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Fecal extracts and blood sera from 113 ducks showing clinical signs of botulism were examined for Clostridium botulinum type C toxin by means of the mouse toxicity test to evaluate coproexamination as a diagnostic procedure, as compared with demonstration of toxin in serum. When death of test mice unprotected with type specific antitoxin (while protected controls survived) was the criterion, 78.8% of the sera and 5.3% of the fecal extracts were positive. When characteristic signs of intoxication in the unprotected mice was included as evidence of toxin in the specimens, these percentages increased to 86.7 and 6.2, respectively.
Fecal specimens were collected hourly for the first 6 h after peroral dosing of eight mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) with 1.0 LD50, of type C toxin and at 24, 48, and 72 h from birds surviving that long. From 2 to 4 toxin-positive specimens were passed by all eight ducks during the first 6 h, five specimens were positive at 24 h, and three were positive at 48 h. Only three specimens were collected at 72 h, all of which were negative. These findings suggest that attempts to detect toxin in the feces of wild ducks might have been more successful had the birds been captured earlier in the course of the disease.
Purulent cutaneous and visceral lesions were observed in a colony of 68 golden-mantled ground squirrels, Citellus (Spermophilus) lateralis, used in a hibernation study. The squirrels had been purchased from a commercial supplier. Beginning approximately three weeks after their purchase and during the following five weeks, 21 squirrels died. The predominate gross and histologic findings consisted of multifocal suppurative lesions involving the skin, brain and numerous visceral organs. Staphylococcus aureus was consistently found to be associated with the disease.
Beagle dogs were readily infected by 1.3 × 108 colony forming units (cfu) of Brucella suis type 4 administered either on canned dog food, or intraperitoneally. Such infections were afebrile and otherwise asymptomatic and without any obvious gross lesions.
Inoculation of 108 cfu B. suis type 4 intraperitoneally into two gravid wolves (Canis lupus) resulted in infections in both animals. About 24 days later they gave birth, apparently at full-term, to two (both alive) and six (two alive and four dead) pups, respectively. Pups born alive died within 24 hours.
A black bear (Ursus americanus) infected with between 108 and 109 cfu yielded serologic and bacteriologic data similar to that derived from the observations on beagles and wolves. Two grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) were both infected by exposure to 1.3 × 109 cfu B. suis type 4 placed on canned dog food. Antibody titres reached very high levels within the first two months of infection.
Anti-leptospiral agglutinins were found in the serum from 18 (7 species) of 419 (25 species) animals sampled from various areas of southeastern Australia. Positive serologic reactions were observed in 5 of 25 (20%) brush-tailed possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), 1 of 26 (3.8%) tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii), 2 of 12 (16.7%) swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor), 1 of 3 (33.3%) koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), 3 of 41 (7.3%) common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), 2 of 100 (2%) bush rat (Rattus fuscipes) and 4 of 12 (25%) rusa deer (Cervus timorensis). The majority (55.5%) of serologic reactions were to serovar hardjo.
No serologic reactions were observed in samples from echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii), swainson's antechinus (Antechinus swaisonsii), long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta), brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus), common ringtail (Pseudocheirus peregrinus), greater glider (Schoinobates volans), eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), red-necked wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus), rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), water rat (Hydromys chrysogaster), black rat (Rattus rattus), eastern swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus), broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus), fox (Vulpes vulpes), sambar deer (Cervus unicolor), hog deer (Axis porcinus) and fallow deer (Dama dama).
Salmonella lohbruegge was isolated from the kidney and the liver of a captive dugong calf (Dugong dugon) which died after an illness of at least several weeks. Clinical signs included diarrhoea and anorexia and were apparent for a week before death. Necropsy and histopathologic examination revealed thickening of the intestinal mucosa, epithelial degeneration, and epithelioid cell infiltration of mucosa, submucosa and contiguous smooth muscle. Enlargement of intestinal lymphoid tissue was apparent, and occasional focal granulomas were found in the liver. The source of the Salmonella infection was not ascertained.
A cyst was observed in the cardiac musculature of a short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) during a survey on the helminth fauna of the species in Connecticut. Histologically this organism resembled a species of Sarcocystis.
A total of 75 trumpeter swans (Olor buccinator (Richardson)) from the Grande Prairie region of Alberta was examined for hematozoa; 26(34.6%) swans were infected with Haemoproteus nettionis. A single infection of Leucocytozoon simondi and two of Plasmodium circumflexum also were recorded. Local, second year(SY) and adult (AHY) female swans had closely similar rates of hematozoan infection; the SY and AHY male swans had substantially higher infection rates than other subgroups.
Raccoons (Procyon lotor) typical of animals released by private hunting clubs in the Appalachian Mountains were examined for helminth parasites to evaluate the influence raccoon translocation might have on parasitic diseases. Results were compared with data from resident raccoons from characteristic release areas. Translocated raccoons harbored 19 helminth species that were exotic to resident animals. Most of these exotic parasites were trematodes (74%). An additional 19 species were found in both translocated and resident raccoons, and another 5 species were present only in residents. Three of the 19 exotic helminth parasites and 10 of the 19 enzootic species found in translocated raccoons are known to have some degree of pathogenicity to raccoons, other wildlife, domestic animals or man. At present, disease risks associated with the helminth parasites of these translocated raccoons were not considered alarmingly high; however, potential problems that could not be discounted were artificial intensification of undesirable enzootic parasites on release sites or expression of pathogenicity by exotic parasites presently considered nonsignificant.
Seven species of ectoparasites were recovered during a survey of sharp-tailed grouse, Pediocetes phasianellus, including the ticks, Haemaphysalis chordeilis and H. leporispalustris; the lice, Goniodes nebraskensis, Lagopoecus gibsoni and Amyrsidea sp.; the hippoboscid fly, Ornithomyia anchineuria; and the mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum. Seasonal changes in populations of ticks and lice were found but not for populations of the hippoboscids or mites. All stages of H. chordeilis were found on sharp-tailed grouse only. Larvae and nymphs of H. leporispalustris were found on sharp-tailed grouse and song birds. Larvae, nymphs and adults of H. leporispalustris were recovered from a snowshoe hare. Small mammals from the study area did not harbour any species of ticks.
Renal coccidiosis was found in 4 of 12 oldsquaw ducks (Clangula hyemalis) collected from the north slope of Alaska and Prince William Sound. Numerous 1 to 2 mm white foci were observed on the kidney surface of one bird. Microscopically, there was distention of renal tubules with oocysts, flattening of tubular epithelium, and interstitial accumulation of mononuclear cells. Kidneys from several other species of sea ducks from Prince William Sound were not infected.
All 175 ninespine sticklebacks, Pungitius pungitius (Linné), collected from the Belcher Islands were parasitized by Diplostomum spathaceum (Rudolphi) and 43% by Schistocephalus sp. D. spathaceum metacercariae were mostly confined to a dorso-ventral band encircling the lens of the eye, and were concentrated in the anteriodorsal sector of this band. The central area of the lens was thus relatively free of diplostomula, probably minimizing interference with the vision of the fish. The frequency distribution of D. spathaceum abundance in P. pungitius was closely approximated by a negative binomial, while that for Schistocephalus was best fitted by a Poisson. None of the fish condition factors examined appeared related to the intensity of the parasitic infections.
Two juvenile robins (Turdus migratorius) died shortly after being captured in Baltimore, Maryland. Both had high erythrocytic parasitemias of mixed Plasmodium infections. Postmortem examination revealed large numbers of exoerythrocytic malarial schizonts in the liver, spleen, lungs and brain of both cases. Avian malaria was considered the primary cause of death.
A 6-week-old white-tailed deer fawn (Odocoileus virginianus), found in Vermont, was presented with carpal contraction, 90° medial deviation of the rear legs from the hock distally, and an abnormal coat color. Radiographically there was lateral deviation of both medial metacarpal bones and a Grade IV medial patellar luxation.
African vultures are held in captivity at Salisbury, Johannesburg, and Durban, and in each place a number of birds showed epileptiform seizures. Of 17 griffon vultures (Gyps africanus and G. coprotheres) in Salisbury, three recovered and 11 died after one or more seizures. Of eight vultures of three other species, one Lappetfaced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotus) recovered and one Whiteheaded Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) died. A variety of diagnostic tests, in particular levels of serum calcium and blood glucose, and histological examination of brains, has so far failed to reveal a cause.
Ophthalmic lesions diagnosed in a zoological collection during a 9 year period are described. Thirty-six animals, including 24 birds, 10 mammals, 1 reptile and 1 fish had one or more ophthalmic lesion.
Analysis of a case of presumed hematogenous septic arthritis and osteomyelitis involving the elbow, distal humerus, and proximal radius and ulna in a leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) showed the chondro-osseous response to be similar to the diseases in skeletally immature humans and terrestrial mammals (both spontaneous and experimental). This particular reptile has bone that is similar to mammalian bone. The infection had partially destroyed the distal humeral, proximal ulnar and proximal radial joint surfaces and epiphyseal cartilages. The elbow was filled with a fibrovascular pannus that had caused a partial ankylosis of the joint.
Fallow deer (Dama dama) were captured in an enclosure trap in southern New South Wales. Blood samples were collected for determination of haematological and biochemical values after capture and in one group after 3 h of transportation. Results were compared between fawns and does, transported and non-transported fawns, and transported and non-transported does. Fawns had higher haemoglobin, total red cell count, packed cell volume and lymphocyte numbers, but lower red cell indices and eosinophil numbers than does. Fawns also had lower levels of serum globulin than does, resulting in a higher albumin/globulin ratio in the former. The fawns had higher inorganic phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase and creatine kinase but lower glucose and urea nitrogen. There were only minor differences in red cell parameters and indices between transported deer but there were significant differences in the differential leucocyte counts, with the former having a relative neutrophilia with left shift, lymphopaenia and eosinopaenia. The effects of transport were also reflected in higher activities of the muscle enzymes aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase. The non-transported deer had higher total white cell counts and higher lymphocyte and eosinophil counts than have been found previously in fallow deer.
Woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) was discovered in serum samples from captive woodchucks (Marmota monax) at the Penrose Research Laboratory in December, 1977. WHV belongs to the same class of viruses as hepatitis B virus (HBV), the cause of serum hepatitis in man. Both appear to be associated with chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma in their respective hosts. Woodchucks were trapped and blood samples collected to determine the prevalence of WHV in natural woodchuck populations. Sera from 217 woodchucks trapped from southeastern Pennsylvania, central New Jersey, and north central Maryland during the spring and summer of 1978 and 1979 were tested for evidence of WHV infection. In 1978, 7 of 51 (13.7%) woodchucks were positive for WHV antigens and in 1979, 28 of 166(16.9%) tested positive. In addition, 49 of 166 (29.5%) woodchucks trapped in 1979 had antibodies to WHV antigens. The data indicate a high prevalence of WHV in woodchucks from the areas surveyed.
Sera from snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) trapped near Rochester, Alberta, Canada were tested for Powassan virus antibody by the constant virus/serum dilution neutralization test. Of 1264 serum samples tested, 137 had an antibody titer of at least 1:4 for Powassan virus. Ten hares were inoculated with Powassan virus in the laboratory. Viremia lasted 4-5 days and ceased with the appearance of Powassan antibody in the serum. Neutralizing antibody reached a peak titer of 1:119 on day 15 post-inoculation and was still detectable 13 months post-inoculation.
Fatal cases of herpesvirus infection in a quokka (Setonix brachyurus), eight grey dorcopsis wallabies (Dorcopsis muelleri luctuosa) in two separate outbreaks, as well as presumptive fatal herpesvirus infection in a western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) are described. All were captive animals and deaths were preceded by a period of stress. Lesions occurred most often in alimentary tract epithelium, respiratory tract, skin, genital epithelium, conjunctivae, liver and adrenal cortex. Herpesviruses were recovered from the quokka and a grey dorcopsis wallaby from each outbreak. The implications, particularly concerning certain apparently susceptible species, for those responsible for the health of macropod collections are discussed.