Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the South African Veterinary Association ]]> vol. 87 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Reference intervals for selected serum biochemistry analytes in cheetahs (<i>Acinonyx jubatus</i>)</b>]]> Published haematologic and serum biochemistry reference intervals are very scarce for captive cheetahs and even more for free-ranging cheetahs. The current study was performed to establish reference intervals for selected serum biochemistry analytes in cheetahs. Baseline serum biochemistry analytes were analysed from 66 healthy Namibian cheetahs. Samples were collected from 30 captive cheetahs at the AfriCat Foundation and 36 free-ranging cheetahs from central Namibia. The effects of captivity-status, age, sex and haemolysis score on the tested serum analytes were investigated. The biochemistry analytes that were measured were sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, urea and creatinine. The 90% confidence interval of the reference limits was obtained using the non-parametric bootstrap method. Reference intervals were preferentially determined by the non-parametric method and were as follows: sodium (128 mmol/L - 166 mmol/L), potassium (3.9 mmol/L - 5.2 mmol/L), magnesium (0.8 mmol/L - 1.2 mmol/L), chloride (97 mmol/L - 130 mmol/L), urea (8.2 mmol/L - 25.1 mmol/L) and creatinine (88 μmol/L - 288 μmol/L). Reference intervals from the current study were compared with International Species Information System values for cheetahs and found to be narrower. Moreover, age, sex and haemolysis score had no significant effect on the serum analytes in this study. Separate reference intervals for captive and free-ranging cheetahs were also determined. Captive cheetahs had higher urea values, most likely due to dietary factors. This study is the first to establish reference intervals for serum biochemistry analytes in cheetahs according to international guidelines. These results can be used for future health and disease assessments in both captive and free-ranging cheetahs. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of multivitamin-multimineral supplementation on the health status of inbred Wistar and spontaneously hypertensive rat strains</b>]]> The nutraceutical industry has proliferated in recent years, with the most popular form of supplementation being the multivitamin-multimineral (MVMM) supplement. In the animal health sector, supplement use has also expanded. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of MVMM supplementation, beneficial or otherwise, on the general health status of the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) strain, an animal model used in hypertension research. A commercially prepared MVMM supplement was given tri-weekly via oral dosing for 8 weeks to two groups of seven adult female SHR and Wistar rats. Their corresponding control groups were dosed with deionised water only. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, growth rate and food and water intake were measured weekly. At the end of 8 weeks, the animals were euthanased and a full blood profile, urine sodium to potassium ratio, blood urea nitrogen levels and total plasma cholesterol was measured for all groups. The results indicated that growth rate was higher for the SHR supplemented group. Supplementation also decreased diastolic blood pressure in both Wistar and SHR groups and increased red blood cell count and decreased total cholesterol in the SHR group. No adverse effects on the general health status of the animals were observed. MVMM supplementation may therefore be useful in aiding growth and delaying the onset of hypertension and its effects. It may also assist in the longevity of the breeding stock of SHR rats. <![CDATA[<b>Animal-adapted members of the <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis </i>complex endemic to the southern African subregion</b>]]> Members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) cause tuberculosis (TB) in both animals and humans. In this article, three animal-adapted MTC strains that are endemic to the southern African subregion - that is, Mycobacterium suricattae, Mycobacterium mungi, and the dassie bacillus - are reviewed with a focus on clinical and pathological presentations, geographic distribution, genotyping methods, diagnostic tools and evolution. Moreover, factors influencing the transmission and establishment of TB pathogens in novel host populations, including ecological, immunological and genetic factors of both the host and pathogen, are discussed. The risks associated with these infections are currently unknown and further studies will be required for greater understanding of this disease in the context of the southern African ecosystem.