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Cushing A.,Cornell University | Linney C.,University of Liverpool | McClean M.,Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens | Stanford M.,Birch Heath Veterinary Clinic | Rishniw M.,Cornell University
Journal of Veterinary Cardiology | Year: 2013

Objective: To characterize the electrocardiogram (ECG) of anesthetized adult emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae). Animals: Ten clinically healthy adult emus anesthetised for routine physical examination and an electrocardiogram, for both monitoring and investigation into any evidence of cardiac disease. Methods: The ECGs for each emu were obtained in right lateral recumbency, using a modified electrode placement that replicated the standard bipolar leads used in small mammals. Lead II was used for waveform analysis. Results: Median P wave amplitude was 0.55 mV (range: 0.2-0.92 mV) and P wave duration was 0.06 s (0.04-0.09 s). S wave amplitude measured 1.42 mV (0.92-2.12 mV), T wave amplitude 0.67 mV (0.16-0.83 mV) and QRS duration was 0.07 s (0.07-0.12 s). Ninety percent of the QRS complexes were of rS type. Conclusion: Our study provides electrocardiographic baseline data for anesthetized adult emus. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Straub M.H.,University of California at Davis | Kelly T.R.,University of California at Davis | Rideout B.A.,San Diego Zoos Institute for Conservation Research | Eng C.,Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Throughout the world, populations of scavenger birds are declining rapidly with some populations already on the brink of extinction. Much of the current research into the factors contributing to these declines has focused on exposure to drug residues, lead, and other toxins. Despite increased monitoring of these declining populations, little is known about infectious diseases affecting scavenger bird species. To assess potential infectious disease risks to both obligate and facultative scavenger bird species, we performed a serosurvey for eleven potential pathogens in three species of scavenging birds in California: the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). California condors were seropositive for avian adenovirus, infectious bronchitis virus, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, avian paramyxovirus-2, West Nile virus (WNV) and Toxoplasma gondii. Golden eagles were seropositive for avian adenovirus, Chlamydophila psittaci and Toxoplasma gondii, and Turkey vultures were seropositive for avian adenovirus, Chlamydophila psittaci, avian paramyxovirus-1, Toxoplasma gondii and WNV. Risk factor analyses indicated that rearing site and original release location were significantly associated with a positive serologic titer to WNV among free-flying condors. This study provides preliminary baseline data on infectious disease exposure in these populations for aiding in early disease detection and provides potentially critical information for conservation of the endangered California condor as it continues to expand its range and encounter new infectious disease threats. © 2015 Straub et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Wiedner E.,University of Florida | Holland J.,Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens | Trupkiewicz J.,Northwest ZooPath | Uzal F.,University of California at Davis
Veterinary Quarterly | Year: 2014

A 10-year record review from a zoological institution in the western USA identified four cases of severe laminitis resulting in rotation and protrusion of the third phalanx through the sole. Laminitis is reported in a Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi), a Sichuan takin (Budorcas taxicolor tibetana), a greater Malayan chevrotain (Tragulus napu) and a giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus). This is the first report of severe laminitis with pedal bone rotation and protrusion in multiple species of non-domestic hoofstock, and the first report of this disease in three of these species (takin, chevrotain, and giant eland). © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Burnett L.J.,Ventana Wildlife Society | Sorenson K.J.,Ventana Wildlife Society | Brandt J.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Sandhaus E.A.,Santa Barbara Zoo | And 6 more authors.
Condor | Year: 2013

From 1997 through 2010, in collaboration with the National Park Service, we released 84 captivereared California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus) to the wild in central California; from 2006 through 2010 we recorded 16 nestings by nine pairs and recovered eggs or eggshell fragments from 12 nests. Mean thickness of shell fragments, without membrane, was 0.46 mm, 34% lower than the average thickness of 0.70 mm of fragments recovered from nine successful nests in interior southern California, 2007-2009. Hatching success in central California was 20-40%, significantly lower than the 70-80% recorded in southern California. The outer crystalline layer was absent or greatly reduced, as in thin-shelled condor eggs laid in southern California in the 1960s. Shell thickness was not related to egg size. Weight/water loss during incubation in the wild averaged three times greater than the normal rate associated with successful hatching; the rate of loss increased significantly with decreasing shell thickness. At least four failures, three from death of the embryo, we attribute to excessive weight/water loss; two other eggs losing substantial weight hatched successfully after artificial incubation at elevated humidities. DDT/DDE from wastes of a DDT factory discharged into the Southern California Bight had previously caused extensive eggshell thinning and reproductive failures of fish-eating and raptorial birds. Feeding on carcasses of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), reintroduced condors now occupy a higher level of the food web. Like that of other species previously affected, the thickness of condor eggshells should recover as DDE contamination continues to decline. © The Cooper Ornithological Society 2013.

Finkelstein M.E.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Kuspa Z.E.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Welch A.,National Park Service | Eng C.,Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens | And 3 more authors.
Environmental research | Year: 2014

Lead poisoning is preventing the recovery of the critically endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) and lead isotope analyses have demonstrated that ingestion of spent lead ammunition is the principal source of lead poisoning in condors. Over an 8 month period in 2009, three lead-poisoned condors were independently presented with birdshot embedded in their tissues, evidencing they had been shot. No information connecting these illegal shooting events existed and the timing of the shooting(s) was unknown. Using lead concentration and stable lead isotope analyses of feathers, blood, and recovered birdshot, we observed that: i) lead isotope ratios of embedded shot from all three birds were measurably indistinguishable from each other, suggesting a common source; ii) lead exposure histories re-constructed from feather analysis suggested that the shooting(s) occurred within the same timeframe; and iii) two of the three condors were lead poisoned from a lead source isotopically indistinguishable from the embedded birdshot, implicating ingestion of this type of birdshot as the source of poisoning. One of the condors was subsequently lead poisoned the following year from ingestion of a lead buckshot (blood lead 556 µg/dL), illustrating that ingested shot possess a substantially greater lead poisoning risk compared to embedded shot retained in tissue (blood lead ~20 µg/dL). To our knowledge, this is the first study to use lead isotopes as a tool to retrospectively link wildlife shooting events. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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