Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Sanitary conditions of a colony of urban feral cats in a zoological garden of Rio de Janeiro

Mendes-de-Almeida, F., Faria, M. C. F., Branco, A. S., Serrão, M. L., Souza, A. M., Almosny, N., Charme, M. & Labarthe, N. (2004). Sanitary conditions of a colony of urban feral cats (Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758) in a zoological garden of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, 46(5), 269-274.

The colony of urban stray cats living in the Rio de Janeiro zoological garden was studied in order to develop a population and health control program. As many cats as possible were captured during two months (47 animals) and were classified according to gender, age, weight and coat markings. They were submitted to a general health evaluation, examined for the presence of ectoparasites and sent to a surgical neutering program. All animals had a blood sample drawn for CBC, platelet count, heartworm and retroviruses detection. Capillary blood smears were made for hemoparasites detection. Coat marking and colors were tabby (59.7%), followed by solid black (17%); torbie (10.6%); bicolor (10.6%) and harlequin (2.1%). The only ectoparasites found were fleas, which infested 28% of the animals. The hemoparasites found were Haemobartonella felis (38%) and piroplasmas that could not be differentiated between Cytauxzoon spp. and Babesia spp. (47%). No cat was found infected by Dirofilaria immitis or FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus), although FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) antibodies could be detected (21%). There was no correlation between hemoparasites and FIV infections. The estimated total cat population (mark-recapture method) was 59; 68% female and 32% male, suggesting that a neutering program is in fact needed.

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