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  • Author or Editor: Rene A. Varela x
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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate biochemical analytes in vitreous humor collected after death in West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—73 West Indian manatees of various ages and both sexes.

Procedure—The condition of manatee carcasses submitted for routine postmortem examination was categorized as fresh, moderately autolyzed, or severely autolyzed. The eyes were removed, frozen for shipping, and thawed on arrival at the laboratory. Vitreous humor was extracted, and various biochemical analytes were measured. Values for each analyte were compared with published reference ranges for corresponding biochemical analytes in serum. Values were also compared among the carcass condition groups.

Results—Creatinine and urea nitrogen concentrations in vitreous humor were significantly higher in severely autolyzed carcasses than in fresh carcasses. Potassium concentrations in vitreous humor were significantly higher in moderately autolyzed carcasses than in fresh carcasses but were highly variable in severely autolyzed carcasses. These data were consistent with those reported in other species.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that measurement of biochemical analytes in vitreous humor of manatees is feasible and has potential for assisting in the postmortem diagnosis of certain metabolic, renal, and nutritional diseases; determining severity of autolysis at time of necropsy; and determining the time of occurrence of human-induced trauma. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:88–92)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of duration of capture and sample-handling procedures on blood analytes in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—154 free-ranging bottlenose dolphins of various ages and both sexes.

Procedures—Blood samples were drawn from each dolphin within 10 minutes of capture and before release and analyzed by use of a portable analyzer with a single-use 8-analyte disposable cartridge. Analyte values were compared according to duration between sample acquisition and analysis (time to run [TTR]) and duration between net encirclement and sample acquisition (time to bleed [TTB]).

Results—Neither TTB nor TTR significantly affected sodium or chloride concentration. Potassium concentration was not significantly affected by TTR, whereas the effect of TTB was significant. Glucose, total CO2, HCO3, Hct, and base excess of extracellular fluid values were significantly affected by TTR. Increased TTB resulted in significantly increased total CO2, HCO3, and base excess when TTR was kept within 10 minutes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The effect of TTB on certain acid-base and electrolyte values was readily measured in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins, and such values may provide a reference range for those variables.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of lobomycosis, a mycotic infection of dolphins and humans caused by a yeastlike organism (Lacazia loboi), among dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon in Florida.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—146 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Procedure—Comprehensive health assessments of bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon of Florida (n = 75) and in estuarine waters near Charleston, SC (71), were conducted during 2003 and 2004. Bottlenose dolphins were captured, examined, and released. Skin lesions were photographed and then biopsied. Tissue sections were stained with H&E and Gomori methenamine silver stains for identification of L loboi.

Results—9 of 30 (30%) dolphins captured in the southern portion of the Indian River Lagoon had lobomycosis, whereas none of the 45 dolphins captured in the northern portion of the lagoon or of the 71 dolphins captured near Charleston, SC, did. Affected dolphins had low serum alkaline phosphatase activities and high acute-phase protein concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that lobomycosis may be occurring in epidemic proportions among dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon. Localization of the disease to the southern portion of the lagoon, an area characterized by freshwater intrusion and lower salinity, suggests that exposure to environmental stressors may be contributing to the high prevalence of the disease, but specific factors are unknown. Because only dolphins and humans are naturally susceptible to infection, dolphins may represent a sentinel species for an emerging infectious disease.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association