Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the South African Veterinary Association ]]> vol. 81 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>A brief history of equine private practice in South Africa</b>]]> Horse breeding in South Africa started in 1652, shortly after the 1st European settlement in the Cape. African horsesickness posed a serious problem and after a devastating outbreak of the disease in 1719, horses were largely replaced by oxen for agricultural and transport purposes but remained important from a sporting and military point of view. Examples of the latter are the export of horses for military use to India in the mid-19th century and for use in the Crimean War in 1854, reaching a zenith in the Anglo-Boer war in which an estimated 450 000 horses succumbed. Research and disease control and initially also health services were the responsibility of state veterinary authorities. Private equine practice was pioneered by Jack Boswell in the late 1930s, mainly involving race horses and Thoroughbred studs as part of a general practice. Specialised equine private practices were only initiated 10 years later and developed further during the 2nd half of the 20th century. These developments are described in some detail, including resumés of the veterinarians involved, clinical challenges encountered, scientific advances as well as developments in the equine industry with the emphasis on Thoroughbreds and the racing community. The regulatory environment, especially regarding the import and export of horses, and the role of various organisations and associations are also briefly discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Summary of foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks reported in and around the Kruger National Park, South Africa, between 1970 and 2009</b>]]> Information with regard to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks that occurred in the Kruger National Park (KNP) and adjacent areas of South Africa between 1970 and 2009 was collected from reports and files of various government departments and collated into one report. The collected data were summarised in a table and assessed for patterns. Fifty-one FMD outbreaks occurred during this period in the target area, of which 16 were SAT 1, 31 were SAT 2, 4 were SAT 3 and 3 were not serotyped. No pattern could be discerned although SAT 1 outbreaks occurred more frequently in the summer months while more SAT 2 outbreaks occurred in winter. <![CDATA[<b>Rabies in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa - where are we going wrong?</b>]]> Rabies is a growing problem in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. This study investigated dog ecology, vaccination coverage and rabies neutralising antibody levels in 203 randomly selected dogs within a local municipality in the former Transkei area. Responses to vaccination were also evaluated in 80 of these dogs. The population was remarkably uniform in size, breed and condition. Slightly over 1/5th of the population was between 6 weeks and 1 year of age, while very few dogs reached 10 years or older. According to owner responses, the Animal Health Technicians achieved a total vaccination coverage of 65 % of owned dogs over several years, but only 56 % within the previous 12 months. Only 32 % of dogs had adequate circulating rabies virus neutralisation antibodies (>0.5IU/ℓ ). After vaccination, 83 % had seroconverted to this level. The magnitude of seroconversion was independent of body condition or age. This study proposes a different approach to vaccination strategies than those currently employed in certain areas of the province. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of ultrasound during emergency after-hour admissions of horses</b>]]> Clinical use of diagnostic ultrasound at point-of-care or emergency situations, although common, has not been well documented in veterinary medicine. Medical records of after-hour emergency equine admissions during a 10-year period were reviewed and horses that received ultrasound scans were identified. Data sheets for each ultrasound scan performed during emergency clinical evaluation were collected and reviewed. Data extracted included anatomical region imaged, body system affected, documented ultrasonographic diagnosis and final diagnosis. Six hundred and nine records were available of which 108 horses had an ultrasound diagnostic procedure performed. The most common reason for emergency ultrasonography was to investigate gastrointestinal abnormalities, the largest proportion of these being large intestinal disorders. A complete ultrasound report was documented in 57 % of evaluations, of which 79 % correlated with a final diagnosis. Incomplete reporting made accurate interpretation of records difficult. Results indicate that the use of ultrasound in the emergency setting may be of diagnostic benefit and impact on patient management. Ultrasound training should be provided to residents in order to gain proficiency, especially with regard to the gastrointestinal system. <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence of mixed <i>Trypanosoma</i> congolense infections in livestock and tsetse in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa</b>]]> Trypanosoma congolense causes the most economically important animal trypanosomosis in Africa. In South Africa, a rinderpest pandemic of the 1890s removed many host animals, resulting in the near-eradication of most tsetse species. Further suppression was achieved through spraying with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT); however, residual populations of Glossina austeni and G. brevipalpis remained in isolated pockets. A total of 506 of these tsetse flies were captured in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, the St Lucia Wetland Park and Boomerang commercial farm. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to determine the infection rate and frequency of mixed infections of these flies. Additionally, 473 blood samples were collected from cattle at communal diptanks and a commercial farm in the area and each one examined by the haematocrit centrifugation technique (HCT). Furthermore, buffy coats from these blood samples were spotted onto FTA Elute cards and the DNA extracted from each one tested using 3 separate PCRs. The HCT revealed the presence of trypanosomes in only 6.6 % of the blood samples; by contrast, species-specific PCR detected trypanosome DNA in 50 % of the samples. The species-specific PCR detected trypanosome DNA in 17 % of the tsetse flies, compared with the nested PCR targeting rDNA which detected trypanosome DNA in only 14 % of the samples. Over time, the transmission of Savannah-type T. congolense and Kilifi-type T. congolense as mixed infections could have an impact on disease manifestation in different hosts in the area. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of the effects of different transport conditions and lairage times in a Mediterranean climate in South Africa on the meat quality of commercially crossbred Large white × Landrace pigs</b>]]> Information on the effect of road transportation conditions and lairage times on the meat quality of pork under South African conditions is very sparse. In this investigation, the effects of 2 road conditions (rough road with frequent stops - A; smooth road, few stops - B) and 2 lairage holding periods (2 h and 24 h) on the physical meat quality attributes of commercially produced pigs during summer (ambient temperatures >30 ºC) in the Western Cape (South Africa) were investigated. Pig meat from pigs transported on a road that caused more stress (A), had lower pH45 (measured 45 min post mortem) values after 2 h lairage than pigs transported over a smoother road. Pigs B had a lower muscle pH24 (measured 24 h post mortem) than group A, indicating that they had more glycogen reserves available for post mortem glycolysis. Road conditions A were more stressful resulting in a higher incidence of PSE pork, as shown by the percentage drip loss and the L* values. When the lairage period was increased to 24 h prior to slaughter, pigs transported under road conditions A had time to replenish their energy reserves and the pH45, drip loss and L* values were within an acceptable range. However, pigs transported under road conditions B had lower pH45 and higher pH24 values, indicating that the lairage period was too long and that energy reserves were depleted in order to adapt to the stressful conditions. Results from this investigation indicate that improvement of the transport/road conditions will result in better pork quality. <![CDATA[<b>Antimicrobial susceptibility in thermophilic <i>Campylobacter</i> species isolated from pigs and chickens in South Africa</b>]]> Campylobacter jejuni is one of the leading causes of sporadic food-borne bacterial disease in humans. In intensive poultry and pig rearing systems the use of oral antibiotics is essential to maintain health. Consequently, there is a high risk for the thermophilic Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli resident in the intestinal tract of food animals to develop resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Contamination of meat or eggs with pathogenic strains of resistant Campylobacter could, therefore, result in a form of campylobacteriosis in humans that is difficult to treat. The aim of this investigation was to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of thermophilic Campylobacter spp. isolated from pigs and poultry by the broth microdilution minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) test. A total of 482 samples from the Western Cape and Gauteng provinces was collected and analysed. Thirty-eight Campylobacter isolates were obtained. Analysis of data revealed that C. jejuni strains mainly of poultry origin were more resistant to the fluoroquinolones, macrolides and tetracyclines and the C. coli strains were more resistant to the macrolides and lincosamides. Multiresistance was also detected in 4 Campylobacter strains from the Western Cape. With the exception of tetracyclines, strains from high health Gauteng broiler farms were susceptible to antibiotics used to treat Campylobacter infections. <![CDATA[<b>Tick communities at the expanding wildlife/cattle interface in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa</b>: <b>implications for Corridor disease</b>]]> Corridor disease, transmitted by the brown ear tick (Rhipicephalus appendiculatus), is one of Africa's most pathogenic tick-borne diseases for cattle. With a focus on this species, we investigated the community parameters (richness, diversity and abundance) of ticks in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, and how this may be linked to the increasing wildlife/cattle interface in the region. There were significantly more ticks of a greater diversity and richness at sites positioned at the wildlife/cattle interface ('treatment sites') compared to sites where wildlife was absent (controls). Significantly, R. appendiculatus was only found at the treatment sites. Therefore, it is believed that the wildlife/cattle interface may be playing a crucial role in increasing the occurrence, abundance and distribution of R. appendiculatus in the Eastern Cape. The implications of a Corridor disease outbreak in the region are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Risk factors for smallholder dairy cattle mortality in Tanzania</b>]]> A retrospective cross-sectional study of mortality was conducted on smallholder dairy farms in 2 separate regions (Iringa and Tanga) of Tanzania during the period of January to April 1999. A total of 1789 cattle from 400 randomly sampled smallholder dairy farms (200 each from Iringa and Tanga regions) were included in the study. These animals contributed a total risk period of 690.4 and 653.95 years for Tanga and Iringa, respectively. The overall mortality rates were estimated to be 8.5 and 14.2 per 100 cattle years risk for Tanga and Iringa regions, respectively; 57.7 % of the reported deaths were of young stock less than 12 months old; 45 % of reported young stock deaths (<12 months old) were due to tickborne diseases, mainly East Coast Fever (ECF) and anaplasmosis. Disease events including ECF were reported to occur in all months of the year. Survival analysis using Cox proportional hazard models indicated that, in both regions, death rate and risk was higher in young stock less than 12 months than in older animals (relative risk RR = 4.92, P <0.001 for Iringa; RR = 5.03 P = 0.005 for Tanga). In the Tanga region reported mortality rates were significantly higher for male animals (RR = 3.66, P = 0.001) and F2 compared with F1 animals (RR = 3.04, P = 0.003). In the Iringa region, reported mortality rates were lower for cattle on farms where the owner had attended a dairy development project training course (RR = 0.47, P = 0.012). Farms located in Iringa urban district and Pangani were associated with higher risk (mortality risk 21 % for Iringa urban and 34 % for Pangani). Our findings suggest that timely health and management interventions on these factors are necessary to alleviate losses from disease and emphasise that understanding variation in mortality risk within a population can enhance early response to potential outbreaks, reducing losses. <![CDATA[<b>Macroscopic description of the coronary arteries in Swiss albino mice (<i>Mus musculus</i>)</b>]]> A total of 25 (13 male, 12 female) adult, healthy Swiss albino mice were used to investigate the origin, course and anastomoses of coronary arteries. Coloured latex was injected into the aortic arch to enable these arteries to be clearly discerned. A. coronaria sinista was larger than A. coronaria dextra. It was divided into a Ramus interventricularis paraconalis and a Ramus circumflexus sinister. However, in 2 specimens, the septal ramus, was observed to stem directly from the left coronary artery, and only 1 ventricular branch arose from the left circumflex. The collateral branches of the paraconal interventricular ramus had a larger diameter and more extensive distribution was observed in these specimens. The A. coronaria dextra was divided into a Ramus septalis and Ramus circumflexus dexter. The Ramus interventricularis subsinuosis was not detected in this study. The ventricular branches of the left coronary artery run intramyocardially whereas the branches of the right coronary artery course subendocardially. <![CDATA[<b>Steroid-sparing effect of mycophenolate mofetil in the treatment of a subepidermal blistering autoimmune disease in a dog</b>]]> A 7-year-old female Cocker spaniel-cross was referred with an 8-month history of mucocutaneous erosive dermatitis. On physical examination, skin lesions affected the eyelids and periocular area, lips and vulva. Lesions were symmetrical with small diffuse superficial ulcers, haemorrhagic crusts, adherent purulent exudation in haired skin, and alopecia with hyperpigmentation and scarring. Histopathologic evaluation showed multiple, non-intact dermoepidermal junction vesicles and ulceration associated with a dermal lichenoid infiltrate. Immunohistochemistry showed strong to moderate reactivity in the dermoepidermal junction for the antibodies directed against canine IgG, human IgG lambda light chains and C3, respectively. A diagnosis of autoimmune subepidermal blistering dermatosis was made. Treatment with oral prednisone at 2 mg/kg and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) at 20 mg/kg twice daily was initiated and after 4 weeks the ulcers and erosions were cured. During the rest of treatment, MMF was maintained at 10 mg/kg twice daily and prednisone could be tapered to 0.25 mg/kg once every other day without recurrences. In conclusion, this case report shows that MMF was well tolerated and might be effective as steroid-sparing agent in the long-term treatment of this autoimmune subepidermal blistering disease. <![CDATA[<b>Infiltrative angiolipoma of the parotid salivary gland in a dog</b>]]> Solitary benign angiolipoma and infiltrative angiolipoma are rare tumours in dogs. Angiolipomata can be distinguished histologically from lipomata by the large number of tightly packed blood vessels seen between the adipocytes with multiple fibrin thrombi occupying some of the vessels' lumens. The dog presented with a solitary slow-growing mass in the cervical region. Histopathology revealed multifocal to coalescing single or clusters of blood-filled vessels lined by flattened endothelial cells with narrow, elongated, basophilic nuclei. These regions were embedded in adipose tissue with multifocal areas of intervascular remnants of differentiated serous salivary glandular tissue with multifocal small ducts. Fibrin thrombi occupied a few of the vessel lumens. A histological diagnosis of infiltrative angiolipoma was made. On computed tomography, the mass was bilobed with a suspected primary component involving the right parotid gland which was grossly enlarged. The mass had a slightly hypoattenuating mottled to lobulated appearance with a few hyperattenuating mineralised specks throughout. Hounsfield units of the mass ranged between 40 and 45, which was less than the 60-65 of the contralateral salivary glands and cranial musculature. Post contrast images showed no contrast enhancement of 90 % of the mass with only a band of peripheral contrast uptake of the affected lateral lobe.