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  • Author or Editor: Samantha J. Sander x
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To investigate the presence of dermatophytes on the haircoat of wild eastern cottontail rabbits (ECR) (Sylvilagus floridanus) with and without skin lesions.


2-week-old or older ECR admitted to a Wildlife Medical Clinic (WMC) in central Illinois, Midwest United States, from September 2021 to August 2022.


ECR were surveyed over a 1-year period to assess the prevalence and seasonality of dermatophytosis. A Wood's lamp exam was performed over the haircoat. Hairs were sampled with a sterile toothbrush and plated on Sabouraud dextrose agar. The plates were photographed twice weekly for 3 weeks, and colonies were identified as contaminants or dermatophytes.


523 ECR were admitted to WMC, 141 ECR met the age inclusion criteria, and 121 samples were plated. ECR presented as a litter were sampled together. None of the sampled ECR presented skin lesions other than acute traumatic wounds. No fluorescence was observed on any ECR during the Wood's lamp examination. Based on culture colony morphology, 115/121 of the samples were identified as contaminants and no growth was observed in 6/121 of plates. Dermatophytes' colonies were not identified on any of the culture plates.


Dermatophytes are zoonotic fungi and can potentially be carried by wild animals. The fungal infection poses a health concern to humans and domestic pets through direct interaction. Our current results suggest that dermatophytosis may not be prevalent in asymptomatic wild rabbits in the studied areas of the Midwestern United States.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



A 12-year-old sexually intact male zoo-managed Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) was evaluated for a 3-day history of vomiting, hyporexia, and lethargy. Radiographs were supportive of gastrointestinal obstruction, and an exploratory laparotomy was performed.


Diffuse tan foci were present on the liver parenchyma, and the tiger became icteric throughout the procedure. Hepatic histopathology and immunohistochemistry resulted in a diagnosis of leptospirosis. Serum microagglutination testing for Leptospira spp antibody titers were positive for L kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa, rising from 1:400 to 1:3,200 in 2 days.


The tiger was treated with antimicrobials, ursodiol, and mirtazapine, and increased biosecurity measures were instituted. Free-ranging wildlife on grounds were trapped, euthanized, and submitted for necropsy to screen for disease vectors. The tiger’s urine was intermittently opportunistically collected from the enclosure and remained PCR assay negative for Leptospira spp until being positive once again on day 595. Although the tiger was without clinical signs at that time, antimicrobial therapy and increased biosecurity protocols were instituted a second time until urinary Leptospira shedding was confirmed to have stopped. By 1,071 days after initial presentation, the tiger remained nonclinical, with no additional urinary shedding episodes.


While domestic and nondomestic free-ranging felids have been reported as subclinical Leptospira spp carriers, this report indicates the clinical importance of leptospirosis when a tiger presents with generalized gastrointestinal signs and icterus. Due to the zoonotic potential, biosecurity measures are necessary. This patient had a clinically successful outcome with antimicrobial therapy and supportive care.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association