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Fort Wayne, IN, United States

Smith J.A.,Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo | Papich M.G.,North Carolina State University | Russell G.,DuPont Company | Mitchell M.A.,Urbana University
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2010

Itraconazole is used to treat and prevent aspergillosis in captive penguin colonies. Although commercial formulations of itraconazole are available, compounding is sometimes performed to decrease cost or to provide a different concentration of the drug. Using a two-way crossover design, the pharmacokinetics of both a commercially available oral itraconazole solution and a compounded oral itraconazole solution were compared in six black-footed penguins (Spheniscus demersus). Each itraconazole formulation was administered orally in frozenthawed capelin at 7 mg/kg. Plasma itraconazole concentrations at time 0 (pretreatment), 20 and 40 min postdrug administration, and 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 hr postdrug administration were determined using reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Drug concentrations were analyzed using standard pharmacokinetic methods. Plasma clearance of the commercial itraconazole solution was more rapid than the clearance published for other species, possibly warranting more frequent dosing in black-footed penguins. Absorption of itraconazole, as determined by peak concentration and area under the curve, was significantly higher for the commercial formulation when compared to the compounded formulation, likely as a result of the presence of cyclodextrin, a carrier compound shown to improve oral absorption, in the commercial formulation. Extrapolating dosing regimens for compounded itraconazole formulations from regimens determined for commercial formulations warrants caution as a result of the significant differences in pharmacokinetics. Copyright 2010 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

Smith J.A.,Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2012

At the San Diego Zoo (California, USA), 22 cases of megaesophagus were diagnosed in the parma wallaby (Macropus parma), yielding a prevalence of 21.1%. Parma wallabies often have no clinical signs until severe and chronic dilation of the esophagus is present. Clinical signs of advanced disease include weight loss, swelling of the cervical region, regurgitation without reswallowing of ingesta, short flight distance, depression, collapse, dyspnea, and sudden death. Retrospective and prospective studies at the San Diego Zoo and a multi-institutional survey in the United States were used to try to determine the cause of megaesophagus. The retrospective study did not identify an etiology. The prospective study revealed megaesophagus and severely delayed esophageal transit time in eight of eight animals. Myasthenia gravis, lead toxicosis, toxoplasmosis, and thyroid disease were eliminated as possible causes. Of 286 living and dead parma wallabies surveyed at other institutions, three cases of esophageal diverticulum and one case of megaesophagus were reported. The cause of megaesophagus in parma wallabies was not determined. © 2012 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

Smith J.A.,Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo | Kinsella J.M.,HelmWest Laboratory
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2011

Striped possums (Dactylopsila trivirgata) are small arboreal marsupials for which limited medical information is known. Mastophorus muris is a gastric spirurid nematode of rodents that uses insects as intermediate hosts. Three cases of gastric spiruridiasis caused by M. muris in captive striped possums are reported for the first time. Diagnosis was made by the presence of adult nematodes in regurgitant and at necropsy. Low numbers of nematode ova shed intermittently in possum feces made evaluation of treatment success difficult. No histopathologic abnormalities were identified in one case. Control of M. muris in captive possum colonies may be achieved by interrupting the life cycle of the parasite. Copyright 2011 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

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