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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thromboelastography is a whole blood-based coagulation assay that can be used to investigate hypocoagulability and hypercoagulability, as seen with thromboembolic diseases and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Numerous coagulopathies due to different causes are reported in cows. The objective was to establish reference intervals for thromboelastography using the TEG 5000 (Haemonetics GmbH, Munich, Germany) with citrated whole blood samples and kaolin activation in dairy cows and to investigate possible thromboelastographic changes between cows in different lactation periods. An additional objective was to test the stability of samples for up to 100 h. Sixty blood samples from healthy Holstein-Friesian cows were examined. The samples were allocated to 3 different lactation groups (≤30 d postcalving, 31-99 d postcalving, ≥100 d postcalving). Thromboelastography was performed by using the TEG 5000 analyzer with citrated whole blood samples with kaolin activation. The calculated reference intervals were as follows: reaction time = 2.2 to 6.2 min, coagulation time = 0.8 to 2.0 min, angle α = 58.2 to 81.8°, maximum amplitude = 64.3 to 89.2 mm, and clot rigidity = 9.2 to 41.2 dyn/cm(2). The 3 different lactation groups showed no significant differences in TEG parameters. No significant difference was seen in samples stored for up to 48 h at room temperature, which indicates that delays in processing samples, such as those arising during transit, are not an issue.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Dairy Science
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Feather plucking, or the removal by a parrot of its own feathers, is thought to be one of the most common behaviour presentations in veterinary practice that treat avian patients. However, its aetiology is poorly understood. The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of feather plucking within the population of African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus and Psittacus erithacus timneh) and cockatoos (Cacatua spp.) registered with 9 veterinary practices in the United Kingdom (UK), and to explore the association between frequently hypothesised risk factors and feather plucking in these species. A questionnaire was sent to the owners of 400 African grey parrots and 310 cockatoos registered with 9 UK veterinary practices. Returned questionnaires from 137 African grey parrots and 92 cockatoos were analysed, of which 39.4% of African grey parrots and 42.4% of cockatoos had exhibited feather plucking behaviour at some point in their lifetime. Multivariable logistic regression modelling demonstrated that increasing hours of sleep and length of ownership were significantly associated (p< 0.05) with feather plucking in African grey parrots. Pet shop origin, cage location against ≥ 1 wall, and ≥ 1 vacation taken by owners each year were significantly associated (p< 0.05) with feather plucking in cockatoos. The high prevalence of feather plucking in these commonly kept pets highlights this problem as a welfare concern, while the risk factor analysis challenges many frequently cited hypotheses regarding its aetiology. Further research is required to explore whether there is a causal relationship between the significant risk factors identified in this study and feather plucking behaviour.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evaluating the welfare issues in keeping exotic species as pets, be they owls or owl monkeys, parrots or parrot fish, as we are doing in this issue of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine must necessarily bring to the fore the question of whether keeping such animals as pets is ethical. And by saying ‘keeping’, we must include capture from the wild, transport and handling on the way to the final owner, husbandry of the animal while in captivity and breeding of the animal to maintain a captive population. Veterinarians have argued over the suitability of ‘exotics’ as pets for many years both in the US and in the UK. It must be remembered that those were the days when lion cubs and chimpanzees were kept as pets. Dr Ian Keymer’s paper, written in 1972, when he was senior veterinarian at the Zoological Society of London, defined an exotic species as an animal ‘which still maintains its existence in a natural environment unaided by man and has not been bred or intentionally changed by man’, Is Keymer’s definition of exotic one we would use today? The dictionary would say that exotic is ‘originating in or characteristic of a distant foreign country’ and in that respect many of the species with which we deal from axolotls to zebra fish are indeed exotic. But in the veterinary field many would also include rabbits, guinea pigs and pet rodents in the exotic fold. Others would question this, since rabbits, to name only one species commonly still seen by many as ‘exotic’, have been kept by mankind for many hundreds of years and are now, it would seem at least in the UK, the third most commonly presented animals to small animal veterinarians. Yet they are very different from the dogs and cats with which all small animal practitioners are familiar.
    Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine
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