Tracheal wash from a Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni)
A 4-year-old Malayan tiger, housed at the Bronx zoo in New York, developed a cough and wheezing in March 2020, followed by reduced appetite. The animal was otherwise clinically healthy. Several other tigers in the same exhibit, and 3 lions in a different exhibit, also developed a cough, with a lion having a mild decrease in appetite for a few days. The clinical signs in the first tiger persisted for several days, despite symptomatic treatment. To pursue the cause of the cough, the animal was anesthetized and a tracheal wash was performed and submitted to the Cornell University Animal Diagnostic Laboratory for cytologic analysis and testing for infectious diseases. A direct smear of the tracheal wash was prepared in the laboratory and stained with modified Wright’s stain. View the representative images below and answer the posed questions.
- What cells are present in the tracheal wash?
- What pathologic process does their appearance indicate?
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