News : 2015

Trio of Great Studies in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

We are very pleased to have collaborated with three groups of great researchers on unique studies in captive white-naped cranes and American flamingos and the free ranging eastern massasauga. Each of these studies are summarized in the December issue of the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. This work represents our continuing mission to contribute to furthering the fields of avian, exotic, and wildlife medicine.

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Absence of Albumin in the Cownose Ray

Many thanks to our colleagues at the Georgia Aquarium for the opportunity to work with unique samples from the cownose ray (Rhinoptera bonasus). As observed by protein electrophoresis, the albumin band was negligible. Instead, a dominant beta globulin fraction was observed. Using cholesterol electrophoresis, lipoprotein fractions were defined. Clinically abnormal rays were observed to higher total solids, cholesterol, and VLDL. This new tool may have value in the research of free ranging rays and in the clinical management of rays under human care.

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Encephalitozoon cunciul Serosurvey in Brazil

Sample from more than 180 symptomatic and asymptomatic rabbits were examined in Brazil. A high serostatus was observed — 89% of rabbits without symptoms were found to be seropositive. This is a very high level compared to that observed by our laboratory in the United States and other reports from Europe. Rabbits with clinical signs included those with ophthalmic and/or neurological presentation. Only 60% of these rabbits were seropositive.

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Animal Pragmatism

Learn more about some of the great collaborations ongoing in the Avian & Wildlife Laboratory in the current issue of Miami which is the magazine of the University of Miami.. In our mission to improve the field of veterinary medicine for avian, exotic, and wildlife species, we have been fortunate to work with many impressive collaborators and clients. Our long term dedication to provide excellent laboratory services is teamed with our research interests in clinical pathology and the development and validation of special assays for these unique species. This article provides a great summary of the origins of our laboratory and the exceptional multiyear dolphin health assessment project led by Dr. Gregory Bossart of the Georgia Aquarium.

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Recent Presenation - Southern European Veterinary Conference

Dr. Carolyn Cray recently traveled to Barcelona to attend and present her work at the Southern European Veterinary Conference. The conference, meeting in conjunction with Federation of European Companion Animal Associations and the Federation of Iberoamerican Veterinary Association, was attended by several thousand veterinarians from around Europe. Dr. Jaume Martorell from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona chaired the section on exotic animals. Dr. Cray presented a review entitled, “Examination of the acute phase response of avian, reptile, and exotic mammal species”. She also lectured on reference interval generation for species species, serological testing for aspergillosis, and reviewed the Avian & Wildlife Laboratory’s latest work combining serological testing and acute phase protein testing for Encephalitozoon cuniculi in rabbits. Dr. Cray thanks the organizers and the participants of this meeting for this opportunity and the warm reception.

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New Publication on Serodiagnostics of E. cuniculi Infection in Rabbits

Our study on the diagnosis of Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection in rabbits is presented in the latest issue of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine. The positive predictive value of the panel of tests — quantitative IgM and IgG titers and C-reactive protein — was found to be 100%. A cutoff for IgM of greater than or equal to 1:64 and for IgG of greater than or equal to 1:512 together with an increased CRP level showed a high specificity for diagnosis. CRP, as a powerful biomarker of inflammation, also provides an excellent prognostic indicator when titers may only slowly decrease with time after successful treatment.

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New Publication on Whooping Cranes

Many thanks to our collaborators Drs. Jennifer Hausmann and Barry Hartup of the International Crane Foundation and the University of Wisconsin for the opportunity to work with their one-of-a-kind samples from the endangered whooping crane. Wild and captive adult crane and juvenile cranes were examined using protein electrophoresis. Not surprisingly, a lower total protein mostly due to a lower albumin was observed in the younger cranes. Wild cranes were found to have higher gamma globulin concentrations. This data represents some of the first reference intervals generated for this species. It is hoped that this information can be used to help in health assessments of this population.

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Great Time at ExoticsCon

The Avian & Wildlife Laboratory was pleased to be a session sponsor and exhibitor at the recent ExoticsCon meeting in San Antonio. For those of you that traveled to Texas or those that took part via the Webcast, thank you for your continued support. Dr. Carolyn Cray was pleased to present her current study, “SAA and CRP are Major Acute Phase Proteins in Rabbits” and participate in the Panel Discussion on Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Many thanks to the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians and all at ExoticsCon for a great meeting.

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New Publication of Acute Phase Protein Testing in Ferrets

Acute phase proteins (APP) are valuable diagnostic and prognostic tools in veterinary medicine given their exceptional sensitivity for inflammation. A recent publication details the use of acute phase proteins and protein electrophoresis in ferrets. This study was completed with our great collaborators including Drs. Michelle Ravich, Laurie Hess, Susan Kelleher, and Cathy Johnson-Delaney.

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Four Great Publication to Ring in the New Year

The Avian & Wildlife Laboratory had great fortune to collaborate in 4 studies that were published in the December issue of the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. Interested in orangutans, box turtles, pelicans, and bamboo sharks, then read on…

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