ABSTRACT: The ex situ population of the Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) is not self-sustaining (20% foaling rate), and the demography is skewed toward aging individuals with low gene diversity. We designed the present study to gain a better understanding of the reproductive biology of the Przewalski's mare and to determine whether age and gene diversity influenced reproductive function. Urine samples were collected 3-7 days/wk from 19 mares from May to September, and ultrasound examinations of follicular structures were performed 3 days/wk for 5 wk from May through July in nine individuals. A high proportion of mares exhibited abnormal (endocrine, 5 [26.3%] of 19; follicular, 2 [22.2%] of 9) or acyclic (endocrine, 4 [21.1%] of 19; follicular, 3 [33.3%] of 9) reproductive patterns. In four cyclic mares, estrous cycle length was 25.1 ± 1.2 days, with 12.2 ± 0.9 days of diestrus. Follicles in cyclic mares grew 1.2 ± 0.6 mm per day and ovulated after reaching 40.4 ± 8.9 mm. Mares with a high coefficient of inbreeding excreted reduced levels of mean urinary estrogens (r(2) = 0.476, P < 0.05), but age had no significant impact on reproductive patterns in this population. Overall, these data suggest that long-term genetic management of this population is necessary to maintain reproductive fitness.
Biology of Reproduction 09/2011; 86(2):28. · 4.01 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Freshwater mussels are among the most endangered taxa in North America and minimally invasive techniques to evaluate their health are needed.
The objective of this study was to develop a standardized approach for identifying and enumerating the cellular components of freshwater mussel hemolymph.
Hemocyte clumping, total hemocyte count, and hemocyte morphology were compared in untreated hemolymph or hemolymph treated with formalin, sodium citrate, sodium heparin, EDTA, water, or l-cysteine. Morphology was then used to categorize hemocytes and perform a 100-cell differential.
Treatment with formalin or >25 mg/mL l-cysteine reduced hemocyte clumping, although only formalin significantly increased the total hemocyte count. However, formalin also induced crenation that impaired hemocyte identification. Both EDTA and sodium citrate-induced hemocyte degranulation while sodium citrate and >40 mg/mL l-cysteine-induced cell lysis. Hemocytes could be categorized into 2 groups of granulocytes (eosinophilic or basophilic) and 2 groups of agranulocytes (large or small) for performing a cytologic differential. The differential was not significantly altered by anticoagulant treatments providing cell morphology was adequate for obtaining a differential. Eosinophilic granulocytes predominated (59%) with fewer large agranulocytes (27%) and basophilic granulocytes (13%). Small agranulocytes comprised 2% of the total population.
No single treatment provided an optimal method to evaluate freshwater mussel hemolymph. Maximal hemocyte counts were obtained following formalin treatment. l-cysteine reduced clumping and maintained hemocyte morphology for performing a cytologic differential. These techniques provide a standardized approach for the hematologic evaluation of freshwater mussels.
Veterinary Clinical Pathology 05/2009; 38(4):426-36. · 1.56 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: 2 juvenile (17 and 19 months of age) male American bison (Bison bison) were examined because of acute bilateral hind limb weakness and ataxia; 1 animal also had urinary incontinence.
Given the clinical signs and rapid deterioration in the condition of these 2 animals, obtaining a definitive diagnosis was considered essential to minimizing the risk of disease in the remaining bison herd and among other animals at the facility. Therefore, both affected animals were euthanized. At necropsy, no gross abnormalities were seen. Histologic examination of sections of the brains from both animals revealed mild to moderate multifocal aggregates of eosinophils and mononuclear cells in perivascular regions of the meninges and gray matter of the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. Systematic examination of multiple sections of brain and spinal cord revealed evidence of nematode sections and aberrant parasite migration.
Findings suggested that CNS migration of Parelaphostrongylus tenuis in American bison may cause clinical signs. These findings have implications for the management of captive bison and free-ranging bison sharing ranges with white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the definitive host, and elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis).
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 11/2008; 233(7):1127-30. · 1.79 Impact Factor