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Wei Q.W.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology | Wei Q.W.,Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences | Zhang X.Y.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology | Zhang X.Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ichthyology

Based on the five wild Chinese sturgeons which were captured from the Yichang section of the Yangtze River, and the 323 offsprings of the Chinese sturgeons, were studied as to their survival, development and behaviour under aquarium conditions between 2005 and 2007 in the captive environment of an aquarium. All five wild caught females survived, with weight gains ranging from 0.55% (Specimen W1#: Onset: 320.00kg, Final: 336.00kg; across 27months) to 10.00% of original body weight (Specimen W32#: Onset: 125.00kg, Final: 175.00kg; across 4months). In addition, the gonads of one captured fish redeveloped to stage IV by August 2007. The changes of the depth in the tank were observed before, during and after active food intake. Furthermore, the fish formed strong feeding associations with live food items, such as Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Cyprinus carpio, and Paralichthys lethostigma, while rarely feeding on Hexagrammos otakii and Epinephelus awoara, occasionally on Monopterus albus, Penaeus vannamei, Leiocassis longirostris, and never on Eriocheir sinensis H. Milne-Edwards, Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, Silurus asotus Linnaeus, Octopus variabilis, Anadara uropygimelana. The development of food preferences in the captive environment suggest that these Chinese sturgeon successfully acclimated to the large aquarium, in addition, the survival rate of the filial generation offspring was 86%. Across the study period, for the older captive bred offspring (1997 and 2001 stocks) minimum weight increase per month was 4.28% (F1-2001: Onset: 12.24±1.11kg, Final: 25.35±2.10kg; over 25months) and the minimum lengthwise growth rate per month was 1.39% (F1-1997: Onset: 187.32±1.32cm, Final: 260.00cm; across 28months). However, the youngest sturgeon (the 2005 offspring), had the highest weight gain of 29.35% per month (Onset: 16.50±1.92kg, Final: 8733.33±739.80kg; across 18months) and lengthwise growth rate 35.70% per month (Onset: 15.53±0.77cm, Final: 115.33±4.14cm; across 18months) respectively. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin. Source

Zhang X.Y.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology | Zhang X.Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Wei Q.W.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology | Wei Q.W.,Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ichthyology

Blood serum parameters from Chinese sturgeons (Acipenser sinensis) were examined during a 27day gradual acclimation period from seawater (26.7 salinity) to slightly brackish water (2.5‰) and subsequent transfer to freshwater (0‰ salinity) for a further 30day period. The results were compared against serum samples from a control group reared throughout in freshwater. For each fish, the levels of 24 serum biochemical parameters were examined. The results indicated that gradual transfer from seawater to brackish water caused the serum concentrations for potassium, sodium, and calcium ions to decrease. This trend was also observed for blood urea-nitrogen (BUN), inosine (CR), uric acid (UA), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), and total bile acid (TBA). All other serum parameters showed only transient changes or no changes at all. After being held subsequently for 30days in freshwater, the four ion concentrations returned to values considered normal for seawater, indicating that Chinese sturgeon are capable of homeostasis. However, the other six parameters did not return to initial values. In fact, ALP, ALT and Fe2+ levels were raised in comparison to the freshwater control group. These observations indicate that major physiological changes occur during the acclimation process. Specifically, at 21‰ salinity a number of biochemical parameters were subject to noticeable fluctuations, suggesting this level may represent the pivotal condition of physiological regulation. Hence, it may be energetically costly for osmoregulatory processes to return to normal in Chinese sturgeon, due to metabolic and nutrient related functions taking much longer to recover. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin. Source

Yu J.H.,Beijing Aquarium | Xia Z.F.,China Agricultural University
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

One pregnant captive Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), with a body length of 225 cm, was found dead on 8 June 2009. The dolphin was anorexic and circling at the bottom of the pool before death. Laboratory tests revealed an increased leukocyte count and decreased platelet count; increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate; and slightly decreased red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. Alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, and glucose were significantly decreased. Moreover, uric acid and alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were elevated. A 57-cm fetus was recovered. The respiratory system, intestinal mucosa, mesentery and mesenteric lymph nodes, and spleen were congested and hemorrhagic. The heart, liver, and kidney appeared normal. Klebsiella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus were identified in the amniotic fluid. This is the first case report of bacterial infection in an Irrawaddy dolphin. Copyright 2013 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

Mao J.,China Agricultural University | Xia Z.,China Agricultural University | Chen J.,China Agricultural University | Yu J.,Beijing Aquarium
Preventive Veterinary Medicine

An epidemiological survey of canine obesity was carried out in Beijing, China. Cases (n= 2391, 7 districts) were collected at 14 animal hospitals between April 2008 and April 2011. The body condition score (scales of 1-5) was used to assess obesity of the dogs (Burkholder and Toll, 2000; Laflamme, 1997). Obesity rates were analyzed with respect to breed, age, sex, neutering, food control, feeding frequency, reproduction status, food type, nutritional supplements, living environment, feeding time, number of pets per household, feeding purpose, activity control, exercise duration, exercise status and exercise type. The overall canine obesity rate was 44.4% in this survey. The risk factors for dog obesity were food type (non-commercial food, OR. = 1.377, p<. 0.05), age (1-2. y, OR. = 0.044, p<. 0.001), activity control (free activity, OR. = 0.685, p<. 0.05), neutering (intact, OR. = 0.629, p<. 0.01), sex (male, OR. = 0.628, p<. 0.001), feeding frequency (Once per day, OR. = 0.521, p<. 0.01). By dog breed, prevalence of obesity was high in pugs (70.7%), Cocker Spaniel (69.4%), Pekingese (51.9%), Pomeranian (54.6%) and Golden Retriever (51.9%). This is the first report of the epidemiology of canine obesity in China. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Xia Z.,China Agricultural University | Yu D.,China Agricultural University | Mao J.,Shanghai Family Pet Hospital | Zhang Z.,Beijing Aikang Pet Hospital | Yu J.,Beijing Aquarium
Journal of Helminthology

A survey of the occurrence of Dirofilaria immitis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichia canis and Anaplasma phagocytophium in dogs was undertaken in the People's Republic of China between October 2008 and October 2009. A total of 600 blood samples were taken from dogs in four cities in China: 300 in Beijing, 150 in Shenzhen, 30 in Shanghai and 120 in Zhengzhou. All samples were tested for the heartworm antigen and antibodies of canine B. burgdorferi, E. canis and A. phagocytophium by using the canine SNAPc 4Dx® test kit. The occurrence of D. immitis, B. burgdorferi, E. canis and A. phagocytophium was 1.17% (7/600), 0.17% (1/600), 2.17% (13/600) and 0.5% (3/600), respectively. In Shenzhen city 2% (3/150), 8.67% (13/150) and 2% (3/150) of samples were positive for D. immitis, E. canis and A. phagocytophium, respectively. The occurrence of heartworm antigen was 0.33% (1/300) in Beijing, 2.00% (3/150) in Shenzhen, 3.33% (1/30) in Shanghai and 1.67% (2/120) in Zhengzhou. We found E. canis and A. phagocytophium only at one site, Shenzhen, while the only occurrence of B. burgdorferi was at Beijing. In conclusion, the dog population in China is at potential risk for D. immitis, B. burgdorferi, E. canis and A. phagocytophium infection, the risk being especially high in southern China. © 2011 Cambridge University Press. Source

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