Tara M Harrison

Tara M Harrison
North Carolina State University | NCSU · College of Veterinary Medicine

DVM, MPVM, Dipl. ACZM, Dipl. ACVPM, Dipl. ECZM (Zoo Health Mngmt), CVA

About

45
Publications
5,497
Reads
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400
Citations
Citations since 2017
23 Research Items
266 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023010203040506070
2017201820192020202120222023010203040506070
Introduction
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.
Additional affiliations
July 2015 - present
North Carolina State University
Position
  • Clinical Assistant Professor
July 2014 - June 2015
University of California, Davis
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2003 - July 2014
Michigan State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2001 - June 2002
University of California, Davis
Field of study
  • Epidemiology
August 1996 - May 2000
Michigan State University
Field of study
  • Veterinary Medicine
August 1994 - May 1998
Michigan State University
Field of study
  • Veterinary Science

Publications

Publications (45)
Conference Paper
The veterinary profession has well-documented concerns regarding the wellbeing of its members, including burnout , empathy fatigue, and suicidal ideation. Although other studies evaluated wellbeing parameters in the profession as a whole, veterinarians working with non-domestic species face unique challenges. In 2021, an online survey was sent to p...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive tumors can impact conception, pregnancy, and birth in mammals. These impacts are well documented in humans, while data in other mammals are limited. An urgent need exists to understand the reproductive impact of these lesions in endangered species, because some endangered species have a documented high prevalence of reproductive tumors...
Article
Full-text available
This multi-institutional collaborative study of neoplasia in snakes reviewed medical records of snakes at each facility to determine species prevalence, survival, and methods of treatment. Complete species numbers of snakes were also collected at each facility. In total, 65 species, 133 snakes, and 149 unique neoplasias were included in this study....
Conference Paper
The Exotic Species Cancer Research Alliance (ESCRA) has been in existence for 5 y. It is an archive of data from zoological, aquarium and academic institutions into one central location. Through partnerships with over 90 zoos and aquariums we have accumulated over 1,300 cases of cancer across non-domestic species. Although the accumulation of data...
Article
Objective: To use CT-derived measurements to calculate a shape constant (K constant) and create a formula to calculate body surface area (BSA) on the basis of body weight in bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps). Animals: 12 adult client-owned bearded dragons that underwent CT between December 4, 2019, and April 2, 2020. Procedures: Each bearded...
Article
Full-text available
Disease susceptibility and resistance are important factors for the conservation of endangered species, including elephants. We analyzed pathology data from 26 zoos and report that Asian elephants have increased neoplasia and malignancy prevalence compared with African bush elephants. This is consistent with observed higher susceptibility to tuberc...
Article
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, incl...
Article
The ABCB1 gene is responsible for encoding the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) efflux transporter that prevents accumulation of exogenous substances in the body by utilizing ATP hydrolysis to transport these substances against their concentration gradient. In dogs, homozygous or heterozygous mutations for the previously described ABCB1-1Δ mutation lead to in...
Article
Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the comparative precision and accuracy of multiple methods of thermometry used to assess body temperature in healthy adult ferrets. Methods Temperature was measured in 20 healthy ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) using noncontact infrared thermometry, digital thermometry in the rectal, inguinal, and a...
Article
Full-text available
Current recommendations for wound management in amphibians are based primarily on clinical experience and on extrapolation from other taxa, whereas controlled clinical studies are lacking. Low-level laser therapy, also termed photobiomodulation, has gained popularity in veterinary medicine and may represent a valuable adjunct therapy for wound care...
Article
Full-text available
Biochemical testing is an important clinical tool in evaluating the physiology of reptiles and amphibians. Suitable point of care analyzers can allow for rapid delivery of results, but small patient size can inhibit sufficient sample collection. This study evaluated the utility of sample dilution with sterile distilled water as a means of biochemic...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
Cancer has deep evolutionary roots and is an important source of selective pressure in organismal evolution. Yet, we find a great deal of variation in cancer vulnerabilities across the tree of life. Comparative oncology offers insights into why some species vary in their susceptibility to cancer and the mechanisms responsible for the diversity of c...
Article
Full-text available
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 plasm...
Preprint
Full-text available
Disease susceptibility and defense are important factors in conservation, particularly for elephants. We report that in addition to endotheliotropic herpesvirus and tuberculosis, Asian elephants are also more susceptible to cancer than African elephants. To determine mechanisms underlying elephant traits including disease resistance, we analyzed ge...
Article
After a history of intermittent vomiting, endoscopic biopsies of stomach and duodenum were collected from a 13-yr-old male snow leopard (Uncia uncia). On microscopic examination, monomorphic small lymphocytes expanded the duodenal mucosa and occasionally formed intraepithelial nests. Immunohistochemistry of the infiltrating small lymphocytes in the...
Article
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 i...
Article
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the microbial integrity of preservative-free cyclodextrin-based alfaxalone in a multiple-use system. SAMPLE 22 vials of preservative-free alfaxalone. PROCEDURES 2 storage conditions (room temperature, 22°C; refrigerated temperature, 4°C) and 3 handling techniques (closed system transfer device, nonclosed dispensing pin, and ma...
Article
The objective of this study was to measure parathyroid hormone (PTH), ionized calcium, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in healthy intact adult ferrets. Serum was collected from 16 clinically healthy adult ferrets (eight male and eight female). Concentrations of PTH and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were measured via commercially available radioimmunoa...
Article
Currently, little is known about diseases and health concerns in tenrecs, family Tenrecidae. During the past 10 years of breeding lesser Madagascar hedgehog tenrecs (Echinops telfairi) at a single zoological institution, a diverse range of obstetric and postpartum complications have been observed: pyometra, metritis,retained fetal membranes, retain...
Article
Causes of morbidity and mortality for various species of tenrecs have not been widely published, aside from several reports of neoplasia, and these data are crucial for advancing objectives for preventive medicine, diagnosis, and treatment. A survey on husbandry, morbidity, and mortality of lesser hedgehog tenrecs (Echinops telfairi) in Association...
Article
Diagnoses of neoplasia in exotic animals have historically been made at death or just before euthanasia. Routine physical examinations are enabling early diagnosis while accessibility and affordability of advanced diagnostics are improving. With increasing expectations for care, treatment options are more frequently explored. Numerous oncologic med...
Article
A 13-yr-old female binturong (Arctictis binturong) presented with a 1 wk history of decreased appetite. The animal was thin, with hypercalcemia (calcium 12.2 mg/dl). A right renal mass was identified on ultrasound and removed via nephrectomy. Histopathology indicated a renal adenocarcinoma. Treatment with toceranib phosphate, a tyrosine-kinase inhi...
Article
An 11-year-old female Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) with presumed seizures was examined. Complete blood count, plasma biochemistry and MRI did not identify a cause of seizures and thus cryptogenic epilepsy was diagnosed. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was performed on the affected lizard and a healthy conspecific, revealing a lack...
Article
Through the use of operant conditioning, the authors developed a technique to facilitate obtaining blood samples from a black rhinoceros diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy. The technique involved operant conditioning to facilitate venipuncture of the transverse facial vein, at an anatomic landmark on the lateral side of the face ventral to the medi...
Article
A five-year-old male greater hedgehog tenrec (Setifer setosus) presented with an oral mass and osteolysis of the mandible. Histopathology characterised the mass as a squamous cell carcinoma with extension into the alveolar bone. The patient was treated with intralesional bleomycin, clindamycin, meloxicam and enrofloxacin. After seven weeks of treat...
Article
During 1999 through 2014, retained placenta was the most common cause of clinical admission for reproductive complications in breeding colonies of baboons (approximate colony size, 2000 animals), cynomolgus macaques (approximately 1000), and rhesus macaques (approximately 500) at the Southwest National Primate Research Center. Retained placentas oc...
Article
Butyrate-producing bacteria have an important role in maintaining host health. They are well studied in human and medically associated animal models; however, much less is known for other Vertebrata. We investigated the butyrate-producing community in hindgut-fermenting Mammalia (n=38), Aves (n=8) and Reptilia (n=8) using a gene-targeted pyrosequen...
Article
The current feline vaccine with a single strain of calicivirus has been used for captive tigers, yet it may not protect against virulent systemic calicivirus infections. A cross-institutional study investigated the humoral response to a new dual-strain, killed-virus calicivirus vaccine for nine captive tigers. The subspecies of these tigers were Am...
Article
Full-text available
A 10-year-old male red panda presented acutely with symptoms of shock due to acute abdominal distress and respiratory compromise. Abdominal ultrasound confirmed a severely distended stomach for which passage of an orogastric tube for relief was unsuccessful. Intra-operatively, the stomach was found to be distended and torsed around its long axis su...
Article
A 21-yr-old male North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) with a chronic history of degenerative osteoarthritis was evaluated for acute posterior paralysis. Because no definitive cause was identified and a poor prognosis was expected, the otter was euthanatized. A malignant neoplasm of adrenal gland origin with disseminated metastases to the...
Article
Full-text available
Two of three captive adult African ostriches exhibited inappetance and weakness. In spite of treatment, the two birds were euthanized because of lack of clinical improvement. Postmortem examination demonstrated exocrine pancreatic degeneration, necrosis, and atrophy. Grossly, one ostrich had a markedly diminished pancreatic mass. Histologically, th...
Article
A 14-yr-old female eastern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli) presented with progressive suppurative osteomyelitis in her left hind lateral toe. beta-Hemolytic Streptococcus sp. was isolated. The animal was treated with multiple systemic antibiotics, and topical wound cleansing. Repeated debridements and nail trimmings were performed for...
Article
Full-text available
Malignant lymphoma has become an increasingly recognized problem in African lions (Panthera leo). Eleven African lions (9 male and 2 female) with clinical signs and gross and microscopic lesions of malignant lymphoma were evaluated in this study. All animals were older adults, ranging in age from 14 to 19 years. Immunohistochemically, 10 of the 11...
Article
A national survey questionnaire was conducted in 32 zoos throughout 17 U.S. states between February and May 2008. The questionnaire consisted of six questions that evaluated rabies prevalence on zoo grounds; captive mammalian bites among zoo visitors and personnel; and the outcome of each incident. The survey was completed by zoo staff after review...
Article
A 15-yr-old, male lesser Madagascar hedgehog tenrec (Echinops telfairi) presented with a mass caudal to the right ear. Cytology suggested a sarcoma. Surgical removal was attempted. Histology was consistent with a soft tissue sarcoma. The mass recurred within 331 days post operation. Radiation therapy was initiated. Computed tomography was used for...
Article
Closely monitoring snow leopard (Uncia uncia) fetal developments via transabdominal ultrasound, with minimal stress to the animal, was the goal of this project. The staff at Potter Park Zoo has used the principles of habituation, desensitization, and positive reinforcement to train a female snow leopard (U. uncia). Ultrasound examinations were pref...
Article
A 5-day-old, mother-raised, Amur tiger cub (Panthera tigris altaica) presented with tongue ulcerations. Identical lesions appeared and progressed to sloughing of the tongue in the three littermates of this cub the following day. The lesions progressed in all cubs to include sloughing of the carpal, tarsal, metacarpal, and metatarsal foot pad epithe...
Article
Full-text available
A 14 yr-old male, vasectomized African lion (Panthera leo) exhibited mild weight loss despite adequate appetite. Splenomegaly was diagnosed on physical examination. On the basis of hematology and clinical pathology, malignant lymphoma with chronic lymphocytic leukemia was diagnosed. Abdominal exploratory surgery and splenectomy were performed. Hist...
Article
Full-text available
An adult female crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) was evaluated for acute onset of neurologic signs including head tilt, circling, and ataxia. She was found dead in her holding area 2 days after initially exhibiting clinical signs. Necropsy was unremarkable. Histopathology of brain tissue revealed the presence of protozoal cysts associated with...
Article
A 4-yr-old male guanaco (Lama guanicoe) in a multispecies exhibit presented with a laceration in the axillary region. The laceration was surgically repaired. Medical treatment was initiated with penicillin G procaine and benzathine (1920 IU/kg, i.m., s.i.d. for 14 days), and enrofloxacin (2.4 mg/kg, i.m., s.i.d. for 14 days). The animal was later t...
Article
Full-text available
Wildlife Safari, a zoo located in Winston, Oregon, has fed donated carcass meat as a diet to carnivores for over 30 yr. Carcass meat is an alternative to commercially prepared meat. Donated meat arrives at Wildlife Safari as an entire animal. Cattle (Bos taurus), horse (Equus caballus), deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti...
Article
Full-text available
Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) are abundant predators in the Serengeti ecosystem and interact with other species of wild carnivores and domestic animals in ways that could encourage disease transmission. Hyenas also have a unique hierarchical social system that might affect the flow of pathogens. Antibodies to canine distemper virus (CDV), feline...

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Projects

Project (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/