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Abstract

Case Description—6 alpaca crias from a single farm were examined because of diarrhea (n = 4) or decreased fecal production (n = 2).

Clinical FindingsCryptosporidium parvum was identified by means of fecal flotation in samples from 5 of the 6 crias, and a diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis was made. In the remaining cria, a presumptive diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis was made. Three people involved in caring for the crias from this farm were subsequently confirmed to have cryptosporidiosis, and 3 other people were suspected to have cryptosporidiosis. Sequence analysis of the ssu rDNA gene loci confirmed C parvum as the causative agent in 4 of the 6 crias. Subsequent evaluation of the farm revealed 2 additional crias confirmed to have cryptosporidiosis. Stocking densities on the farm were high, with approximately 20 adults/acre in some pastures.

Treatment and Outcome—All 6 hospitalized crias were given supportive treatment consisting of antimicrobials, gastroprotectants, and fluids. All but 1 survived. Farm owners were advised to decrease stocking density on the farm.

Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that zoonotic transmission of C parvum from alpacas to humans can occur.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 13-year-old female intact Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) was evaluated because of coelomic distention, presumed to be secondary to an abdominal hernia. The patient also had a history of rapid weight gain and polyuria and polydipsia.

Clinical Findings—Ultrasonography was used to confirm the existence of a pseudohernia that appeared to contain the small intestines, pancreas, and reproductive tract. Results of plasma biochemical analysis revealed hyperglycemia, hypophosphatemia, and high nonfasting bile acid concentrations and aspartate aminotransferase activity. A CBC revealed a relative heterophilia with a concomitant lymphopenia and mild monocytosis. Histologic evaluation of a liver biopsy specimen indicated chronic hepatic lipidosis. Despite a strong clinical suspicion of hyperadrenocorticism, ACTH stimulation test results were equivocal.

Treatment and Outcome—The pseudohernia was strengthened with a prolene mesh. Despite ongoing medical and surgical care, the patient developed complications associated with the herniorrhaphy and was euthanatized. The clinical suspicion of hyperadrenocorticism was confirmed on the basis of histologic evaluation of the pituitary gland by use of special stains.

Clinical Relevance—To our knowledge, pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism has not been previously confirmed in Psittaciformes. The condition should be considered in birds with clinical signs consistent with those observed in mammals. For the cockatoo of this report, ACTH stimulation test results were equivocal and additional diagnostic tests should be developed for avian patients.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 4-year-old castrated male domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was examined because of a 3-week history of intermittent seizures, signs of depression, hypocalcemia, and hyperphosphatemia.

Clinical Findings—Plasma biochemical analysis confirmed hyperphosphatemia (17.7 mg/dL) and low concentrations of total (4.3 mg/dL) and ionized (0.49 mmol/L) calcium. Serum parathyroid hormone concentration (2.30 pmol/L) was low or in the low part of the reference interval.

Treatment and Outcome—Calcium gluconate was administered (2.0 mg/kg/h [0.9 mg/lb/h], IV), followed by a transition to administration of calcium carbonate (53 mg/kg [24.1 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) and dihydrotachysterol (0.02 mg/kg/d [0.009 mg/lb/d], PO). Attitude of the ferret improved and seizures ceased as blood calcium concentrations increased. The ferret was reexamined because of seizures approximately 1 year after oral maintenance administration of dihydrotachysterol and calcium was initiated. The ferret responded well to emergency and long-term treatment but then was lost to follow-up monitoring. The ferret died approximately 2 years after the initial evaluation and treatment. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was diagnosed during necropsy, but the parathyroid glands could not be identified.

Clinical Relevance—To the authors’ knowledge, primary hypoparathyroidism has not previously been reported in a ferret. The condition should be considered for ferrets with hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia without azotemia. Treatment with dihydrotachysterol and oral supplementation of calcium appeared to be a viable option for long-term management.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To isolate and speciate Cryptosporidium DNA from fecal samples obtained from dairy cattle in New York State and identify factors associated with whether cattle were shedding Cryptosporidium parvum versus Cryptosporidium bovis.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population—115 fecal samples positive for DNA coding for the Cryptosporidium 18S rRNA gene from dairy cattle in New York State.

Procedures—A PCR assay was used to amplify DNA from fecal samples; amplification products were submitted for bidirectional DNA sequencing. Logistic regression was used to test for associations between various host factors and Cryptosporidium spp.

Results—70 of the 115 (61%) fecal samples were found to have C parvum DNA, 42 (37%) were determined to have C bovis DNA, and 3 (3%) were found to have C parvum deer-type DNA. The presence of diarrhea at the time of fecal sample collection, oocyst count, and breed were associated with whether cattle were infected with C parvum or C bovis, with animals more likely to be infected with C parvum if they had diarrhea, had a high oocyst count, or were Holsteins.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that C parvum and C bovis can be isolated from dairy cattle in New York State and that various factors affect whether cattle infected with Cryptosporidium spp are infected with C parvum or C bovis. Findings also lend credence to the theory that C bovis may be more host adapted and thus less pathogenic to dairy cattle than C parvum.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 5.5-year-old sexually intact female African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) was evaluated for a 1-year history of pronounced polyuria and polydipsia. The bird also had a 1-month history of signs of mild depression and mydriasis.

Clinical Findings—Physical examination revealed a thin body condition and incomplete bilateral mydriasis. Other examination findings as well as CBC and screening radiography results were unremarkable. Plasma biochemical analysis revealed mild hypernatremia. The bird had a 3.3% loss in body weight over 170 minutes during a water deprivation test, and urine osmolality remained low. After IM administration of 0.9 μg of desmopressin, the rate of weight loss decreased substantially and urine osmolality increased 300% over the following 200 minutes.

Treatment and Outcome—Initial attempts to treat the bird with orally administered desmopressin failed to correct the polydipsia and polyuria. Ultimately, IM administration of 24 μg of desmopressin/kg (10.9 μg/lb) every 12 hours yielded a noticeable reduction in water consumption and urine production over a 6- to 8-hour period. Eight months later, the bird was returned for a recheck examination, at which time it was in good health and continued to respond to the medication. Despite continued response to the medication, right-sided internal ophthalmoparesis was detected 16 months after the initial diagnosis.

Clinical Relevance—To the authors' knowledge, central diabetes insipidus in birds has not been reported. The condition should be considered in birds with clinical signs of disease similar to those in mammals. Long-term IM administration of desmopressin may be a viable treatment option.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association