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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To develop a high-speed, continuous-flow, automated plasmapheresis procedure for the high-volume harvest of equine plasma in accordance with current good manufacturing practice.

Animals—143 horses (predominantly draft breeds) between 3 and 10 years of age at the time of purchase.

Procedures—Adaptations were made to automated plasmapheresis instruments and sterile disposable collection sets, which allowed for dual-instrument, continuous-flow operation. Donor horses were connected to the apparatus via 2 catheters (1 inserted in each jugular vein). The instruments removed whole blood from donors, fractionated the blood, diverted plasma to collection bags, and simultaneously returned concentrated cells to the donors. Plasmapheresis was performed on donor horses at 14-day intervals with a maximum of 22 mL of plasma/kg of donor body weight harvested during each plasmapheresis procedure.

Results—During a 5-year period, 3,240 plasmapheresis procedures were performed and > 50,000 L of sterile equine plasma was harvested in accordance with current good manufacturing practice. Donors typically remained calm during the plasmapheresis procedures and tolerated the procedures well. The high-volume and frequent plasma harvest did not result in sustained hypoproteinemia in donor horses. Adverse events associated with the automated plasmapheresis technique were infrequent, and the recurrence of adverse events was minimized by making minor adjustments to the procedure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The automated plasmapheresis procedure described in this report can be used to safely harvest equine plasma or to perform therapeutic plasmapheresis in horses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of intensive serial plasmapheresis on total plasma protein and total IgG concentrations in donor horses involved in a plasmapheresis program.

Animals—18 horses (13 mares and 5 geldings; 13 Belgians, 3 Percherons, 1 Standardbred, and 1 warmblood) ranging from 7 to 14 years of age (mean ± SD, 10 ± 3 years) and weighing 822 ± 128 kg.

Procedures—Horses from which 22 mL of plasma/kg of donor body weight was harvested at 14-day intervals for a minimum of 8 consecutive plasmapheresis donations were retrospectively selected for use in the evaluation. Automated plasmapheresis procedures were performed by use of 2 modified plasmapheresis instruments/donor horse. Plasma samples were obtained at each donation and used for determination of total protein and total IgG concentrations. Total plasma protein concentrations were determined via refractometry. A commercially available ELISA was used to determine total equine IgG concentrations.

Results—The 18 donor horses were used in 8 to 19 serial donations (mean ± SD, 13 ± 3 donations) during the study. Donor horses had significant decreases in both plasma protein and IgG concentrations over the study period.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serial plasmapheresis procedures caused significant decreases in both plasma protein and IgG concentrations in donor horses; however, decreases were not physiologically relevant. Performing plasmapheresis in horses in accordance with the evaluated automated plasmapheresis procedures did not result in a critical decrease in total plasma protein or total IgG concentrations.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To characterize clinical signs, clinicopathologic features, treatments, and survival in dogs with naturally acquired foodborne aflatoxicosis.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—72 dogs that consumed aflatoxin-contaminated commercial dog food.

Procedures—Medical records of affected dogs were reviewed. Between December 2005 and March 2006, dogs were identified as having foodborne aflatoxin hepatotoxicosis on the basis of the history of consumption of contaminated food or characteristic histopathologic lesions (subject dog or a recently deceased dog in the same household or kennel). Recorded information included signalment, clinical features, clinicopathologic test results, treatments, and survival. Data were analyzed by survival status.

Results—Most dogs were of large breeds from breeding kennels. No significant differences were found in age or weight between 26 (36%) survivor dogs and 46 (64%) nonsurvivor dogs. Severity of clinical signs varied widely; 7 dogs died abruptly. In order of onset, clinical features included anorexia, lethargy, vomiting, jaundice, diarrhea (melena, hematochezia), abdominal effusion, peripheral edema, and terminal encephalopathy and hemorrhagic diathesis. Common clinicopathologic features included coagulopathic and electrolyte disturbances, hypoproteinemia, increased serum liver enzyme activities, hyperbilirubinemia, and hypocholesterolemia. Cytologic hepatocellular lipid vacuolation was confirmed in 11 dogs examined. In comparisons of clinicopathologic test results between survivor and nonsurvivor dogs, only granular cylindruria (7/21 dogs) consistently predicted death. Best early markers of aflatoxicosis were low plasma activities of anticoagulant proteins (protein C, antithrombin) and hypocholesterolemia. Despite aggressive treatment, many but not all severely affected dogs died.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum liver enzyme activities and bilirubin concentration were unreliable early markers of aflatoxin hepatotoxicosis in dogs. Hypocholesterolemia and decreased plasma protein C and antithrombin activities may function as exposure biomarkers.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association