24 research outputs found

    Reliability and construct validity of a composite pain scale for rabbit (CANCRS) in a clinical environment

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    A composite pain scale for assessing and quantifying pain in rabbits (CANCRS) has been designed merging the Rabbit Grimace Scale (RbtGS) and a scale including clinical parameters (CPS). Construct validity and inter-rater reliability were assessed for CANCRS, for RbtGS and for CPS, in order to test their potential to detect pain in a clinical setting. Rabbits (n = 116) were either hybrids or purebreds and they were independently evaluated by two raters, who could be veterinarians (V) or veterinary medicine students (S). Score intervals determined four pain classes (No pain, Discomfort, Moderate pain and Severe pain) that matched presumptive pain classes associated with some pathological conditions. A chi-square test was used to assess the construct validity of the scales by checking how frequently scale results and presumptive pain classes matched. Sixty-nine patients were evaluated by one V and one S, whereas forty-seven rabbits were assessed by two V, in order to test inter-rater reliability. An intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to test reliability of the scales, whereas Cohen's kappa tested inter-rater agreement for each parameter of the CANCRS. Construct validity results show that CANCRS and RbtGS efficiently reveal pain (P ≤ 0.05), while CPS does not (p > 0.05). Inter-rater reliability was very good for both CANCRS and CPS (ICC 0.88 V-V, 0.94 between V-S; ICC 0.97 V-V, 0.91 V-S) and good for RbtGS (ICC 0.77 V-V, 0.88 V-S); therefore, CPS reproducibility was better between veterinarians and students than between veterinarians. Inter-rater agreement between veterinarians and veterinary medicine students was moderate to very good for all the parameters included in the CANCRS (Cohen's kappa >0,60). In conclusion, it is possible to state that the CANCRS has construct validity and it is a reliable tool for use in clinical practice, when coping with many rabbits with morphological differences. It is easy and fast to use and enriches the RbtGS with some clinical parameters that should be monitored during any clinical examination, allowing for capture of the multidimensional aspect of pain

    The evolution of dam-litter microbial flora from birth to 60 days of age

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    BACKGROUND: Early bacterial colonization in puppies is still a poorly understood phenomenon. Although the topic is of considerable interest, a big gap in knowledge still exists on the understanding of timing and features of neonatal gut colonization. Thence, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between dam and litter microbial flora, in vaginally delivered puppies, from birth to two months of age. Bacteria were identified using MALDI-TOF, an accurate and sensitive method, and cluster analysis of data provided a new insight on the investigated topic. METHODS: Six dam-litter units of two medium size breeds were enrolled in the study. Vaginal and colostrum/milk samples were collected from dams after delivery and 48h post-partum, while rectal samples were taken from dams and puppies after delivery and at day 2, 30 and 60 (T2, T30 and T60, respectively) post-partum. Bacterial isolation and identification were performed following standard techniques, then the data were analyzed using a new approach based on bacterial genus population composition obtained using a wide MALDI-TOF screening and cluster analysis. RESULTS: Forty-eight bacteriological samples were collected from the dams and 145 from their 42 puppies. Colostrum/milk samples (n = 12) showed a bacterial growth mainly limited to few colonies. Staphylococci, Enterococci, E. coli, Proteus spp. were most frequently isolated. All vaginal swabs (n = 12) resulted in bacteria isolation (medium to high growth). Streptococci, Enterococci, E. coli were the most frequently detected. E. coli, Proteus mirabilis, Enterococcus spp., Streptococcus spp. were often obtained from dams’ and puppies’ rectal swabs. Clostridia, not isolated in any other sampling site, were rarely found (n = 3) in meconium while they were more frequently isolated at later times (T2: n = 30; T30: n = 17; T60: n = 27). Analysis of the bacterial genus pattern over time showed a statistically significant reduction (P < 0.01) in the heterogeneity of microbial composition in all time points if compared to birth for each dam-litter unit. These results were confirmed with cluster analysis and two-dimensional scaling. CONCLUSION: This novel data analysis suggests a fundamental role of the individual dam in seeding and shaping the microbiome of the litter. Thus, modulating the dam’s microbiota may positively impact the puppy microbiota and benefit their health. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12917-022-03199-3

    Effect of Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) on Cryopreserved Piedmontese Bull Semen Characteristics

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    SIMPLE SUMMARY: This study aimed to investigate bull thawed semen characteristics under the effect of different concentrations (0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 ng/mL) of EGF being added to the extender prior to freezing. Semen samples collected from four bulls for 8 weeks were pooled, diluted with Bullxcell(®) extender supplemented with EGF at different concentrations, cooled, and frozen. After thawing, semen was examined for different parameters, including motility, kinetics, vitality, integrity, mitochondrial and antioxidant (SOD) activities, mucus penetration distance, as well as in vitro fertilizing capability. EGF incorporation in semen extender improved the total, progressive, and rapid motility and the sperm velocity at 50, 200, and 400 ng/mL after different incubation periods (from 1 to 4 h). We conclude that EGF supplementation to bull sperm extender before cryopreservation has an improving effect on sperm motility and kinetics without affecting sperm parameters. ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect on fresh and post-thaw beef bull semen quality of the supplementation of epidermal growth factor (EGF) to the semen extender at various concentrations (0-control, 50, 100, 200, and 400 ng/mL). For 8 weeks, sperm was collected from four fertile bulls, yielding a total of 32 ejaculates. Semen samples were pooled, diluted with Bullxcell(®) extender, and then cooled, equilibrated, and frozen. After thawing, semen was tested for motility and velocity parameters. Furthermore, semen was evaluated for vitality, integrity, mitochondrial and antioxidant (SOD) activities, mucus penetration distance, and in vitro fertilizing capability. The supplementation with EGF prior to cryopreservation improved the total sperm motility at various concentrations over long incubation periods (from 1 to 4 h). Interestingly, EGF addition improved both progressive and rapid motility, particularly at 50, 200, and 400 ng/mL. In addition, EGF, primarily at 200 and 400 ng/mL, significantly increased several velocity parameters after different incubation periods. We can conclude that adding EGF to bull sperm extender before cryopreservation has a positive stimulatory effect on sperm motility without affecting vitality, integrity, or in vitro fertilizing capability

    Trends in Small Animal Reproduction: A Bibliometric Analysis of the Literature

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    Small animal reproduction (SAR) is a main research field in veterinary medicine and bibliometric analyses are useful to investigate trends in specific research areas. The objective of the present study was to conduct a bibliometric analysis of the literature of the last decade on SAR. A search equation was created, and documents were retrieved from the Web of Science database. Documents were manually revised, categorized and R software version 4.1.2 with Bibliometrix R package version 3.1 and MS Excel were used to perform the analyses. The included documents (n = 1470) were mainly research articles (78%). The top countries for the number of documents and citations were Brazil, United States, Italy, Poland, and Korea. These also account for the most prolific authors and institutions. Analyses by author keywords, categories, and recent reviews of the literature suggest that research on the canine species is more abundant than research on the feline one and that reproductive biotechnologies are a main research focus. Some clinical topics are still considered niche or neglected themes (e.g., semen collection in tomcats, neonatology). However, heterogeneity and ambiguity in keywords and categories are undeniable. This study offers interesting insights, providing definitions for main keywords in the field of SAR