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Clinical pathology, post-mortem examinations and disease surveillance

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Abstract

Alongside a growing general interest in wildlife health there has been an encouraging growth of input by professional veterinary bodies into monitoring zoonoses, infectious diseases and new pathogens and environmental pollutants. This chapter explores the methods and challenges of clinical pathology of wildlife, including: sampling methods, diagnostic tests, interpretation and record-keeping, and post-mortem examinations.

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Figures

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10.3 Investigation of the shed skin (‘slough’) of snakes requires careful handling and examination using (a) a hand lens and (b) a dissecting microscope. Examination using a dissecting microscope should include use of both transmitted and reflected light.
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10.8 Common endoparasites of hedgehogs seen during direct microscopic examination of faecal smears. (a) larvae; often highly motile approx. 300 μm long. (b) spp. eggs; bipolar, approx. 50–60 μm long. (c) eggs; asymmetry of sides, operculated, small, approx. 30 μm long. (d) Coccidial oocysts; small, approx. 20 μm in diameter. (© Steve Bexton)
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10.10 special staining techniques. (a) Aspergillosis in a bullfinch (). The affected lung shows damage to parenchyma and extensive septate fungal hyphae, characteristic of . . Stained with periodic acid–Schiff (PAS). (b) An early lesion in the lung of a mammal. Branching fungal hyphae are beginning to invade adjacent alveoli. Stained with Grocott.
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10.12 Cytological preparation of a buccal cavity swab taken from a bird of prey with a stomatitis. There are clusters of , recognizable by their distinct flagella, against a background of large squamous epithelial cells with abundant cytoplasm and scattered bacteria (Quick stain).
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10.13 Post-mortem examination of a wild animal must be preceded by careful external examination, paying particular attention to the morphological features of the species in question – in this case, the beak and feet of this heron ().

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