Melbourne Veterinary School - Research Publications
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Ulnar ostectomy decreases the stability of canine cadaver carpi as assessed with stress radiography
Distal ulnar ostectomy may be performed palliatively in patients with distal ulnar osteosarcoma. Concurrent arthrodesis of the carpus has been proposed to counteract joint instability following transection of carpal ligaments associated with removal of the distal ulna. The objective of this prospective one group pretest, posttest study was to assess stability of the carpus following distal ulnar ostectomy using pre- and postoperative stress radiographic views in a group of canine cadaver limbs. Seven thoracic limbs from six canine cadavers weighing more than 20 kg were obtained. Lateral and dorsopalmar, extended lateral, medial stress, and lateral stress radiographs were made before and after distal ulnar ostectomy. Presurgical canine cadaver carpal angle measurements were as follows (mean ± standard deviation): extension 205.9° ± 5.4; medial stress 25.1° ± 5.7; and lateral stress 13.3° ± 5.2°. Cadaver limb joint angles exceeded those previously reported in live dogs. A significant increase in carpal angle was noted following ulnar ostectomy. The mean increases in carpal angle were as follows: (mean ± standard deviation (95% confidence interval)): extension 6.2° ± 4.9 (2.6-9.8) (P = 0.007); medial stress 3.2° ± 3.0 (1.0-5.5) (P = 0.015); lateral stress 6.2° ± 5.2 (2.4-10.1) (P = 0.010). Findings from this cadaver study support the use of supplementary stabilization for clinical patients undergoing distal ulnar ostectomy. Future studies are needed in clinical patients to evaluate changes in limb positioning and gait associated with distal ulnar ostectomy.
Can neutral dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) decrease occurrence of clinical periparturient hypocalcaemia in dairy cattle?
BACKGROUND: Adjusting the dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) is one of the most efficient ways to stimulate calcium homeostasis in periparturient dairy cattle. However, adjusting DCAD to the recommended negative values (-100 to -150 mEq/kg) is associated with decreased food intake and metabolic acidosis. The critical conditions of the animals at peripartum (i.e. drastic hormonal changes, decreased appetite and negative energy balance) can be detrimental to the health, productivity and welfare of the animals if combined with decreased feed intake caused by unpalatable acidogenic salts. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, we analysed the ration of eight small to large dairy herds with intensive husbandry systems, including 6949 dry cows. Sodium, potassium, chlorine and sulfur concentrations in the feed were determined and DCAD was calculated. The DCAD of the ration of the farms ranged from -33.5 to +24.7 mEq/kg. Parturient paresis (PP, or milk fever) prevalence was investigated and correlated to DCAD values. RESULTS: Clinical PP occurrence in the dairies of this investigation on average declined by 87% (ranging from a 97% decline to 5% increase). This indicates that adjusting DCAD at neutral values (0 ± 30 mEq/kg range) may both lower the PP prevalence and increase ration palatability by lowering acidogenic salts in the ration. CONCLUSIONS: Further research is recommended to investigate the effects of neutral DCAD on subclinical hypocalcaemia and food intake of the cattle.
A survey of northern Victorian dairy farmers to investigate dairy calf management: calf-rearing practices
OBJECTIVES: To describe the calf-rearing practices carried out in northern Victorian dairy herds and to identify weaknesses that may affect calf health and welfare by comparing the results with current industry recommendations. METHODS: Survey of dairy farms from Rochester and the surrounding farming area. RESULTS: The response rate was 39% (58/150). Many dairy producers were not meeting the current industry recommendations in the following areas: (1) delayed access to pellets and roughage, (2) failing to provide access to water from birth, (3) delayed disbudding of calves, (4) delayed timing of booster vaccinations, (5) weaning based on age alone, (6) failing to isolate sick calves and (7) early sale age of excess calves. CONCLUSION: The results from this survey highlight the need for greater awareness of industry standards for calf husbandry and weaning.
Prevalence and risk factors for medical events following exercise at Australian Greyhound race meetings
AIM: A prospective, observational study to determine the prevalence of post-exercise conditions at Australian Greyhound race meetings and to assess association with race performance and other environmental, race- and dog-related factors was undertaken. METHODS: A total of 4020 starters were observed (2813 Greyhounds, 1009 trainers, 536 races, 52 race meets, 48 race dates and 11 race tracks) following a race. The presence of diaphragmatic flutter (DF), ataxia, seizure, collapse or sudden death was recorded. Risk factors were screened by univariable logistic regression prior to multivariable backward stepwise model building. RESULTS: In this study, 962 starters (n = 768 dogs) had DF (23.9%), 16 starters were ataxic (0.4%) and there were no observed cases of collapse, seizure or sudden death. Race track location, increasing race distance, race grade based on increasing 1st place prize value, lower (earlier) race number at the meeting, age, a previous observation of DF at the last start, females, colour (white) and better finishing position were all associated with an increased risk of a Greyhound being observed with DF. However, when logistic regression assessing the random effect of dog was performed, the presence of previous DF was not significant. In this cohort, DF was common following strenuous exercise in Greyhounds and on its own does not appear to result in reduced performance or distress to the animal. CONCLUSION: The incidence of ataxia was low and collapse, seizure and sudden death were not observed. However, even though uncommon, ataxia has welfare concerns for racing Greyhounds that warrants further investigation.
Exercise-induced inhibition of remodelling is focally offset with fatigue fracture in racehorses
(SPRINGER LONDON LTD, 2013-07-01)
UNLABELLED: Bone remodelling is inhibited by high repetitive loading. However, in subchondral bone of racehorses in training, eroded surface doubled in association with fatigue fracture and there was greater surrounding trabecular bone volume suggesting trabecular modelling unloads the bone focally, allowing damage repair by remodelling. INTRODUCTION: Remodelling replaces damaged bone with new bone but is suppressed during high magnitude repetitive loading when damage is most likely. However, in cortical bone of racehorses, at sites of fatigue fracture, focal porosity, consistent with remodelling, is observed in proportion to the extent of surrounding callus. Focal areas of porosity are also observed at sites of fatigue damage in subchondral bone. We hypothesised that fatigued subchondral bone, like damaged cortical bone, is remodelled focally in proportion to the modelling of surrounding trabecular bone. METHODS: Eroded and mineralizing surfaces and bone area were measured using backscattered scanning electron microscopy of post-mortem specimens of the distal third metacarpal bone in 11 racehorses with condylar fractures (cases) and eight racehorses in training without fractures (controls). RESULTS: Cases had a two-fold greater eroded surface per unit area at the fracture site than controls (0.81 ± 0.10 vs. 0.40 ± 0.12 mm(-1), P = 0.021) but not at an adjacent site (0.22 ± 0.09 vs. 0.30 ± 0.11 mm(-1), P = 0.59). Area fraction of surrounding trabecular bone was higher in cases than controls (81 ± 2 vs. 72 ± 2 %, P = 0.0020) and the eroded surface at the fracture site correlated with the surrounding trabecular area (adjusted R (2) = 0.63, P = 0.0010). CONCLUSION: In conclusion, exercise-induced inhibition of remodelling is offset at sites of fatigue fracture. Modelling of trabecular bone may contribute to unloading these regions, allowing repair by remodelling.
Wildlife conservation in a fragmented landscape: the Eurasian red squirrel on the Isle of Wight
Abstract Island populations may have a higher extinction risk due to reduced genetic diversity and need to be managed effectively in order to reduce the risk of biodiversity loss. The Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in the south of England only survive on three islands (the Isle of Wight, Brownsea and Furzey islands), with the Isle of Wight harbouring the largest population in the region. Fourteen microsatellites were used to determine the genetic structure of red squirrel populations on the Isle of Wight, as well as their relatedness to other populations of the species. Our results demonstrated that squirrels on these islands were less genetically diverse than those in Continental mainland populations, as would be expected. It also confirmed previous results from mitochondrial DNA which indicated that the squirrels on the Isle of Wight were relatively closely related to Brownsea island squirrels in the south of England. Importantly, our findings showed that genetic mixing between squirrels in the east and west of the Isle of Wight was very limited. Given the potential deleterious effects of small population size on genetic health, landscape management to encourage dispersal of squirrels between these populations should be a priority.
Increased Levels of ER Stress and Apoptosis in a Sheep Model for Pulmonary Fibrosis Are Alleviated by In Vivo Blockade of the KCa3.1 Ion Channel
(HINDAWI LTD, 2021-03-20)
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal interstitial lung disease, characterized by progressive damage to the lung tissues. Apoptosis and endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress) in type II alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) and lung macrophages have been linked with the development of IPF. Therefore, apoptosis- and ER stress-targeted therapies have drawn attention as potential avenues for treatment of IPF. The calcium-activated potassium ion channel KCa3.1 has been proposed as a potential therapeutic target for fibrotic diseases including IPF. While KCa3.1 is expressed in AECs and macrophages, its influence on ER stress and apoptosis during the disease process is unclear. We utilized a novel sheep model of pulmonary fibrosis to demonstrate that apoptosis and ER stress occur in type II AECs and macrophages in sheep with bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Apoptosis in type II AEC and macrophages was identified using the TUNEL method of tagging fragmented nuclear DNA, while ER stress was characterized by increased expression of GRP-78 ER chaperone proteins. We demonstrated that apoptosis and ER stress in type II AECs and macrophages increased significantly 2 weeks after the final bleomycin infusion and remained high for up to 7 weeks post-bleomycin injury. Senicapoc treatment significantly reduced the rates of ER stress in type II AECs and macrophages that were resident in bleomycin-infused lung segments. There were also significant reductions in the rates of apoptosis of type II AECs and macrophages in the lung segments of senicapoc-treated sheep. In vivo blockade of the KCa3.1 ion channel alleviates the ER stress and apoptosis in type II AECs and macrophages, and this effect potentially contributes to the anti-fibrotic effects of senicapoc.
Differential Response of the Chicken Trachea to Chronic Infection with Virulent Mycoplasma gallisepticum Strain Ap3AS and Vaxsafe MG (Strain ts-304): a Transcriptional Profile
(AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY, 2020-05-01)
Mycoplasma gallisepticum is the primary etiological agent of chronic respiratory disease in chickens. Live attenuated vaccines are most commonly used in the field to control the disease, but current vaccines have some limitations. Vaxsafe MG (strain ts-304) is a new vaccine candidate that is efficacious at a lower dose than the current commercial vaccine strain ts-11, from which it is derived. In this study, the transcriptional profiles of the trachea of unvaccinated chickens and chickens vaccinated with strain ts-304 were compared 2 weeks after challenge with M. gallisepticum strain Ap3AS during the chronic stage of infection. After challenge, genes, gene ontologies, pathways, and protein classes involved in inflammation, cytokine production and signaling, and cell proliferation were upregulated, while those involved in formation and motor movement of cilia, formation of intercellular junctional complexes, and formation of the cytoskeleton were downregulated in the unvaccinated birds compared to the vaccinated birds, reflecting immune dysregulation and the pathological changes induced in the trachea by infection with M. gallisepticum Vaccination appears to protect the structural and functional integrity of the tracheal mucosa 2 weeks after infection with M. gallisepticum.
Fatal exudative dermatitis in island populations of red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris): spillover of a virulent Staphylococcus aureus clone (ST49) from reservoir hosts.
(Microbiology Society, 2021-05)
Fatal exudative dermatitis (FED) is a significant cause of death of red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands where it is associated with a virulent clone of Staphylococcus aureus, ST49. S. aureus ST49 has been found in other hosts such as small mammals, pigs and humans, but the dynamics of carriage and disease of this clone, or any other lineage in red squirrels, is currently unknown. We used whole-genome sequencing to characterize 228 isolates from healthy red squirrels on Jersey, the Isle of Arran (Scotland) and Brownsea Island (England), from red squirrels showing signs of FED on Jersey and the Isle of Wight (England) and a small number of isolates from other hosts. S. aureus was frequently carried by red squirrels on the Isle of Arran with strains typically associated with small ruminants predominating. For the Brownsea carriage, S. aureus was less frequent and involved strains associated with birds, small ruminants and humans, while for the Jersey carriage S. aureus was rare but ST49 predominated in diseased squirrels. By combining our data with publicly available sequences, we show that the S. aureus carriage in red squirrels largely reflects frequent but facile acquisitions of strains carried by other hosts sharing their habitat ('spillover'), possibly including, in the case of ST188, humans. Genome-wide association analysis of the ruminant lineage ST133 revealed variants in a small number of mostly bacterial-cell-membrane-associated genes that were statistically associated with squirrel isolates from the Isle of Arran, raising the possibility of specific adaptation to red squirrels in this lineage. In contrast there is little evidence that ST49 is a common carriage isolate of red squirrels and infection from reservoir hosts such as bank voles or rats, is likely to be driving the emergence of FED in red squirrels.
Bacterial Pathogens and Symbionts Harboured by Ixodes ricinus Ticks Parasitising Red Squirrels in the United Kingdom
Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) are native to most of Eurasia; in much of the United Kingdom, they have been supplanted by the non-native grey squirrel, and are considered an endangered species. Very little is known about the range of tick-borne pathogens to which UK red squirrels are exposed. As part of trap-and-release surveys examining prevalence of Mycobacterium spp. in red squirrel populations on two UK islands, Ixodes ricinus ticks were removed from squirrels and PCR screened for Borrelia spp., intracellular arthropod-borne bacteria and the parasitic wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri. At both sites, the most commonly encountered tick-transmitted bacterium was Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (overall minimum prevalence 12.7%), followed by Anaplasma phagocytophilum (overall minimum prevalence 1.6%). Single ticks infected with Spiroplasma were found at both sites, and single ticks infected with Borrelia miyamotoi or an Ehrlichia sp. at one site. Ticks harbouring Wolbachia (overall minimum prevalence 15.2%) were all positive for I. hookeri. Our study shows that UK red squirrels are potentially exposed to a variety of bacterial pathogens via feeding ticks. The effects on the health and survival of this already vulnerable wildlife species are unknown, and further studies are needed to evaluate the threat posed to red squirrels by Borrelia and other tick-borne pathogens.
Immunohistochemical analysis of laryngeal muscle of horses clinically affected with recurrent laryngeal neuropathy
Background As myosin heavy chain (MyHC) profile of muscle fibres is heavily influenced by neural input, changes in MyHC expression are expected in horses clinically affected with recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (RLN) yet, this has not been thoroughly investigated. Objectives To describe the changes in MyHC and fibre diameter in left cricoarytenoideus dorsalis (L-CAD) muscle of horses with clinical signs of RLN. Study design Observational cohort study. Methods Immunohistochemistry was used to assess the MyHC-based fibre-type proportion, size and grouping in the L-CAD of 10 Thoroughbred horses, five clinically affected with RLN and five unaffected controls based on resting endoscopic examination. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare the two groups. Results Compared to controls (of mean age 3.0 ± 1.7 years) which only expressed type I, IIA and IIX MyHC, the L-CAD of affected horses (of mean age 2.8 ± 0.8 years) had obvious fibre-type grouping, and despite apparent compensatory hypertrophy of a small number of fibres, a decrease in overall fibre diameter (median difference −35.2 µm, 95% CI −47.4 to −7.9, P = .02) and diameter of type IIA fibres (median difference −46.8 µm, 95% CI −52.1 to −5.0, P = .03) was observed. Anti-fast MyHC (MY32) cross-immunoreacted with embryonic-MyHC. Whereas MY32-positive fibres were identified as type IIX in controls, in affected horses these fibres were less than 50 µm diameter with internal nuclei and were MYH3-positive for embryonic myosin indicating depletion of type IIX fibres, yet active regeneration and fibre renewal. Main limitations Small sample size that did not include subclinical cases. Fibre size and appearance rather than staining colour were relied upon to differentiate embryonic from type IIX MyHC. Conclusions Horses clinically affected with RLN have overall atrophy of fibres, loss of IIX fibres and expression of embryonic myosin indicating regenerative capacity. Despite hypertrophy of some remaining fibres, the overall decline in the bulk of fibres, including those most fatigue-resistant, may be the critical change that results in failure to maintain arytenoid abduction during exercise although direct comparison to subclinical cases is needed to confirm this.
Differences in the clinical practice of small animal CPR before and after the release of the RECOVER guidelines: Results from two electronic surveys (2008 and 2017) in the United States and Canada
Objective To assess whether the clinical approach to CPR has changed following the publication of the Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation (RECOVER) guidelines in 2012. Design Internet-based survey. Setting Academia and referral practice. Subjects Four hundred and ninety-one small animal veterinarians in clinical practice in the United States and Canada. Interventions An internet-based survey assessing the clinical approach to small animal CPR was circulated with the assistance of veterinary professional organizations on 2 separate occasions: prior to (2008) and following (2017) publication of the 2012 (RECOVER) guidelines. Survey questions identical to both surveys solicited details of clinician approaches to CPR preparedness, basic life support (BLS), and advanced life support (ALS). Respondents were grouped into level of expertise (board-certified specialists [BCS, n = 202] and general practitioners in emergency clinics [GPE, n = 289]), and year of response to the survey (2008, n = 171; 2017, n = 320). Measurements and Main Results Compliance with the RECOVER guidelines pertaining to CPR preparedness (P < 0.01), BLS (P < 0.01), and ALS P < 0.01) was consistently higher in respondents to the 2017 survey compared to those of the 2008 survey. Being a BCS was associated with significantly higher compliance with the RECOVER recommendations than GPE in the domains of preparedness (P = 0.02), BLS (P < 0.01), and ALS (P < 0.01). Increases in age of the respondent had a negative effect on compliance with the BLS guidelines (P < 0.01), while gender had no effect. Conclusions Compared to 2008, current practices in small animal CPR in the North American emergency and critical care community shifted toward those recommended in the RECOVER guidelines across all CPR domains. This supports the notion that uptake of the RECOVER guidelines among veterinary emergency or critical care clinicians was sufficient to lead to a change in the practice of CPR.