Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the South African Veterinary Association ]]> vol. 90 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses on racetracks in Gauteng, South Africa</b>]]> The incidence and types of catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries in Thoroughbreds that resulted in euthanasia on selected racetracks in South Africa between 1998 and 2012 were investigated by an observational retrospective investigation. Data from the National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa for these racetracks were used to calculate incidence rates in Thoroughbreds (n = 114) that sustained catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries during racing that required immediate euthanasia, based on the diagnosis made by the on-site veterinarian as well as on fetlock radiographs and dissections of 53 cadaver limbs of horses that sustained a catastrophic musculoskeletal injury. The proximal sesamoid bones and the distal suspensory ligament were involved in 55.26% of horses; 73.58% of the cadaver limb radiographs were of the left forelimb, 64.15% were closed fractures, and 74.47% had biaxial proximal sesamoid bone fractures. Catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries occurred almost exclusively unilaterally and involved mostly the left front leg. The average incidence rate for a catastrophic musculoskeletal injury occurring in a year at any of the tracks was 0.6 of 1000 starts. <![CDATA[<b>A bilateral sinus cyst treated via a bilateral frontonasal bone flap in a standing horse</b>]]> Bilateral paranasal sinus diseases are rarely reported in horses. Treatment using a bilateral frontonasal bone flap on a standing, regular-sized adult horse has not been described previously. A 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding was evaluated for bilateral mucopurulent nasal discharge. Radiographic, endoscopic and computed tomographic examinations revealed bilateral sinus pathological changes consistent with an ethmoid haematoma involving the maxillary and frontal sinuses. A bilateral frontonasal bone flap was created under standing sedation and local anaesthesia. A tracheotomy was performed initially to ensure a patent airway during the procedure. Additional analgesia had to be given to transect the dorsal part of the nasal septum while elevating the flap. The sinus masses were removed and communications with the nasal cavities created uneventfully. Small sequestra were removed transendoscopically from the left caudal maxillary sinus 4 weeks after the initial procedure. The horse made a complete recovery with an excellent cosmetic outcome. Histopathology revealed the mass to be a sinus cyst. We concluded that a bilateral sinus bone flap can be used in adult regular-sized horses to access the left and right paranasal sinuses simultaneously. Regional nerve blocks should be performed in order to increase analgesia. A temporary tracheotomy prevents any airway obstruction during the procedure. The post-operative cosmesis is excellent. <![CDATA[<b>Erythrocytosis and fatigue fractures associated with hepatoblastoma in a 3-year-old gelding</b>]]> Hepatoblastoma was diagnosed in a 3-year-old Thoroughbred gelding presented with forelimb lameness with bilateral fatigue fractures of the proximal third metacarpal bones. An abdominal mass was detected on ultrasound examination of the abdomen. Absolute erythrocytosis was diagnosed after clinical and haematological evaluation. The fractured metacarpal bones were surgically removed but complications after surgery were fatal. The liver mass was diagnosed as a hepatoblastoma based on histology and immunochemical staining. The combination of hepatoblastoma and fatigue fractures has not been described previously in horses. A potential link between the hepatic and orthopaedic pathologies is hypothesised. <![CDATA[<b>Canine parvovirus detected from a serval (<i>Leptailurus serval</i>) in South Africa</b>]]> Canine parvovirus first emerged in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), most likely as a variant of the feline panleucopaenia virus. Relatively recently, canine parvovirus-2a and canine parvovirus-2b infections have been identified in both symptomatic and asymptomatic domestic cats, while canine parvovirus infections have also been demonstrated in wild felids. This report documents the first known case of canine parvovirus-2b detected in unvaccinated serval (Leptailurus serval) from South Africa. The serval presented with clinical signs of vomiting, anorexia and diarrhoea that responded to symptomatic treatment. Two weeks later, severe leucopaenia, thrombocytopenia and death occurred. Typical enteric histological lesions of parvovirus infection were not observed on histopathological examination of the small intestine; however, histological lesions consistent with septicaemia were present. Canine parvovirus was detected in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded small intestine using polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequence of the canine parvovirus viral capsid protein gene showed similarities between the sample from the serval and canine parvovirus-2b isolates from domestic dogs in Argentina and South Africa. A case of canine parvovirus-2b in a domestic dog from South Africa in 2012 that fell within the same clade as the serval sample appears distantly related because of the long branch length. The significance of these findings is explored. More extensive surveys of canine parvovirus in domestic and wild felids and canids are needed to understand the epidemiology of canine parvovirus in non-domestic felids in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Clinical findings, synovial fluid cytology and growth factor concentrations after intra-articular use of a platelet-rich product in horses with osteoarthritis</b>]]> Osteoarthritis is a common cause of lameness in horses, resulting in poor performance. Intra-articular platelet-rich plasma can deliver a collection of bioactive molecules, such as autologous growth factors and proteins involved in the quality of tissue repair. Horses (n=5) with osteoarthritis affecting antebrachiocarpal, middle carpal or metacarpophalangeal joints, and horses (n=5) without osteoarthritis of the corresponding joints (radiographically free of osteoarthritis), were used for the production of platelet-rich plasma which was subsequently injected into selected joints. Clinical and synovial fluid changes after intra-articular injection of platelet-rich plasma as well as synovial platelet-derived growth factor-BB and transforming growth factor-beta 1 concentration changes were evaluated in these joints and compared between normal joints and joints with osteoarthritis. A gravity filtration system produced a moderately concentrated platelet-rich plasma, representing a 4.7-fold increase in baseline platelet concentration. The synovial effusion score was significantly different between the control joints and joints with osteoarthritis on Day 0 with a higher score in the group with osteoarthritis. Within the control group, the synovial effusion score was significantly higher on Days 1 and 2 compared to Day 0. For both groups, the synovial fluid nucleated cell count, predominantly intact neutrophils, was significantly increased on Days 1 and 2, with no significant difference between groups. The mean synovial platelet-derived growth factor-BB and transforming growth factor-beta 1 concentrations were increased for both groups but significantly lowered in the group with osteoarthritis on Day 1 compared to normal joints. Concentrations for platelet-derived growth factor-BB remained unchanged on Day 5, compared to Day 1, with no significant difference between groups. In conclusion, intra-articular treatment with platelet-rich plasma resulted in increased synovial growth factor concentrations in joints but with lower concentrations in joints with osteoarthritis. A transient inflammatory reaction was seen both clinically as an increase in synovial effusion and cytologically in both normal joints and joints with osteoarthritis. <![CDATA[<b>Failure to detect equid herpesvirus types 1 and 4 DNA in placentae and healthy new-born Thoroughbred foals</b>]]> Equid herpesvirus type 1 is primarily a respiratory tract virus associated with poor athletic performance that can also cause late gestation abortion, neonatal foal death and encephalomyelopathy. Horizontal transmission is well described, whereas evidence of vertical transmission of equid herpesvirus type 1 associated with the birth of a healthy foal has not been demonstrated. This study sampled a population of Thoroughbred mares (n = 71), and their healthy neonatal foals and foetal membranes, to test for the presence of both equid herpesvirus types 1 and 4 using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay. Foetal membrane swabs and tissue samples were taken immediately post-partum, and venous blood samples and nasal swabs were obtained from both mare and foal 8 h after birth. Neither equid herpesvirus type 1 nor equid herpesvirus type 4 nucleic acid was detected in any sample, and it was concluded that there was no active shedding of equid herpesvirus types 1 and 4 at the time of sampling. Consequently, no evidence of vertical transmission of these viruses could be found on this stud farm during the sampling period. <![CDATA[<b>Genetic diversity of <i>Hepatozoon</i> (Apicomplexa) from domestic cats in South Africa, with a global reassessment of <i>Hepatozoon felis</i> diversity</b>]]> Genetic diversity within partial 18S rRNA sequences from Hepatozoon protozoan parasites from domestic cats in South Africa was assessed and compared against published data to assess global biogeographic patterns. Multiple distinct haplotypes of Hepatozoon felis were identified, as well as an unrelated Hepatozoon lineage. Hepatozoon felis genetic diversity globally is very high, indicating a likely complex of species. The recently described Hepatozoon apri from wild boars is closely related to some lineages of H. felis. Sarcocystis and Babesia parasites were also detected. Since Hepatozoon felis is apparently a species complex, potential differences between genetically distinct forms need to be assessed. The finding of an unrelated Hepatozoon indicates that felids can be infected by more species of Hepatozoon than currently known, and that trophic interactions may increase the number of Hepatozoon species found in carnivores. Genetic screening again is demonstrated to identify previously unrecognised parasites from vertebrate hosts. <![CDATA[<b>A veterinary survey of factors associated with capture-related mortalities in cheetahs (<i>Acinonyx jubatus</i>)</b>]]> The objective of this study was to gain better insight into factors associated with the capture-related mortality rate in cheetahs. A link to an online questionnaire was sent to zoo and wildlife veterinarians through the Species Survival Plan Programme and European Endangered Species Programme coordinators and via the 'Wildlife VetNet' Google group forum. The questionnaire consisted of 50 questions relating to the veterinarians' country of residence and experience, the medicine combinations used, standard monitoring procedures, capture-related complications and mortalities experienced in this species under different capture conditions. In addition, necropsy data from the national wildlife disease database of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa were examined for cases where anaesthetic death was listed as the cause of death in cheetahs. A total of 75 veterinarians completed the survey, with 38 from African countries and a combined total of 37 from Europe, the United States (US) and Asia. Of these, 24% (n = 18/75) had experienced at least one capture-associated cheetah mortality, with almost all of the fatalities (29/30) reported by veterinarians working in Africa. A lack of anaesthetic monitoring and the absence of supplemental oxygen were shown to be significant risk factors for mortality. Hyperthermia, likely to be associated with capture stress, was the most common reported complication (35%). The results suggest that free-ranging rather than habituated captive cheetahs are particularly at risk of dying during immobilisation and transport. The capture-related fatalities in this species do not appear to be associated with either the veterinarian's level of clinical experience or the immobilisation agents used. <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence and risk factors contributing to antibiotic-resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> isolates from poultry meat products in South Africa, 2015-2016</b>]]> Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant strains, has been detected in food products of animal origin globally. Limited data have been reported on the factors contributing to antibiotic resistance of food-borne pathogens in South Africa. The primary aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of S. aureus, including antibiotic-resistant strains, in poultry meat products as well as the evaluation of potential risk factors for contamination of poultry meat products with antibiotic-resistant S. aureus isolates. A cross-sectional investigation was conducted in municipalities located across the nine provinces of South Africa, which included abattoirs, meat processing facilities, retail outlets and cold stores at the major ports of entry into South Africa. Staphylococcus aureus isolates obtained from various poultry meat products were tested for susceptibility to 14 antibiotic compounds representing 10 antibiotic classes using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. Potential risk factors were evaluated using a logistic regression model. Of the 311 samples tested, 34.1% (n = 106) were positive for S. aureus (95% confidence interval [CI], 28.9% - 39.7%). Seventy-two of the 106 isolates were randomly selected for antibiotic sensitivity testing. Twenty-one per cent (n = 15) of the isolates selected for sensitivity testing were methicillin-resistant strains (95% CI, 12.2% - 32.0%). Multi-drug resistance was detected in 22.2% (n = 16) of these isolates tested (95% CI, 13.3% - 33.6%). Origin of the product (p = 0.160), type of meat product (p = 0.962), type of facility (p = 0.115) and facility hygiene practices (p = 0.484) were not significantly associated with contamination of poultry meat products with methicillin-resistant strains. The study provides baseline data for further studies on antibiotic resistance risk assessments for food-borne pathogens, including S. aureus, which should guide the implementation plans of the South African National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy Framework, 2017-2024. <![CDATA[<b>Risk factors associated with the occurrence of <i>Brucella canis</i> seropositivity in dogs within selected provinces of South Africa</b>]]> The growing population of free-roaming dogs in informal communities in South Africa may increasingly place humans at risk of possible zoonotic infections including, but not limited to, Brucella canis. Worldwide, the prevalence of B. canis infection has increased during the last two centuries, resulting in increased reports of dog and human infections. This study investigated the risk factors associated with B. canis infection in dogs in three predefined areas: Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces, of South Africa. Dogs aged 7 months and older presented to welfare organisations and breeders in the study areas were selected for sampling. A comprehensive questionnaire on dog ownership, general health and vaccination status was completed prior to sampling. One blood sample of 8 mL was collected aseptically per dog. Then, equal amounts (4 mL) were transferred to the different vacutainer tubes. The 2-mercaptoethanol-tube agglutination tests were used after validation. Fifty-two dogs out of the combined sample of 1191 dogs from the three study areas tested positive for B. canis, representing an overall occurrence of 4.4%. A binomial logistic regression model was fitted to identify risk factors associated with B. canis in dogs within the study areas. Dog age (0.371; p < 0.05) and external parasite infestation (0.311; p < 0.05) were significantly associated with the B. canis infection. Ownership and sterilisation need to be further investigated as possible risk factors because both had odds ratios of 1684 and 1107, respectively, in the univariate model. <![CDATA[<b>Implication of the knowledge and perceptions of veterinary students of antimicrobial resistance for future prescription of antimicrobials in animal health, South Africa</b>]]> Understanding the knowledge and perceptions of veterinary students of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as potential future prescribers of antimicrobials may serve as an opportunity to improve stewardship of AMR. Pre-final (n = 42) and final (n = 29) year veterinary students of the University of Pretoria completed questionnaires to determine their knowledge and perceptions of AMR. Of the 71 respondents, mixed practice (48%) and small animal practice (45%) were the most preferred career choices post-graduation, with the field of gross pathology being the least preferred. Over 80% of the respondents believed that veterinary practitioners' misuse of antimicrobials contributes to AMR and a higher percentage (98.6%) believed that farmers' misuse of antimicrobials encourages the development of AMR, in particular, in food animals (60.6%) compared to companion animals (50.7%). Agreement in the ranking of abuse of antimicrobials between pre-final and final year students was fair (36.4%; kappa 0.3), and the most abused antimicrobials in descending order listed by the students were tetracyclines, penicillins, sulphonamides and aminoglycosides. There was wide disparity between training and potential field application, as well as variations in the correct matching of antimicrobials to their respective antibiotic classes. Responses to the clinical application of antimicrobials also varied widely. Despite the apparent teaching of AMR to veterinary students, gaps may exist in the translation of theoretical concepts to clinical applications, hence the need for focused and targeted antimicrobial prescription and stewardship training to bridge these potential identified gaps. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of progesterone assay by chemiluminescence or radioimmunoassay for clinical decision-making in canine reproduction</b>]]> The Coat-A-Count® radioimmunoassay has been long and widely used to determine the concentration of progesterone in serum or plasma of bitches (progRIA), but was discontinued in 2014. The Immulite® 1000 LKPG1 chemiluminescence immunoassay has gained prominence since 2003 to determine the concentration of progesterone in serum of bitches, but the assay changed in 2012 (Immulite® 1000 LKPW1). This study assessed the feasibility of using Immulite® 1000 LKPW1 (progImm) to estimate the time of clinically relevant events during oestrus and compared progRIA and progImm 2 and 3 days after the first or only day of the luteinizing hormone surge (LH1). ProgImm first exceeded 5.1 nmol/L on the same day that progRIA first exceeded 6 nmol/L, a proxy for the occurrence of the LH surge, or the day before in 28 of 31 (90%) of oestrous periods. ProgImm first exceeded 13.6 nmol/L on the same day that progRIA first exceeded 16 nmol/L (a proxy for the day of ovulation) or the day before in 34 of 35 (97%) oestrous periods. ProgImm first exceeded 5.4 nmol/L on LH1 or the day before in 24 of 25 (95%) of oestrous periods. The median of progImm 2 days after LH1 was 1.2 nmol/L lower than the 10.7 nmol/L of progRIA (p = 0.001). The mean of progImm 3 days after LH1 was 2.2 nmol/L lower than the 19.0 nmol/L of progRIA (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the days on which progImm first exceeded 5.1 nmol/L, 13.6 nmol/L and 5.4 nmol/L effectively estimate the days on which progRIA reached 6 nmol/L or 16 nmol/L or LH1. <![CDATA[<b>Scrotal tick damage as a cause of infertility in communal bulls in Moretele, South Africa</b>]]> Calving rate in communal cattle influences both food security and socio-economics in rural households. A previous study indicated that scrotal damage caused by ticks could affect the fertility of communal bulls and reduce the annual calving rate. The objectives of the study were to investigate the annual calving rate in communal herds by counting calves during herd visits, perform breeding soundness examinations on bulls and identify adult ticks attached to their genitalia. This prospective longitudinal survey was based on participatory rural appraisal. Calving rates were estimated in cows (n = 2398) from 100 randomly selected communal herds in Moretele over 12 months in 2013, during routine visits by animal health technicians. Randomly selected bulls (n = 50) from these herds were tested for Brucella abortus, Trichomonas foetus and Campylobacter fetus subspecies venerealis. The calving rate was 35.86% (0.359). The mean scrotal circumference was 37.63 ± 3.42 cm. Total sperm motility was 78.73 ± 35.73%; progressive sperm motility was 27.39 ± 15.81% and non-progressive sperm motility was 51.34 ± 19.92%. Thirty-five of the 38 bulls examined for breeding soundness exhibited severe scrotal and preputial lesions caused by the adult ticks Amblyomma hebraeum and Hyalomma rufipes. Tick control methods used included spraying (n = 20), pour-on (n = 11), no control (n = 1) and various (n = 18). It was concluded that in Moretele genital tick damage had a more serious impact on the fertility of communal bulls than contagious diseases. Targeted acaricidal spot treatment of the genitalia of communal bulls to prevent infestation is recommended, as tick control strategies used by farmers appeared to be inadequate. <![CDATA[<b>Trauma-induced exostosis of multiple suture lines causing partial bilateral nasolacrimal duct obstruction in a 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare</b>]]> A definitive diagnosis of extensive suture line exostoses affecting the nasofrontal, nasolacrimal, nasomaxillary, frontolacrimal, lacrimozygomatic and lacrimomaxillary suture lines in a 7-year-old Thoroughbred mare with chronic bilateral epiphora and facial deformation was achieved using standing computed tomography (CT) examinations. Positive contrast dacryocystorhinography using CT revealed partial bilateral obstruction of the nasolacrimal ducts. Minimally displaced depression fractures of the right nasal bone, the right maxillary bone and right frontal bone were also demonstrated. The cosmetic appearance of the periosteal reaction associated with the suture line exostosis and epiphora significantly improved within 3 months of diagnosis and treatment. <![CDATA[<b>Rumen impaction in cattle associated with ingestion of the pupal cocoons of <i>Gonometa</i> spp. in Botswana</b>]]> Mortality in cattle associated with ingestion of cocoons (matlhoa in Setswana) of both Gonometa postica and Gonometa rufobrunnea is rare and has only previously been reported in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia. A case history of gradual weight loss, bloat, dyschezia with dry faeces and laboured gait, resulting in sudden death after drinking water and associated with ingestion of pupal cocoons of Gonometa spp., was reported by keepers at Mmaditau crush in Botswana in 2013. The crush was a shared holding in a communal area with 15 registered animal keepers. The objective of this study was to profile the history, clinical signs, post-mortem findings, morbidity and mortality from the outbreak using the descriptive study method. Altogether, 81 cattle out of a total of 507 died of impaction from August to December 2013. On autopsy, a loosely connected mass of ingesta, intertwined in ropy silky strands, was observed. It was concluded that there is no readily accessible and available form of treatment at crush level, leaving only evasive husbandry practices as the feasible option. To aid evasive husbandry management practices, temporal and spatial monitoring of population dynamics of Gonometa spp. is recommended, particularly during a drought spell when animals are prone to develop pica, as the basis for an early warning system to farmers. <![CDATA[<b>Bovine rumen impaction caused by ingestion of <i>Gonometa postica</i> cocoons in eastern-central Namibia</b>]]> Cases of rumen impaction caused by ingestion of Gonometa postica cocoons occurred at a farm in eastern-central Namibia. Ten animals died on the farm over the previous 5 months. Rumenotomies were successfully performed on three affected animals. The authors were of the opinion that the affected animals ingested the cocoons around the time of weaning, which then resulted in tangled masses that gradually stretched and enlarged because of entrapment of ingesta, eventually causing impaction of the rumen in the young adult animals. These are the first reported cases of ruminal impaction attributable to G. postica cocoon ingestion in Namibia. <![CDATA[<b>Molecular detection of <i>Mycoplasma synoviae</i> and avian reovirus infection in arthritis and tenosynovitis lesions of broiler and breeder chickens in Santa Catarina State, Brazil</b>]]> Infectious arthritis or tenosynovitis in broiler and breeder chickens results in major loss of productivity because of reduced growth and downgrading at processing plants. The most common causative agents of avian infectious arthritis are the bacterium Mycoplasma synoviae and avian reoviruses (ARVs) (family Reoviridae, genus Orthoreovirus). In this study, we evaluated the occurrence of these two pathogens in arthritis or tenosynovitis lesions of broilers and breeder flocks in southern Brazil using molecular detection. Tissue sections from tibiotarsal joints with visible lesions from 719 broilers and 505 breeders were analysed using pathogen-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. In breeders, 41.2% (n = 296) of lesions were positive for M. synoviae, 26.4% (n = 190) were positive for ARV, while co-infection was present in 12.2% (n = 88) of the samples. In broilers, 20.8% (n = 105) of lesions were positive for M. synoviae, 11.9% (n = 60) for ARV and 7.7% (n = 39) of these cases were positive for both pathogens. Post-mortem examination revealed lesions with varying degrees of gross pathological severity. Histopathological examination showed intense, diffuse lymphohistiocytic inflammatory infiltrates with heterophil accumulation, primarily in the synovial capsule and digital flexor tendon, in all samples. Improved strategies for early detection and control of these major avian pathogens are highly desirable for preventing the spread of infection and reducing economic losses in the poultry industry. <![CDATA[<b>Adenoviral hepatitis in two Nile crocodile (<i>Crocodylus niloticus</i>) hatchlings from South Africa</b>]]> Adenoviral infections may cause mild to severe morbidity or fatality in a large array of animal species. In crocodilians, hatchlings under 5 months of age are usually affected. However, there is a paucity of information on actual incidences in hatchlings originating from South Africa. Two cases of adenoviral hepatitis in crocodile hatchlings about 2 weeks old, bred on a commercial farm in South Africa, are described. Both hatchlings showed typical clinical signs of hepatitis. The identification of intranuclear inclusion bodies in the liver was used to differentiate between adenoviral hepatitis and chlamydial hepatitis. Although vertical transmission has never been proven in crocodiles, the young age of the affected hatchlings raises the possibility of vertical transmission. The lack of epidemiological information on adenoviral hepatitis in crocodiles highlights the need for further characterisation of the virus and targeted surveillance.