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Cincinnati, OH, United States

Spriggs M.,Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden | Thompson K.A.,Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden | Thompson K.A.,Michigan State University | Barton D.,Mead Johnson Nutrition Company | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

Gastrolithiasis was diagnosed in nine prehensile-tailed (PT) porcupines (Coendou prehensilis) housed at six zoologic institutions in the United States and Canada. Affected animals were either asymptomatic or had clinical signs, including weight loss, diarrhea, and depression. Abdominal palpation was adequate for diagnosis in all six antemortem cases, and radiographs confirmed a soft tissue density mass effect produced by the concretion. These gastroliths were all successfully surgically removed. Recurrence of gastrolith formation was common and occurred in four of the cases. Three cases were diagnosed postmortem, with the gastrolith causing gastric perforation in one case. Gastroliths from four cases were identified by mass spectrometry as bile acid precipitates consisting of the insoluble acid form of endogenous glycine-conjugated bile acids. © Copyright 2014 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

Orrock J.L.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Christopher C.C.,Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden | Dutra H.P.,Life University at Georgia

Soil-borne seed pathogens may play an important role in either hindering or facilitating the spread of invasive exotic plants. We examined whether the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii (Caprifoliaceae) affected fungi-mediated mortality of conspecific and native shrub seeds in a deciduous forest in eastern Missouri. Using a combination of L. maackii removal and fungicide treatments, we found no effect of L. maackii invasion on seed viability of the native Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Caprifoliaceae) or Cornus drummondii (Cornaceae). In contrast, fungi were significant agents of L. maackii seed mortality in invaded habitats. Losses of L. maackii to soil fungi were also significant in invaded habitats where L. maackii had been removed, although the magnitude of the effect of fungi was lower, suggesting that changes in soil chemistry or microhabitat caused by L. maackii were responsible for affecting fungal seed pathogens. Our work suggests that apparent competition via soil pathogens is not an important factor contributing to impacts of L. maackii on native shrubs. Rather, we found that fungal seed pathogens have density-dependent effects on L. maackii seed survival. Therefore, while fungal pathogens may provide little biotic resistance to early invasion by L. maackii, our study illustrates that more work is needed to understand how changes in fungal pathogens during the course of an invasion contribute to the potential for restoration of invaded systems. More generally, our study suggests that increased rates of fungal pathogen attack may be realized by invasive plants, such as L. maackii, that change the chemical or physical environment of the habitats they invade. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Gyimesi Z.S.,Louisville Zoological Garden | Burns R.B.,Louisville Zoological Garden | Campbell M.,Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden | Knightly F.,Denver Zoological Gardens | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

Fatal abomasal impaction, often combined with omasal impaction, was diagnosed in 11 bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) from five different zoologic collections in the United States between 1981 and 2009. Nine of 11 cases occurred in young females (10 mo-7 yr old) and typical clinical signs prior to diagnosis or death included partial or complete anorexia, dehydration, and scant fecal production. Although the clinical histories in several of the earlier cases are incomplete, clinical signs were known to begin shortly after an anesthetic event in five of 11 bongo (45%). Pedigree analysis indicates that affected bongo were descendants of multiple founders and not from a single family line, suggesting that the development of abomasal impaction is not a strictly inheritable trait. Treatment, when attempted, was variable and included abomasotomy and removal of impacted ingesta, drug therapy (prokinetic drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, antimicrobials), fluid therapy, and administration of oral lubricants or intralesional stool softeners. Based on the outcomes in the cases presented here, the prognosis for bongo with abomasal impaction is considered poor to grave. Copyright 2011 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/science/

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five cheetah cubs are fighting for their lives after being delivered prematurely at a Cincinnati zoo by a caesarean section, a procedure seldom performed during the birth of the endangered cats. The cubs, born earlier this month, have weak immune systems and are unable to actively ward off infections, said Mark Campbell, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden's director of animal health. The three males and two females are receiving around-the-clock critical care, which involves bottle feeding every three hours, Campbell said in a statement on Friday. "Mom is recovering, and we're working hard to put some weight on the premature cubs," Campbell said. "Important benchmarks for survival of these cubs are the first week and month of life." Belonging to a species considered the world's fastest land animal, the cubs are expected to receive special care for the next eight to 12 weeks. Zoo visitors are allowed to peek at them through nursery windows. The cubs were born on March 8 at the zoo's regional cheetah breeding facility. It was only the third caesarean section Campbell said he was involved in during his 25-year career at the zoo, one of the oldest in the United States. The Cincinnati Zoo is a leading captive breeder of cheetahs, a big cat that is native to the savannahs of Africa. Since 2002, about 54 cheetah cubs have been born at the zoo, officials said. Cheetahs are considered endangered, as their worldwide population has shrunk because of excessive hunting, reduced prey and loss of natural habitat. Fewer than 10,000 remain in 23 African countries, according to the Namibian-based Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Thompson K.A.,Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden | Thompson K.A.,Michigan State University | Campbell M.,Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden | Levens G.,Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden | Agnew D.,Michigan State University
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

A 17-yr-old boa constrictor (Boa constrictor constrictor) presented initially with diffuse gingival swelling, loose teeth, and loss of body condition. Examination under anesthesia revealed two firm pink masses within the oral cavity. The largest mass was removed for biopsy. Histopathology and Melan-A-positive immunohistochemistry labeling confirmed a diagnosis of amelanotic melanoma. Secondary stomatitis was treated with antibiotics to improve quality of life, but the snake's condition deteriorated quickly over the next 2 mo. Euthanasia was elected and a gross postmortem examination was performed. Gross postmortem examination and histopathology results demonstrated that the neoplastic cells had spread in an unusual symmetrical pattern along all four dental arcades: the right and left sides of both the mandible and maxilla. Histopathology confirmed metastasis throughout the liver and spleen, despite the lack of gross lesions. © 2015 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

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