Prognostic Factors of Plasma Transfusions in Failure of Passive Transfer Neonatal Nondomestic Ruminants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park 2014–2018
2018 Joint EAZWV/AAZV/Leibniz-IZW Conference
Daniela Yuschenkoff1, DVM; Meredith Clancy2, DVM, MPH, DACZM; Lauren Howard2, DVM, DACZM
1University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA; 2San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Escondido, CA, USA


Failure of passive transfer is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in neonatal ungulates.1 Fifty-two cases of failure of presumed passive transfer or presumed immunocompromise in ungulate neonates treated by plasma transfusion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park were retrospectively reviewed. Neonate survival past weaning was significantly associated with delivery of greater than 70 ml/kg of plasma (p<0.1). Route of administration (intra-peritoneal, intra-venous, or sub-cutaneous), concurrent antibiotic therapy, pre-medication (diphenhydramine or dexamethasone), and plasma type (same genus, different genus, or commercial) were not significantly associated with survival to weaning. A positive glutaraldehyde test used as an indirect measure of conversion to adequate immunity in post- transfusion neonates was significantly associated with survival past weaning (p<0.05). The results of this retrospective study indicate that administering higher volumes of plasma during a transfusion is associated with decreased neonatal mortality in failure of passive transfer ungulates. Glutaraldehyde conversion can be utilized as a prognostic indicator after plasma transfusion in neonatal ruminants.


The authors would like to thank the staff at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Paul Harter Veterinary Medical Center for their help in data collection and patient care.

Literature Cited

1.  Wolfe BA, Lamberski N. Approaches to Management and Care of the Neonatal Nondomestic Ruminant. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract. 2012;15(2):265–277.


Speaker Information
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Daniela Yuschenkoff, DVM
University of California
Davis, CA, USA

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