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Tulsa, OK, United States

Ligon D.B.,Missouri State University | Backues K.,Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum | Fillmore B.M.,Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery | Thompson D.M.,Missouri State University
Herpetological Conservation and Biology | Year: 2014

Juvenile turtles often lack sexually dimorphic morphological features, and as a result in many studies sex is often simply not determined. There are several alternatives for ascertaining sex, but they tend to be error-prone, expensive, time consuming, or require invasive surgery. We compared the age-specific efficacy of laparoscopic evaluation of gonads to cloacoscopic evaluation of genitalia to non-invasively determine sex of juvenile Alligator Snapping Turtles. These techniques were, in turn compared to sex determination by pre-cloaca tail length, an approach frequently used for assessing sex of many turtle species. Laparoscopy was reliable for identifying sex of juveniles as young as eight months and as small as 35 mm midline plastron length, cloacoscopy was reliable for animals that were at least eight years old and at least 165 mm midline plastron length. Tail morphology began to diverge between males and females at approximately 150 mm midline plastron length, but divergence was not complete except among sexually mature animals that were > 295 mm midline plastron length. Thus, laparoscopy likely remains the only reliable technique for sexing small juveniles, but cloacoscopy presents a viable non-invasive alternative for larger juvenile size classes. © 2013. Day Ligon. All Rights Reserved.

Kilburn J.J.,Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum | Murphy D.P.,Lowry Park Zoo | Titus M.,Newport Laboratories | Payton M.E.,Oklahoma State University | Backues K.A.,Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2011

Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) is a pandemic virus that has caused mortality in numerous captive wildlife species worldwide. An experimental killed vaccine was created from two EMCV isolates associated with zoo animal mortality in the southern United States. The vaccine was tested for safety and efficacy in eleven llamas (Llama glama). All animals received an initial vaccination and a second booster vaccination 4 wk later. Serum antibody responses were monitored at initial vaccination and at 4 wks, 8 wk, 6 mo, and 12 mo postvaccination. Eight of the 11 llamas vaccinated experienced at least a 4-fold increase in serum antibody titers to EMCV. Antibody titers of those eight animals remained elevated above prevaccination levels when measured at 12 mo. The experimental killed EMCV vaccine tested may be a useful tool to prevent EMCV infection in llamas when given in 2 doses 4 wk apart, and then revaccinated or with antibody levels monitored annually thereafter. © 2011 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Niederwerder M.C.,Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum | Niederwerder M.C.,Kansas State University | Stalis I.H.,Institute for Conservation Research | Campbell G.A.,Oklahoma State University | Backues K.A.,Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2013

Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis (PCI) with associated eosinophilic inflammation was documented in the gastric tissues of four black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata). Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis is an uncommon disease described in humans and characterized by multilocular gas-filled cystic spaces located within the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. These cystic spaces can occur in any location along the gastrointestinal tract as well as within the associated connective and lymphatic tissues. The exact cause of this disease is unknown. The four black and white ruffed lemurs described in this case series were captive born and had been housed in zoological institutions at two separate locations. Three of the four cases were female lemurs, and two of the affected lemurs were directly related. The individual disease presentations spanned a 5-yr time period. Two lemurs presented dead with no premonitory signs, whereas the other two lemurs presented with clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease and nonspecific signs of weakness. Gastric pneumatosis, diagnosed either grossly or histopathologically in each of these four lemurs, is described as a subset of PCI in which cystic spaces are localized to the stomach wall. Significant eosinophilic inflammatory infiltrate was identified on histopathology of gastric tissues and found to be associated with the cystic lesions in each lemur. No classic etiology, such as a fungal infection or a parasitic infection, was identified as the cause of the eosinophilic gastritis. This case series demonstrates that gastric pneumatosis with associated eosinophilic gastritis may be a significant gastrointestinal disease in black and white ruffed lemurs. Copyright 2013 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Kilburn J.J.,Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum | Velguth K.E.,Oklahoma State University | Velguth K.E.,IDEXX Laboratories | Backues K.A.,Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2011

A 32-year-old male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) underwent routine transrectal stimulation for semen collection as part of an artificial insemination program. The procedure consisted of a preinsemination semen collection followed by two consecutive days of semen collections for artificial insemination. The second day's sample contained large numbers of inflammatory cells, intracellular bacteria, and phagocytized sperm. Semen was submitted for culture and sensitivity. Culture revealed Acinetobacter lwoffii, Staphylococcus intermedius, Kocuria roseus, and an unidentified gram-positive organism. Empirical antibiotic therapy with trimethoprim sulfa was initiated and then changed to enrofloxacin based on sensitivity panel results for a total of 28 days of treatment. Diagnostic semen collections were performed during treatment and 2 wk posttreatment to determine the success of therapy. Posttreatment collections revealed resolution of the inflammation. The origin of the infection was suspected to be the seminal vesicles. © American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Copyright 2011 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

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