-cm-long hypodermic needles. Samples were processed within 20 minutes after collection. The number of WBCs and RBCs per microliter of CSF was counted by use of a hemacytometer. The total protein concentration was determined by use of an automated chemistry analyzer.

Results—Total WBC counts (range, 0 to 8 cells/µL; mean, 1.59 cells/µL) in CSF of ferrets were similar to reference range values obtained for CSF from other species. Twenty-seven CSF samples had < 100 RBCs/µL (mean, 20.3 RBCs/µL). A small but significant effect of blood contamination on WBC counts was found between the 27 CSF samples with < 100 RBCs/µL and the remaining samples. Protein concentrations in CSF of ferrets (range, 28.0 to 68.0 mg/dL; mean, 31.4 mg/dL) were higher than has been reported for the CSF of dogs and cats. A significant effect of blood contamination on the CSF protein concentration was not found.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance— We have established reference range values for WBC counts and protein concentrations in CSF from healthy adult ferrets that may be useful in the clinical investigation of CNS disease. Results of our study indicate that the WBC count is significantly affected by blood contamination of the CSF sample. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:758–760)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine blood cell morphologic characteristics and hematologic and plasma biochemical reference ranges for iguanas housed in a warm indoor and outdoor environment with regular exposure to direct sunlight.

Design—Original study.

Animals—51 clinically normal iguanas (18 males, 25 females, and 8 juveniles) housed in 3 Florida locations.

Procedure—Blood was collected from the coccygeal or ventral abdominal vein. Any samples that had obvious hemolysis or clot formation were not used. Leukocyte counts were determined manually; other hematologic values were obtained by use of a commercially available cell counter. Plasma biochemical values were determined by use of a spectrophotometric chemistry analyzer. Blood smears were stained with Wright-Giemsa and cytochemical stains for morphologic and cytochemical evaluation.

Results—Hematologic ranges were generally higher in this study than previously reported. Thrombocytes were variable in appearance between individuals and sometimes difficult to distinguish from lymphocytes on a Wright-Giemsa preparation. Concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, total protein, globulins, and cholesterol were significantly higher, and the albumin:globulin ratio was significantly lower, in healthy gravid females than in male or nongravid female iguanas. Nongravid females had significantly higher calcium and cholesterol concentrations, compared with males. The calcium:phosphorus ratio was > 1 in all iguanas. Gravid females had a calcium phosphorus product ranging between 210 and 800. Intracytoplasmic inclusions were identified within the erythrocytes of some iguanas.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hematologic ranges for iguanas in this study are higher than those reported for iguanas. Sex and age of the iguana should be considered when evaluating biochemical values. Healthy ovulating and gravid females may have significantly increased electrolyte and protein concentrations, but maintain a calcium:phosphorus ratio > 1. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:915–921)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether beef herds could increase profitability by reducing production cost per 100 lb (hundredweight [CWT]; ie, 45.4 kg) of calf through implementation of advice from teams of veterinarians and county extension agents supported by university specialists.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Sample Population—6 commercial cow-calf herds comprising 1,927 cows.

Procedure—Teams of veterinarians and county extension agents provided advice on 25 profitable ranch management practices to herd owners for 3 years. Use of each practice in herds was measured on a scale of 1 to 5 for baseline year 1999. Similar measurements were made at the end of each year for comparison with baseline values. Outcomes were measured by standardized performance analysis.

Results—Mean weaning weight of calves per exposed cow of the 6 herds increased significantly from 1999 (2000, 26.8 kg [59 lb; 17%]; 2001, 49.1 kg [108 lb; 31%]; and 2002, 43.2 kg [95 lb; 27%]). Mean cost per CWT of calf decreased significantly from the 1999 value (2000, −$20.04 [−18%]; 2001, −$33.40 [−29%]; and 2002, −$22.52 [−20%]). Additional profits for the 6 herds were $54,407 in 2000, $135,695 in 2001, and $116,089 in 2002 (3-year total of $306,191). Mean increase in management score of herds was positively correlated with increase in net income and accounted for > 60% of increased profits.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Profitability of beef cow-calf operations can be substantially increased through a team approach by identifying opportunities for improvements in management and helping ranch managers implement profitable practices. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:210–220)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association