Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the South African Veterinary Association ]]> vol. 86 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Establishment of baseline haematology and biochemistry parameters in wild adult African penguins (<i>Spheniscus demersus</i>)</b>]]> There are few publications on the clinical haematology and biochemistry of African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) and these are based on captive populations. Baseline haematology and serum biochemistry parameters were analysed from 108 blood samples from wild, adult African penguins. Samples were collected from the breeding range of the African penguin in South Africa and the results were compared between breeding region and sex. The haematological parameters that were measured were: haematocrit, haemoglobin, red cell count and white cell count. The biochemical parameters that were measured were: sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, inorganic phosphate, creatinine, cholesterol, serum glucose, uric acid, bile acid, total serum protein, albumin, aspartate transaminase and creatine kinase. All samples were serologically negative for selected avian diseases and no blood parasites were detected. No haemolysis was present in any of the analysed samples. Male African penguins were larger and heavier than females, with higher haematocrit, haemoglobin and red cell count values, but lower calcium and phosphate values. African penguins in the Eastern Cape were heavier than those in the Western Cape, with lower white cell count and globulin values and a higher albumin/globulin ratio, possibly indicating that birds are in a poorer condition in the Western Cape. Results were also compared between multiple penguin species and with African penguins in captivity. These values for healthy, wild, adult penguins can be used for future health and disease assessments. <![CDATA[<b>The efficacy of a generic doxycycline tablet in the treatment of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis</b>]]> The objective of the present study was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of a generic doxycycline tablet (DoxyVet®) against Ehrlichia canis infection in dogs. Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis is caused by the bacterium E. canis and transmitted by the brown kennel tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus). Six disease-free and tick-free dogs were infested with E. canis-infected ticks. Once diagnosed (with polymerase chain reaction [PCR] analysis and platelet counts) as positive for infection, doxycycline tablets were administered orally once a day for 20 consecutive days, at a target dose level of 10 mg/kg. The actual dose administered was calculated as ranging between 10 mg/kg and 11.7 mg/kg. The PCR analysis, 28 days after the first administration of the tablets, failed to detect E. canis in any of the dogs. On Day 56 of the study, four of the dogs were diagnosed with E. canis for the second time and a fifth dog was diagnosed on Day 70. The platelet counts of the sixth dog remained within normal levels and it was discharged from the study on Day 84. Doxycycline tablets were then administered to the remaining five infected dogs for 28 consecutive days. Four of these dogs had no positive PCR results during the following 3 months. The fifth dog was diagnosed with E. canis for the third time 58 days after the last tablets of the second treatment had been administered, after which it was rescue treated (doxycycline for a further 28 days). The results indicate that doxycycline administered in tablet form (DoxyVet®) at 10 mg/kg - 11.7 mg/kg body mass once daily for 28 consecutive days clears most dogs of infection. The importance of a concomitant tick-control programme is therefore stressed. <![CDATA[<b>Use of the melanoma vaccine in 38 dogs: The South African experience</b>]]> The commercially available vaccine Oncept® is indicated for the management of dogs with stage II or III oral melanoma after local control has been achieved. Survival times in dogs with both oral and digit melanoma have been shown to be significantly increased following vaccination. This retrospective study was designed to document the investigators' experiences with Oncept® vaccine when used as an adjunct therapy for treatment of stage II-IV oral, digit and malignant melanoma of other sites after local control had been achieved in dogs presented to a South African specialist referral veterinary practice. Thirty-eight dogs diagnosed with melanoma (25 oral, 6 digit and 7 infiltrative at various other sites) underwent a combination of surgical excision and Oncept® vaccination. At the end of the study period there were 16 live and 22 dead dogs; median survival time of the live dogs was 29 months (range 2-46 months) versus 8 months (range 2-16 months) for those that died from progressive disease. This study showed that by using a combination of surgical excision and vaccination with Oncept® survival times in dogs with malignant melanoma of the oral cavity, digit and other sites can be increased significantly. <![CDATA[<b>Overview of the perceived risk of transboundary pig diseases in South Africa</b>]]> Pig production is one of the most important animal agricultural activities in South Africa, and plays a definite role in providing food security for certain population groups in the country. As with all animal production systems, it is subject to the risk of outbreak of transboundary diseases. In the present overview, evaluations of the perceived risk of selected transboundary animal diseases of pigs, as collated from the willing participants from the provincial veterinary services of South Africa, are presented. A scenario tree revealed that infected but undetected pigs were the greatest perceived threat. The provincial veterinary services, according to participants in the study, face certain difficulties, including the reporting of disease and the flow of disease information amongst farmers. Perceived strengths in surveillance and disease monitoring include the swiftness of sample despatch to the national testing laboratory, as well as the ease of flow of information between the provincial and national agricultural authorities. The four factors were identified that were perceived to most influence animal health-service delivery: transport, access, livestock policy and resources. African swine fever was perceived to be the most important pig disease in South Africa. Because the decentralisation of veterinary services in South Africa was identified as a potential weakness, it is recommended that national and provincial veterinary services need to work together and interdependently to achieve centrally controlled surveillance systems. Regionally-coordinated surveillance activities for certain transboundary diseases were identified as needing priority for the southern African region. It is proposed that an emergency preparedness document be made available and regularly revised according to the potential risks identified on a continuous basis for South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Anaesthetic induction and recovery characteristics of a diazepam-ketamine combination compared with propofol in dogs</b>]]> Induction of anaesthesia occasionally has been associated with undesirable behaviour in dogs. High quality of induction of anaesthesia with propofol has been well described while in contrast variable induction and recovery quality has been associated with diazepam-ketamine. In this study, anaesthetic induction and recovery characteristics of diazepam-ketamine combination with propofol alone were compared in dogs undergoing elective orchidectomy. Thirty-six healthy adult male dogs were used. After habitus scoring (simple descriptive scale [SDS]), the dogs were sedated with morphine and acepromazine. Forty minutes later a premedication score (SDS) was allocated and general anaesthesia was induced using a combination of diazepam-ketamine (Group D/K) or propofol (Group P) and maintained with isoflurane. Scores for the quality of induction, intubation and degree of myoclonus were allocated (SDS). Orchidectomy was performed after which recovery from anaesthesia was scored (SDS) and times to extubation and standing were recorded. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Kappa Reliability and Kendall Tau B tests. Both groups were associated with acceptable quality of induction and recovery from anaesthesia. Group P, however, was associated with a poorer quality of induction (p = 0.014), prolonged induction period (p = 0.0018) and more pronounced myoclonus (p = 0.003), but had better quality of recovery (p = 0.000002) and shorter recovery times (p = 0.035) compared with Group D/K. Diazepam-ketamine and propofol are associated with acceptable induction and recovery from anaesthesia. Propofol had inferior anaesthetic induction characteristics, but superior and quicker recovery from anaesthesia compared with diazepam-ketamine. <![CDATA[<b>Controlled breeding and reproductive management in water buffaloes <i>(Bubalus bubalis) </i>using Eazi Breed controlled internal drug release</b>]]> Buffalo reproduction is considerably affected by late maturity, poor oestrus symptoms and long postpartum periods. This study was undertaken to evaluate the efficiency of Eazi Breed controlled internal drug release (CIDR), an intravaginal progesterone-releasing device, in relation to oestrus and fertility. Five hundred true anoestrus buffalo cows, in the age group 4-6 years in 10 villages of Dharwad district in Karnataka state in India, were randomly selected and treated with CIDR for 9 days. Two mL of Cidirol (1 mg oestradiol benzoate) was administered intramuscularly to all animals on day 10. Forty-two buffaloes (8.4%) that failed to show oestrus signs (1.6%) or showed weak signs of oestrus (6.8%) after the first treatment were treated again 72 h after the Cidriol injection with a new device, and inseminated after the expression of oestrus. After the second treatment all the animals showed oestrus signs. The percentage of buffaloes showing intense oestrus was 67.40%, intermediate oestrus was shown by 25.80%, whilst 6.80% buffaloes showed weak oestrus even after the second treatment. The buffaloes showing oestrus signs were inseminated twice with an interval of 12 h, starting 12 h after the start of the oestrus signs. In 86 buffaloes showing prolonged oestrus signs a third insemination was done. The conception rates were 85.16%, 60.47% and 44.11% respectively in buffaloes showing intense, intermediate and weak oestrus. Transrectal palpation of the genital tract was performed 45-60 days post-insemination to diagnose pregnancy status, and in doubtful cases pregnancy was reconfirmed at 90 days after insemination. Out of 500 buffaloes treated in this way 380 animals became pregnant and the pregnancy rate was 76%. This study revealed the usefulness of Eazi Breed CIDR along with Cidirol treatment in buffaloes to improve their reproductive performance. <![CDATA[<b>Molecular characterisation of <i>Mycoplasma </i>species isolated from the genital tract of Dorper sheep in South Africa</b>]]> Biochemical and molecular analysis were conducted on 34 strains of Mycoplasma species isolated between 2003 and 2009 from the genital tract of clinically healthy Dorper sheep and sheep with ulcerative vulvitis and balanitis. Earlier publications identified the causative agent as Mycoplasma mycoides mycoides large colony (MmmLC) and Arcanobacterium pyogenes. The aims of the study were to characterise Mycoplasma species isolated from the genital tract of Dorper sheep with polymerase chain reaction assay, cloning and gene sequencing. Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) results revealed six predominant Mycoplasma species: Mycoplasma arginini, Mycoplasma bovigenitalium, Arcanobacterium laidlawii, MmmLC, Mycoplasma sp. ovine/caprine serogroup II and M. canadense. Sequencing of the 34 isolates were analysed using phylogenetic methods, and 18 (50%) were identified as M. arginini with 99% - 100% similarity to M. arginini from England and Sweden. Six isolates showed 99% similarity to M. bovigenitalium strains from Turkey and Germany. Two isolates had 99% similarity to an M. sp. ovine/caprine sero group II from the United Kingdom. BLAST for two isolates revealed 99% similarity to Acholeplasma laidlawii from India, another two were 99% similar to MmmLC strain from Sweden, two showed 98% similarity to Mycoplasma sp. Usp 120 from Brazil, and two isolates have a 97% - 99% similarity to M. mm. Jcvl strain from the United States of America. Finally, one isolate showed similarity of 99% to Mycoplasma canadense strain from Italy. The findings support the hypothesis that ulcerative vulvitis and balanitis of Dorper sheep in South Africa (SA) is a multifactorial disease with involvement of different Mycoplasma species. <![CDATA[<b>Distribution of endemic and introduced tick species in Free State Province, South Africa</b>]]> The distributions of endemic tick vector species as well as the presence of species not endemic to Free State Province, South Africa, were determined during surveys or opportunistic collections from livestock, wildlife and vegetation. Amongst endemic ticks, the presence of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus was confirmed in the north of the province, whilst Rhipicephalus decoloratus was collected at 31 localities mostly in the centre and east, and Ixodes rubicundus at 11 localities in the south, south-west and centre of the province. Amongst the non-endemic species adult Amblyomma hebraeum were collected from white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum) on four privately owned farms, whilst the adults of Rhipicephalus microplus were collected from cattle and a larva from vegetation at four localities in the east of the province. The collection of Rhipicephalus evertsi mimeticus from a sheep in the west of the province is the second record of its presence in the Free State, whereas the presence of Haemaphysalis silacea on helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris) and vegetation in the centre of the province represents a first record for this species in the Free State. The first collection of the argasid tick, Ornithodoros savignyi, in the Free State was made from a domestic cow and from soil in the west of the province. The localities at which the ticks were collected have been plotted and the ticks' role in the transmission or cause of disease in domestic livestock and wildlife is discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Bovine mastitis prevalence and associated risk factors in dairy cows in Nyagatare District, Rwanda</b>]]> In response to farmer requests after milk from their herds was rejected by processors due to poor quality, a study was carried out from April to October 2011 to determine the prevalence of subclinical mastitis, associated risk factors and causative micro-organisms. Samples were collected from 195 dairy cows on 23 randomly selected dairy farms delivering milk to Isangano, Kirebe and Nyagatare milk collection centres in Nyagatare District, Rwanda. The Draminski® Mastitis Detector was used to detect subclinical mastitis in individual cows based on milk electrical conductivity changes. Risk factors for mastitis that were evaluated included teat-end condition, cow dirtiness, breed, parity, age and stage of lactation. Relationships of these factors with mastitis status were determined using Chi-square analysis, and relative importance as causes of mastitis was assessed using logistic regression. Samples from 16 subclinical mastitis positive dairy cows were analysed to identify causative micro-organisms using Dairy Quality Control Inspection analytical kits. Subclinical mastitis prevalence was 52% across the farms. It was higher with increases in, amongst other risk factors, teat-end damage severity, cow dirtiness, and level of pure dairy breed genetics. The risk factors considered accounted for 62% of mastitis prevalence; teat-end condition alone accounted for 30%. Most of the mastitis cases (87.5%) were caused by coliform bacteria. Considering that farmers are upgrading their local Ankole cows to cross-breed dairy cows that are more susceptible to mastitis, results from this study indicate the need to dip the teats of cows in sanitisers, improve cow hygiene, and introduce mastitis prevention and control programmes. <![CDATA[<b>Questing ixodid ticks on the vegetation of sable antelope and multi-herbivore enclosures in Thabazimbi</b>]]> This survey of ixodid ticks was the first to compare the species composition and population dynamics of free-living ticks in intensive, sable antelope breeding enclosures, now commonplace in commercial wildlife ranching in South Africa, with those of multi-herbivore enclosures. The species composition, abundance and seasonal abundance of questing ixodid ticks on the vegetation in intensive breeding enclosures for sable antelope (Hippotragus niger), on which strategic tick control is practised, were compared with those of ticks in a multi-species herbivore enclosure surrounding the breeding enclosures in which no tick control is practised. A total of eight ixodid tick species were collected by drag-sampling the woodland and grassland habitats in each enclosure type monthly from July 2011 to July 2013. Rhipicephalus decoloratus, a potential vector of fatal tick-borne disease in sable antelopes, was the most abundant, accounting for 65.4% of the total number of ticks collected in the sable enclosures, whilst representing only 25.4% of number of ticks collected in the multi-species herbivore enclosure. Rhipicephalus decoloratus and R. evertsi evertsi were more abundant than R. appendiculatus (both p < 0.05) and Amblyomma hebraeum (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively). Rhipicephalus decoloratus larvae were collected throughout the year, with peak collections in November 2012 and October to December 2013 in the sable enclosures; and in April/May 2012 and February/April 2013 in the multi-species herbivore enclosure. More R. decoloratus were recovered in the second year than in the first year in the grassland habitat of the sable enclosures (V = 7.0, p < 0.05) possibly as a result of acaricide resistance. The apparent temporal over-abundance of R. decoloratus in sable antelope breeding enclosures, in the face of strategic tick control, is of concern and requires further investigation. <![CDATA[<b>Investigations of foreign bodies in the fore-stomach of cattle at Ngoma Slaughterhouse, Rwanda</b>]]> Ingestion of indigestible foreign bodies in cattle is a pathological condition of both economic and health importance. It is has mostly been reported in association with feed scarcity. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence and nature of indigestible foreign materials in abattoir fore-stomach specimens in Ngoma district, Rwanda. Each chamber was opened by incision, then given a thorough macroscopic examination by visual inspection and palpation for the presence of foreign materials. The results show that there is an overall occurrence of 17.4% foreign bodies in cattle. The highest occurrence (25.3%) was recorded in June (the driest month). Results further show that the majority of the foreign bodies were plastics (65.0%). More foreign bodies (29.5%) were found in older animals (5 years and above) than in younger and middle-aged animals (16.5 % and 6.0%, respectively). There was a higher prevalence of foreign bodies in female cattle (20.0%) than in males (15.7%). The presence of cassette tape, as observed in the study, has not been reported elsewhere. The high representation of plastics in animals (65.5%) in the light of a government plastic bag ban in supermarkets presents a major challenge to livestock production in Rwanda. What is disturbing is that it is not known if this problem is increasing or decreasing as there are no previous studies for comparison. However, the results will serve as a reference point for future studies to understand the true trend and true burden of plastic bags in livestock. <![CDATA[<b>Butorphanol with oxygen insufflation improves cardiorespiratory function in field-immobilised white rhinoceros (<i>Ceratotherium simum</i>)</b>]]> Opioid-induced immobilisation results in severe respiratory compromise in the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). The effectiveness of oxygen insufflation combined with butorphanol in alleviating respiratory depression in free-ranging chemically immobilised white rhinoceroses was investigated. In this prospective intervention study 14 free-ranging white rhinoceroses were immobilised with a combination of etorphine, azaperone and hyaluronidase. Six minutes (min) after the animals became recumbent, intravenous butorphanol was administered and oxygen insufflation was initiated. Previous boma trial results were used for comparison, using repeated measures two-way analysis of variance. The initial immobilisation-induced hypoxaemia in free-ranging rhinoceroses (arterial partial pressure of oxygen [PaO2] 35.4 mmHg ± 6.6 mmHg) was similar to that observed in boma-confined rhinoceroses (PaO2 31 mmHg ± 6 mmHg, n = 8). Although the initial hypercapnia (PaCO2 63.0 mmHg ± 7.5 mmHg) was not as severe as that in animals in the boma trial (79 mmHg ± 7 mmHg), the field-immobilised rhinoceroses were more acidaemic (pH 7.10 ± 0.14) at the beginning of the immobilisation compared with boma-immobilised rhinoceroses (pH 7.28 ± 0.04). Compared with pre-intervention values, butorphanol with oxygen insufflation improved the PaO2 (81.2 mmHg ± 23.7 mmHg, p < 0.001, 5 min vs 20 min), arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (55.3 mmHg ± 5.2 mmHg, p < 0.01, 5 min vs 20 min), pH (7.17 ± 0.11, p < 0.001, 5 min vs 20 min), heart rate (78 breaths/min ± 20 breaths/min, p < 0.001, 5 min vs 20 min) and mean arterial blood pressure (105 mmHg ± 14 mmHg, p < 0.01, 5 min vs 20 min). Oxygen insufflation combined with a single intravenous dose of butorphanol improved oxygenation and reduced hypercapnia and acidaemia in immobilised free-ranging white rhinoceroses. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of two culture techniques used to detect environmental contamination with <i>Salmonella enterica</i> in a large-animal hospital</b>]]> Salmonellosis is a common healthcare-associated infection in large-animal hospitals, and surveillance forSalmonella is an integral part of comprehensive infection control programmes in populations at risk. The present study compares the effectiveness of two culture techniques for recovery of Salmonella from environmental samples obtained in a large-animal referral veterinary hospital during a Salmonella outbreak. Environmental samples were collected using household cleaning cloths that were incubated overnight in buffered peptone water (BPW). Aliquots of BPW were then processed using two different selective enrichment and culture techniques. In the first technique (TBG-RV-XLT4) samples were incubated at 43 °C in tetrathionate broth and then Rappaport-Vassiliadis broth before plating on XLT4 agar. The second technique (SEL-XLD) involved incubation at 37 °C in selenite broth before plating on XLD agar. Salmonella was recovered from 49.7% (73/147) of samples using the TBG-RV-XLT4 technique, but only 10.2% (15/147) of samples using the SEL-XLD method. Fourteen samples (9.5%) were culture-positive using both methods, and 73 (49.7%) were culture-negative using both techniques. There were discordant results for 60 samples, including 59 that were only culture-positive using the TBG-RV-XLT4 method, and one sample that was only culture-positive using the SEL-XLD method. Salmonella was much more likely to be recovered using the TBG-RV-XLT4 method, and there appeared to be five times more false-negative results using the SEL-XLD technique. Environmental contamination with Salmonella may be underestimated by certain culture techniques, which may impair efforts to control spread in veterinary hospitals. <![CDATA[<b>Serum canine pancreatic-specific lipase concentrations in dogs with naturally occurring <i>Babesia rossi</i> infection</b>]]> Babesia rossi is the cause of a highly virulent multisystemic disease with a variable outcome, which is a reliable model of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). The objective of this study was to determine the concentration of canine pancreatic-specific lipase (cPL) in a population of dogs with naturally acquired B. rossiinfection. In addition, the associations between serum cPL and death and SIRS status were examined. An observational study recruited 87 dogs diagnosed with B. rossi infection and serum cPL concentrations were measured daily until discharge or death. The median concentration of serum cPL was 124.0 µg/L (interquartile range: 51.0 µg/L - 475.5 µg/L) on admission (n= 87) and 145.5 µg/L (62.3 µg/L - 434.0 µg/L) on day two of hospitalisation (n = 40). Twenty-four dogs (28%) had a serum cPL concentration within the diagnostic range for pancreatitis (> 400 µg/L) at admission with 13 dogs (32.5%) presenting as such on the second day of hospitalisation. The median concentration of serum cPL in dogs with SIRS was 158 µg/L (interquartile range: 52.5 µg/L - 571.5 µg/L; n = 53), which was significantly higher than in those without SIRS (75 µg/L; 50.3 µg/L - 131.8 µg/L; n = 32) (P = 0.018). This study demonstrated that an unexpectedly high number of dogs diagnosed with naturally acquired canine babesiosis had a serum cPL concentration within the diagnostic range for acute pancreatitis and a significantly higher serum cPL concentration was found in dogs that were classified as having SIRS. <![CDATA[<b>Confirmed organophosphorus and carbamate pesticide poisonings in South African wildlife (2009-2014)</b>]]> During a six-year period (from January 2009 to December 2014), specimens collected from 344 cases of suspected organophosphorus and carbamate pesticide poisonings in wildlife, including birds, were submitted to the Toxicology Laboratory (ARC-OVI) for analysis. A positive diagnosis was made in 135 (39%) of these cases. The majority of cases were from birds, which included Cape vultures (Gyps coprotheres) and African white-backed vultures (Gyps africanus) and bateleur eagles (Terathopius ecaudatus). In one incident 49 vultures were killed when a farmer intentionally laced carcasses with carbofuran in an attempt to control jackal predation. There were 22 incidents of poisoning in helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris). On nine different occasions blue cranes (Anthropoides paradiseus) were poisoned, in one incident 14 birds were reported to have been killed. Over the period of investigation, there were 20 cases of poisoning involving mammalian species, the majority being vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus). The carbamate pesticides were responsible for 57 incidents of poisoning. Aldicarb, carbofuran and methomyl were detected in 26, 18 and 12 cases respectively. The majority of organophosphorus pesticide poisonings were caused by diazinon (n = 19), monocrotophos (n = 13) and methamidophos (n = 10). <![CDATA[<b>Lesions in canine stifle joints due to trochleoplasties as treatment for medial patellar luxation</b>]]> Lesions in canine stifle joints after previous trochleoplasty surgery were documented. In four clinical cases arthrotomies were performed due to stifle pain after previous trochlear deepening procedures. A small area of hyaline cartilage remained in the groove of the stifles in cases where previous wedge trochleoplasties had been performed. All of the stifles had significant areas of eburnation on the axial aspect of the medial trochlear ridge. The stifle joints of a dog that was euthanased due to severe irreversible osteo-arthritis were photographed. The dog had undergone previous surgery for patellar luxation and cranial cruciate ligament ruptures. The trochlear grooves in this dog had almost no visible articular cartilage left. <![CDATA[<b>Plant poisonings in livestock in Brazil and South Africa</b>]]> Information on intoxication of livestock by plants in Brazil, in terms of cause, clinical signs and pathology, is compared with information on livestock poisoning by plants in South Africa. Plant poisoning, including mycotoxicosis, is considered to be one of three major causes of death in livestock in Brazil, which is one of the top beef producing countries in the world, with a cattle population of more than 200 million. Cattle production in South Africa is on a more modest scale, but with some 600 species of plants and fungi known to cause toxicity in livestock, as opposed to some 130 species in Brazil, the risk to livestock in South Africa appears to be much greater. The comparisons discussed in this communication are largely restricted to ruminants. <![CDATA[<b>Serodetection of <i>Ehrlichia canis </i>amongst dogs in central Namibia</b>]]> Ehrlichia canis is a major pathogen in dogs throughout Africa, yet it has not been reported in Namibia. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of canine ehrlichiosis in central Namibia using the ImmunoComb assay (Biogal, Galed Laboratories). The study included 76 dogs that presented to the Rhino Park Veterinary Clinic in the north-western suburb of Khomasdal, Windhoek, Namibia, as well as 30 stray dogs from the Windhoek branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Of the 106 dogs tested, 53.8% were seropositive at titres &gt; 1:80. Dogs that presented with symptoms of E. canis infection had a significantly higher seroprevalence (86.6%) compared with apparently healthy dogs (41.6%) (P = 0.00). Location of habitation was significant (P < 0.017), with a high percentage of dogs exposed to E. canis living in the northern or north-western part of Windhoek. As the first study to serologically establish E. canis as a major pathogen in dogs in central Namibia, it is notable that the highest proportion of seropositive dogs came from low-income areas. Further investigation is necessary to describe the ecology of this important tick-borne pathogen of companion animals in Namibia. <![CDATA[<b>Suspected lead poisoning in two captive cheetahs (<i>Acinonyx jubatus jubatus</i>) in South Africa, in 2008 and 2013</b>]]> Whilst lead poisoning in raptors, scavenging birds and waterfowl is well studied and common knowledge, there is surprisingly little literature detailing the risk to mammalian scavengers and captive carnivores fed hunted meat. This case report describes the death of two captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus) following acute onset of nervous symptoms. Clinical signs included hyper-excitability, seizures, arched back, tail held abnormally high and hyper-salivation. Necropsy findings included bullets or a bullet in their stomachs. Kidney and liver lead levels from one cheetah (15.6 ppm and 17 ppm respectively) were consistent with a diagnosis of lead poisoning; liver from the second cheetah was not available for testing. Both animals were routinely fed hunted antelope or game birds. This is the first report of oral lead poisoning in captive large carnivores, although these are unlikely to be the first cases. Without awareness of the risks of feeding hunted game, lead exposure will continue to be an underdiagnosed reality in the rehabilitation of endangered carnivores. <![CDATA[<b>Erosive rhinitis resembling granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's granulomatosis) in an Anatolian shepherd dog</b>]]> Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's granulomatosis) is one of the idiopathic immune-mediated small-vessel vasculitides described in humans which are characterised by the presence of circulating antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies. It most commonly involves capillaries, venules and arterioles of the ear, nose and throat, lungs and glomeruli. A case of destructive haemopurulent rhinitis associated with relapsing periods of pyrexia, lethargy and stiffness as well as generalised pulmonary infiltrates in a young Anatolian shepherd dog is presented that closely resembles granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) as reported in humans. Perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (pANCA) were detected in the dog's serum. Signs resolved promptly and completely once immunosuppressive doses of prednisone were administered, and have not recurred. This is the first report on the use of pANCA to investigate rhinitis in dogs. It is also, to the authors' knowledge, the first description of a relapsing haemopurulent lytic rhinitis in this species. The concurrent manifestations of erosive haemopurulent rhinitis, ground-glass opacities on pulmonary computed tomography, pyrexia and listlessness resemble GPA as described in humans. <![CDATA[<b>Avian poxvirus in a free-range juvenile speckled (rock) pigeon <i>(Columba guinea)</i></b>]]> A flightless wild juvenile rock pigeon (Columba guinea) with pox-like lesions was picked up on the premises of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort. The pigeon was housed overnight for possible treatment the following day but died before any other intervention could be instituted. At necropsy, coalescing masses of yellowish nodular cutaneous tumour-like lesions principally on the featherless areas were noticed on the dead pigeon's head as well as the beak. Histological examination of the sampled skin lesions revealed multifocal areas of hypertrophic and hyperplastic epidermal epithelial cells with eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies (Bollinger bodies). Extract from the lesion was processed and inoculated on the chorioallantoic membranes (CAM) of 11-day-old embryonated chicken eggs and this produced pocks on one of the CAM at day 7 post-inoculation. Electron microscopy confirmed the presence of poxvirus in the CAM with the pock lesions. <![CDATA[<b>Utility of forensic detection of rabies virus in decomposed exhumed dog carcasses</b>]]> This report describes four suspected rabies cases in domestic dogs that were involved in human exposures. In all these cases, the animals were buried for substantial times before rabies testing was performed. Animal rabies is endemic in South Africa and domestic dogs are the main vector for transmission to humans. Diagnosis of rabies in humans is complicated, and diagnosis in the animal vector can provide circumstantial evidence to support clinical diagnosis of rabies in humans. The gold standard diagnostic method, fluorescent antibody test (FAT), only delivers reliable results when performed on fresh brain material and therefore decomposed samples are rarely submitted for diagnostic testing. Severely decomposed brain material was tested for the presence of rabies virus genomic material using a quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (q-real-time RT-PCR) assay when conventional molecular methods were unsuccessful. This may be a useful tool in the investigation of cases where the opportunity to sample the suspected animals post mortem was forfeited and which would not be possible with conventional testing methodologies because of the decomposition of the material. <![CDATA[<b>Solar keratoma: An atypical case</b>]]> This case report shows that keratomas can occur in both hind feet of equine patients and should be considered as a diagnosis for long-standing, intermittent lameness localised to the hooves. A Thoroughbred racehorse presented with long-standing abscessation of the right hind hoof. Owing to the long-standing nature, the abscess draining tract was surgically explored. A focal mass was found within the solar horn. Histopathology revealed the mass to be a keratoma. A similar mass was removed from the left hind hoof a few months later after similar presenting signs. This case shows that keratomas can occur in more than one hoof within a short period and should be considered a differential diagnosis for long-standing lameness localised to the hoof. <![CDATA[<b>Gastrojejunostomy without partial gastrectomy to manage duodenal stenosis in a dog</b>]]> A nine-year-old female Rottweiler with a history of repeated gastrointestinal ulcerations and three previous surgical interventions related to gastrointestinal ulceration presented with symptoms of anorexia and intermittent vomiting. Benign gastric outflow obstruction was diagnosed in the proximal duodenal area. The initial surgical plan was to perform a pylorectomy with gastroduodenostomy (Billroth I procedure), but owing to substantial scar tissue and adhesions in the area a palliative gastrojejunostomy was performed. This procedure provided a bypass for the gastric contents into the proximal jejunum via the new stoma, yet still allowed bile and pancreatic secretions to flow normally via the patent duodenum. The gastrojejunostomy technique was successful in the surgical management of this case, which involved proximal duodenal stricture in the absence of neoplasia. Regular telephonic follow-up over the next 12 months confirmed that the patient was doing well. <![CDATA[<b>Beyond traditional dairy veterinary services: 'It's not just about the cows!'</b>]]> It remains a challenge for the role of the dairy veterinarian to move beyond that traditionally held. In larger herds with a high reproductive workload, we are at great risk of becoming specialist technicians. Instead we seek greater involvement, to deliver comprehensive services and to be recognised for them, personally and financially. Given the frequency of our visits, knowledge and analytical skills we are in a unique position to provide inputs that complement advice given by other consultants. Failure to do so has economic consequences for both veterinarian and dairyman. The opportunity for and value of inputs will differ for every client, and we need to remain cognizant of their motivation. This review article shares perspectives, opportunities and tools that might enable moving beyond the traditional role. It starts with a review of available research describing the dynamic between dairyman and veterinarian and how this might impact an animal health production management programme. A description of the experiences of others follows, interspersed by the personal experiences of the author, working with large total mixed ration-fed herds in the United States of America. The following attributes and roles can be associated with a significant economic impact: gatekeeper; conduit; executor; verifier; monitor; facilitator and mediator; trainer, motivator and coach; applied nutritionist; technologist; champion of animal welfare, food safety and judicious antibiotic use; and confidant. Each is elucidated and described in context, revealing a need for continuing education. The nature of the relationship between veterinarian and client will determine the opportunity for and value of each. The veterinarian is in a unique position to become an integral part of the management team and to be fairly compensated as such. The onus rests on the veterinarian to broaden his/her knowledge and skills and to demonstrate their value. <![CDATA[<b>Vector-borne diseases of small companion animals in Namibia: Literature review, knowledge gaps and opportunity for a One Health approach</b>]]> Namibia has a rich history in veterinary health but little is known about the vector-borne diseases that affect companion dogs and cats. The aim of this review is to summarise the existing published and available unpublished literature, put it into a wider geographical context, and explore some significant knowledge gaps. To date, only two filarial pathogens (Dirofilaria repens andAcanthocheilonema dracunculoides) and three tick-borne pathogens (Babesia canis vogeli,Hepatozoon canis and Ehrlichia canis) have been reported. Most studies have focused solely on dogs and cats in the urban Windhoek and surrounding areas, with almost nothing reported in rural farming areas, in either the populous northern regions or the low-income urban areas where animal owners have limited access to veterinary services. With the development of several biomedical training programmes in the country, there is now an excellent opportunity to address zoonotic vector-borne diseases through a One Health approach so as to assess the risks to small companion animals as well as diseases of public health importance. <![CDATA[<b>Gallbladder mucocoele: A review</b>]]> Gallbladder mucocoele (GBM) is an abnormal, intraluminal accumulation of inspissated bile and/or mucous within the gallbladder. Older, small- to medium-breed dogs seem to be predisposed, but no sex predilection has been identified. Clinical signs are often non-specific and include vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, abdominal pain, icterus and polyuria-polydipsia. Results of a complete blood count may be unremarkable, but serum biochemistry usually reveals increased liver enzymes. The ultrasonographic appearance is diagnostic and well described in the literature. Surgical intervention for the treatment of GBM remains the therapeutic gold standard, with short- and long-term survival for biliary surgery being 66%. The worst outcome is seen in those dogs requiring cholecystoenterostomy. With GBM becoming an apparently increasingly common cause of extrahepatic biliary disease in canines, it is essential that clinicians become familiar with the current literature pertaining to this condition. Numerous predisposing factors are highlighted in this review article and the role of certain endocrinopathies (e.g. hyperadrenocorticism and hypothyroidism) in the development of GBM is touched upon. Furthermore, the aetiopathogenesis of this disease is discussed with reference to the latest literature. Cholecystectomy remains the treatment of choice, but other options are considered based on a current literature review.