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Electron microscopy and a commercial ELISA test for rotavirus antigen were used to diagnose rotavirus infection in diarrheic raccoons (Procyon lotor), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Gross and histopathological changes in two raccoons and two red foxes were found to be very similar to those described previously in rotavirus mediated diarrhea in other animals. While an etiology for the diarrhea is not definitively established, it would appear to involve rotavirus alone or possibly in concert with enteropathogenic coliform bacteria, overfeeding of a commercial kitten milk replacer and the stresses of captivity.
In October 1982 the death of approximately 1,500 wild ducks, mostly mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and about 100 shore birds including greater yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) was observed in the New York State Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area. The lack of gross pathology, the signs exhibited by the moribund ducks, and the ecologic conditions indicated possible botulinal intoxication. Clostridium botulinum toxin type C was demonstrated in duck serum (approximately 5 × 104 mouse intraperitoneal LD50 of toxin per ml of serum) and in an extract from fly larvae (Lucilia spp.) taken from the same area (approximately 1 × 106 mouse intraperitoneal LD50 of toxin per gram of larvae).
Gleason Basin, a marsh located in the western part of the Rainwater Basin in Nebraska, was selected during the 1980 spring waterfowl migration as a study site to determine the presence and persistence of virulent Pasteurella multocida. Avian cholera mortality in migratory waterfowl using the Basin increased during a 2-wk period of a die-off beginning the first week of March when 2,409 carcasses were collected from the marsh. Study sites within the marsh were established for sampling water associated with and not associated with intact and scavenged carcasses. Isolations of virulent P. multocida were made from five of six study sites associated with either intact or scavenged carcasses for 3 days and from three of five non-carcass-associated study sites for 2 days. Recovery of these bacteria from this environment suggested a possible source of infection for susceptible waterfowl using the contaminated site.
Blood samples were obtained from 208 moose in La Vérendrye and Matane Reserves and in Laurentides Park, Quebec, Canada. Sera were tested for antibodies to Brucella abortus, Leptospira interrogans serovar ballum, canicola, grippotyphosa, hardjo, icterohaemorrhagiae and pomona, and Francisella tularensis. Fifteen sera contained evidence of prior exposure to F. tularensis. Only one animal was a seroreactor to L. interrogans serovar grippotyphosa and none of them had antibodies to B. abortus.
Oocysts of Eimeria angusta were recovered from the cecum of a captive ruffed grouse which died of coccidial typhlitis. Five experimental passages were made in grouse over a 2-yr period. Prepatent period was 6.5–7.0 days; sporulation time at 22 C was 54–60 hr. Endogenous stages were not found in grouse killed 1 and 2 days after inoculation (DAI). A few immature schizonts were in cecal epithelium 4 DAI. Developing and mature schizonts, and undifferentiated gamonts were in cecal epithelium 5 DAI. Developing micro- and macrogamonts, but no oocysts, were present 6.5 DAI. Fibrinohemorrhagic typhlitis, associated with large numbers of gamonts and oocysts in the epithelium, was found 9 DAI. Cecal glands were hypertrophic and there was a heavy mixed inflammatory cell reaction. Diarrhea, depression and reduced feed intake occurred 7–10 DAI with most severe signs and greatest oocyst passage 8 or 9 DAI. Most infected birds lost weight 5–8 or 9 DAI, but none died.
Domestic muscovy (Cairina moschata) and pekin (Anas platyrhynchos) ducklings were exposed to or injected with homogenates of Culicoides flies collected at White Pine, Michigan. Gametocytes of Haemoproteus nettionis were detected in both species of ducks at 16 days post-exposure. Culicoides downesi was indicated as a vector of H. nettionis in northern Michigan. Blood infections occurred with a higher prevalence and reached a higher intensity in muscovy ducks. Endogenous tissue stages of H. nettionis were located in endothelial cells of the lung and occasionally in the heart and spleen. Attempts to infect domestic ducklings by blood or tissue inoculations from wood ducks (Aix sponsa) infected with H. nettionis were not successful, even though schizonts of H. nettionis were seen in these wood ducks at necropsy. No morbidity or mortality was observed in any ducks infected with H. nettionis.
More than 99% of the 645 feral swine (Sus scrofa L.) in southern Florida harbored ixodid ticks. Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) was present on 99.6% of the swine and comprised 82.5% of the ticks collected. Amblyomma maculatum (Gulf Coast tick) occurred on 85.9% of the hosts and 17.4% of the collections were of this species. Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star tick) and Ixodes scapularis (Black-legged tick) were found infrequently and together constituted <0.1% of the ticks. Pigs were infested by 7–22 days of age and 95% carried ticks by 6 wk of age. Only adult ticks were found on swine from southern Florida, but immature stages of A. americanum were present from a small sample of swine from northern Florida. Each species had a different pattern of distribution on the feral swine. No Ornithodoros species were found among the 36,616 ticks collected from feral swine during this survey.
Three flocks of wild sulphur-crested cockatoos in southeastern Australia had a 10– 20% prevalence of feather and beak deformities. In affected birds, the crest, tail, contour and down feathers were lost or reduced in length owing to a “pinching off” 0.5–1 cm above the skin. The underlying skin was discolored brown. Flight feathers appeared normal and could sustain flight. In mildly affected birds, only the crest and down feathers were involved. Histological examination of affected feathers showed necrosis of developing cells in their epidermal collars. The epidermis was moderately hyperplastic and contained numerous large macrophages, with large intracytoplasmic granules. Electron microscopic examination showed these granules to consist of regular lattices of 17–20-nm-diameter particles, resembling parvovirus particles. In some birds the upper beak was enlarged and had longitudinal cracks. Histological examination of the beak showed necrosis of its epidermis. It was concluded that a viral infection may have caused feather and beak dystrophy in these birds.
The prevalence of horn aberrations in Dall's sheep from the Kluane Lake area of Yukon Territory observed during July 1982 represented 1% of the total population and 7% of rams 6 yr or older. Ewes were not considered in these percentages because they were too difficult to inspect by aerial survey. When these data were combined with other data collected from 1977 through 1981, the prevalence equalled 2.4% of the total population and slightly exceeded 16% in mature rams (≥6 yr). The anomaly followed necrosis of the terminal region of the horn core and the sequestering of portions of the core within the sheath as the sheath continued to grow. Sheath that was produced after the core was anatomically altered resulted in abnormal growth patterns of the horn. Rams with aberrant horns could not maintain homeostatic temperatures within horn cores when horns were experimentally exposed to −80 C for 30 min. Histologic examination of superficial and cornual vascular systems did not reveal any structural alterations that would restrict blood flow within cores of affected horns. Examination of museum specimens consisting of 130 skulls from rams and 81 from ewes collected from Alaska, USA, Yukon Territory, Canada, and Northwest Territories, Canada, established only one ewe and no rams with the horn aberration. The skull was from a ewe and had both horns affected and was collected from the Joe River Drainage, Yukon Territory in 1912.
Values of serum biochemistry were obtained for 33 adult (16 male and 17 female) and six juvenile (four male and two female) collared peccaries collected by trapping and drugging animals from southern Texas during the period July through September 1982. Only cholesterol and aspartate aminotransferase concentrations differed significantly with respect to sex. Juvenile peccaries had significantly lower concentrations of total protein and globulins, but had higher concentrations of glucose, triglycerides, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, and calcium, and a higher albumin/globulin ratio than did adults. Effects of method of capture on biochemical attributes of serum from five gunshot and nine trapped adult peccaries collected from a single herd during March 1983 also were examined. Trapped peccaries had significantly higher levels of serum urea nitrogen, urea nitrogen/creatinine ratio, glucose, and chloride concentrations. Levels of uric acid, calcium, and potassium were significantly lower among the trapped animals.
In July 1982 and 1983, 491 muskoxen were handled in a tagging project in Jameson Land, northeastern Greenland. Groups of muskoxen as well as single individuals were rounded up effectively by Greenland huskies and kept in an accessible position suitable for injection of immobilizing drugs. Standard doses of drugs were developed for each age class. For adults the dose used was 2 mg etorphine, 30 mg xylazine and 200 IU hyaluronidase. For yearlings the xylazine was reduced to 20 mg while the etorphine and hyaluronidase remained at 2 and 200, respectively. For calves the doses were 0.5 mg etorphine with 200 IU hyaluronidase. The narcotic antagonist used was deprenorphine (used with hyaluronidase) administered via the intramuscular route so that all animals in any group would recover more or less simultaneously.