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Original Article

Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cytological findings in healthy Amiata donkeys

Valentina Vitale,Francesca Bonelli,Angela Briganti,Micaela Sgorbini.

Background: the approach to respiratory diseases in donkeys is similar to that for horses, nevertheless bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF) and tracheal wash (TW) cytology in this specie have been described only few times in the literature.
Aim: to describe BALF cytological findings in a cohort of 24 healthy Amiata donkeys.
Methods: under standing sedation bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed with a specific tube passed blindly through the nasal passage into the trachea. Ethical approval (n° 9069/2014) by the Ethics Committee on Animal Experimentation of the University of Pisa and owner written consent were obtained.
Results: the total nucleated cell count (TNCC) of the BALF was found similar to that already described in healthy horses and donkeys. No differences in the differential count were observed according to age and sex. A decreased macrophages’ percentage and an increase in eosinophils’ percentage was observed in our population when comparing the values with reference ranges for horses.
Conclusions: the reference intervals for respiratory fluid cytology in donkeys may be significantly different for those generated for horses.

Key words: Donkey, BAL, respiratory, cytology

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