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To assess the agreement between measurements of total protein (TP) concentrations in canine serum samples between a commercially available veterinary digital refractometer (DR), an analog handheld refractometer (AR), and a laboratory-based chemistry analyzer (LAB). An additional objective was to assess the effects of various potential interferents (ie, hyperbilirubinemia, increased BUN, hyperglycemia, hemolysis, and lipemia) on DR measurements.


108 canine serum samples.


Serum samples were measured in duplicate on the DR, which reported TP concentration, assessed via optical reflectance and critical angle measurement. These serum samples were also assessed on the AR and LAB for comparison. Serum samples with grossly visible lipemia, hemolysis, and icterus were noted. Medical records were retrospectively assessed to determine concentrations of BUN, glucose, and bilirubin.


Method comparisons among the various data generated by the analyzers were completed using linear regression, Bland Altman, and calculation of intraclass coefficients. Mean bias between DRTP and LABTP in samples without potential interferents was 0.54 g/dL with 95% limits of agreement of –0.17 to 1.27 g/dL. One-third of DRTP samples without potential interferents had > 10% difference from their LABTP comparison. Interferents, particularly marked hyperglycemia, can result in inaccurate measurements on the DR.


There was a statistically significant difference between DRTP and LABTP measurements. TP measurements in samples with any potential interferent, particularly hyperglycemia, should be assessed cautiously on DR and AR.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To identify risk factors for temporary tracheostomy tube placement (TTTP) following surgery for alleviation of signs associated with brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) in dogs.

DESIGN Retrospective case-control study.

ANIMALS 122 client-owned dogs with BOAS that underwent surgery to alleviate clinical signs (BOAS surgery).

PROCEDURES The medical records database of a veterinary teaching hospital was searched to identify dogs that underwent BOAS surgery from January 2007 through March 2016. Of the 198 dogs identified, 12 required postoperative TTTP (cases); 110 of the remaining 186 dogs were randomly selected as controls. Data regarding signalment and select preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative variables were extracted from the medical record of each dog. Variables were compared between cases and controls and evaluated for an association with the odds of postoperative TTTP.

RESULTS Body condition score, tracheal diameter-to-thoracic inlet ratio, staphylectomy technique, and mortality rate did not differ significantly between cases and controls. The odds of postoperative TTTP increased approximately 30% (OR, 1.3) for each 1-year increase in patient age. Postoperative administration of corticosteroids and presence of pneumonia were also positively associated with the odds of postoperative TTTP. Median duration of hospitalization was significantly longer for cases than controls.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Age was positively associated with the odds of TTTP in dogs after BOAS surgery, and TTTP led to prolonged hospitalization. Thus, early identification and intervention may be beneficial for dogs with BOAS. The associations between TTTP and postoperative corticosteroid use or pneumonia were likely not causal, but reflective of patient disease severity.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare the performance of 3 point-of-care glucose meters in adult and juvenile alpacas with that of a laboratory-based analyzer.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—35 adult alpacas and 21 juvenile alpacas.

Procedures—Whole blood samples obtained via jugular venipuncture were tested with all 3 point-of-care glucose meters; plasma samples were also tested with 1 of those meters. Glucose concentrations determined by use of the point-of-care meters were compared with results from the laboratory-based analyzer.

Results—Plasma glucose concentrations determined by use of the laboratory-based analyzer ranged from 36 to 693 mg/dL. Over the entire range of glucose concentrations tested, the Lin concordance correlation coefficient (agreement) was significant and excellent for all comparisons. Concordance decreased for 1 glucometer when testing whole blood samples over a narrower range of glucose concentrations (50 to 200 mg/dL). Bias was typically small (< 10 mg/dL) for 3 of the 4 comparisons but considerable for 1 meter with the use of whole blood. The limits of agreement were wide for all comparisons over the entire range of glucose concentrations tested but decreased to within acceptable limits when the narrower glucose range (50 to 200 mg/dL) was analyzed for 3 of the comparisons. For samples with a PCV < 25%, bias and the limits of agreement were greater for one of the meters tested.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Discrepancies between point-of-care glucose meters and reference techniques can be considerable in alpacas, emphasizing the importance of assessing individual meter performance in a target population.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association