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Abstract

The most common cause of heart failure in dogs is myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD), which accounts for approximately 75% of canine heart disease cases and is especially common in smaller dogs. Although low-sodium diets have been recommended for humans with heart diseases for decades, there is little evidence to support this practice in dogs. In recent years, however, it has become clear that other nutrients are important to heart health. Dogs with heart disease secondary to MMVD experience patterns of metabolic changes that include decreased mitochondrial energy metabolism and ATP availability, with increased oxidative stress and inflammation. These changes occur early in disease and progress with worsening heart disease. Key nutrients that may support normal function and address these changes include omega-3 fatty acids, medium-chain triglycerides, magnesium, antioxidants including vitamin E and taurine, and the amino acids methionine and lysine. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids provide anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, and other benefits. Medium-chain fatty acids and ketones derived from medium-chain triglycerides provide an alternative energy source for cardiac mitochondria and help reduce free radical production. Magnesium supports mitochondrial function, normal cardiac rhythm, and provides other benefits. Both vitamin E and taurine counter oxidative stress, and taurine also has direct cardiac benefits. Dogs with MMVD have reduced plasma methionine. Methionine and lysine are important for carnitine production as well as other functions. This article reviews the evidence supporting the functions and benefits of these and other nutrients in MMVD and other cardiac conditions.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the outcome of dietary management of canine noninfectious acute colitis with or without concurrent oral administration of metronidazole using a randomized controlled clinical trial.

ANIMALS

59 client-owned dogs with noninfectious acute colitis.

PROCEDURES

Dogs with acute noninfectious colitis were enrolled in a 30-day diet trial after exclusion of parasitic infectious etiologies (fecal centrifugation floatation, Giardia/Cryptosporidium antigen testing) and systemic disease (CBC, biochemistry, urinalysis). Dogs were randomized into 3 placebo-controlled groups: group 1, easily digestible diet + placebo tablet; group 2, easily digestible diet + metronidazole tablet; and group 3, psyllium-enhanced easily digestible diet + placebo tablet. Dogs were evaluated serially using fecal scoring for time to remission, average fecal score, relapse after remission, and dysbiosis index.

RESULTS

Median remission time was significantly different among the 3 groups (P < .01) with median times of 5 days (range, 4 to 10) for group 1, 8.5 days (range, 7 to 12) for group 2, and 5 days (range, 3 to 6) for group 3. Metronidazole addition affected the fecal dysbiosis index negatively at days 7 to 10. No adverse effects or complications were noted throughout the study.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

For canine noninfectious acute colitis, dietary management with an easily digestible diet with or without psyllium enhancement proved a superior management strategy compared to metronidazole. The omission of metronidazole reduced the adverse impact significantly on intestinal microbiota. Longitudinal clinical trials are necessary to compare the long-term response, stability, and complications associated with dietary management alone versus combined dietary and antimicrobial therapy for canine acute colitis.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the effect of a starch-rich treat, added to the daily diet of ponies for 10 days, on enteroinsular responses to meal consumption.

ANIMALS

10 mixed-breed adult ponies owned by Queensland University of Technology were used in the study. Six ponies were metabolically healthy, and 4 were insulin dysregulated at the start of the study, according to the results of an in-feed oral glucose test.

PROCEDURES

A bread-based treat was offered twice daily for 10 days, adding 0.36 ± 0.04 g/kg body weight (BW) carbohydrates to the daily diet. Before and after treatment, the intestinal capacity for simple carbohydrate absorption was approximated with a modified D-xylose absorption test. Plasma glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2), blood glucose, and serum insulin responses to eating were also measured before and after treatment.

RESULTS

The absorption of D-xylose (area under the curve [AUC]) increased 1.6-fold (P < .001) after 10 days of eating the treat. In addition, while basal (fasted) GLP-2 concentrations were not affected, GLP-2 AUC increased 1.4-fold in response to eating (P = .005). The treat did not change blood glucose or serum insulin concentrations, before, during, or after eating.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

A small amount of additional carbohydrate each day in the form of a treat can cause a measurable change in the enteroinsular responses to eating.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate the serum concentrations of myostatin and growth and differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) in Alaskan Husky sled dogs participating in a 350-mile (560-km) race and in an older population, and to examine correlations between changes in serum concentrations and body condition scores (BCSs).

ANIMALS

Dogs were recruited from 3 teams of Alaskan Huskies participating in the Alaskan–Yukon Quest sled-dog race and retirees from a research sled-dog colony.

PROCEDURES

Serum samples and BCSs were collected prior to racing, midway, and postrace; and in an older cohort (13 to 14 years). Myostatin and GDF-15 concentrations were assessed using commercially available ELISA kits.

RESULTS

The median myostatin prerace concentration (9,519 pg/mL) was significantly greater than the mid- and postrace concentrations (7,709 pg/mL and 3,247 pg/mL, respectively). The prerace concentration was also significantly greater than that of the retired sled group dogs at 6,134 pg/mL. GDF-15 median serum concentrations did not change significantly across any racing time point (approx 350 pg/mL) or in the older cohort. No significant correlations were observed between changes in BCS and myostatin or GDF-15 concentrations.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Serum myostatin decreases dramatically, yet no correlations to loss of BCS could be found. Myostatin signaling may be involved in maintaining hypertrophic signaling during intense exercise. Neither racing distance nor geriatric/retirement status appears to have an effect on serum GDF-15 concentration. Myostatin was less in the older, retired sled dogs compared to the younger racing cohort. Such differences highlight the roles that fitness level and age play regarding myostatin levels.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To demonstrate the efficacy and safety of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for xenogeneic use with intra-articular administration in dogs with osteoarthritis.

ANIMALS

80 client-owned dogs with naturally occurring osteoarthritis in elbow or hip.

PROCEDURES

A multicentric, double-blinded, parallel, randomized and placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed. After intra-articular injection of equine umbilical cord MSCs, dogs were reexamined at weeks 4, 8, and 12 using a force platform (gait analysis), orthopedic assessment, and validated owner questionnaire. Eighteen months after treatment, a long-term follow-up was done.

RESULTS

Best results were obtained 8 weeks after treatment, where 63% of the patients showed an improvement in the gait analysis. Also 8 weeks after treatment, 77% of the dogs improved in the orthopedic examination; 65% of the owners considered that the treatment improved their pet’s quality of life 8 weeks after treatment. The long-term follow-up revealed that 59% of the owners observed a duration of effect longer than 6 months after a single intra-articular injection of equine umbilical cord MSCs. No systemic or permanent adverse events were detected at any time point.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results of this study demonstrated the safety and efficacy of intra-articular administration of xenogeneic MSCs for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Author: Brian C. Gilger

Abstract

In this article, which is part of the Currents in One Health series, the role of naturally occurring ocular disease in animals is reviewed with emphasis on how the understanding of these ocular diseases contributes to one health initiatives, particularly the pathogenesis and treatment of ocular diseases common to animals and humans. Animals spontaneously develop ocular diseases that closely mimic those in humans, especially dry eye disease, herpes virus infection (cats), fungal keratitis (horses), bacterial keratoconjunctivitis, uveitis, and glaucoma. Both uveitis and glaucoma are common in domestic animals and humans, and many similarities exist in pathogenesis, genetics, and response to therapy. Furthermore, the study of inherited retinal disease in animals has particularly epitomized the one health concept, specifically the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working to attain optimal health for people and animals. Through this study of retinal disease in dogs, innovative therapies such as gene therapy have been developed. A unique opportunity exists to study ocular disease in shared environments to better understand the interplay between the environment, genetics, and ocular disease in both animals and humans. The companion Currents in One Health by Gilger, AJVR, December 2022, addresses in more detail recent studies of noninfectious immune-mediated animal ocular disease and their role in advancing ocular health globally.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine diagnostic accuracy of a point-of-care antibody-screening test by determining sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy when compared to reference standard tests for antibody against core vaccine viruses canine adenovirus (CAV), canine parvovirus (CPV), and canine distemper virus (CDV). A further aim was to provide the practitioner with information to guide selection of vaccinal antibody testing methods.

SAMPLES

Canine sera from across North America were submitted to a fee-for-service titer-testing laboratory. Samples came from healthy pet dogs with known core vaccination history (n = 431) as well as unvaccinated dogs held in isolation (132). This study examined a total of 563 samples for CDV/CPV and 183 for CAV.

PROCEDURES

Serum virus neutralization assays determined antibody titers for CDV and CAV. Hemagglutination inhibition assay determined antibody titers against CPV. All sera were also tested by point-of-care dot blot ELISA (index test).

RESULTS

For all 3 viral antigens, the index test provided sensitivity ranging from 96.03% to 96.75% and specificity ranging from 87.50% to 94.33%. Overall accuracy ranged from 93.43% to 95.91%.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The index test correlates well with reference standard tests and is a reliable, rapid screening test for detection of protective vaccinal antibody against CAV, CDV, and CPV in healthy dogs over 20 weeks of age. An accurate assessment of immunity allows clinicians to administer core vaccines appropriately as needed, avoiding unnecessary risk of adverse vaccine events.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

A qualitative study based on one-on-one interviews was conducted to better understand the role of the academic veterinary technician (AVT) and identify the motivations and challenges that AVTs face during their academic careers.

SAMPLE

34 AVTs from 12 accredited US colleges of veterinary medicine.

PROCEDURES

Virtual, semi-structured interviews were conducted between July and December 2020. Transcripts were analyzed using discourse analysis within the context of social identity theory.

RESULTS

Five themes and seven accompanying sub-themes emerged: one title but many roles and responsibilities (professional/work; other obligations); workplace culture (belonging/inclusivity, administrative/policies); unique challenges of being in the ivory tower (impostor syndrome, educator role, technical skills for academia); entry into the profession and career progression; and motivation.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

AVTs have great passion for and dedication to their profession. Overwhelmingly, they want their voices to be heard and their skillsets to be both utilized and respected. Recognition of and consideration for the themes uncovered in this study may help to better support and retain technicians in their academic career paths.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the effect of the cyclooxygenase-2–selective NSAID firocoxib, compared to the nonselective NSAID flunixin meglumine on viscoelastic coagulation parameters in healthy horses.

ANIMALS

12 healthy adult mixed-breed horses.

PROCEDURES

Following a crossover protocol, horses were administered flunixin meglumine (1.1 mg/kg, IV, q 12 h for 5 days), allowed a 6-month washout period, and then administered firocoxib (0.3 mg/kg, PO, once, then 0.1 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h for 4 days). Omeprazole (1 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) was administered concurrently with each NSAID. Viscoelastic coagulation profiles and traditional coagulation parameters (prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and fibrinogen) were measured before and after each treatment.

RESULTS

Viscoelastic coagulation parameters were within reference intervals before and after both treatments. There was a statistically significant difference between treatments for amplitude at 10 minutes after clot time (P = .02) and maximum clot formation (P = .02); however, the magnitude of change was not clinically significant.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Short-term administration of flunixin meglumine and firocoxib did not result in significant alteration of viscoelastic coagulation profiles in healthy horses. However, clinicians should be aware of possible coagulopathy secondary to NSAID administration with long-term use or critical illness, and further study is indicated.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To compare initial titers, duration, and residual clinical protection of passively transferred bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) nasal immunoglobulin (Ig) G-1 and IgA, and serum neutralizing (SN) antibodies.

ANIMALS

40 three-month-old beef steers born either to unvaccinated or vaccinated cows.

PROCEDURES

During the last trimester of gestation, cows were assigned randomly to either vaccinated or unvaccinated groups. Calves were grouped on the basis of whether they nursed colostrum from unvaccinated dams (NO-VACC group; n = 20) versus dams vaccinated with 2 doses of an inactivated BRSV vaccine (VACC group; n = 20). At 3 months of age, calves were challenged with BRSV. Respiratory signs were scored. Nasal BRSV IgG-1 and IgA and SN antibodies were compared before and after the challenge. The presence of BRSV in nasal secretions was evaluated by reverse transcription-PCR assays.

RESULTS

Respiratory scores after BRSV challenge were similar between treatment groups. Nasal BRSV IgG-1 and SN antibodies were significantly greater in VACC calves at 48 hours of life; however, by 3 months of age, titers had decayed in both groups. Nasal BRSV IgA titers were minimal after colostrum intake and before the BRSV challenge, and increased in both groups after the challenge. The NO-VACC group had a significantly greater probability of shedding BRSV compared with VACC calves.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

At 3 months of age, titers of passively transferred BRSV antibodies in VACC and NO-VACC calves had decayed to nonprotective levels. Calves born to vaccinated dams had a decreased probability of BRSV shedding; however, this was not related to differences in SN or nasal BRSV antibody titers.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research