Lab

Tara M Harrison's Lab

Featured projects (1)

Project
Collect published cases of cancer in Non-domestic species. If you have publications on cancer in wildlife we can add to our database, please contact us. For additional details about the project please visit https://escra.cvm.ncsu.edu/

Featured research (4)

Case description: 2 male and 3 female adult bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) were evaluated at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Exotic Animal Medicine Service between September 2018 and October 2019 because of severe lymphocytosis. Clinical findings: All 5 bearded dragons had nonspecific clinical signs, including lethargy, poor appetite, ocular discharge, and weight loss. Clinicopathologic testing revealed extremely high lymphocyte counts with morphological findings consistent with lymphocytic leukemia. Treatment and outcome: All 5 patients were treated with lomustine, prednisolone, and antimicrobials. In addition, 1 or 2 doses of L-asparaginase were administered when the drug was available. Partial remission was achieved in all 5 patients. One patient, after disease progression was documented, was treated with cyclophosphamide and achieved a second partial remission. One of the 5 patients was still alive and continuing to receive chemotherapy at the time of final follow-up 244 days after the initial diagnosis. Survival times (ie, times from initial diagnosis to euthanasia) for the other 4 patients were 57, 157, 330, and 416 days. Clinical relevance: The present report represented the first description of lomustine as a primary chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of lymphocytic leukemia in bearded dragons and provided information on response to treatment, adverse effects, and survival times.
Fish transportation methods for fish culture operations, public aquariums, biologists, and researchers often employ methods and use equipment which the average aquarium hobbyist does not have access to. Aquarium hobbyists typically transport fish via sealed plastic bags that are inflated with oxygen and shipped by next day mail service or as cargo on commercial airlines, however, the build-up of ammonia and carbon dioxide limit the duration that fish can be kept within these sealed bags to approximately 24 to 36 hours. This study outlines a novel technique for fish transportation suitable for the aquarium hobbyist. This protocol allowed for the successful transport of three fish and one marine invertebrate for 7 days, with minimal effects on water chemistry and stress. The use of a standardized transport procedure such as the method outlined in this study may help to reduce fish stressors; thereby, reducing short- and long-term morbidity and mortality associated with the transport of fish.
We studied domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) to evaluate the physiologic effects of routine surgery. Standard plasma biochemistry panels and 1H-NMR spectroscopy of heparinized whole blood were performed on samples taken 24 h prior to and immediately after surgery from female and male ferrets undergoing routine gonadectomy. Increases in plasma glucose, phosphorus, potassium, and creatine kinase concentrations associated with the duration of surgery were identified on plasma biochemistry panels. Whole-blood NMR spectra allowed us to identify 42 metabolites and one drug residue. Variations between pre- and postoperative metabolite concentrations were most pronounced for female ferrets, which underwent moreprolonged surgery than males. Affected metabolites included organic acids and osmolytes (betaine, methylmalonate, d-lactate), fatty acids and lipids (2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid), and amino acid groups (acetylglycine, alloisoleucine, leucine, and isoleucine). These findings indicate that 1H-NMR spectroscopy of whole blood provides insight into metabolic perturbations in domestic ferrets undergoing surgery that are not detected in routine clinical chemistry panels.
Intramuscular administration of anesthetic agents in chelonians may result in a prolonged (≥1 hr) return of spontaneous movement and breathing, which increases the probability for peri- and postoperative complications. The acupuncture point governing vessel (GV)-26 has been demonstrated to reduce anesthetic recovery times from inhalant anesthesia in other species. In this study, 30 eastern box turtles (EBT;Terrapene carolina carolina), presented to the Turtle Rescue Team at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine for treatment of aural abscess, were divided into four groups: control (no treatment); GV-26 acupuncture; GV-1 and GV-26 acupuncture; or GV-1 and GV-26 electroacupuncture. Turtles receiving either GV-1 and GV-26 acupuncture or GV-1 and GV-26 electroacupuncture had a significantly reduced time to return of voluntary movement (P= 0.012 and P= 0.006, respectively), a significantly reduced time to response of limb extension (P= 0.03 and P< 0.001, respectively), and a significantly reduced time to anesthetic recovery (P< 0.05 and P< 0.01, respectively). Therefore, the use of either GV-1 and GV-26 acupuncture or GV-1 and GV-26 electroacupuncture produces significant reductions in anesthetic recovery time in EBTs that have received injectable anesthetics.

Lab head

Tara M Harrison
Department
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
About Tara M Harrison
  • My focus of research is on cancer in zoo, wildlife and exotic animals as well as therapies to treat them for cancer. Additionally I am interested in methods of holistic therapy for zoo and exotic animals.

Members (4)

Dalen Agnew
  • Michigan State University
Barbara Kitchell
  • VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center
Kimberly Thompson
  • Binder Park Zoo
Elizabeth C Graeber
  • North Carolina State University
Barbara Kitchell
Barbara Kitchell
  • Not confirmed yet
Sarah A. Cannizzo
Sarah A. Cannizzo
  • Not confirmed yet
Chelsey L Vanetten
Chelsey L Vanetten
  • Not confirmed yet
Meghan E. Walker
Meghan E. Walker
  • Not confirmed yet
Michelle C Whitehead
Michelle C Whitehead
  • Not confirmed yet
Megan E Jacob
Megan E Jacob
  • Not confirmed yet