Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

Order results
Result details
Results per page
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Article

Article
Partial Vaginectomy, Complete Vaginectomy, Partial Vestibule-Vaginectomy, Vulvo-Vestibule-Vaginectomy and Vulvo-Vestibulectomy: Different Surgical Procedure in Order to Better Approach Vaginal Diseases
Animals 2022, 12(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020196 - 14 Jan 2022
Abstract
Total or partial vulvo-vaginectomy or vaginectomy are not routinely performed due to the complexity of the techniques and because they are considered radical treatments. Little information can be found in the literature, as the same technique is often named in a different way [...] Read more.
Total or partial vulvo-vaginectomy or vaginectomy are not routinely performed due to the complexity of the techniques and because they are considered radical treatments. Little information can be found in the literature, as the same technique is often named in a different way by different authors, confusing the reader. Therefore, the aim of this essay is to describe five different surgical techniques: partial vaginectomy, complete vaginectomy, partial vestibule-vaginectomy, vulvo-vestibule-vaginectomy and vulvo-vestibulectomy. All techniques are described on the basis of the correct identification of the anatomical nomenclature related to structures involved in surgery, in order to give a more precise and unambiguous description and execution of surgical techniques. Moreover, possible intraoperative and perioperative complications and the authors’ clinical experience in 33 dogs are described. All techniques are well tolerated and could be curative in case of benign or malignant tumours that have not yet metastasized and palliative in other cases. Moreover, they are also useful for therapeutic purposes for chronic vaginitis, severe vaginal cysts or congenital abnormalities. It is our opinion that having five different available techniques to approach vaginal disease is useful to perform the best surgery according to the clinical findings, patient’s characteristics, technique invasiveness and whether it is palliative or not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Concerted and Independent Evolution of Control Regions 1 and 2 of Water Monitor Lizards (Varanus salvator macromaculatus) and Different Phylogenetic Informative Markers
Animals 2022, 12(2), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020148 - 08 Jan 2022
Abstract
Duplicate control regions (CRs) have been observed in the mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of most varanids. Duplicate CRs have evolved in either concerted or independent evolution in vertebrates, but whether an evolutionary pattern exists in varanids remains unknown. Therefore, we conducted this study to [...] Read more.
Duplicate control regions (CRs) have been observed in the mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of most varanids. Duplicate CRs have evolved in either concerted or independent evolution in vertebrates, but whether an evolutionary pattern exists in varanids remains unknown. Therefore, we conducted this study to analyze the evolutionary patterns and phylogenetic utilities of duplicate CRs in 72 individuals of Varanus salvator macromaculatus and other varanids. Sequence analyses and phylogenetic relationships revealed that divergence between orthologous copies from different individuals was lower than in paralogous copies from the same individual, suggesting an independent evolution of the two CRs. Distinct trees and recombination testing derived from CR1 and CR2 suggested that recombination events occurred between CRs during the evolutionary process. A comparison of substitution saturation showed the potential of CR2 as a phylogenetic marker. By contrast, duplicate CRs of the four examined varanids had similar sequences within species, suggesting typical characteristics of concerted evolution. The results provide a better understanding of the molecular evolutionary processes related to the mitogenomes of the varanid lineage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reptile Evolution and Genetics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Aristolochic Acid I-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Tianfu Broilers Is Associated with Oxidative-Stress-Mediated Apoptosis and Mitochondrial Damage
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123437 - 02 Dec 2021
Abstract
Aristolochic acid (AA) is a component of traditional Chinese herbs and commonly used for farm animals in China. Over-exposure of AA has been proven to be associated with hepatotoxicity; however, the mechanism of action of AA-I-induced hepatotoxicity remains unknown. In the current study, [...] Read more.
Aristolochic acid (AA) is a component of traditional Chinese herbs and commonly used for farm animals in China. Over-exposure of AA has been proven to be associated with hepatotoxicity; however, the mechanism of action of AA-I-induced hepatotoxicity remains unknown. In the current study, a subchronic toxicity test was conducted to evaluate the mechanism of AA-induced hepatotoxicity in Tianfu broilers. According to the results, AA-I-induced hepatotoxicity in Tianfu broilers was evidenced by the elevation of liver weight, levels of serum glutamic oxalacetic transaminase (GOT) and glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT). Furthermore, hepatocyte swelling, vesicular degeneration and steatosis were observed. Additionally, AA-I elevated the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induced oxidative stress, which further led to excessive apoptosis, characterized by mitochondrial depolarization, upregulation of Bax, and down-regulation of Bcl-2 expression. In conclusion, the mechanism of AA-I-induced hepatotoxicity was associated with oxidative-stress-mediated apoptosis and mitochondrial damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Bibliometric Analysis and Global Trends in Fascioliasis Research: A Neglected Tropical Disease
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3385; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123385 - 26 Nov 2021
Abstract
Background: Fascioliasis is a zoonotic neglected tropical disease caused by Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. In endemic regions, fascioliasis represents a huge problem in livestock production and significantly threatens public health. The present study was performed to assess the key bibliometric [...] Read more.
Background: Fascioliasis is a zoonotic neglected tropical disease caused by Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. In endemic regions, fascioliasis represents a huge problem in livestock production and significantly threatens public health. The present study was performed to assess the key bibliometric indicators, plot the global research outcome, and strive to find the research frontiers and trends in fascioliasis. Methods: A descriptive bibliometric and visualized study was conducted. The data were extracted from the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC) database. The WoSCC was searched using key terms covering a wide range of synonyms related to the causative agent (Fasciola) and the disease (fascioliasis). The database search was performed for the period from the inception of WoSCC until 3 October 2021. The downloaded data were exported into VOSviewer software version 1.6.17 for Windows to construct co-authorship countries, keywords co-occurrence, bibliographic coupling sources, and citation and documents network visualization. Results: A total of 4165 documents were included in this bibliometric analysis. The included documents were published between the years 1913 and 2021 from 116 countries, mainly from the United States of America (USA) (n = 482, 11.6%). The most prolific year was 2018 (n = 108). The journal that attracted the most publications was Veterinary Parasitology (n = 324), while the most productive author in this area was Rondelaud D (n = 156). In terms of total link strength (TLS), the most influential country was Spain (TLS = 236), followed by the USA (TLS = 178). Conclusion: This study is of value for veterinarians, doctors, and researchers to explore insights into research frontiers and trends in research on fascioliasis. The number of publications on fascioliasis has increased over time. Above 35% of publications have been produced by the USA, France, England, and Spain. “Fasciola hepatica” and “cattle” were the most dominant and widely used keywords. Research collaboration should be established among the researchers from developing countries with developed countries to learn new advancements and effective control strategies for fascioliasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Raw Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) as a Substitute of Soybean Meal in Compound Feed for Broiler Chickens: Effects on Growth Performance, Lipid Metabolism, Fatty Acid Profile, Antioxidant Status, and Dietary Value of Muscles
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3367; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123367 - 24 Nov 2021
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of substitution of 50% of soybean meal protein with 310–350 g/kg diet of raw chickpea seed protein on the chemical composition, fatty acid profile, dietary value, and antioxidant status of breast and thigh [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of substitution of 50% of soybean meal protein with 310–350 g/kg diet of raw chickpea seed protein on the chemical composition, fatty acid profile, dietary value, and antioxidant status of breast and thigh muscles, as well as the antioxidant status of blood serum, in Ross 308 male broilers. In the 42-day experiment, one-day-old male broiler chicks were assigned to two nutritional groups (n = 100 in each, 20 birds in each group, and 5 replications). In the control group, 100% of protein in the feed was derived from soybean meal. In the experimental group, 310–350 g/kg protein from raw chickpea seeds was introduced. Data with a normal distribution were analyzed using the Student t-test, and the relationships between the traits were assessed with the use of Pearson’s correlation coefficients. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The replacement with chickpea protein did not exert an impact on the final body weight, feed consumption, and feed conversion ratio compared to the control group. However, it induced changes in the color of the breast muscles (increased L* and b* values), and reduced the cholesterol content. The addition of chickpea seeds improved the fatty acid profile, mainly in the breast muscle. A decrease in the total SFA content and a higher level of unsaturated fatty acids (UFA), UFAs/saturated fatty acids (SFAs), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3, and omega-6 were observed in the experimental group. Additionally, the chickpea-supplemented group exhibited better values of meat quality indicators (atherogenic index-AI; thrombogenic index–TI, ratio of saturated fatty acids to unsaturated fatty acids-S/P, n-6/n-3, hypocholesterolemic/Hypercholesterolemic ratio-h/H). It can be concluded that raw chickpea seeds are a good source of protein in broiler chicken nutrition, and can replace the traditionally used protein source (soybean meal), simultaneously exerting a positive effect on the dietary value of poultry meat and an expected enhancing impact on consumer health. Full article
Article
Estimating Amino Acid Requirements in Real-Time for Precision-Fed Pigs: The Challenge of Variability among Individuals
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123354 - 24 Nov 2021
Abstract
This study aimed to measure protein deposition (PD) in pigs fed with daily tailored diets where either dietary lysine (Lys) or threonine (Thr) were provided at independent levels (ignoring an ideal ratio). A total of 95 growing pigs (35 kg body weight (BW)) [...] Read more.
This study aimed to measure protein deposition (PD) in pigs fed with daily tailored diets where either dietary lysine (Lys) or threonine (Thr) were provided at independent levels (ignoring an ideal ratio). A total of 95 growing pigs (35 kg body weight (BW)) with electronic ear tags granting them access to automatic feeders were randomly assigned to treatments. The setup was an unbalanced 2 × 5 factorial arrangement with Lys and Thr provided at five levels (i.e., 60%, 80%, 100%, 120%, and 140% of the estimated individual requirements of Lys and Thr), resulting in 25 treatments for 21 days. The observed PD variation to Lys and Thr provisions was large, with Lys and Thr intake explaining only 11% of the variation. Cluster analysis discriminated pigs with low (167 g/d, n = 16), medium (191 g/d, n = 38), and high (213 g/d, n = 37) PD, but with a similar amino acid intake. Differences in PD were associated with differences in nutrient efficiency of utilization. Providing Lys and Thr in a factorial mode, ignoring an ideal ratio, did not decrease the variability in PD. Future research efforts should focus on identifying and investigating the sources of interindividual variability—a necessary step before final recommendations can be made for AA in precision-fed pigs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sweet vs. Salty Former Food Products in Post-Weaning Piglets: Effects on Growth, Apparent Total Tract Digestibility and Blood Metabolites
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3315; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113315 - 19 Nov 2021
Abstract
Former food products (FFPs) have a great potential to replace conventional feed ingredients. This study aimed to investigate the possibility to partially replace standard ingredients with two different types of FFPs: bakery (FFPs-B) or confectionary (FFPs-C) FFPs and their effects on growth performances, [...] Read more.
Former food products (FFPs) have a great potential to replace conventional feed ingredients. This study aimed to investigate the possibility to partially replace standard ingredients with two different types of FFPs: bakery (FFPs-B) or confectionary (FFPs-C) FFPs and their effects on growth performances, feed digestibility and metabolic status in post-weaning piglets. Thirty-six post-weaning piglets were randomly assigned to three experimental diets (n = 12 per diet) for 42 days: a standard diet (CTR), a diet where 30% of standard ingredients were replaced by confectionary FFPs (FFPs-C) and a diet where 30% of standard ingredients were replaced by bakery FFPs (FFPs-B). Individual body weight and fecal dry matter were measured weekly. Feed intake (FI) was determined daily. Average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated. Fecal samples were collected daily for three days/week to determine apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter (ATTD). At day 0, 21 and 42, blood samples were collected from all the piglets. No significant differences (p > 0.05) between groups were found in growth performances and metabolic profile. However, ATTD in FFPs-B group was lower (p < 0.05) compared to the CTR group at the end of the experiment. This study confirmed the possibility to formulate homogeneous diets integrated with 30% of both categories of FFPs. Further investigations are needed to clarify the effects of bakery former food products on the digestibility of the diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Article
High Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistant Escherichia coli Isolates from Retail Poultry Products in Spain
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3197; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113197 - 09 Nov 2021
Abstract
The prevalence of Escherichia coli was analysed in poultry products from different Spanish retailers and determined its antibiotic resistance capability by phenotypic (ampicillin, amoxicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, imipenem, cefotaxime, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim, and colistin) and genotypic assays. A total of 30 samples (hindquarters or [...] Read more.
The prevalence of Escherichia coli was analysed in poultry products from different Spanish retailers and determined its antibiotic resistance capability by phenotypic (ampicillin, amoxicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, imipenem, cefotaxime, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim, and colistin) and genotypic assays. A total of 30 samples (hindquarters or livers) were collected from supermarkets and butchers. Enterobacteriaceae counts ranged between 3.2 and 6.5 log colony-forming units (CFU)/g, and the highest values were found in livers and in samples from supermarkets. E. coli was detected in 83% of the samples tested, and the highest prevalence was observed in livers (100%) and supermarkets (91%). Regarding the antibiotic sensitivity test, 100% of the E. coli showed resistance to at least one antibiotic. The highest resistance rates were detected for colistin (87%) and gentamicin (79%), while only two antibiotics (chloramphenicol and cefotaxime) showed a resistance lower than 10%. Furthermore, the resistance genes of tetracycline and beta-lactams were analysed by multiplex PCR, revealing that tet(A) and blaTEM were the majority genes, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
An Official Outbreak Investigation of Acute Haemorrhagic Diarrhoea in Dogs in Norway Points to Providencia alcalifaciens as a Likely Cause
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113201 - 09 Nov 2021
Abstract
An outbreak investigation was initiated in September 2019, following a notification to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) of an unusually high number of dogs with acute haemorrhagic diarrhoea (AHD) in Oslo. Diagnostic testing by reporting veterinarians had not detected a cause. The [...] Read more.
An outbreak investigation was initiated in September 2019, following a notification to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) of an unusually high number of dogs with acute haemorrhagic diarrhoea (AHD) in Oslo. Diagnostic testing by reporting veterinarians had not detected a cause. The official investigation sought to identify a possible common cause, the extent of the outbreak and prevent spread. Epidemiological data were collected through a survey to veterinarians and interviews with dog owners. Diagnostic investigations included necropsies and microbiological, parasitological and toxicological analysis of faecal samples and food. In total, 511 dogs with acute haemorrhagic diarrhoea were registered between 1 August and 1 October. Results indicated a common point source for affected dogs, but were inconclusive with regard to common exposures. A notable finding was that 134 of 325 faecal samples (41%) cultured positive for Providencia alcalifaciens. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 75 P. alcalifaciens isolates from 73 dogs revealed that strains from 51 dogs belonged to the same WGS clone. Findings point to P. alcalifaciens as implicated in the outbreak, but investigations are needed to reveal the pathogenic potential of P. alcalifaciens in dogs and its epidemiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Agreement between Feline Pancreatic Lipase Immunoreactivity and DGGR-Lipase Assay in Cats—Preliminary Results
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113172 - 06 Nov 2021
Abstract
The colorimetric catalytic assay based on the use of 1,2-o-dilauryl-rac-glycero-3-glutaric acid-(6′-methylresorufin) (DGGR) ester as a substrate for pancreatic lipase activity is commonly used for the diagnosis of pancreatitis in dogs and cats. Even though the assay has generally been shown to yield consistent [...] Read more.
The colorimetric catalytic assay based on the use of 1,2-o-dilauryl-rac-glycero-3-glutaric acid-(6′-methylresorufin) (DGGR) ester as a substrate for pancreatic lipase activity is commonly used for the diagnosis of pancreatitis in dogs and cats. Even though the assay has generally been shown to yield consistent results with feline pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (fPLI) assay, the agreement may vary between assays of different manufacturers. In this study, the chance-corrected agreement between a DGGR-lipase assay offered by one of the biggest providers of diagnostic solutions in Poland and fPLI assay was investigated. The study was carried out on 50 cats in which DGGR-lipase activity and fPLI were tested in the same blood sample. The chance-corrected agreement was determined using Gwet’s AC1 coefficient separately for the fPLI assay’s cut-off values of >3.5 μg/L and >5.3 μg/L. The DGGR-lipase activity significantly positively correlated with fPLI (Rs = 0.665; CI 95%: 0.451, 0.807, p < 0.001). The chance-corrected agreement between the fPLI assay and DGGR-lipase assay differed considerably depending on the cut-off values of the DGGR-lipase assay. When the cut-off value reported in the literature (>26 U/L) was used, it was poor to fair. It was moderate at the cut-off value recommended by the laboratory (>45 U/L), and good at the cut-off value recommended by the assay’s manufacturer (>60 U/L). The highest agreement was obtained between the fPLI assay at the cut-off value of 3.5 μg/L and the DGGR-lipase assay at the cut-off value of 55 U/L (AC1 = 0.725; CI 95%: 0.537, 0.914) and between the fPLI assay at the cut-off value of 5.3 μg/L and the DGGR-lipase assay at the cut-off value of 70 U/L (AC1 = 0.749; CI 95%: 0.577, 0.921). The study confirms that the chance-corrected agreement between the two assays is good. Prospective studies comparing both assays to a diagnostic gold standard are needed to determine which of them is more accurate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Optimal Standardized Ileal Digestible Total Sulfur Amino Acids to Lysine REQUIREMENTS Are Increased in Nursery Pigs Raised under Antibiotic-Free Feeding Regime
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113143 - 03 Nov 2021
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of increasing the standardized ileal digestible (SID) total sulfur amino acid to lysine (TSAA:Lys) on the growth performance of nursery pigs raised with or without antibiotics (AGP) and to determine the optimal SID TSAA:Lys in nursery [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of increasing the standardized ileal digestible (SID) total sulfur amino acid to lysine (TSAA:Lys) on the growth performance of nursery pigs raised with or without antibiotics (AGP) and to determine the optimal SID TSAA:Lys in nursery pigs raised without AGP. In Exp. 1, 924 nursery pigs (7.9 ± 1.3 kg), blocked by initial BW and sex, were randomly allotted to one of six treatments, with seven pens per treatment and twenty-two pigs per pen. The treatments were arranged in a 2 × 3 factorial design, with two AGP levels (0 or 50 mg/kg Carbodox) and three levels of SID TSAA:Lys (51.0, 58.5 or 66.0%). In Exp. 2, 990 weaned piglets (5.1 ± 0.9 kg), blocked by initial BW and sex, were randomly allotted to one of five dietary treatments (SID TSAA:Lys at 51, 58, 65, 72 or 79%) in the absence of AGP, with nine pens per treatment and twenty-two pigs per pen. Competing heteroskedastic models including broken-line linear (BLL), broken-line quadratic (BLQ), and quadratic polynomial (QP) were fitted for the growth performance data to estimate the optimal TSAA:Lys. In Exp. 1, AGP supplementation increased (p < 0.05) ADG and ADFI during the 21 d period. Increasing SID TSAA:Lys in the diets with AGP did not affect growth performance; however, increasing SID TSAA:Lys in the diets without AGP resulted in a linear increase (p < 0.05) in ADG and G:F. In Exp. 2, the best-fitting models for ADG and G:F from d 0 to 21 post-weaning were BLL, which yielded the optimal SID TSAA:Lys of 62% and 72%, respectively. The best-fitting models for ADG and G:F from d 21 to 42 post-weaning were BLL, which yielded the optimal SID TSAA:Lys of 59% and 58%, respectively. In conclusion, SID TSAA to Lys requirements under an antibiotic-free feeding regime during the first 21 d post-weaning were 62% and 72% in terms of ADG and G:F, respectively, whereas an SID TSAA:Lys of approximately 58% was required to maximize ADG and G:F for the late nursery phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Analytical Validation of a New Immunoenzymatic Method for the Measurement of Feline Parathyroid Hormone in Cats with Chronic Kidney Disease
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113100 - 29 Oct 2021
Abstract
The determination of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in cats could be of clinical utility in many metabolic disorders, such as renal diseases, hypercalcemia, or nutritional imbalances. However, the available methods for the measurement of feline PTH are limited, not widely available, and need radioimmunoassays. [...] Read more.
The determination of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in cats could be of clinical utility in many metabolic disorders, such as renal diseases, hypercalcemia, or nutritional imbalances. However, the available methods for the measurement of feline PTH are limited, not widely available, and need radioimmunoassays. The aim of this study was to perform the analytical validation of a new immunoenzymatic method for the measurement of feline PTH. Thirty-eight cats affected with chronic kidney disease (CKD) were included. PTH was measured using a two-site immunoenzymatic method validated in humans and dogs (ST AIA-PACK® Intact PTH, Tosoh Bioscience, Tessenderlo, Belgium). The analytical validation provided the evaluation of precision (intra-assay and inter-assay), accuracy (linearity under dilution (LUD) and spike recovery test (SRT)), and the storage stability of serum samples at 20 °C, 4 °C, and −20 °C. The method showed good precision (intra-assay CVs (coefficient of variations) 3.19–9.61%; inter-assay CVs 9.26–15.28%). In both the intra- and inter-assays, the highest imprecision was found with the low concentration pool (9.61% and 15.28%) and accuracy (LUD and SRT r2 = 0.99, p < 0.001), while the stability was optimal up until 7 days at −20 °C (−7.7%). The method was successfully validated in cats, allowing its future use in diagnostic procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Fibropapillomatosis and Chelonid Alphaherpesvirus 5 Infection in Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles (Lepidochelys kempii)
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3076; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113076 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Fibropapillomatosis (FP), a debilitating, infectious neoplastic disease, is rarely reported in endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii). With this study, we describe FP and the associated chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) in Kemp’s ridley turtles encountered in the United States during [...] Read more.
Fibropapillomatosis (FP), a debilitating, infectious neoplastic disease, is rarely reported in endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii). With this study, we describe FP and the associated chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) in Kemp’s ridley turtles encountered in the United States during 2006–2020. Analysis of 22 case reports of Kemp’s ridley turtles with FP revealed that while the disease was mild in most cases, 54.5% were adult turtles, a reproductively valuable age class whose survival is a priority for population recovery. Of 51 blood samples from tumor-free turtles and 12 tumor samples from turtles with FP, 7.8% and 91.7%, respectively, tested positive for ChHV5 DNA via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Viral genome shotgun sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of six tumor samples show that ChHV5 sequences in Kemp’s ridley turtles encountered in the Gulf of Mexico and northwestern Atlantic cluster with ChHV5 sequences identified in green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles from Hawaii, the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean. Results suggest an interspecific, spatiotemporal spread of FP among Kemp’s ridley turtles in regions where the disease is enzootic. Although FP is currently uncommon in this species, it remains a health concern due to its uncertain pathogenesis and potential relationship with habitat degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncogenic Viruses in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Cyclosporine Treatment in Cats with Presumed Chronic Pancreatitis—A Retrospective Study
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102993 - 19 Oct 2021
Abstract
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a common disease in middle-aged to older cats. Cyclosporine has been suggested as an alternative treatment when other immunosuppressive treatments are insufficient or contraindicated. However, no published studies have investigated its efficacy on feline CP. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a common disease in middle-aged to older cats. Cyclosporine has been suggested as an alternative treatment when other immunosuppressive treatments are insufficient or contraindicated. However, no published studies have investigated its efficacy on feline CP. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of cyclosporine on supranormal serum feline pancreas-specific lipase (Spec fPL) concentrations in cats with presumed CP. Inclusion criteria were history and clinical signs suggestive of CP, serum Spec fPL concentrations above 5.3 μg/L (reference range 0–3.5 μg/L, equivocal range 3.6–5.3 μg/L) on at least two occasions and treatment with cyclosporine for at least three weeks. Serum Spec fPL was analyzed at Idexx Laboratories, Kornwestheim, Germany. Nineteen cats, aged 6.9–17.5 years (median 11.6), were included. No pancreatic biopsies were available. Median (range) serum Spec fPL concentration was 14.2 μg/L (6.1–43.3) at baseline and 6.7 μg/L (0.9–23.6) at follow-up. Cyclosporine treatment (5.0–7.9 mg/kg orally SID) was associated with a significant reduction in serum Spec fPL concentrations (p < 0.001) at follow-up after 23–206 days (median 35). Body weight decreased significantly between inclusion and follow-up (p = 0.013). Significant improvement of clinical signs could not be measured (p = 0.781). This study has several limitations, including unstandardized treatment length and dose, no control group and lack of pancreatic biopsies. Despite the limitations, our results suggest that cyclosporine treatment reduces supranormal serum Spec fPL concentrations in cats with presumed CP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Small Animal Gastroenterology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mathematical Models for the Skin to Lumbosacral Epidural Distance in Dogs: A Cadaveric Computed-Tomography Study
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2974; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102974 - 15 Oct 2021
Abstract
This study aimed to validate previously published computed tomography (CT) derived mathematical equations with the true skin to lumbosacral epidural distance (SLED) in dog cadavers. Phase 1: The lumbar region of 11 dog cadavers were scanned in sternal recumbency to determine the effect [...] Read more.
This study aimed to validate previously published computed tomography (CT) derived mathematical equations with the true skin to lumbosacral epidural distance (SLED) in dog cadavers. Phase 1: The lumbar region of 11 dog cadavers were scanned in sternal recumbency to determine the effect of cranial, neutral, and caudal pelvic limb positioning on the CT derived lumbosacral epidural distance (CLED). Phase 2: The epidural space was determined using contrast epidurography, and the SLED was analysed against the mathematical equations using a body condition score (BCS) and either the cadaveric occipital-coccygeal length (OCL) (Equation (1): = 7.3 + 0.05*OCL + 16.45*BCS) or the ilium wing distance (IWD) (Equation (2): = 3.5 + 0.56*IWD + 16.6*BCS). There were no differences detected between the pelvic limb positions and the CLED. Both equations demonstrated strong correlations (Equation (1): r = 0.7196; Equation (2): r = 0.7590) with the SLED. The level of agreement was greater for Equation (1) than with Equation (2) (concordance coefficient 0.6061 and 0.3752, respectively). Equation (1) also demonstrated a closer fit to the concordance line compared with Equation (2) (bias correction factor 0.8422 and 0.4960, respectively). Further studies in live anaesthetised dogs will help to determine the usefulness of the pre-procedural knowledge when performing lumbosacral epidurals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Loco-Regional Anaesthesia in Veterinary Medicine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Factors Associated with Fatality in Ontario Thoroughbred Racehorses: 2003–2015
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102950 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission records equine racing fatalities through its Equine Health Program. The present study examined all Thoroughbred fatalities from 2003 to 2015, inclusive, to identify associations. Official records and details of fatalities were combined in multivariable logistic regression modelling of [...] Read more.
Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission records equine racing fatalities through its Equine Health Program. The present study examined all Thoroughbred fatalities from 2003 to 2015, inclusive, to identify associations. Official records and details of fatalities were combined in multivariable logistic regression modelling of 236,386 race work-events (433 fatalities), and 459,013 workout work-events (252 fatalities). Fatality rates were 2.94/1000 race starts (all fatalities) and 1.96/1000 (breakdowns only) with an overall rate of 2.61% or 26.1 fatalities/1000 horses. Comparison with published reports reveals rates to be high. Musculoskeletal injury was the predominant complaint and there was a high incidence of horses dying suddenly. Liability was high for young horses early in the season with a differential according to sex and whether a male horse was gelded. Horses undertaking repeated workouts had a higher liability and liability was higher in workouts for horses switching from dirt/synthetic to turf racing and for young horses in sprints. Race distance was not significant but high fatality rates in some large field, distance races combined with effects of age and workload identified groups at particular risk. As field size increased, fatality liability increased for early-finishing horses. Findings suggest jockey strategy could be an important factor influencing fatalities. Probability of fatality declined over the study period. Findings indicate that rapid accumulation of workload in animals early in their preparation is likely to be damaging. Fatality fell toward the end of a season and for horses with a long career history of successful performance; however, horses not exhibiting this robustness and staying power represent the population of greatest concern. Associations may be characterised as representing sources of stress, current or cumulative, and identifying at-risk animals on this basis may be as productive as targeting specific, discrete mechanisms suspected to contribute to individual fatalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Sustainable Equine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Modified Approach for the Ultrasound-Guided Quadratus Lumborum Block in Dogs: A Cadaveric Study
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2945; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102945 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Ultrasound-guided quadratus lumborum block (QLB) is a locoregional technique described in canine cadavers. The aim of this study was to assess a modified approach to QLB to minimise potential complications such as abdominal organ puncture. Nine canine cadavers were included and were positioned [...] Read more.
Ultrasound-guided quadratus lumborum block (QLB) is a locoregional technique described in canine cadavers. The aim of this study was to assess a modified approach to QLB to minimise potential complications such as abdominal organ puncture. Nine canine cadavers were included and were positioned in lateral recumbency. An ultrasound-guided QLB was performed on each side. The probe was placed in the transverse position over the lumbar muscles just caudal to the last rib, and a needle was advanced in-plane from a dorso-lateral to a ventro-medial. A volume of 0.2 mL kg−1 of a mixture of iomeprol and methylene blue was injected. Computed tomography (CT) and dissection were performed to evaluate the spreading. Success was defined as staining of the nerve with a length of more than 0.6 cm. Potential complications such as intra-abdominal, epidural, or intravascular spreading of the mixture were also assessed. The CT images showed a T13 to L7 vertebra distribution, with a median of 5 (3–6). Dissection showed staining of the nerves from T13 to L4, with a median of 3 (2–5). No complications were found. This modified approach to QLB is safe and shows similar results to the previous studies in canine carcass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Loco-Regional Anaesthesia in Veterinary Medicine)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Species-Level Gut Microbiota Analysis after Antibiotic-Induced Dysbiosis in Horses
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2859; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102859 - 30 Sep 2021
Abstract
All current studies have used Illumina short-read sequencing to characterize the equine intestinal microbiota. Long-read sequencing can classify bacteria at the species level. The objectives of this study were to characterize the gut microbiota of horses at the species level before and after [...] Read more.
All current studies have used Illumina short-read sequencing to characterize the equine intestinal microbiota. Long-read sequencing can classify bacteria at the species level. The objectives of this study were to characterize the gut microbiota of horses at the species level before and after trimethoprim sulfadiazine (TMS) administration and to compare results with Illumina sequencing. Nine horses received TMS (30 mg/kg) orally for 5 days twice a day to induce dysbiosis. Illumina sequencing of the V4 region or full-length PacBio sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed in fecal samples collected before and after antibiotic administration. The relative abundance and alpha diversity were compared between the two technologies. PacBio failed to classify the equine intestinal microbiota at the species level but confirmed Bacteroidetes as the most abundant bacteria in the feces of the studied horses, followed by Firmicutes and Fibrobacteres. An unknown species of the Bacteroidales order was highly abundant (13%) and deserves further investigation. In conclusion, PacBio was not suitable to classify the equine microbiota species but detected greater richness and less unclassified bacteria. Further efforts in improving current databanks to be used in equine studies are necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Microbiota)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Fascioliasis in Llama, Lama glama, in Andean Endemic Areas: Experimental Transmission Capacity by the High Altitude Snail Vector Galba truncatula and Epidemiological Analysis of Its Reservoir Role
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2693; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092693 - 14 Sep 2021
Abstract
South American camelids are definitive hosts of Fasciola hepatica. However, their capacity to participate in the transmission and epidemiology of fascioliasis has never been appropriately studied. Therefore, an F. hepatica isolate from Argentine llama is for the first time analyzed using Galba [...] Read more.
South American camelids are definitive hosts of Fasciola hepatica. However, their capacity to participate in the transmission and epidemiology of fascioliasis has never been appropriately studied. Therefore, an F. hepatica isolate from Argentine llama is for the first time analyzed using Galba truncatula lymnaeids from Bolivia. Experimental follow-up studies included egg embryogenesis, miracidial infection of lymnaeid snails, intramolluscan larval development, cercarial production, chronobiology of cercarial shedding, vector survival to infection, and metacercarial infectivity of mammal host. Shorter prepatent and patent periods were leading to markedly lower cercarial production, shorter cercarial shedding, and a higher negative impact on snail survival. The usually low liver fluke prevalences and intensities and low daily fecal outputs indicate that llamas do not substantially contribute to fascioliasis transmission. The defecating behavior in dung piles far from freshwater collections prevents lymnaeid infection by eggs shed by this camelid. All results suggest the reservoir role of the llama to be negligible and, therefore, no priority within control measures in endemic areas. However, llamas may play a disease-spreading role if used as pack animals in rural areas. In the Northern Bolivian Altiplano human hyperendemic area, neither llamas nor alpacas should be considered for control measures within a One Health action. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Dental Problems and Prophylactic Care in Cats—Knowledge and Perceptions among Swedish Cat Owners and Communication by Veterinary Care Staff
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2571; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092571 - 31 Aug 2021
Abstract
Dental problems are increasingly recognised in cats although many problems are preventable by tooth brushing. However, the knowledge level and preventive measures performed by owners are unclear. Additionally, there is a shortage of information on the communication by veterinary care staff to owners [...] Read more.
Dental problems are increasingly recognised in cats although many problems are preventable by tooth brushing. However, the knowledge level and preventive measures performed by owners are unclear. Additionally, there is a shortage of information on the communication by veterinary care staff to owners on dental health and prophylaxis in cats. The aim was to describe the knowledge and perceptions among Swedish cat owners and the communication by veterinary care staff on dental problems and prevention in cats. We distributed two electronic surveys; to cat owners and care staff, respectively. Of the cat owners, n = 407, 2/3 stated that they have knowledge about dental disease, listing modified eating behaviour as the most common sign followed by gingivitis, halitosis, pain and dental calculus. The main source of information was the internet followed by veterinary care staff, and 47% of the owners reported that they perform preventive oral health measures. The single most frequently stated preventive measure was tooth brushing, which was applied by 28% of the cat owners but with low frequency (daily n = 15, every second day n = 14). Veterinary care staff, n = 179, reported that they inform (47%) or sometimes inform (42%) cat owners on prophylactic dental care, daily or 3–7 times a week (combined 39%) most frequently by oral communication, with tooth brushing as the most common measure recommended. This study suggests that cat owners have relevant knowledge on dental health in cats, but the performed preventive measures are too infrequent to support good oral health in cats. There is room to develop strategies such as improvement in education and communication to increase welfare in cats. This includes consideration of the motivation and practical options for owners of cats who may not tolerate tooth brushing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary Nursing)
Article
Effect of Infant Presence on Social Networks of Sterilized and Intact Wild Female Balinese Macaques (Macaca fascicularis)
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092538 - 29 Aug 2021
Abstract
Contraception is increasingly used to control wild animal populations. However, as reproductive condition influences social interactions in primates, the absence of new offspring could influence the females’ social integration. We studied two groups of wild macaques (Macaca fascicularis) including females recently [...] Read more.
Contraception is increasingly used to control wild animal populations. However, as reproductive condition influences social interactions in primates, the absence of new offspring could influence the females’ social integration. We studied two groups of wild macaques (Macaca fascicularis) including females recently sterilized in the Ubud Monkey Forest, Indonesia. We used social network analysis to examine female grooming and proximity networks and investigated the role of infant presence on social centrality and group connectivity, while controlling for the fertility status (sterilized N = 14, intact N = 34). We compared the ego networks of females experiencing different nursing conditions (young infant (YI) vs. old infant (OI) vs. non-nursing (NN) females). YI females were less central in the grooming network than other females while being more central in proximity networks, suggesting they could keep proximity within the group to protect their infant from hazards, while decreasing direct grooming interactions, involving potential risks such as kidnapping. The centrality of sterilized and intact females was similar, except for the proximity network where sterilized females had more partners and a better group connectivity. These results confirm the influence of nursing condition in female macaque social networks and did not show any negative short-term effects of sterilization on social integration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Social Network Analysis to Evaluate Animal Welfare)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Genetic Parameters for Maternal Performance Traits in Commercially Farmed New Zealand Beef Cattle
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2509; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092509 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Maternal performance is a major driver of profitability in cow-calf beef cattle enterprises. The aim of this research was to evaluate the inheritance of maternal performance traits and examine the intercorrelation among reproduction, live weight, hip height, body condition and maternal contribution to [...] Read more.
Maternal performance is a major driver of profitability in cow-calf beef cattle enterprises. The aim of this research was to evaluate the inheritance of maternal performance traits and examine the intercorrelation among reproduction, live weight, hip height, body condition and maternal contribution to calf weaning weight in 15-month-old heifers, 2-year-old cows and mature cows in New Zealand beef herds. Data were collected on a total of 14,241 cows and their progeny on five commercial New Zealand hill country farms. Heritabilities were low for reproductive traits in heifers and mature cows (0–0.06) but were greater in 2-year-old cows (0.12–0.21). Body condition scores were lowly (0.15–0.26) and live weights (0.42–0.48) and hip heights (0.47–0.65) highly heritable in heifers, 2-year-old cows and mature cows. Results indicate that 2-year-old cows with higher genetic potential for rebreeding ability may have greater genetic merit for live weight, hip height and body condition as heifers (rg = 0.19–0.54) but are unlikely to be larger cows at maturity (rg = −0.27–−0.10). The maternal genetic effect on weaning weight had a heritability of 0.20 and was negatively genetically correlated with body condition score in lactating cows (rg = −0.55–−0.40) but positively genetically correlated with rebreeding performance (rg = 0.48). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
DNA Multi-Marker Genotyping and CIAS Morphometric Phenotyping of Fasciola gigantica-Sized Flukes from Ecuador, with an Analysis of the Radix Absence in the New World and the Evolutionary Lymnaeid Snail Vector Filter
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2495; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092495 - 25 Aug 2021
Abstract
Fascioliasis is a disease caused by Fasciola hepatica worldwide transmitted by lymnaeid snails mainly of the Galba/Fossaria group and F. gigantica restricted to parts of Africa and Asia and transmitted by Radix lymnaeids. Concern has recently risen regarding the high pathogenicity [...] Read more.
Fascioliasis is a disease caused by Fasciola hepatica worldwide transmitted by lymnaeid snails mainly of the Galba/Fossaria group and F. gigantica restricted to parts of Africa and Asia and transmitted by Radix lymnaeids. Concern has recently risen regarding the high pathogenicity and human infection capacity of F. gigantica. Abnormally big-sized fasciolids were found infecting sheep in Ecuador, the only South American country where F. gigantica has been reported. Their phenotypic comparison with F. hepatica infecting sheep from Peru, Bolivia and Spain, and F. gigantica from Egypt and Vietnam demonstrated the Ecuadorian fasciolids to have size-linked parameters of F. gigantica. Genotyping of these big-sized fasciolids by rDNA ITS-2 and ITS-1 and mtDNA cox1 and nad1 and their comparison with other countries proved the big-sized fasciolids to belong to F. hepatica. Neither heterozygotic ITS position differentiated the two species, and no introgressed fragments and heteroplasmic positions in mtDNA were found. The haplotype diversity indicates introductions mainly from other South American countries, Europe and North America. Big-sized fasciolids from Ecuador and USA are considered to be consequences of F.gigantica introductions by past livestock importations. The vector specificity filter due to Radix absence should act as driving force in the evolution in such lineages. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Evolutionary Comparisons of Chelonid Alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) Genomes from Fibropapillomatosis-Afflicted Green (Chelonia mydas), Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) Sea Turtles
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092489 - 25 Aug 2021
Abstract
The spreading global sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP) epizootic is threatening some of Earth’s ancient reptiles, adding to the plethora of threats faced by these keystone species. Understanding this neoplastic disease and its likely aetiological pathogen, chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), is crucial to understand [...] Read more.
The spreading global sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP) epizootic is threatening some of Earth’s ancient reptiles, adding to the plethora of threats faced by these keystone species. Understanding this neoplastic disease and its likely aetiological pathogen, chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), is crucial to understand how the disease impacts sea turtle populations and species and the future trajectory of disease incidence. We generated 20 ChHV5 genomes, from three sea turtle species, to better understand the viral variant diversity and gene evolution of this oncogenic virus. We revealed previously underappreciated genetic diversity within this virus (with an average of 2035 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 1.54% of the ChHV5 genome) and identified genes under the strongest evolutionary pressure. Furthermore, we investigated the phylogeny of ChHV5 at both genome and gene level, confirming the propensity of the virus to be interspecific, with related variants able to infect multiple sea turtle species. Finally, we revealed unexpected intra-host diversity, with up to 0.15% of the viral genome varying between ChHV5 genomes isolated from different tumours concurrently arising within the same individual. These findings offer important insights into ChHV5 biology and provide genomic resources for this oncogenic virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncogenic Viruses in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Improved Oral Health and Adaptation to Treatment in Dogs Using Manual or Ultrasonic Toothbrush or Textile of Nylon or Microfiber for Active Dental Home Care
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092481 - 24 Aug 2021
Abstract
Poor oral health is a common problem in dogs causing pain and impaired welfare. The gold standard to maintain good oral health and prevent periodontitis is daily tooth brushing. However, many dog owners find it difficult, and dogs often show aversive behavior. There [...] Read more.
Poor oral health is a common problem in dogs causing pain and impaired welfare. The gold standard to maintain good oral health and prevent periodontitis is daily tooth brushing. However, many dog owners find it difficult, and dogs often show aversive behavior. There are several different tools available, and in this intra-subject study, four different active dental home care treatment options were examined: manual and ultrasonic toothbrush, a nylon glove, and a microfiber finger cloth. The treatments were evaluated for efficacy against gingivitis, plaque, and calculus in beagle dogs. Each dog received two treatments on the buccal sides of the teeth once daily, either two types of toothbrushes (N = 10) or two types of textiles (N = 11), on separate sides of the mouth. The dogs’ teeth were assessed before and after the five-week treatment period, with the assessor blinded by additional, similar dogs (N = 7). The study also assessed the dogs’ stress levels during treatment using a fear, anxiety, stress (FAS) protocol. All four treatments improved dog oral health, reducing gingivitis and plaque. Furthermore, the amount of calculus also decreased in some individuals. Adaptation to dental care occurred in the dogs over time. This information can be used to encourage dog owners to brush their dogs’ teeth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary Nursing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Calcinosis in Alpaca Crias (Vicugna pacos) Due to Vitamin D Intoxication—Clinical, Laboratory and Pathological Findings with a Focus on Kidney Function
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082332 - 07 Aug 2021
Abstract
Alpacas kept in Central Europe are often deficient in vitamin D3, which is supplemented orally or by injection by the owners or veterinarians. Vitamin D3 can be specified in two different units (IU and µg), which differ by a factor [...] Read more.
Alpacas kept in Central Europe are often deficient in vitamin D3, which is supplemented orally or by injection by the owners or veterinarians. Vitamin D3 can be specified in two different units (IU and µg), which differ by a factor of 40. By mixing up these units, an overdosage can be induced. In this study, three alpaca crias were examined after vitamin D3 intoxication, with particular reference to kidney function. All three animals developed non-specific clinical alterations 1–2 weeks after a vitamin D3 overdose of approximately 40 times. Plasma of the animals revealed several alterations. The main findings were severe azotemia, hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia, 15 days after treatment. Kidney function analysis (endogenous creatinine clearance) in two of the crias revealed severe glomerular damage. All crias died despite intensive treatment within 23 days after vitamin D3 treatment. Necropsy revealed calcification in different organs, mainly the kidneys, lungs and liver. Since nine other crias in the same group were treated with comparable doses of vitamin D3 and no clinical signs were observed in these animals, it is concluded that individual animals show different levels of sensitivity to vitamin D3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Pathology in Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
High Drug Resistance in Feline Mammary Carcinoma Cell Line (FMCm) and Comparison with Human Breast Cancer Cell Line (MCF-7)
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082321 - 06 Aug 2021
Abstract
Drug repurposing and drug combination are important therapeutic approaches in cancer therapy. Drug repurposing aims to give new indications to drugs, rather than the original indication, whereas drug combination presupposes that the effect that is obtained should be more beneficial than the effect [...] Read more.
Drug repurposing and drug combination are important therapeutic approaches in cancer therapy. Drug repurposing aims to give new indications to drugs, rather than the original indication, whereas drug combination presupposes that the effect that is obtained should be more beneficial than the effect obtained by the individual drugs. Previously, drug repurposing and the combination of different drugs was evaluated in our research group against human breast cancer cells (MCF-7 cells). Our results demonstrated that the response obtained through the combination of drugs, when compared with the single drugs, led to more synergic responses. Therefore, using potential drugs for repurposing, combined with a reference drug in breast cancer (5-Fluorouracil), was the major aim of this project, but for the first time using the feline mammary carcinoma cell line, FMCm. Surprisingly, the feline neoplastic cells demonstrated considerable resistance to the drugs tested in isolation, and the combination was not effective, which contrasted with the obtained MCF-7 cells’ response. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Bacterial Contamination of Equine Dentistry Equipment—Effect of Cleaning and Disinfection
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082320 - 05 Aug 2021
Abstract
Equine dentistry has developed immensely and human dental equipment, such as handpieces, are often used. Measures to avoid the spread of infectious microorganisms are important, but this is challenging since handpieces are difficult to decontaminate. Thus, it is necessary to develop effective IPC [...] Read more.
Equine dentistry has developed immensely and human dental equipment, such as handpieces, are often used. Measures to avoid the spread of infectious microorganisms are important, but this is challenging since handpieces are difficult to decontaminate. Thus, it is necessary to develop effective IPC measures in equine dentistry. The aim of this study was to contribute to the evidence needed for future evidence-based guidelines on IPC by investigating hygiene in equine dentistry. Used handpieces and dummies (i.e., handpieces not used during dental procedure, reflecting environmental bacterial contamination) and the head support were sampled each day before the first patient, for each patient after treatment, and after decontamination. All equipment was sampled with 3M TM Swab Samplers and the head support additionally sampled with dip slides. After dental procedures, the detected bacterial load was often high on used handpieces, dummies, and the head support. After decontamination, handpieces did not meet the criteria for high-level disinfected equipment. In all but one case decontamination of the head support resulted in a lowered bacterial load. There is a great need for evidence-based guidelines on hygiene in equine dentistry, including IPC measures, to decrease the risk of spreading infectious microorganisms between patients, facilities, and stables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary Nursing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
First Data on the Helminth Community of the Smallest Living Mammal on Earth, the Etruscan Pygmy Shrew, Suncus etruscus (Savi, 1822) (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae)
Animals 2021, 11(7), 2074; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072074 - 12 Jul 2021
Abstract
Suncus etruscus is the smallest living mammal on Earth by mass. Most adults weigh 1.8–3 g with a body length of 35–48 mm. Catching it in small mammal traps in nature is extremely difficult due to its minute size, and therefore special trapping [...] Read more.
Suncus etruscus is the smallest living mammal on Earth by mass. Most adults weigh 1.8–3 g with a body length of 35–48 mm. Catching it in small mammal traps in nature is extremely difficult due to its minute size, and therefore special trapping methods must be used. We had the unique opportunity of studying, for the first time, the helminth parasites of 166 individuals of S. etruscus, part of the largest collection in the world, which belonged to the French scientist Dr Roger Fons (1942–2016). A total of 150 individuals were captured in the Banyuls-Cerbère area (France) and 16 in the island of Corsica (France). We found seven helminth species, specifically, the cestodes Joyeuxiella pasqualei larvae, Mesocestoides sp. larvae, Staphylocystis claudevaucheri, S. banyulsensis, S. cerberensis, and Pseudhymenolepis sp., and the nematodes Aonchotheca sp. and Nematoda gen. sp. larvae. Neither trematodes nor acanthocephalans were detected. We provide prevalences, infracommunity compositions, and helminth associations. The adult helminth community of S. etruscus seems to be highly specific, i.e., oioxenous, and linked to its insectivore diet. Due to its small size, S. etruscus has undergone numerous physiological adaptations that have probably influenced its helminth spectrum as well as its helminth specificity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Helminths of Small Mammals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treated with and without Corticosteroids
Animals 2021, 11(7), 2061; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072061 - 10 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cells have proven to be a promising alternative to conventional steroids to treat canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, their administration requires a washout period of immunosuppressive drugs that can lead to an exacerbation of the symptoms. Therefore, the feasibility and [...] Read more.
Mesenchymal stem cells have proven to be a promising alternative to conventional steroids to treat canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, their administration requires a washout period of immunosuppressive drugs that can lead to an exacerbation of the symptoms. Therefore, the feasibility and effects of the combined application of stem cells and prednisone in IBD-dogs without adequate response to corticosteroids was evaluated for the first time in this study over a long- term follow up. Two groups of dogs with IBD, one without treatment and another with prednisone treatment, received a single infusion of stem cells. The clinical indices, albumin and cobalamin were determined prior to the infusion and after one, three, six and 12 months. In both groups, all parameters significantly improved at each time point. In parallel, the steroid dosage was gradually reduced until it was suppressed in all patients a year after the cell therapy. Therefore, cell therapy can significantly and safely improve the disease condition in dogs with IBD receiving or not receiving prednisone. Furthermore, the steroid dosage can be significantly reduced or cancelled after the stem cell infusion. Their beneficial effects are stable over time and are long lasting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Small Animal Gastroenterology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
GPS Coordinates for Modelling Correlated Herd Effects in Genomic Prediction Models Applied to Hanwoo Beef Cattle
Animals 2021, 11(7), 2050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072050 - 09 Jul 2021
Abstract
It is widely known that the environment influences phenotypic expression and that its effects must be accounted for in genetic evaluation programs. The most used method to account for environmental effects is to add herd and contemporary group to the model. Although generally [...] Read more.
It is widely known that the environment influences phenotypic expression and that its effects must be accounted for in genetic evaluation programs. The most used method to account for environmental effects is to add herd and contemporary group to the model. Although generally informative, the herd effect treats different farms as independent units. However, if two farms are located physically close to each other, they potentially share correlated environmental factors. We introduce a method to model herd effects that uses the physical distances between farms based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates as a proxy for the correlation matrix of these effects that aims to account for similarities and differences between farms due to environmental factors. A population of Hanwoo Korean cattle was used to evaluate the impact of modelling herd effects as correlated, in comparison to assuming the farms as completely independent units, on the variance components and genomic prediction. The main result was an increase in the reliabilities of the predicted genomic breeding values compared to reliabilities obtained with traditional models (across four traits evaluated, reliabilities of prediction presented increases that ranged from 0.05 ± 0.01 to 0.33 ± 0.03), suggesting that these models may overestimate heritabilities. Although little to no significant gain was obtained in phenotypic prediction, the increased reliability of the predicted genomic breeding values is of practical relevance for genetic evaluation programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cattle Breeding, Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effectiveness of Two Plant-Based In-Feed Additives against an Escherichia coli F4 Oral Challenge in Weaned Piglets
Animals 2021, 11(7), 2024; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072024 - 06 Jul 2021
Abstract
This study evaluates the efficacy of two plant-based feed supplementations to fight colibacillosis in weanlings. A total of 96 piglets (32 pens) were assigned to four diets: a control diet (T1) or supplemented with ZnO (2500 ppm Zn) (T2) or two different plant [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the efficacy of two plant-based feed supplementations to fight colibacillosis in weanlings. A total of 96 piglets (32 pens) were assigned to four diets: a control diet (T1) or supplemented with ZnO (2500 ppm Zn) (T2) or two different plant supplements, T3 (1 kg/t; based on essential oils) and T4 (T3 + 1.5 kg/t based on non-volatile compounds). After one week, animals were challenged with ETEC F4, and 8 days after, one animal per pen was euthanized. Performance, clinical signs, microbial analysis, inflammatory response, intestinal morphology, and ileal gene expression were assessed. ZnO improved daily gains 4 days after challenge, T3 and T4 showing intermediate values (96, 249, 170, and 157 g/d for T1, T2, T3, and T4, p = 0.035). Fecal lactobacilli were higher with T3 and T4 compared to ZnO (7.55, 6.26, 8.71, and 8.27 cfu/gFM; p = 0.0007) and T3 increased the lactobacilli/coliforms ratio (p = 0.002). T4 was associated with lower levels of Pig-MAP (p = 0.07) and increases in villus/crypt ratio (1.49, 1.90, 1.73, and 1.84; p = 0.009). Moreover, T4 was associated with an upregulation of the REG3G gene (p = 0.013; pFDR = 0.228) involved in the immune response induced by enteric pathogens. In conclusion, both plant supplements enhanced animal response in front of an ETEC F4 challenge probably based on different modes of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Alternatives to Antimicrobial in Animal Feed)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Dose–Response Effects of 3-Nitrooxypropanol Combined with Low- and High-Concentrate Feed Proportions in the Dairy Cow Ration on Fermentation Parameters in a Rumen Simulation Technique
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1784; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061784 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Methane (CH4) from ruminal feed degradation is a major pollutant from ruminant livestock, which calls for mitigation strategies. The purpose of the present 4 × 2 factorial arrangement was to investigate the dose–response relationships between four doses of the CH4 [...] Read more.
Methane (CH4) from ruminal feed degradation is a major pollutant from ruminant livestock, which calls for mitigation strategies. The purpose of the present 4 × 2 factorial arrangement was to investigate the dose–response relationships between four doses of the CH4 inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) and potential synergistic effects with low (LC) or high (HC) concentrate feed proportions (CFP) on CH4 reduction as both mitigation approaches differ in their mode of action (direct 3-NOP vs. indirect CFP effects). Diet substrates and 3-NOP were incubated in a rumen simulation technique to measure the concentration and production of volatile fatty acids (VFA), fermentation gases as well as substrate disappearance. Negative side effects on fermentation regarding total VFA and gas production as well as nutrient degradability were observed for neither CFP nor 3-NOP. CH4 production decreased from 10% up to 97% in a dose-dependent manner with increasing 3-NOP inclusion rate (dose: p < 0.001) but irrespective of CFP (CFP × dose: p = 0.094). Hydrogen gas accumulated correspondingly with increased 3-NOP dose (dose: p < 0.001). In vitro pH (p = 0.019) and redox potential (p = 0.066) varied by CFP, whereas the latter fluctuated with 3-NOP dose (p = 0.01). Acetate and iso-butyrate (mol %) decreased with 3-NOP dose, whereas iso-valerate increased (dose: p < 0.001). Propionate and valerate varied inconsistently due to 3-NOP supplementation. The feed additive 3-NOP was proven to be a dose-dependent yet effective CH4 inhibitor under conditions in vitro. The observed lack of additivity of increased CFP on the CH4 inhibition potential of 3-NOP needs to be verified in future research testing further diet types both in vitro and in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Evaluation of Tannin Extracts, Leonardite and Tributyrin Supplementation on Diarrhoea Incidence and Gut Microbiota of Weaned Piglets
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1693; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061693 - 06 Jun 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
The effects of the dietary administration of a combination of Quebracho and Chestnut tannins, leonardite and tributyrin were evaluated in weaned piglets. A total of 168 weaned piglets (Landrace × Large White) were randomly allotted to two experimental groups (6 pens/group, 14 piglets/pen). [...] Read more.
The effects of the dietary administration of a combination of Quebracho and Chestnut tannins, leonardite and tributyrin were evaluated in weaned piglets. A total of 168 weaned piglets (Landrace × Large White) were randomly allotted to two experimental groups (6 pens/group, 14 piglets/pen). Animals were fed a basal control diet (CTRL) and a treatment diet (MIX) supplemented with 0.75% tannin extracts, 0.25% leonardite and 0.20% tributyrin for 28 days. Individual body weight and feed intake were recorded weekly. Diarrhoea incidence was recorded by a faecal scoring scale (0–3; considering diarrhoea ≥ 2). At 0 and 28 days, faecal samples were obtained from four piglets/pen for microbiological and chemical analyses of faecal microbiota, which were then assessed by V3-V4 region amplification sequencing. At 28 days, blood from two piglets/pen was sampled to evaluate the serum metabolic profile. After 28 days, a reduction in diarrhoea incidence was observed in the MIX compared to CTRL group (p < 0.05). In addition, compared to CTRL, MIX showed a higher lactobacilli:coliform ratio and increased Prevotella and Fibrobacter genera presence (p < 0.01). The serum metabolic profile showed a decreased level of low-density lipoproteins in the treated group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, a combination of tannin extract, leonardite and tributyrin could decrease diarrhoea incidence and modulate the gut microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Alternatives to Antimicrobial in Animal Feed)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Bidimensional and Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasonography of the Spleen in Dogs Affected by Leishmaniosis
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051437 - 17 May 2021
Abstract
Canine leishmaniosis (CanL) is responsible for splenic pathological changes. The main features detectable from ultrasound examination are splenomegaly and diffuse alterations of the echostructure. The study aimed to highlight whether these ultrasound changes are related to the severity of the disease or to [...] Read more.
Canine leishmaniosis (CanL) is responsible for splenic pathological changes. The main features detectable from ultrasound examination are splenomegaly and diffuse alterations of the echostructure. The study aimed to highlight whether these ultrasound changes are related to the severity of the disease or to a modification of splenic microvascularization that can be detected in vivo through contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS). Twenty-five adult dogs tested for CanL were enrolled in this prospective, controlled study and staged according to LeishVet guidelines. Bidimensional ultrasonography revealed that splenomegaly was seen in 50% of the affected dogs, and diffuse parenchymal changes were seen in more than 60% of dogs with splenomegaly, showing a positive correlation with severity of the disease; therefore, splenomegaly could be of prognostic significance. CEUS showed that a persistent heterogeneous distribution pattern appeared only in spleens with diffuse echostructure alterations. The evaluation of quantitative CEUS parameters regarding the volume and velocity of flow in three regions of interest did not show differences between affected and control dogs. Diffuse spleen microvascular modifications evidenced by CEUS were reported for the first time in dogs with CanL. In endemic areas, CanL could be included in the differential diagnoses list when detecting splenic alterations in dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound (CEUS) in Small and Large Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Canine Gastric Carcinomas: A Histopathological and Immunohistochemical Study and Similarities with the Human Counterpart
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051409 - 14 May 2021
Abstract
Canine gastric carcinoma (CGC) affects both sexes in relatively equal proportions, with a mean age of nine years, and the highest frequency in Staffordshire bull terriers. The most common histological subtype in 149 CGC cases was the undifferentiated carcinoma. CGCs were associated with [...] Read more.
Canine gastric carcinoma (CGC) affects both sexes in relatively equal proportions, with a mean age of nine years, and the highest frequency in Staffordshire bull terriers. The most common histological subtype in 149 CGC cases was the undifferentiated carcinoma. CGCs were associated with increased chronic inflammation parameters and a greater chronic inflammatory score when Helicobacter spp. were present. Understanding the molecular pathways of gastric carcinoma is challenging. All markers showed variable expression for each subtype. Expression of the cell cycle regulator 14-3-3σ was positive in undifferentiated, tubular and papillary carcinomas. This demonstrates that 14-3-3σ could serve as an immunohistochemical marker in routine diagnosis and that mucinous, papillary and signet-ring cell (SRC) carcinomas follow a 14-3-3σ independent pathway. p16, another cell cycle regulator, showed increased expression in mucinous and SRC carcinomas. Expression of the adhesion molecules E-cadherin and CD44 appear context-dependent, with switching within tumor emboli potentially playing an important role in tumor cell survival, during invasion and metastasis. Within neoplastic emboli, acinar structures lacked expression of all markers, suggesting an independent molecular pathway that requires further investigation. These findings demonstrate similarities and differences between dogs and humans, albeit further clinicopathological data and molecular analysis are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Pathology and Immunohistochemistry of Veterinary Species)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Immunohistochemical Expression of Neurokinin-A and Interleukin-8 in the Bronchial Epithelium of Horses with Severe Equine Asthma Syndrome during Asymptomatic, Exacerbation, and Remission Phase
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1376; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051376 - 12 May 2021
Abstract
Severe equine asthma (EA) syndrome is a chronic obstructive disease characterized by exaggerated contraction, inflammation, and structural alteration of the airways in adult horses, when exposed to airborne molds and particulate material. However, little is known about the relationship between the degree and [...] Read more.
Severe equine asthma (EA) syndrome is a chronic obstructive disease characterized by exaggerated contraction, inflammation, and structural alteration of the airways in adult horses, when exposed to airborne molds and particulate material. However, little is known about the relationship between the degree and type of inflammation on one hand, and the severity of the disease and the response to treatment on the other. Furthermore, to date, very few studies evaluate the diagnostic value of histology and immunohistochemical features of endoscopic biopsies on subjects with severe equine asthma. To investigate the expression of two inflammatory markers (NKA and IL-8) before, during, and after the exacerbation of severe EA, a histological and immunohistochemical study was carried out on a series of biopsy samples collected by bronchoscopy from six EA-affected horses subjected to process exacerbation through environmental stimuli and then to pharmacological treatment. The application of a histological biopsy scoring system revealed a significant difference between control cases and the EA-affected horses in all experimental phases (asymptomatic, early exacerbation phase, late exacerbation phase, and remission phase). For immunohistochemistry (IHC), only the intensity of NKA positivity increases significantly between control horses and the EA horses at late exacerbation and remission phases. In EA-affected horses, a difference was detected by comparing histology between asymptomatic and remission phase, meanwhile, NKA and IL-8 showed no differences between the experimental phases. Based on these results we can assert that: (1) The endoscopic biopsies generate reliable and homogeneous samples in the entire bronchial tree; (2) the clinical improvement associated with treatment is characterized by a significant worsening of the histological findings; and (3) the NKA immunopositivity seems to increase significantly rather than decrease, as one would have expected, after pharmacological treatment. Further studies are necessary both to implement the number of samples and to use other markers of inflammation to characterize the potential role of cytokines in the diagnosis and therapeutic approach of severe equine asthma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Pathology and Immunohistochemistry of Veterinary Species)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Bovine Intelectin 2 Expression as a Biomarker of Paratuberculosis Disease Progression
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051370 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Paratuberculosis (PTB), a chronic granulomatous enteritis caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), is responsible for important economic losses in the dairy industry. Our previous RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis showed that bovine intelectin 2 (ITLN2) precursor gene was overexpressed in ileocecal valve (ICV) [...] Read more.
Paratuberculosis (PTB), a chronic granulomatous enteritis caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), is responsible for important economic losses in the dairy industry. Our previous RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis showed that bovine intelectin 2 (ITLN2) precursor gene was overexpressed in ileocecal valve (ICV) samples of animals with focal (log2 fold-change = 10.6) and diffuse (log2 fold-change = 6.8) PTB-associated lesions compared to animals without lesions. This study analyzes the potential use of ITLN2, a protein that has been described as fundamental in the innate immune response to infections, as a biomarker of MAP infection. The presence of ITLN2 was investigated by quantitative immunohistochemical analysis of ICV samples of 20 Holstein Friesian cows showing focal (n = 5), multifocal (n = 5), diffuse (n = 5) and no histological lesions (n = 5). Significant differences were observed in the mean number of ITLN2 immunostained goblet and Paneth cells between the three histopathological types and the control. The number of immunolabelled cells was higher in the focal histopathological type (116.9 ± 113.9) followed by the multifocal (108.7 ± 140.5), diffuse (76.5 ± 97.8) and control types (41.0 ± 81.3). These results validate ITLN2 as a post-mortem biomarker of disease progression. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Maneuverability of the Scope and Instruments within Three Different Single-Incision Laparoscopic Ports: An Experimental Pilot Study
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1242; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051242 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Single-port access systems (SPASs) are currently used in human and veterinary surgeries. However, they pose technical challenges, such as instrument crowding, intra- and extracorporeal instrument collision, and reduced maneuverability. Studies comparing the maneuverability of the scopes and instruments in different SPASs are lacking. [...] Read more.
Single-port access systems (SPASs) are currently used in human and veterinary surgeries. However, they pose technical challenges, such as instrument crowding, intra- and extracorporeal instrument collision, and reduced maneuverability. Studies comparing the maneuverability of the scopes and instruments in different SPASs are lacking. This study aimed to compare the maneuverability of three different SPASs: the Covidien SILS-port, Storz Endocone, and glove port. A clear acrylic box with artificial skin placed at the bottom was used to mimic the abdominal wall and cavity. The three SPASs were placed from below, and a 10-mm endoscope and 5-mm instrument were introduced. A motion analysis system consisting of 18 cameras and motion analysis software were used to track the movement of the endoscope and instrument, to determine the volume of the cone-shaped, three-dimensional figures over which movement was possible, with higher values indicating greater maneuverability. The Mann–Whitney U test was used for the analysis. The maneuverability of the endoscope alone was significantly higher in the glove port system than in the other two SPASs. When inserting an additional instrument, the maneuverability significantly decreased in the SILS-port and Endocone, but not in the glove port. The highest maneuverability overall was found in the glove port. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary Minimally Invasive Surgery)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Economic Feasibility of Mixed-Species Grazing to Improve Rangeland Productivity
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051226 - 23 Apr 2021
Abstract
Pasture and grazing land in the southern and central Great Plains is being invaded by woody species, especially eastern redcedar. As a result of woody plant encroachment, cattle production on native rangeland is becoming less profitable because stocking rates must be decreased. Eastern [...] Read more.
Pasture and grazing land in the southern and central Great Plains is being invaded by woody species, especially eastern redcedar. As a result of woody plant encroachment, cattle production on native rangeland is becoming less profitable because stocking rates must be decreased. Eastern redcedar encroachment can be controlled by grazing management, herbicide use, prescribed fire, mechanical control and mixed species grazing. This study utilizes traditional management practices, prescribed fire and three types of mixed species grazing operations to determine the most economically feasible way to manage redcedar encroachment on rangeland. The cost-benefit analysis in this study found that the source of redcedar management on rangeland with the highest net present value was the use of a breeding goat operation in which goats were grazed alongside cattle with the use of prescribed fire. This suggests that producers who are fighting redcedar encroachment will likely be able to implement a mixed species grazing operation with breeding goats to better manage their land and increase returns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data-Driven Decision Making in Animal Industries)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
SARS-CoV-2 in Danish Mink Farms: Course of the Epidemic and a Descriptive Analysis of the Outbreaks in 2020
Animals 2021, 11(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010164 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 29
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 infection is the cause of COVID-19 in humans. In April 2020, SARS-CoV-2 infection in farmed mink (Neovision vision) occurred in the Netherlands. The first outbreaks in Denmark were detected in June 2020 in three farms. A steep increase in the [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 infection is the cause of COVID-19 in humans. In April 2020, SARS-CoV-2 infection in farmed mink (Neovision vision) occurred in the Netherlands. The first outbreaks in Denmark were detected in June 2020 in three farms. A steep increase in the number of infected farms occurred from September and onwards. Here, we describe prevalence data collected from 215 infected mink farms to characterize spread and impact of disease in infected farms. In one third of the farms, no clinical signs were observed. In farms with clinical signs, decreased feed intake, increased mortality and respiratory symptoms were most frequently observed, during a limited time period (median of 11 days). In 65% and 69% of farms, virus and sero-conversion, respectively, were detected in 100% of sampled animals at the first sampling. SARS-CoV-2 was detected, at low levels, in air samples collected close to the mink, on mink fur, on flies, on the foot of a seagull, and in gutter water, but not in feed. Some dogs and cats from infected farms tested positive for the virus. Chickens, rabbits, and horses sampled on a few farms, and wildlife sampled in the vicinity of the infected farms did not test positive for SARS-CoV-2. Thus, mink are highly susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2, but routes of transmission between farms, other than by direct human contact, are unclear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Increasing Hepatitis E Virus Seroprevalence in Domestic Pigs and Wild Boar in Bulgaria
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1521; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091521 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 12
Abstract
(1) Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a causative agent of acute viral hepatitis, predominantly transmitted by the fecal–oral route. In developed countries, HEV is considered to be an emerging pathogen since the number of autochthonous cases is rising. Hepatitis E is a [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a causative agent of acute viral hepatitis, predominantly transmitted by the fecal–oral route. In developed countries, HEV is considered to be an emerging pathogen since the number of autochthonous cases is rising. Hepatitis E is a viral disease with a proven zoonotic potential for some of its genotypes. The main viral reservoirs are domestic pigs and wild boar. Consumption of undercooked meat, as well as occupational exposure, are key factors for the spread of HEV. In order to evaluate the risks of future viral evolution, a detailed examination of the ecology and distribution of the virus is needed. The aim of the present study is to investigate the prevalence of anti-HEV IgG Ab in domestic pigs and wild boar in Bulgaria; (2) Methods: In this study, during the period of three years between 2017 and 2019, 433 serum samples from 19 different pig farms and 1 slaughterhouse were collected and analyzed. In addition, 32 samples from wild boar were also collected and analyzed during the 2018–2019 hunting season. All samples were analyzed by commercial indirect ELISA; (3) Results: Overall, HEV seroprevalence was 60% (95% CI 42.7–77.1) in domestic pigs and 12.5% (4/32) in wild boar. The observed seroprevalence of the slaughter-aged pigs was 73.65% (95% Cl 58.7–87.3). Prevalence in domestic pigs was significantly higher in the samples collected during 2019 (98% (95% Cl 96.1–99.9)) compared to those collected during 2017 (45.33% (95% CI 2.7–87.3)) and 2018 (38.46% (95% CI 29.1–49.7.); (4) Conclusions: Our findings suggest that domesticated pigs and wild boar might be the reason for the increased HEV transmission across Bulgaria. The genotypic characterization of HEV found in pigs, wild boar and humans will give a more accurate view of the zoonotic transmission of this virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonoses: Wild and Domestic Animal Interaction)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Behavioural Evaluation of a Leash Tension Meter Which Measures Pull Direction and Force during Human–Dog On-Leash Walks
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081382 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Leash tension forces exerted by dog and handler during walks affect their welfare. We developed a novel ambulatory measurement device using a load cell and a tri-axial accelerometer to record both the tension and direction of forces exerted on the leashes. Data were [...] Read more.
Leash tension forces exerted by dog and handler during walks affect their welfare. We developed a novel ambulatory measurement device using a load cell and a tri-axial accelerometer to record both the tension and direction of forces exerted on the leashes. Data were relayed telemetrically to a laptop for real time viewing and recording. Larger and heavier dogs exerted higher leash tension but had a lower pulling frequency than their smaller and lighter conspecifics. This pattern was observed in the reactional forces of handlers. Young dogs pulled more frequently during walks, which was also mirrored in handlers’ pulling. Well-behaved dogs created lower leash tension, but handlers did not respond with lower forces. This novel method of recording leash tension will facilitate real-time monitoring of the behaviour of dogs and their handlers during walks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Companion Animal Cognition, Communication, and Behavior)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Dogs Don’t Die Just in Hot Cars—Exertional Heat-Related Illness (Heatstroke) Is a Greater Threat to UK Dogs
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081324 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Heat-related illness will affect increasing numbers of dogs as global temperatures rise unless effective mitigation strategies are implemented. This study aimed to identify the key triggers of heat-related illness in dogs and investigate canine risk factors for the most common triggers in UK [...] Read more.
Heat-related illness will affect increasing numbers of dogs as global temperatures rise unless effective mitigation strategies are implemented. This study aimed to identify the key triggers of heat-related illness in dogs and investigate canine risk factors for the most common triggers in UK dogs. Using the VetCompassTM programme, de-identified electronic patient records of 905,543 dogs under primary veterinary care in 2016 were reviewed to identify 1259 heat-related illness events from 1222 dogs. Exertional heat-related illness was the predominant trigger (74.2% of events), followed by environmental (12.9%) and vehicular confinement (5.2%). Canine and human risk factors appear similar; young male dogs had greater odds of exertional heat-related illness, older dogs and dogs with respiratory compromise had the greatest odds of environmental heat-related illness. Brachycephalic dogs had greater odds of all three types of heat-related illness compared with mesocephalic dogs. The odds of death following vehicular heat-related illness (OR 1.47, p = 0.492) was similar to that of exertional heat-related illness. In the UK, exertional heat-related illness affects more dogs, and kills more dogs, than confinement in a hot vehicle. Campaigns to raise public awareness about heat-related illness in dogs need to highlight that dogs don’t die just in hot cars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Potential of Recycling Cauliflower and Romanesco Wastes in Ruminant Feeding: In Vitro Studies
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081247 - 22 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
The nutritive values for ruminants of cauliflower (CAU) and Romanesco (ROM) wastes (leaves, stems and sprouts) were assessed by analyzing their chemical composition, in vitro ruminal fermentation, and in vitro intestinal digestibility. In addition, the in vitro ruminal fermentation of diets containing increasing [...] Read more.
The nutritive values for ruminants of cauliflower (CAU) and Romanesco (ROM) wastes (leaves, stems and sprouts) were assessed by analyzing their chemical composition, in vitro ruminal fermentation, and in vitro intestinal digestibility. In addition, the in vitro ruminal fermentation of diets containing increasing amounts of CAU was studied. The dry matter (DM) content of leaves, stems and sprouts of both vegetables was lower than 10%, but they contained high crude protein (CP; 19.9 to 33.0%) and sugar (16.3 to 28.7%) levels, and low neutral detergent fiber (21.6 to 32.3%). Stems and sprouts were more rapidly and extensively fermented in the rumen than leaves, but there were only minor differences the fermentation profiles of both vegetables. The estimated metabolizable energy content ranged from 9.3 (leaves) to 10.8 (sprouts) MJ/kg DM. The CP rumen degradability (12-h in situ incubations) was greater than 80.0% for all fractions, and the in vitro intestinal digestibility of CP ranged from 85.7 to 93.2%. The inclusion of up to 24% of dried CAU in the concentrate of a mixed diet (40:60 alfalfa hay:concentrate) increased the in vitro rumen fermentation of the CAU diet, but did not affect methane (CH4) production, indicating the lack of antimethanogenic compounds in CAU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Article
Effects of Dietary β-Mannanase Supplementation on Growth Performance, Apparent Total Tract Digestibility, Intestinal Integrity, and Immune Responses in Weaning Pigs
Animals 2020, 10(4), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040703 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
The experiment aimed to investigate the effects of dietary β-mannanase supplementation on growth performance, apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nutrients, intestinal integrity, and the immunological and oxidative stress parameters in weaning pigs. A total of 64 newly weaning pigs (initial body weight: [...] Read more.
The experiment aimed to investigate the effects of dietary β-mannanase supplementation on growth performance, apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nutrients, intestinal integrity, and the immunological and oxidative stress parameters in weaning pigs. A total of 64 newly weaning pigs (initial body weight: 6.96 ± 0.70 kg) were allotted to two dietary treatments in eight replicates per treatment with four pigs per pen based on body weight and sex. Dietary treatments were 1.) CON (control: corn-soybean meal based basal diet) and 2.) β-mannanase (basal diet +0.06% β-mannanase). The β-mannanase supplementation did not affect growth performance, concentrations of acute phase protein, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. However, the pigs fed the β-mannanase-supplemented diet had greater ATTD of ether extract, jejunum villus height, and villus height-to-crypt depth ratio, and lower crypt depth compared with those fed the CON diet (p < 0.05). The pigs fed the β-mannanase-supplemented diet tended to have the lower count of E. coli in cecum than those fed the CON diet (p = 0.08). In conclusion, dietary β-mannanase supplementation did not affect growth performance, immune response and oxidative stress of weaning pigs, whereas it increased fat digestibility and had positive effects on intestinal integrity and cecum microflora by reducing the count of E.coli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Picture Perfect Pups: How Do Attributes of Photographs of Dogs in Online Rescue Profiles Affect Adoption Speed?
Animals 2020, 10(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010152 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
To increase the public’s awareness of and exposure to animals needing homes, PetRescue, Australia’s largest online directory of animals in need of adoption, lists all currently available animals from rescue and welfare shelters nationwide. The current study examined the photographs in the PetRescue [...] Read more.
To increase the public’s awareness of and exposure to animals needing homes, PetRescue, Australia’s largest online directory of animals in need of adoption, lists all currently available animals from rescue and welfare shelters nationwide. The current study examined the photographs in the PetRescue online profiles of the three most common breeds within these data, namely, Staffordshire bull terriers (n = 3988), Labrador retrievers (n = 2246), and Jack Russell terriers (n = 2088), to identify the inferred preferences of potential adopters. By investigating the attributes of these photographs, we were able to identify visual risk factors associated with protracted lengths of stay (LOS). The longest stays were associated with dogs with erect ears and those photographed in a natural environment, i.e., 18.32 days and 19.57 days, respectively. Dogs photographed in a kennel and with mouths closed had the shortest LOS, i.e., 11.54 d and 14.44 d, respectively. Heightened awareness of the roles of photographic attributes in generating interest among potential adopters may increase the speed of adoption by guiding the creation of online profiles and selection of photos to optimise the promotion of dogs at risk of long stays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Soybean Oil and Fish Oil on Lipid-Related Transcripts in Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue of Dairy Cows
Animals 2020, 10(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010054 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of long-term supplementation of unsaturated oil on lipid metabolism and transcription of genes involved in lipid metabolism in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) of mid-lactating dairy cows. The objective was achieved by supplementing dairy [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of long-term supplementation of unsaturated oil on lipid metabolism and transcription of genes involved in lipid metabolism in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) of mid-lactating dairy cows. The objective was achieved by supplementing dairy cows with soybean oil (SO; high in linoleic acid) or fish oil (FO; high in EPA and DHA) for 63 days (nine weeks). Cows were fed a control diet with no added lipid, or diets containing SO or FO (n = 5 cows/group). At the onset of the experiment (day 0) and on days 21, 42, and 63 of supplementation, blood and SAT samples were collected from each animal. Oil supplementation increased cholesterol and NEFA in plasma, with a greater effect of SO compared to FO. Concentration of BUN was lower in SO compared to control and FO at the end of the trial. Transcription of few genes was affected by dietary lipids: FABP4 had lowest expression in FO followed by SO and control. ACACA and FASN had higher expression in FO. Transcription of SCAP was higher but expression of INSIG1 was lower in SO. Overall, results revealed that compared to control, SO and FO had lipogenic effect in SAT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Improvement of Oxidative Status, Milk and Cheese Production, and Food Sustainability Indexes by Addition of Durum Wheat Bran to Dairy Cows’ Diet
Animals 2019, 9(9), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090698 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Durum wheat bran (DWB) is a by-product mostly used in feeding ruminants, contributing to decrease in the utilization of feeds suitable as foods for human consumption, thus improving the sustainability of livestock production. However, the potential benefits of DWB, due to its content [...] Read more.
Durum wheat bran (DWB) is a by-product mostly used in feeding ruminants, contributing to decrease in the utilization of feeds suitable as foods for human consumption, thus improving the sustainability of livestock production. However, the potential benefits of DWB, due to its content in phenolic acids, mainly consisting of ferulic acid with antioxidant properties, have not been well clarified yet. Accordingly, in this experiment, 36 lactating cows divided into three groups received, over a period of 100 days, one of three concentrates including DWB at 0% (DWB0), 10% (DWB10), or 20% (DWB20). The concentrates were formulated to be isoproteic and isoenergetic and, to balance the higher fiber content of the concentrates with DWB, the hay in the diets was slightly reduced. During the trial, the group feed intake and the individual milk production were monitored, and cheese was made with bulk milk from each group. Milk yield and microbiological characteristics of milk and cheese were similar among groups, indicating no DWB effect on cows performance and fermentation process. Milk from DWB20 group resulted slightly higher in casein and curd firmness (a2r). In cows fed DWB, the higher polyphenol intake was responsible for higher blood contents of these bioactive compounds, that seemed to have contributed in reducing the level of reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs), which were higher in DWB0 cows. DWB20 cheeses showed a higher polyphenol content, lower number of peroxides, and higher antioxidant capacity than DWB0 cheeses. DWB20 and DWB10 diets resulted less expensive. In addition, the DWB20 group showed the best indexes heFCE (human edible feed conversion efficiency = milk/human edible feed) and NFP (net food production = milk − human edible food), expressed as crude protein or gross energy. In conclusion, the DWB fed to dairy cows at 12% of diet dry matter (DM) can lead to benefits, such as the improvement of oxidative status of cows, milk quality, shelf-life, and functional properties of cheese, and might contribute to reduce the feeding cost and limit the human-animal competition for feeding sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Use of Agricultural By-Products in Animal Feeding)
Article
Compatibility between Humans and Their Dogs: Benefits for Both
Animals 2019, 9(9), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090674 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Compatibility in activity preferences refers to the shared enjoyment of daily activities, such as walking and interacting with others, and it is an indicator of the behavioral dimension of compatibility, which mainly refers to exercise and play. It has been found that individuals [...] Read more.
Compatibility in activity preferences refers to the shared enjoyment of daily activities, such as walking and interacting with others, and it is an indicator of the behavioral dimension of compatibility, which mainly refers to exercise and play. It has been found that individuals who are more compatible with their dogs have a better relationship with them, which can explain some of the benefits of human-dog interaction. However, research to explain how and why human-animal relationships are potentially therapeutic is still needed. The objective of this quantitative study was to compare the benefits of human-dog interaction for both humans and dogs between people who were and were not compatible with their dogs. Ninety people with scores of 50% or less on the compatibility index and 110 people with 100% compatibility participated in the study. The groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. The people in the group with greater compatibility reported more subjective happiness and less perceived stress, a stable dog-feeding routine, and more frequent daily walks and playing sessions; additionally, for their dogs, they reported a lower frequency of aggressive and fearful behaviors and higher trainability scores. In conclusion, compatibility in activity preferences helps explain the benefits of human–animal interaction. Full article
Back to TopTop