pathology

Assessment of cardiovascular disease in the donkey: clinical, echocardiographic and pathological observations

Citation

Susan L. Roberts, Joanna Dukes-McEwan. August 2016. Assessment of cardiovascular disease in the donkey: clinical, echocardiographic and pathological observations. The Veterinary Record.

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Publication date: 
17 August 2016
DOI number: 
10.1136/vr.103733
Abstract

The Donkey Sanctuary (DS) owns 3500–4000 donkeys, estimated to be about 35 per cent of the UK population. Although postmortem surveys suggest a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease in donkeys, there is sparse clinical information about cardiovascular examination findings and echocardiographic findings in health and disease. In this cross-sectional study, auscultation findings were recorded, and in a subset of donkeys, echocardiography was used to screen for structural and functional cardiac disease. 202 donkeys were examined; 117 geldings and 85 females. Heart sounds S1 and S2 were detected in all donkeys, but none had audible S3. S4 was detected in nine (4.5 per cent; significantly older than those without S4; P<0.001). A heart murmur was detected in four donkeys. Echocardiography identified these to be due to a ventricular septal defect in one, and aortic regurgitation in three. An additional 43 donkeys had echocardiography. A further 10 donkeys were identified to have aortic insufficiency, but no other valvular regurgitation. 76/202 donkeys subsequently underwent postmortem examination. Three showed degenerative aortic valve changes. One donkey had nodular lesions in the intima of proximal aorta and sinus of Valsalva. Histopathology showed multifocal chronic nodular eosinophilic arteritis, consistent with verminous arteritis. The DS pathology database identified other similar cases.

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Chronic pleuropulmonary fibrosis and elastosis of aged donkeys - similarities to human pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE)

Citation

Amy Miele, K Dhaliwal, Nicole du Toit, J Murchison, C Dhaliwal, Harriet Brooks, Sionagh H. Smith, N Hirani, T Schwarz, C Haslett, W Wallace, Bruce McGorum. March 2014. Chronic pleuropulmonary fibrosis and elastosis of aged donkeys - similarities to human pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE). Chest.

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Publication date: 
6 March 2014
Journal: 
Chest
DOI number: 
10.1378/chest.13-1306
Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Donkey Pulmonary Fibrosis (DPF) is a spontaneous syndrome of aged donkeys with high prevalence (35%). No previous detailed characterisation of DPF has been performed. We sought to determine the similarities of DPF to recognised patterns of human pulmonary fibrosis.

METHODS:
Whole lungs were collected from 32 aged donkeys at routine necropsy. Gross examination revealed pulmonary fibrosis in 19 donkeys (DPF cases), while 13 (controls) had grossly normal lungs. Eighteen whole inflated ex vivo lungs (11 DPF, 7 controls) were imaged with high resolution computed tomography (HRCT), while the remainder were sectioned and photographed. Tissue samples were collected from all lungs for histopathological evaluation using a standardised protocol. HRCT images and histology sections were reviewed independently and blindly. Lung tissue was analysed for herpes virus, fungal hyphae, mycobacteria and dust content.

RESULTS:
Ten of 19 DPF lungs were categorised as being 'consistent with' pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE) according to previously defined histological and imaging criteria. All 10 PPFE-like lungs had marked pleural and subpleural fibrosis, predominantly within the upper lung zone, with accompanying intra-alveolar fibrosis and elastosis. Asinine herpesvirus (AsHV) was ubiquitously expressed within control and DPF lung tissue. No other aetiological agents were identified.

CONCLUSIONS:
Many cases of DPF share key pathological and imaging features with human PPFE, a rare interstitial pneumonia. Consequently, further study of DPF may help elucidate the aetiopathogenesis of human PPFE.

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Mycobacterium bovis infection in a donkey

Citation

Jill Bryan, Pieter Den Boon, J McQuirk, G Madigan, Ursula Fogarty. Mycobacterium bovis infection in a donkey. Presented at Annual Meeting of the European College of Veterinary Pathologists.

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Date presented: 
Thursday 6 September 2012
Abstract

Introduction: Mycobacterial infections are rare in equines. Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) is an important zoonotic pathogen causing disease in a wide range of animal species. Infection with M. bovis has not been documented previously in the donkey.

Materials and Methods: A 29-year-old donkey gelding presented with depression, pyrexia, tachycardia, tachypnoea and generalised wheezes and crackles on thoracic auscultation. Haematologic examination identified neutrophilic leukocytosis. Response to treatment with antimicrobials and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories was poor and the donkey was euthanased.

Results: On gross postmortem examination the lungs were diffusely consolidated with an irregular nodular appearance of the surface and multiple coalescing, firm, pale masses diffusely distributed throughout the parenchyma. Multiple, variably sized, firm, pale nodular masses were also identified within the mediastinum, epicardium, omentum, kidneys, liver, spleen and diaphragm. Histopathological examination of lung showed prominent interstitial fibrosis and diffuse granulomatous inflammation in which acidfast bacilli were occasionally identified. The additional nodular masses represented foci of chronic granulomatous inflammation. Culture of lung yielded a heavy growth of mycobacteria confirmed to be M. bovis by molecular techniques (GenoType MTBC).

Conclusion: Although rare in equines, disease caused by M. bovis should be considered as a possible differential diagnosis in donkeys presenting with signs of respiratory disease and respiratory or generalised granulomatous inflammation.

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A novel approach to pain recognition in donkeys

Citation

Gabriela Olmos, Faith A. Burden. A novel approach to pain recognition in donkeys. Presented at 14th World Congress on Pain, Sattelite Symposia: Pain and Pain Management in Non-Human Species. (27 August - 31 August 2012). Milan, Italy.

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Date presented: 
Sunday 26 August 2012
Abstract

Pain due lesions and clinical conditions is one of the main welfare concerns of the more than 42 millions donkeys that presently exist in the world. Yet, the knowledge to gauge pain in donkeys is lacking, misunderstood and/or not validated (Ashley, 2005).

Pain (yes/no/uncertain) and its severity (VAS; no pain=0 to worst pain=100mm) was assessed in 403 donkeys’ ante-mortem (ATM) and post-mortem (PTM). Also behaviours/signs (BS) and pain related lesions (PRL) were assessed ATM and PTM, respectively. Using principal component analysis the more than 53 BS and 238 PRL observed were narrowed to 58 biologically meaningful component or groups (14 BS and 44 PRL components, respectively). Components were used as risk factors in multiple regression analysis to identify which BS and/or PRL are commonly used in clinician’s (veterinary/pathologist) decision making process to determine whether a donkey ‘is’ (i.e. ATM) or ‘was’ (i.e. PTM) in pain and its severity (mild to severe). Furthermore, multiple correlations were made to understand which BS relate significantly with specific PRL and how.

A cross tabulation between pain ATM and PTM, where pain related lesions are used as a quasi-gold standard of pain assessment; identify that 2 in 10 donkeys are wrongly assumed as in NO-PAIN. Moreover, only 43% of the donkey observations are used by clinicians to make their opinion on donkey pain and its severity (i.e. 7 BS and 18 PRL components were significantly associated with pain as stated by clinicians). Yet, multiple correlations showed 20 plausible biologically meaningful relationships between BS and PRL; some currently not used by clinicians.

This methodology, previously successfully used in humans (Gregory, 2010) is novel to donkey veterinary medicine and warrants further research to consolidate findings. Nonetheless, the achieved correlation list of behaviours vs. pathologies is a significant work with valid applications in donkey pain identification and prognosis.

Ashley FH, Waterman-Pearson AE, Whay HR (2005) Behavioural assessment of pain in horses and donkeys: application to clinical practice and future studies, Equine Vet J, 37(6), 565 - 575.

Gregory NG (2010) Relationships between pathology and pain severities: a review. Animal Welfare 19, 437-448.

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Respiratory disease in the donkey

Citation

Alexandra K. Thiemann. September 2012. Respiratory disease in the donkey. Equine Veterinary Education. 24:9. 469-478.

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Publication date: 
1 September 2012
Volume: 
24
Issue: 
9
Page numbers: 
469-478
DOI number: 
10.1111/j.2042-3292.2011.00292.x
Abstract

The donkey suffers from a similar range of respiratory diseases as the horse; however, there are a number of subtle variations, knowledge of which can influence the success of treatment. As an animal adapted to a semi-arid terrain, there are variations in physiology, anatomy and disease susceptibility. The nonathletic nature of the donkey means that delayed presentation is common with many diseases and, while there may be enhanced resistance to some transboundary and parasitic diseases, there may be equal or increased severity of illness to some endemic diseases, e.g. equine influenza. Donkeys frequently live to geriatric ages and the clinician should be aware of the increased risk of conditions such as tracheal collapse, fibrosing pneumonia and neoplasia in this age group. As with any condition that causes stress and inappetance, respiratory disease in the donkey may be complicated by hyperlipaemia and good nursing care is an essential component of treatment.

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Retrospective analysis of post-mortem findings in 1,444 aged donkeys

Citation

Lisa Morrow, Ken C. Smith, Richard J. Piercy, Nicole du Toit, Faith A. Burden, Gabriela Olmos, Neville G. Gregory, Kristien Verheyen. February 2011. Retrospective analysis of post-mortem findings in 1,444 aged donkeys. Journal of Comparative Pathology. 144:2-3. 145-156.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 February 2011
Volume: 
144
Issue: 
2-3
Page numbers: 
145-156
DOI number: 
10.1016/j.jcpa.2010.08.005
Abstract

The aim of this study was to describe and report the prevalence of conditions found at necropsy examination of UK donkeys. Records from 1,444 donkeys over a 7-year period were included in the analysis. Sixty-one categories of post-mortem finding were identified from 9,744 observations. The four most prevalent conditions noted were dental disorder (78.7%), vascular disease other than aneurysm (60.9%), arthritis (55.4%) and foot disorder (44.8%). Gastric ulceration was found in 42% of the donkeys and gastrointestinal impaction in 18.6%. The most frequent combination of two post-mortem findings in the same animal was arthritis and dental disorder. The most common disorders were associated with age, body weight and/or body condition post mortem and, for some disorders, gender. For many of the post-mortem findings, crude associations were found between the presence of one finding and the odds of also having certain other post-mortem findings. This study is the first to summarize all conditions noted at necropsy examination for a large group of donkeys. The findings increase knowledge of diseases and conditions of this species and may be useful when investigating the relevance of various pathological conditions in the live animal.

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