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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in a large number of privately owned dogs across a wide geographic area.

Design—Internet-based, cross-sectional study.

Animals—2,551 privately owned dogs.

Procedures—A questionnaire addressed dog-specific, management, environmental, and personality-associated risk factors for GDV in dogs. Respondents were recruited through the posting of the electronic link to the questionnaire on websites for dog owners; the information was also disseminated at meetings of dog owners and via newsletters, e-mail lists for dog owners and breeders, owner-oriented dog publications, and e-mails forwarded by participants. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were performed.

Results—Factors significantly associated with an increased risk of GDV were being fed dry kibble, anxiety, residence in the United Kingdom, being born in the 1990s, being a family pet, and spending at least 5 hours a day with the owner. Factors associated with a decreased risk of GDV were playing with other dogs and running the fence after meals, fish and egg dietary supplements, and spending equal time indoors and outdoors. A significant interaction between sex and neuter status was observed, with sexually intact females having the highest risk for GDV.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs with a high risk of GDV, regular moderate daily and postprandial activity appeared to be beneficial. Feeding only commercial dry dog food may not be the best choice for dogs at risk; however, supplements with fish or eggs may reduced this risk. The effect of neuter status on GDV risk requires further characterization.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine usefulness of skin turgor and capillary refill time (CRT) for predicting changes in hydration status of working dogs after a 15-minute exercise period.

ANIMALS 9 exercise-conditioned working dogs between 8 and 108 months of age.

PROCEDURES Skin tent time (SkTT; time for tented skin on the forehead to return to an anatomically normal position) and CRT (time for occluded mucous membrane capillary vessels to return to the color visible before occlusion) were measured on dogs in a field setting and by video review. Body weight (BW), SkTT, CRT, and core body temperature were measured before and after a 15-minute exercise period. Exercise challenge was performed on days 1 and 8.

RESULTS Time (day 1 vs day 8) did not significantly affect results; therefore, data were pooled for the 2 trial days. Mean ± SE BW decreased (but not significantly) by 0.83 ± 0.27% after exercise. The SkTT increased significantly (both field setting and video review) after exercise. Correlation between SkTT results for the field setting and video review (r = 0.68) was significant. The CRT decreased (but not significantly) after exercise.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Dogs became mildly dehydrated (mean BW loss, 0.83%) during a 15-minute exercise period, and the mild dehydration was evident as a visually detectable change in skin turgor. Monitoring the SkTT appeared to be a useful strategy for predicting small shifts in hydration status of dogs during exercise. The CRT decreased and was not a significant predictor of a change in hydration status.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs of various cyclooxygenase selectivities on hemostasis and prostaglandin expression in dogs.

Animals—8 client-owned dogs with clinical signs of osteoarthritis.

Procedures—Dogs received aspirin (5 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h), carprofen (4 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h), deracoxib (2 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h), and meloxicam (0.1 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) for 10 days each, with an interval of at least 14 days between treatments. On days 0 and 10, blood was collected for platelet aggregation assays, thrombelastography, and measurement of lipopolysaccharide-stimulated prostaglandin E2, platelet thromboxane B2 (TXB2), and free serum TXB2 and 6-keto-prostaglandin F (PGF)-1α concentrations.

Results—Platelet aggregation decreased after treatment with aspirin and carprofen, whereas significant changes from baseline were not detected for the other drugs tested. Thrombelastograms obtained after treatment with carprofen revealed decreased maximum amplitude and α-angle, suggesting hypocoagulability. Maximum amplitude and coagulation index increased after treatment with deracoxib. Plasma concentrations of prostaglandin E2 decreased after treatment with carprofen or deracoxib, and platelet TXB2 production increased after treatment with aspirin. Serum concentrations of the prostacyclin metabolite 6-keto-PGF-1α did not change significantly after treatment with any of the drugs, although the ratio of free TXB2 to 6-keto-PGF-1α decreased slightly after treatment with carprofen and increased slightly after treatment with deracoxib.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—At the dosages tested, treatment with meloxicam affected platelet function minimally in dogs with osteoarthritis. Treatment with carprofen decreased clot strength and platelet aggregation. Clot strength was increased after treatment with deracoxib.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare the cause of death (COD; whether by natural death or euthanasia for poor quality of life caused by a primary pathological condition) between search-and-rescue (SAR) dogs deployed to the World Trade Center, Pentagon, or Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and SAR dogs that were not deployed to these sites.

ANIMALS

95 deployed SAR dogs (exposed dogs) and 55 nondeployed SAR dogs (unexposed dogs).

PROCEDURES

Following natural death or euthanasia, 63 dogs (44 exposed and 19 unexposed) underwent a necropsy examination. For the remaining 87 dogs, the COD was categorized on the basis of information obtained from medical records or personal communications.

RESULTS

The median age of death was 12.8 years for exposed dogs and 12.7 years for unexposed dogs. The COD was not impacted by deployment status. In the 150 exposed and unexposed dogs, degenerative conditions were the most common COD followed by neoplasia. Respiratory disease was infrequent (overall, 7 [4.7%] dogs); 4 of 5 cases of pulmonary neoplasia occurred in unexposed dogs. However, in dogs that underwent necropsy, pulmonary particulates were reported significantly more often in exposed dogs (42/44 [95%]), compared with unexposed dogs (12/19 [63.2%]).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

No difference was found in the COD on the basis of disease category and organ system involved between exposed and unexposed SAR dogs. The long life spans and frequency of death attributed to degenerative causes (ie, age-related causes) suggested that the risk of long-term adverse health effects in this population of SAR dogs was low.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate early medical and behavioral effects of deployment to the World Trade Center, Fresh Kills Landfill, or the Pentagon on responding search-and-rescue (SAR) dogs.

Design—Prospective double cohort study.

Animals—The first cohort included SAR dogs responding to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks (deployed), and the second cohort included SAR dogs trained in a similar manner but not deployed (controls). Enrollment occurred from October 2001 to June 2002.

Procedure—Dogs were examined by their local veterinarians; thoracic radiographs and blood samples were shipped to the University of Pennsylvania for analysis. Handlers completed medical and training histories and a canine behavioral survey.

Results—Deployed dogs were older and had more search experience than control dogs. Serum concentrations of globulin and bilirubin and activity of alkaline phosphatase were significantly higher in deployed dogs, independent of age and training. Despite significant differences in several blood parameters, values for both groups were within reference ranges. No pulmonary abnormalities were detected on radiographs, and no significant differences in behavior or medical history were detected between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Within the first year following the September 11 attacks, there was no evidence that responding dogs developed adverse effects related to their work. Mild but significantly higher serum concentrations of globulin and bilirubin and activity of alkaline phosphatase in deployed dogs suggested higher antigen or toxin exposure. These dogs will be monitored for delayed effects for at least 3 years. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:861–867)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objectives—To determine characteristics, variables associated with deployment morbidity, and injuries and illnesses of search-and-rescue dogs associated with the Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Design—Historical cohort study.

Animals—96 dogs.

Procedure—Data collected included previous medical or surgical history, physical attributes of dogs, type and number of years of training, site of deployment, shift and hours worked, and number of days deployed. Combined morbidity was defined as 1 or more abnormalities of body systems, including traumatic injuries.

Results—Handlers of 96 of the 212 dogs responded to the surveys. Fifty-nine dogs were deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 10 by police forces, and 27 as members of other search-and-rescue teams. Sixty-five dogs (incidence rate, 17 events/1,000 dog search hours) had combined morbidity during deployment. System-specific morbidity rates included gastrointestinal tract signs (5 events/1,000 dog search hours), cuts and abrasions mostly on the feet (5 events/1,000 dog search hours), fatigue (6 events/1,000 dog search hours), change in appetite (6 events/1,000 dogs search hours), dehydration (5 events/1,000 dog search hours), respiratory tract problems (2 events/1,000 dog search hours), heat exhaustion (2 events/1,000 dog search hours), and orthopedic or back problems (2 events/1,000 dog search hours). Dogs deployed to the World Trade Center were 6.6 times more likely to have combined morbidity, compared with dogs at the Pentagon.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Injury and illnesses occurred in most dogs and affected several organ systems, but all were minor. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:868–873)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

A longitudinal study followed search-and-rescue (SAR) dogs for 15 years to determine the incidence of health events and whether factors of deployment during 9/11, breed, or sex altered the risk of specific events.

ANIMALS

150 SAR dogs: 95 dogs deployed to the September 11 terrorist attack sites and 55 SAR dogs not deployed.

METHODS

Each year, a survey was sent to the handler to collect health information until the dog died or the handler withdrew from the study. The reported health events were then categorized according to the body system affected and etiology. Incidence risk rates, with 95% CIs, were calculated for the most common types of health events. Incidence rate ratios were calculated stratified by deployment status, sex, and breed and significance assessed.

RESULTS

1 or more health event was recorded in 96 of the 150 enrolled dogs. The most affected systems were the musculoskeletal (31%; CI, 24 to 39), integumentary (22%; CI, 15 to 29), and gastrointestinal (20%; CI, 14 to 26). The health events were most commonly reported as inflammatory (45%; CI, 37 to 53) and degenerative (28%; CI, 21 to 35) in nature. There were no significant differences in incidence of health events based on deployment status to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Additionally, there was no significant effect of breed or sex on incidence of health events.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

To improve the health and longevity of SAR dogs, disease prevention and management programs should focus on reducing the health problems involving the musculoskeletal system as well as the integumentary and gastrointestinal systems.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To characterize in vitro coagulation status in a cohort of dogs with extrahepatic biliary tract obstruction (EHBO) and to evaluate these patients for hypercoagulability by means of thromboelastography.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—10 dogs with EHBO and 19 healthy control dogs.

Procedures—Partial or complete EHBO was confirmed via exploratory celiotomy. Venous blood samples were collected for evaluation of prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT); fibrinogen and D-dimer concentrations; protein C and antithrombin activities; and factor VII, VIII, and XI coagulant activities in plasma as well as thromboelastography in whole blood. Thromboelastography variables were measured from the thromboelastography tracing, and a coagulation index was calculated. Thromboelastography results were compared with those of healthy control dogs previously evaluated by the same laboratory.

Results—Hypercoagulability was diagnosed in all dogs with EHBO on the basis of a high coagulation index. Thromboelastography variables, including maximal amplitude, α-angle, and coagulation index, were significantly higher, and K (clot formation time) and R (reaction time) were significantly lower in these dogs than in control dogs. All dogs with EHBO had PT and APTT within respective reference ranges. Plasma D-dimer and fibrinogen concentrations were above reference ranges in 8 and 7 dogs, respectively, and protein C and antithrombin activities were below reference ranges in 3 and 1 dogs, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In vitro hypercoagulability was commonly detected in dogs with naturally occurring EHBO. The traditional view of EHBO as a disease that causes hypocoagulability may need to be reconsidered.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association