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  • Author or Editor: Randall E. Junge x
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To design a diagnostic protocol that uses appropriate techniques, including ultrasonography, to assess cardiovascular health and detect primary cardiac diseases in gorillas and to establish a database of reference values for cardiac measurements in clinically normal gorillas.


Prospective study.


5 adult male lowland gorillas from 11 to 18 years old.


A complete cardiac evaluation was performed on anesthetized gorillas, including physical examination, thoracic radiography, electrocardiography, echocardiography, blood pressure determination, CBC, serum biochemical analyses, and serologic assay for viral diseases. Standard cardiac measurements were made from images collected during ultrasonography.


Cardiac measurements derived from ultrasonographic images were consistent with those considered normal in human beings. Results of other diagnostic tests were also considered normal.

Clinical Implications

Cardiac disease is the primary cause of mortality in old captive gorillas. The technique used here provided excellent evaluation of cardiac function. Use of these techniques will allow early detection of cardiac disease, making treatment or medical management possible. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:413-415)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—4 captive adult Micronesian kingfishers (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina) at 3 zoologic institutions were examined routinely or because of dyspnea or lethargy.

Clinical Findings—All birds had marked hepatomegaly. Two birds had dyspnea caused by compression of air sacs by the enlarged liver, and 1 bird had generalized weakness and lethargy. Three birds had distended coelomic cavities, and 3 birds were thin or had lost weight. There were no consistent abnormalities in blood analytes. Results of most ancillary diagnostic tests such as acid-fast staining of cloacal or fecal swab specimens and culture of feces for acid-fast bacteria were negative. Results of examination of hepatic biopsy speci-mens in 2 of 4 birds were suggestive of mycobacteriosis.

Treatment and Outcome—3 birds died or were euthanized soon after diagnosis. One kingfisher was isolated and monitored for 4 months without treatment and died during anesthesia for disease monitoring. Postmortem histologic examination revealed histiocytic hepatitis and acid-fast bacteria in all 4 birds. Bacteriologic culture of liver specimens yielded Mycobacterium simiae complex in all 4 birds.

Clinical Relevance—Infection with M simiae complex should be considered in ill Micronesian kingfishers, and further monitoring is warranted to determine whether this is an emerging pathogen in this species.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To assess serum iron and ferritin concentrations, total iron-binding capacity, and transferrin saturation as indicators of iron metabolic status in 3 genera of lemurs and determine whether these variables are useful for screening for iron overload.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—11 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), 11 black lemurs (Eulemur macaco macaco), and 11 red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra).

Procedures—Blood samples were collected weekly for 3 weeks and assayed for serum iron and ferritin concentrations and total iron-binding capacity. Liver biopsy specimens were evaluated histologically and assayed for total iron, nonheme iron, and trace mineral concentrations. Deposition of iron was scored on Prussian blue–stained slides.

Results—Hepatic iron content ranged from 497 to 12,800 Pg/g dry weight (median, 2,165 Pg/g). Differences were seen in mean hepatic iron content across genera, with ruffed lemurs having the highest concentrations and ring-tailed lemurs having the lowest. Iron accumulation in the liver was mild, and cellular pathologic changes associated with iron storage disease were not detected in any lemur. Ferritin concentration was the only variable that correlated significantly with hepatic iron content in all 3 genera of lemurs; however, both transferrin saturation and serum iron concentration were correlated with hepatic iron concentration in ring-tailed and ruffed lemurs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum ferritin concentration was the only variable that was consistently correlated with hepatic iron content in all 3 genera. Mean hepatic iron content varied across genera, suggesting that the propensity for lemurs to develop iron overload in captivity may vary across taxa.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—A female Aldabra tortoise (Geochelone gigantea) was evaluated because of focal necrosis of the carapace.

Clinical Findings—Debridement revealed a 14.5 × 11.5-cm area of shell necrosis, deep abscess formation, and osteomyelitis involving bacterial (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas spp) and fungal pathogens.

Treatment and Outcome—Following extensive debridement, vacuum-assisted closure incorporating silver-impregnated bandaging materials was used. The wound was considered healed after 55 days, at which time a layer of epidermal tissue with progressing keratinization was present, with smooth underlying ossification. Keratinization with normal pigmentation continued over the next 67 days.

Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that vacuum-assisted closure with silver-impreg-nated bandaging materials may provide advantages over traditional methods in the treatment of shell lesions in chelonians, including faster wound healing, improved cosmetic appearance of the healed wound, superior control of microbial contamination, and lower overall treatment costs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine the incidence of and risk factors for clinical feline herpesvirus (FHV) infection in zoo-housed cheetahs and determine whether dam infection was associated with offspring infection.

DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.

ANIMALS 144 cheetah cubs born in 6 zoos from 1988 through 2007.

PROCEDURES Data were extracted from the health records of cheetahs and their dams to identify incident cases of clinical FHV infection and estimate incidence from birth to 18 months of age. Univariate and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models, controlling for correlations among cheetahs with the same dam, were used to identify risk factors for incident FHV infection.

RESULTS Cumulative incidence of FHV infection in cheetah cubs was 35% (50/144). No significant association between dam and offspring infection was identified in any model. Factors identified as significant through multivariable analysis varied by age group. For cheetahs up to 3 months of age, the most important predictor of FHV infection was having a dam that had received a preparturition FHV vaccine regimen that included a modified-live virus vaccine versus a dam that had received no preparturition vaccine. Other risk factors included being from a small litter, being born to a primiparous dam, and male sex.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE This study provided the first population-level characterization of the incidence of and risk factors for FHV infection in cheetahs, and findings confirmed the importance of this disease. Recognition that clinical FHV infection in the dam was not a significant predictor of disease in cubs and identification of other significant factors have implications for disease management.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association