Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the South African Veterinary Association ]]> vol. 90 num. 1 lang. pt <![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.