Presentation, Clinical Pathology Abnormalities, and Identification of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Camels (Camelus bactrianus and Camelus dromedarius) Presenting to Two North American Veterinary Teaching Hospitals. A Retrospective Study: 1980–2020

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Locklear, Taylor R.
Videla, Ricardo
Breuer, Ryan M.
Mulon, Pierre-Yves
Passmore, Mary
Gerhold, Rick
Schaefer, John J.
Major Professor
Committee Member
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Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Frontiers Media
Smith, Joe
Affiliate Professor
Mochel, Jonathan
Research Projects
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Organizational Unit
Biomedical Sciences

The Department of Biomedical Sciences aims to provide knowledge of anatomy and physiology in order to understand the mechanisms and treatment of animal diseases. Additionally, it seeks to teach the understanding of drug-action for rational drug-therapy, as well as toxicology, pharmacodynamics, and clinical drug administration.

The Department of Biomedical Sciences was formed in 1999 as a merger of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology.

Dates of Existence

Related Units

  • College of Veterinary Medicine (parent college)
  • Department of Veterinary Anatomy (predecessor, 1997)
  • Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology (predecessor, 1997)

Organizational Unit
Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
The mission of VDPAM is to educate current and future food animal veterinarians, population medicine scientists and stakeholders by increasing our understanding of issues that impact the health, productivity and well-being of food and fiber producing animals; developing innovative solutions for animal health and food safety; and providing the highest quality, most comprehensive clinical practice and diagnostic services. Our department is made up of highly trained specialists who span a wide range of veterinary disciplines and species interests. We have faculty of all ranks with expertise in diagnostics, medicine, surgery, pathology, microbiology, epidemiology, public health, and production medicine. Most have earned certification from specialty boards. Dozens of additional scientists and laboratory technicians support the research and service components of our department.
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Old World Camelids (OWC) represent two species (Camelus bactrianus and Camelus dromedarius) with increasing numbers in North America. Gastrointestinal (GI) parasitism is a major cause of clinical disease in camelids and leads to significant economic impacts. Literature reporting on clinical parasitism of camels is localized to India, Africa, and the Middle East, with limited information available on OWCs in North America. Objectives of this study were to report on clinical presentation and diagnostic findings in Camelus bactrianus and Camelus dromedarius with GI parasitism and provide a comparative analysis between geographic regions. Medical records of OWCs presenting to two veterinary teaching hospitals (of the University of Tennessee and University of Wisconsin) were evaluated. Thirty-one camels including 11 Bactrians and six dromedaries (14 species not recorded) were included for the clinical component of this study, reporting on signalment, presenting complaint, and clinical pathology. Anorexia, weight loss, and diarrhea were the most common presenting complaint. Clinical pathology findings included eosinophilia, hypoproteinemia, and hyponatremia. For the second component of this study, a total of 77 fecal parasite examination results were evaluated for parasite identification and regional variation. Trichuris, Capillaria, Strongyloides, Nematodirus, Dictyocaulus, Moniezia, and protozoan parasites (Eimeria, Cryptosporidium, Giardia) were recorded. Strongyle-type eggs predominated, followed by Trichuris and Eimeria spp. There was a statistically significant variation in prevalence of coccidia between the two regions, with fecal examinations from Tennessee more likely to contain Eimeria (P = 0.0193). Clinicians treating camels in North America should recognize anorexia, weight loss, and diarrhea combined with clinical pathologic changes of hypoproteinemia, eosinophilia and hyponatremia as possible indications of GI parasitism. Clinicians should also consider the potential for regional variation to exist for GI parasites of camels in different areas of North America.
This article is published as Locklear TR, Videla R, Breuer RM, Mulon P-Y, Passmore M, Mochel JP, Gerhold R, Schaefer JJ and Smith JS, "Presentation, Clinical Pathology Abnormalities, and Identification of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Camels (Camelus bactrianus and Camelus dromedarius) Presenting to Two North American Veterinary Teaching Hospitals. A Retrospective Study: 1980–2020." Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8 (2021):651672. DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2021.651672. Copyright 2021 Locklear, Videla, Breuer, Mulon, Passmore, Mochel, Gerhold, Schaefer and Smith. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Posted with permission.