Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the South African Veterinary Association ]]> vol. 92 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Unilateral salpingectomy in Sprague Dawley rats and its effect on litter size</b>]]> The study described a novel, rapidly performed, successful and safe surgical procedure in rats to achieve a reduction in the number of conceptuses. The objectives were to investigate the total foetal count and foetal health in both uterine horns after unilateral salpingectomy compared to the control group. Sixteen female Sprague-Dawley rats (Rattus norvegicus) were allocated to the study of which 10 rats underwent unilateral salpingectomy with six controls before all 16 were mated at 8-10 weeks of age. Gestational length was taken as 22 days, determined from the day of appearance of the copulatory plug. The female rats were terminated on day 19 or 20 of the gestational period. The foetuses in each horn were mapped and counted for comparison between the salpingectomy and control groups. The gravid uteri, individual foetal weights and placental weights were measured and compared between the two groups. This study described a novel, rapidly performed, successful and safe surgical procedure in rats. The mean number of foetuses in the salpingectomy group was significantly smaller than the control group. No significant differences in foetal and placental development were observed between the groups. These observations support future investigation of unilateral salpingectomy in other species as an alternative surgical method for population control. <![CDATA[<b>A comparative study between high-definition volumetric imaging computed tomography and multi-slice computed tomography in the detection of acute thoraco-lumbar disc extrusions in dogs</b>]]> Computed tomography (CT) is commonly used to image intervertebral disc extrusion (IVDE) in dogs. The current gold standard for CT imaging is the use of multi-slice CT (MS CT) units. Smaller high-definition volumetric imaging (HDVI) mobile CT has been marketed for veterinary practice. This unit is described as an advanced flat panel. The goal of this manuscript was to evaluate the ability of the HDVI CT in detecting IVDE without the need for CT myelography, compared with the detection of acute disc extrusions with a MS CT without the need for MS CT myelogram. Retrospective blinded analyses of 219 dogs presented for thoraco-lumbar IVDE that had a HDVI CT (n = 123) or MS CT (n = 96) were performed at a single referral hospital. A total of 123 cases had HDVI CT scans with surgically confirmed IVDE. The IVDE was identified in 88/123 (72%) dogs on pre-contrast HDVI CT. The remaining 35/128 (28%) cases required a HDVI CT myelogram to identify the IVDE. Ninety-six cases had MS CT scans with surgically confirmed IVDE. The IVDE was identified in 78/96 (81%) dogs on the pre-contrast MS CT. The remaining 18/96 (19%) cases had a MS CT myelogram to identify the IVDE. Multi-slice CT detected IVDE significantly more than HDVI CT (p = 0.032). This study showed that the ability of HDVI CT for detecting IVDE is lower than that of MS CT. The HDVI CT system may be useful in smaller referral practices, with a lower case load where space is limited. <![CDATA[<b>Transoesophageal echocardiography-guided hybrid balloon valvuloplasty for severe pulmonic stenosis in small dogs</b>]]> Pulmonic stenosis (PS) is the most common congenital heart disease in dogs and is commonly seen in small breeds, such as Chihuahuas. Conventional treatments have limitations specific to small dogs, including the invasive nature of open-heart surgery and size limitations in percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty. Here, transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE)-guided balloon valvuloplasty via thoracotomy was performed for three small dogs with PS. The procedure was feasible in all cases, including those for which percutaneous treatment was not an option. Although the procedure is invasive, because of the need for thoracotomy, it is one of the treatment options that may be effective for PS, especially in small dogs, as it allows visualisation of the pulmonary artery lesion without relying on the experience of the surgeon. <![CDATA[<b>Detection and analysis of tick-borne infections in communal dogs of northwest Zimbabwe</b>]]> Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) may serve as a reservoir or a sentinel for infectious disease pathogens that can affect human and wildlife health. To understand the role of tick-borne diseases in rural and lesser developed regions, we investigated the prevalence of several tick-borne pathogens in communal dogs of Zimbabwe. Blood samples from 225 dogs in northwest Zimbabwe were assessed by serology for Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi, and 241 samples were assessed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Ehrlichia. There was a high seroprevalence (73%) of E. canis-specific antibodies in domestic dogs in northwest Zimbabwe, but follow up analyses via PCR and genetic sequencing indicated only 7.5% of the canines were actively infected with the organism. Whilst indicating that an organism serologically related to E. canis is likely present in the region, this data also shows that the organism is currently present in a relative minority of the domestic dogs in the region. Its presence as evidenced by both serologic and PCR analysis is significant because of the 'one health' paradigm, where humans and wildlife may be affected by the exposure to this pathogen in domestic dogs. <![CDATA[<b>Disentanglement of Cape fur seals (<i>Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus</i>) with reversible medetomidine-midazolam-butorphanol</b>]]> Anaesthesia in pinnipeds is considered a much higher risk than in most terrestrial mammals because of their frequent proximity to water and physiological and anatomical adaptations related to diving, which also influence their anaesthesia management. Anaesthetising and immobilising entangled seals does not allow for selection of animals that are at a safe distance from the water's edge. Medetomidine-midazolam-butorphanol (MMB) sedation was trialled on eight entangled Cape fur seals (CFS) (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) to determine if it was safe to use on animals that entered the water post-darting. The MMB was given at an estimated dose of 0.03 mg/kg, 0.2 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg, respectively, via remote darting. Sedation was reversed with intramuscular atipamezole (0.15 mg/kg) and naltrexone (0.4 mg/kg) to antagonise the effects of medetomidine and butorphanol, respectively. Moderate sedation was achieved in six animals. Six of the animals entered the water after being darted. There was a single mortality and a single animal that was too lightly sedated for capture. The preliminary results indicate that MMB produces suitable sedation for disentanglement of CFS. Additionally, MMB might be suitable for application to field-based biological research. <![CDATA[<b>Antibiotic use practices of veterinarians and para-veterinarians and the implications for antibiotic stewardship in Nigeria</b>]]> The aim of this study was to describe the antibiotic use practices of veterinarians and para-veterinarians in Nigeria. An online survey was distributed during November through December 2018 via email and phone to veterinarians and para-veterinarians to collect information on antibiotic use practices. Data were downloaded into Excel and descriptive statistics were presented and analysed. The survey was completed by 390 respondents. Almost all respondents (98.5%, 384/390) recommended the use of antibiotics to treat animal patients, and of these, 93.2% (358/384) were veterinarians and 6.8% (26/384) were para-veterinarians. Most respondents reported commonly recommending the use of oxytetracycline (82.6%, 317/384), tylosin (44.5%, 171/384) and gentamycin (43.8%, 168/384). A third (32.0%, 122/384) of respondents did not undertake antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) prior to antibiotic treatment. At least 60% of the respondents recommended the use of antibiotics for the treatment of non-bacterial pathogens, including viral, helminth and fungal pathogens. Over 55% (217/390) were not aware of government-issued guidelines on antibiotic use in animals, although of those aware, 69% (74/107) utilised the guidelines. Across all respondents, the majority believed legislation or regulation by government can influence the use of antibiotics by animal health professionals. The study highlights areas that can be targeted as part of intervention strategies to promote antimicrobial stewardship by animal health professionals in Nigeria, including the need for increased use of AST as a tool for supporting disease management, increased awareness of appropriate antibiotic use and greater dissemination of antibiotic use guidelines and enforcement of relevant regulation by government authorities. <![CDATA[<b>Documenting the absence of bovine brucellosis in dairy cattle herds in the southern region of Malawi and the associated knowledge, attitudes and practices of farmers</b>]]> There is paucity of Brucella prevalence data in Malawi. For this reason, a cross-sectional study was conducted, from 06 January 2020 to 27 February 2020, to estimate the seroprevalence of brucellosis in dairy cattle herds amongst smallholder farmers, government and private dairy farms in the southern region. A total of 529 serum samples were screened for anti-Brucella antibodies using the Rose Bengal test (RBT) and a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). A pre-tested electronic (Epicollect tool, Wellcome Sanger Institute, United Kingdom) questionnaire was administered to 378 smallholder farmers to assess their knowledge, attitudes and practices towards brucellosis. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data in Microsoft Excel® and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS®) version 21. No animal tested positive for presence of anti-Brucella antibodies, indicating 0% prevalence (individual and herd levels). The majority (94.2%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 91.8-96.5) of smallholder farmers had never heard about brucellosis. Furthermore, assisting during parturition without protective equipment (41.3%; 95% CI: 36.3-46.2) and using bulls for breeding (75%; 95% CI: 70.2-78.9) were amongst the common risk practices that were identified. We could not detect brucellosis in this study that indicates the disease could be very rare or even absent in the dairy cattle herds of the southern region of Malawi. However, further Brucella studies need to be conducted in cattle, small livestock, wildlife and humans to document the true status of brucellosis in the country. Brucellosis surveillance, monitoring, awareness and preventive measures are required to maintain this favourable situation. <![CDATA[<b>Pathological findings in African buffaloes (<i>Syncerus caffer</i>) in South Africa</b>]]> The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is an iconic species of South African megafauna. As the farmed buffalo population expands, the potential impacts on population health and disease transmission warrant investigation. A retrospective study of skin biopsy and necropsy samples from 429 animals was performed to assess the spectrum of conditions seen in buffaloes in South Africa. Determination of the cause of death (or euthanasia) could not be made in 33.1% (136/411) of the necropsy cases submitted due to autolysis or the absence of significant lesions in the samples submitted. Infectious and parasitic diseases accounted for 53.5% (147/275) of adult fatal cases and non-infectious conditions accounted for 34.9% (96/275). Abortions and neonatal deaths made up 11.6% (32/275) of necropsy cases. Rift Valley fever, bovine viral diarrhoea, malignant catarrhal fever, tuberculosis, bacterial pneumonia, anaesthetic deaths, cachexia and hepatotoxic lesions were the most common causes of death. The range of infectious, parasitic and non-infectious diseases to which African buffaloes were susceptible was largely similar to diseases in domestic cattle which supports concerns regarding disease transmission between the two species. The similarity between diseases experienced in both species will assist wildlife veterinarians in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in captive African buffaloes. The present study likely does not represent accurate disease prevalence data within the source population of buffaloes, and diseases such as anthrax, brucellosis and foot and mouth disease are under-represented in this study. Hepatic ductal plate abnormalities and haemorrhagic septicaemia have not, to our knowledge, been previously reported in African buffaloes. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of two different etorphine doses combined with azaperone in blesbok (<i>Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi</i>) immobilisation</b>]]> Chemical immobilisation is essential for veterinarians to perform medical procedures in wild African ungulates. Potent opioids combined with neuroleptic drugs are most often used for this purpose. The present study aimed at comparing the quality of immobilisation and effects on physiological variables between a high (high etorphine-azaperone [HE]: 0.09 mg kg-1) and low etorphine dose (low etorphine-azaperone [LE]: 0.05 mg kg-1), both combined with azaperone (0.35 mg kg-1), in 12 adult female boma-acclimatised blesbok. It was hypothesised that a reduction in etorphine's dose in combination with azaperone would result in less cardiorespiratory impairment but likely worsen the quality of immobilisation. Both treatments resulted in rapid induction and recovery times. Overall inter-treatment differences occurred in pulse rate (HE and LE: 52 ± 15 and 44 ± 11 beats minute-1, p < 0.0001), respiratory rate (HE and LE: 15 ± 4 and 17 ± 4 breaths minute-1, p < 0.006), partial pressure of exhaled carbon dioxide (HE and LE: 62.0 ± 5.0 and 60.0 ± 5.6 millimetre of mercury [mmHg], p < 0.028) and arterial carbon dioxide (HE and LE: 58.0 ± 4.5 and 55.0 ± 3.9 mmHg, p < 0.002). Both HE and LE led to bradycardia, hypertension and marked hypoxia to a similar extent. Furthermore, quality of induction, immobilisation and recovery were similar in both treatments. The role of azaperone in the development of cardiorespiratory compromise and gas exchange impairment that occurred when these combinations were used is still unclear. Further studies are recommended to elucidate drug- and dose-specific physiological effects in immobilised antelope. <![CDATA[<b>Muscle tremors observed in white rhinoceroses immobilised with either etorphine-azaperone or etorphine-midazolam: An initial study</b>]]> Etorphine-azaperone is the most commonly used drug combination for chemical immobilisation of free-ranging white rhinoceroses, but causes several profound physiological disturbances, including muscle tremors. The addition of benzodiazepine sedatives, such as midazolam, has been proposed to reduce the muscular rigidity and tremors in immobilised rhinoceroses. Twenty-three free-ranging, sub-adult white rhinoceros bulls were darted and captured using a combination of etorphine plus either azaperone or midazolam. Skeletal muscle tremors were visually evaluated and scored by an experienced veterinarian, and tremor scores and distance run were compared between groups using the Wilcoxon rank sum test. No statistical differences were observed in tremor scores (p = 0.435) or distance run (p = 0.711) between the two groups, and no correlation between these variables was detected (r = -0.628; p = 0.807). Etorphine-midazolam was as effective as etorphine-azaperone at immobilising rhinoceroses, with animals running similar distances. Although the addition of midazolam to the etorphine did not reduce tremor scores compared to azaperone, it might have other beneficial immobilising effects in rhinoceroses, and further investigation is necessary to elucidate possible methods of reducing muscle tremoring during chemical immobilisation of rhinoceroses. <![CDATA[<b>Hepatogenous photosensitisation in cows grazing turnips (<i>Brassica rapa</i>) in South Africa</b>]]> Holstein cows on a farm in the Humansdorp district, Eastern Cape province, South Africa, developed reddened, painful teat skin 3 days after grazing a mixed forage crop dominated by bulb turnip (Brassica rapa, Barkant cultivar). The crop was grazed 45 days after planting and 10% of the herd developed symptoms. More characteristic non-pigmented skin lesions started manifesting 1-2 days after the appearance of the teat lesions. Affected cows had elevated serum activities of gamma-glutamyl transferase, glutamate dehydrogenase and aspartate aminotransferase. These blood chemistry findings confirmed a secondary (hepatogenous) photosensitivity. As a result of the severity of the teat and skin lesions, seven cows were slaughtered and tissue samples from five of them were collected for histopathological examination. Liver lesions in cows that were culled 3 or more weeks after the onset of the outbreak showed oedematous concentric fibrosis around medium-sized bile ducts and inflammatory infiltrates in portal tracts. Characteristic lesions associated with other known hepatobiliary toxicities were not found. No new cases were reported 5 days after the cattle were removed from the turnips. The sudden introduction of the cows, without any period of transitioning or adaptation to grazing turnips, as well as the short latent period, clinical signs of photosensitisation, blood chemistry and histopathology, confirmed a diagnosis of Brassica-associated liver disease, a condition seen in New Zealand but not previously described in South Africa. Brassica forage crops are potentially toxic under certain conditions and farmers must be aware of these risks. <![CDATA[<b>A simple method to provide positive end expiratory pressure to treat hypoxaemia in an anaesthetised Asian Elephant (<i>Elephas maximus</i>)</b>]]> Hypoxaemia is a common complication in anaesthetised or immobilised elephants. It is presumably because of hypoventilation and ventilation-perfusion mismatch. To prevent hypoxaemia, orotracheal intubation and positive pressure ventilation are recommended. This case report describes a hypoxaemic period despite positive pressure ventilation in a 46-year-old female Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) anaesthetised with azaperone-etorphine, medetomidine and an etorphine constant rate infusion in lateral recumbency for a dental procedure. The hypoxaemia was corrected utilising positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) of 5 cm - 10 cm H2O, a technique that has not previously been reported in the management of anaesthetised elephants. PEEP decreases atelectasis, shunt fraction, and increases lung compliance. Positive end-expiratory pressure was achieved by partial occlusion of the tailpiece of a manually triggered demand valve ventilator during expiration. This is a simple effective method of generating PEEP and correcting hypoxaemia without the need for any additional specialised equipment. However, PEEP decreased arterial blood pressure and should be implemented with caution if arterial blood pressure is not monitored. <![CDATA[<b>Successful treatment of early cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma with hypofractionated radiation therapy in an African lion (<i>Panthera leo</i>)</b>]]> Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a slow growing but locally invasive neoplasm, most commonly caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Whilst SCC accounts for 15% of skin tumours in domesticated cats, cutaneous SCC in non-domesticated felids (apart from captive snow leopards) appears to be uncommon, with only three reports in the literature to date. In this report, a captive African lion (Panthera leo) presented with two ulcerative lesions on the nasal planum. Histopathology of the lesions revealed epidermal keratinocyte dysplasia and neoplastic basal- and supra-basal epithelial cells with dyskeratosis and evidence of basement membrane breaching and dermal invasion, consistent with a diagnosis of SCC. There was also evidence of laminar fibrosis and inflammation of the subjacent dermis suggesting that the SCC most likely resulted from UV-induced neoplastic transformation of the epidermal squamous epithelium following actinic keratosis. The lion was treated with hypofractionated radiation therapy and remained in remission until his death (euthanised 17 months later because of age-related chronic renal failure). This is the first report of cutaneous SCC in a lion with evidence of actinic damage and resolution after radiation therapy.