Animals2015, 5(2), 270-275; doi:10.3390/ani5020270 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Fawn hooded (FH) rat is commonly used in biomedical research. It is widely acknowledged that the FH rat has a bleeding disorder; leading to abundant bleedings. Although this bleeding disorder is investigated to model the storage pool defect; its impact on commonly performed invasive laboratory procedures has not yet been described. Our research group experienced clinically significant consequences of this bleeding disorder following invasive procedures (including intraperitoneal injections and neurocranial surgery) in the Rjlbm: FH stock. The clinical consequences of the surgical and anesthetic protocols applied; are described including the subsequent procedural refinements applied to minimize the impact of this disorder. It is strongly recommended to take the bleeding diathesis into account when performing invasive procedures in FH rats and to apply the suggested refinement of procedures.
Animals2015, 5(2), 259-269; doi:10.3390/ani5020259 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The shelter program at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine provides veterinary students with extensive experience in shelter animal care including spay/neuter, basic wellness care, diagnostics, medical management, disease control, shelter management and biosecurity. Students spend five days at shelters in the junior year of the curriculum and two weeks working on mobile veterinary units in their senior year. The program helps meet accreditation standards of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education that require students to have hands-on experience and is in keeping with recommendations from the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium. The program responds, in part, to the challenge from the Pew Study on Future Directions for Veterinary Medicine that argued that veterinary students do not graduate with the level of knowledge and skills that is commensurate with the number of years of professional education.
Animals2015, 5(2), 245-258; doi:10.3390/ani5020245 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The increase of domestic animals kept in shelters highlights the need to ensure animal welfare. Environmental enrichment can improve animal welfare in many ways, such as encouraging captive animals to use all the space available to them. The effects of physical environmental enrichment on the spatial distribution and behavioral repertoire of 35 neutered domestic cats housed communally were analyzed. The provision of boxes in the environment increases the use of available space by the cats. We suggest this improves the cats’ welfare while in communally-housed rescue shelters. The frequencies of active and especially inactive behaviors also increased in the enriched condition. In a test with vertical environmental enrichment, the animals showed an increased length of stay in refuges located at a height of 0.5 m compared to those on the ground (0.0 m). However, the entry frequency was higher in refuges at 0.0 m. Both horizontal and vertical environmental enrichment increased the use of available space, demonstrating that box refuges as enrichment are effective in providing a refuge when at a height, or a place to explore at ground level. We suggest it enhances the welfare of cats in communally housed shelters. This information adds to the body of evidence relating to cat enrichment and can be useful in designing cat housing in veterinary clinics, research laboratories, shelters and domestic homes.
Animals2015, 5(2), 226-244; doi:10.3390/ani5020226 - published 10 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Transport is a critical factor in modern pork production and can seriously affect swine welfare. While previous research has explored thermal conditions during transport, the impact of extreme weather conditions on the trailer thermal environment under industry practices has not been well documented; and the critical factors impacting microclimate are not well understood. To assess the trailer microclimate during transport events, an instrumentation system was designed and installed at the central ceiling level, pig level and floor-level in each of six zones inside a commercial swine trailer. Transport environmental data from 34 monitoring trips (approximately 1–4 h in duration each) were collected from May, 2012, to February, 2013, with trailer management corresponding to the National Pork Board Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) guidelines in 31 of these trips. According to the TQA guidelines, for outdoor temperature ranging from 5 °C (40 °F) to 27 °C (80 °F), acceptable thermal conditions were observed based on the criteria that no more than 10% of the trip duration was above 35 °C (95 °F) or below 0 °C (32 °F). Recommended bedding, boarding and water application were sufficient in this range. Measurements support relaxing boarding guidelines for moderate outdoor conditions, as this did not result in less desirable conditions. Pigs experienced extended undesirable thermal conditions for outdoor temperatures above 27 °C (80 °F) or below 5 °C (40 °F), meriting a recommendation for further assessment of bedding, boarding and water application guidelines for extreme outdoor temperatures. An Emergency Livestock Weather Safety Index (LWSI) condition was observed inside the trailer when outdoor temperature exceeded 10 °C (50 °F); although the validity of LWSI to indicate heat stress for pigs during transport is not well established. Extreme pig surface temperatures in the rear and middle zones of the trailer were more frequently experienced than in the front zones, and the few observations of pigs dead or down upon arrival were noted in these zones. Observations indicate that arranging boarding placement may alter the ventilation patterns inside the trailer.
Animals2015, 5(2), 214-225; doi:10.3390/ani5020214 - published 10 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Gulls are commonly attracted to landfills, and managers are often required to implement cost-effective and socially accepted deterrence programs. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive program that integrated the use of trained birds of prey, pyrotechnics, and playback of gull distress calls at a landfill located close to a large ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) colony near Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We used long-term survey data on bird use of the landfill, conducted behavioral observations of gulls during one season and tracked birds fitted with GPS data loggers. We also carried out observations at another landfill located farther from the colony, where less refuse was brought and where a limited culling program was conducted. The integrated program based on falconry resulted in a 98% decrease in the annual total number of gulls counted each day between 1995 and 2014. A separate study indicated that the local breeding population of ring-billed gulls increased and then declined during this period but remained relatively large. In 2010, there was an average (±SE) of 59 ± 15 gulls/day using the site with falconry and only 0.4% ± 0.2% of these birds were feeding. At the other site, there was an average of 347 ± 55 gulls/day and 13% ± 3% were feeding. Twenty-two gulls tracked from the colony made 41 trips towards the landfills: twenty-five percent of the trips that passed by the site with falconry resulted in a stopover that lasted 22 ± 7 min compared to 85% at the other landfill lasting 63 ± 15 min. We concluded that the integrated program using falconry, which we consider more socially acceptable than selective culling, was effective in reducing the number of gulls at the landfill.
Animals2015, 5(2), 206-213; doi:10.3390/ani5020206 - published 31 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Unusual behavior before earthquakes has been reported for millennia but no plausible mechanism has been identified. One possible way in which animals could be affected by pre-earthquake processes is via stress activated positive holes leading to the formation of hydrogen peroxide at the rock water interface. Aquatic and fossorial animals could be irritated by H2O2 and move down the concentration gradient. Here, we carry out avoidance tests with hydrogen peroxide in two model organisms; Daphniapulex and earthworms. Daphnia were found to move away from increasing concentrations of H2O2 but earthworms appeared unaffected. It is possible that earthworm swarming behavior, reported frequently before earthquakes, is caused by electric field shifts or another unknown mechanism, whereas zooplankton may be affected by increasing levels of H2O2.