Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the South African Veterinary Association ]]> vol. 79 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Perceptions and problems of disease in the one-humped camel in Southern Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries</b>]]> The one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius) was first introduced to German South West Africa (Namibia) for military purposes in 1889. Introductions to the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) in 1897 and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1903 were initially with a view to replacing oxen that died of rinderpest. Disease risks attendant on these introductions were recognised and to some extent guarded against. There were, however, relatively few problems. One camel was diagnosed as having foot-and-mouth disease. Mange in camels from India caused some concern as did trypanosomosis from Sudan. Trypanosomosis was introduced into both the Cape of Good Hope and Transvaal. Antibodies to some common livestock disease were found in later years. <![CDATA[<b>Care, husbandry and diseases of the African giant rat <i>(Cricetomys gambianus)</i></b>]]> The African giant rat lives up to 14 years in captivity, reaching maximum body weights of approximately 2.80 kg in bucks and 1.39 kg in does. In Britain, the African giant rat is increasingly becoming a popular exotic pet. A survey was conducted on 41 licensed pet shops in the UK. The range of ages of giant rat presented for sale, single price per rat, paired prices (buck and doe) and transport costs were 4-12 weeks, £320-£370, £352.50-400.00 including VAT, and £10-37.50, respectively. Ivermectin injected at 200-400 µg kg subcutaneously once a week for 3 weeks will eliminate ectoparasites (and many endoparasites). Nematode infections can also be treated with fenbendazole or piperazine. Bladder threadworms can be treated with fenbendazole, protozoa with metronidazole (not in gravid does) and cestodes with praziquantel. Treatment of leptospirosis with doxycycline administered 4.29-5.36 mg once a week is useful prophylactically, although for insurance of effectiveness, 10 mg/kg for 5 days is recommended. An identical dosage is recommended for the treatment of rickettsia. African trypanosomosis infection, following diagnosis of parasites in a blood smear, can be treated with a variety of antiprotozoal drugs like diminazene diaceturate at 3.5 mg/kg for 5 days. Leishmaniasis is treated at the same dose. Staphylococcosis is treated with amoxycillian trihydrate at 5 mg/kg 3 times a day for 7 days. Helminthosis is treated with broad-spectrum deworming solution. Coccidiosis is treated with cotrimoxazole at 100 mg/kg daily for 3 days. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are administered to combat secondary bacterial infection after viral invasion. <![CDATA[<b>Normal intestinal flora of wild Nile crocodiles <i>(Crocodylus niloticus) </i>in the Okavango Delta, Botswana</b>]]> Bacterial and fungal cultures were performed from cloacal swabs collected from 29 wild Nile crocodiles, captured in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Sixteen species of bacteria and 6 fungal species were cultured. Individual crocodiles yielded bacterial species, and 0-2 fungal species. The most commonly isolated bacteria were Microbacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, Aeromonas hydrophila, and Escherichia coli. No salmonellae were cultured. The most commonly occurring fungus was Cladosporium. Several of the bacterial and fungal species isolated have been implicated in cases of septicaemia in crocodilians. Knowledge of the normal intestinal flora will contribute towards the development of a crocodile-specific probiotic for use in farmed crocodiles. <![CDATA[<b>The prevalence of serum antibodies to <i>Ehrlichia ruminantium </i>infection in ranch cattle in Tanzania: A cross-sectional study</b>]]> Serum samples collected in a cross-sectional survey of grazing cattle on Manyara Ranch, Monduli district, Tanzania, were tested by indirect major antigenic protein 1 fragment B (MAP 1-B) ELISA to determine the seroprevalence of Ehrlichia ruminantium and to assess ranch-level risk factors for heartwater. Heartwater-exposed cattle were widespread on the ranch and overall seroprevalence was 50.3% (95% CI, 44.9 ‐55.6), enough to indicate an endemically unstable situation. Multivariate logistic regression modelling was used to identify risk factors associated with seropositivity. Two factors appeared to increase the herd's riskfor contracting heartwater. Seroprevalence increased significantly with age (ß =0.19 per year of age, P <0.001) and animals carrying ticks of any species were associated with an increased risk of infection with E. ruminantium (Odds ratio, OR =3.3, P <0.001). The force of infection based on the age seroprevalence profile was estimated at 18 per 100 cattle year-risk. The current tick control measures on the ranch were associated with a decreased risk of infection with E.ruminantium (OR =0.25 for no dipping and OR =0.31 for low dipping, P <0.001). Six tick species were identified; in order of frequency these were: Ambylomma variegatum 59.9%, Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi 13.9%, Rhipicephalus pulchellus 12.5%, Hyalomma truncatum 7.03% and Rhipicephalus appendiculatus 6.07%. The least encountered tick was Rhipicephalus simus, which accounted for 0.38%. The cattle seemed well adapted to their environment and capable of resisting the tick burden under this extensive wildlife/livestock grazing and interaction system. <![CDATA[<b>The scintigraphic evaluation of the pulmonary perfusion pattern of dogs hospitalised with babesiosis</b>]]> The possibility of coagulopathy in Babesia canis rossi infections in the canine patient has been suggested in the literature, but minimal work has been done to evaluate the clinicopathological nature of it in further detail. Pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) has not yet been implicated in canine babesiosis (CB), but may also be one of the causes of the sudden dyspnoea and tachypnoea that are frequently seen in complicated CB patients. The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the scintigraphic pulmonary perfusion pattern in hospitalised dogs with babesiosis in an attempt to ascertain whether a scintigraphic pattern consistent with clinically relevant PTE does indeed occur in these patients. The study consisted of a normal control group of 9 mature healthy Beagle dogs (group 1) and a Babesia group with 14 dogs of a variety of breeds that were naturally infected with Babesia (group 2). Pulmonary perfusion scintigraphy was performed after making thoracic radiographs and performing a blood gas analysis in both groups. The scintigraphic images were visually inspected for changes suggestive of PTE, but not a single dog in group 2 had pleural-based, wedge-shaped perfusion defects which would have resulted in a high probability for clinically relevant PTE. The scintigraphic pulmonary perfusion pattern demonstrated was not significantly different between the 2 groups (P=1.00). <![CDATA[<b>Neurocysticercosis: A possible cause of epileptiform seizures in people residing in villages served by the Bethanie clinic in the North West Province of South Africa</b>]]> A study to detect human taeniasis and cysticercosis was conducted in 4 village communities served by the Bethanie clinic in the North West Province, based on reports of people being diagnosed there with epileptiform episodes. Many home owners in the villages rear pigs in small numbers for both meat availability and an immediate income from live pig or pig meat sales. The primary aim of the work was to conduct in the study area a census of all small scale pig producers and a survey of rural village consumers, both by means of a structured questionnaire. The former reviewed pig husbandry practices, slaughter and marketing of pigs and the latter provided information on pork consumption, sanitation as well as people's basic knowledge of Taenia solium. Stool samples from consenting participants were screened by a contracted approved laboratory for T. solium. A descriptive analysis of retrospective data was conducted at the Bethanie clinic to determine the proportional morbidity of neurocysticercosis from the medical records of patients diagnosed with seizures in an attempt to establish possible sources of infection and routes of transmission. In addition, the total pig population in the study area was determined more accurately and the prevalence of cysticercosis investigated in pigs subjected to meat inspection at an approved abattoir. The questionnaires revealed a poor understanding of the disease, poor sanitation and hygiene, poor methods of pig husbandry and poor meat inspection and control in rural smallholder communities. There was no significant statistical difference in the proportion of households reporting evidence of epilepsy and owning pigs and those that did not. There is a strong evidence of a tendency towards an association between epilepsy, consumption habits and some identified epidemiological risk factors. <![CDATA[<b>Investigation of a syndrome characterised by passage of red urine in smallholder dairy cattle in East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania</b>]]> A case-control study was carried out to investigate a syndrome in smallholder dairy cattle in East Usambara Mountains characterised by urination of clotted blood. Smallholder dairy farms with the problem (cases) were matched with nearest farms without the problem (controls). In total, 30 farmers from Mbomole (19), Shebomeza (9) and Mlesa (2) villages in Amani division participated in the study. Using a structured questionnaire, information on risk factors associated with conditions characterised by passage of red urine in cattle was collected. In addition, serum samples from 80 smallholder dairy animals were collected and submitted for serodiagnosis of leptospirosis and babesiosis by microscopic agglutination test (MAT) and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. Laboratory analysis showed that the seroprevalence of leptospirosis and babesiosis was 21.3% and 46.3%, respectively and there was no significant difference between 'case' and 'control' farms (P>0.05), hence the occurrence of urination of clotted blood syndrome in Amani was not explained. However, bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) was found to be ubiquitous in the area, and also found to be widespread in all areas used as sources of animal fodder. Given the presence and distribution of bracken ferns and clinical signs and post-mortem lesions described by informants, chronic bracken-fern poisoning is more likely to be associated with the syndrome affecting animals in the study area. However, further investigation is required to confirm this observation so that appropriate control strategies can be devised. <![CDATA[<b>Pulmonary <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis </i>(Beijing strain) infection in a stray dog</b>]]> Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in dogs is rarely reported and has not previously been documented in South Africa. A case of a stray Maltese crossbreed dog with extensive multifocal pulmonary tuberculosis due to M. tuberculosis is described. Pulmonary granulomas in this case were poorly encapsulated and contained large numbers of acid-fast bacteria, highlighting the potential for infected companion animals to excrete the pathogen. Treatment of canine tuberculosis is generally not advised, and for this reason, euthanasia of diseased animals must be advocated in most instances. Physicians and veterinarians must be aware that companion animals with active disease caused by M. tuberculosis could act as a potential source of infection. <![CDATA[<b>An outbreak of chlamydiosis in farmed Indopacific crocodiles <i>(Crocodylus porosus)</i></b>]]> An outbreak of chlamydiosis was diagnosed in hatchling and juvenile Indopacific crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) on a crocodile farm in Papua New Guinea. The outbreak was characterised by high mortality with hepatitis and exudative conjunctivitis. The agent appears to have been introduced with live wild-caught crocodiles, which are purchased routinely by the farm. Improved quarantine procedures and treatment with tetracycline led to a rapid reduction of losses on the farm. <![CDATA[<b>A comparison of the efficacy of doramectin, closantel and levamisole in the treatment of the 'oriental eye fluke', <i>Philophthalmus gralli, </i>in commercially reared ostriches <i>(Struthio camelus)</i></b>]]> Commercially reared ostriches at Msengi farm situated in the Chinhoyi area of Mashonaland West province in Zimbabwe were found to be infected with the 'oriental eye fluke', Philopthalmus gralli, in 2001. This was the 1st record of the fluke in Zimbabwe. Trials were conducted to identify a suitable drug for the treatment of this fluke. A total of 12 ostriches confirmed to be infected with the fluke through clinical examination of the eyes and identification of the fluke were randomly divided into 3 equal groups, with each group receiving a different treatment protocol. The 3 drugs used were doramectin, levamisole and closantel. Each of the drugs was used in combination with chloramphenicol as an eye ointment. Levamisole was administered topically into the eye whereas doramectin and closantel were administered parenterally as an intramuscular injection. The results indicated a positive response in levamisole-treated birds but there were no noticeable responses to doramectin and closantel treatments.