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Abstract

Objective—To compare castration of dogs by use of intratesticular injection of zinc gluconate with traditional surgical procedures in terms of acceptance by pet owners, ease of use, and short-term outcomes on Isabela Island of the Galápagos Islands.

Animals—161 privately owned male dogs admitted to a neuter program.

Procedures—Medical records of male dogs neutered during a 4-week animal control campaign were reviewed to collect information regarding signalment, method of castration, complication rate, and treatment outcomes.

Results—Of the 161 dogs admitted for castration, 58 were surgically castrated and 103 were treated with zinc gluconate. Dogs were returned to their owners for observation following castration. Wound dehiscence occurred in 2 skin incisions, representing 3.4% of the 58 dogs that underwent bilateral orchiectomy. Necrotizing zinc-gluconate injection-site reactions occurred in 4 dogs receiving injection volumes near the maximum label dose (0.8 to 1.0 mL), representing 3.9% of the zinc-gluconate procedures. Surgical wound complications were treated by superficial wound debridement and resuturing, in contrast to zinc-gluconate injection-site reactions, which all required orchiectomy and extensive surgical debridement, including scrotal ablation in 2 dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Low cost, ease of use, and cultural acceptance of a castration technique that does not require removal of the testes make zinc gluconate a valuable option for large-scale use in dogs, particularly in remote locations lacking sophisticated clinical facilities or skilled surgeons and staff. Further investigation is needed to identify risk factors in dogs for adverse reactions to zinc gluconate and to develop strategies for avoidance.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare survival times for cats with hyperthyroidism treated with iodine 131, methimazole, or both and identify factors associated with survival time.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—167 cats.

Procedure—Medical records of cats in which hyperthyroidism had been confirmed on the basis of high serum thyroxine concentration, results of thyroid scintigraphy, or both were reviewed.

Results—55 (33%) cats were treated with 131I alone, 65 (39%) were treated with methimazole followed by 131I, and 47 (28%) were treated with methimazole alone. Twenty-four of 166 (14%) cats had preexisting renal disease, and 115 (69%) had preexisting hepatic disease. Age was positively correlated (r = 0.4) with survival time, with older cats more likely to live longer. Cats with preexisting renal disease had significantly shorter survival times than did cats without preexisting renal disease. When cats with preexisting renal disease were excluded, median survival time for cats treated with methimazole alone (2.0 years; interquartile range [IQR], 1 to 3.9 years) was significantly shorter than median survival time for cats treated with 131I alone (4.0 years; IQR, 3.0 to 4.8 years) or methimazole followed by 131I (5.3 years; IQR, 2.2 to 6.5 years).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that age, preexisting renal disease, and treatment type were associated with survival time in cats undergoing medical treatment of hyperthyroidism.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine seroprevalence of FeLV and FIV infection among cats in North America and risk factors for seropositivity.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional survey.

Animals—18,038 cats tested at 345 veterinary clinics (n = 9,970) and 145 animal shelters (8,068) between August and November 2004.

Procedure—Cats were tested with a point-of-care ELISA for FeLV antigen and FIV antibody. A multivariable random effects logistic regression model was used to identify risk factors significantly associated with seropositivity while accounting for clinic-to-clinic (or shelter) variability.

Results—409 (2.3%) cats were seropositive for FeLV antigen, and 446 (2.5%) cats were seropositive for FIV antibody; 58 (0.3%) cats were seropositive for infection with both viruses. Multivariable analysis indicated that age, sex, health status, and cat lifestyle and source were significantly associated with risk of seropositivity, with adults more likely to be seropositive than juveniles (adjusted odds ratios [ORs], 2.5 and 2.05 for FeLV and FIV seropositivity, respectively), sexually intact adult males more likely to be seropositive than sexually intact adult females (adjusted ORs, 2.4 and 4.66), and outdoor cats that were sick at the time of testing more likely to be seropositive than healthy indoor cats (adjusted ORs, 8.89 and 11.3).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that certain characteristics, such as age, sex, health status, and lifestyle, are associated with risk of FeLV and FIV seropositivity among cats in North America. However, cats in all categories were found to be at risk for infection, and current guidelines to test all cats at the time of acquisition and again during illness should be followed.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of age on reference intervals of serum biochemical values in kittens.

Design—Prospective clinical trial.

Animals—55 kittens from 12 specific-pathogen–free queens.

Procedure—Kittens were allocated at birth into colostrum-fed (n = 27) and colostrum-deprived (28) groups. Blood was collected at birth and on days 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, 28, and 56. Serum samples were analyzed for activities of alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, γ-glutamyltransferase, amylase, and lipase and for concentrations of albumin, total protein, bilirubin, urea nitrogen, creatinine, cholesterol, glucose, calcium, phosphorus, and triglycerides by use of an automated analyzer. Total serum solids concentrations were determined by use of refractometry. Serum IgG concentrations were quantified by use of radial immunodiffusion.

Results—For several analytes, reference intervals changed rapidly, most notably during the first few days of life. Reference intervals for alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and triglycerides were higher from birth to 8 weeks than adult reference intervals. Aspartate aminotransferase, bilirubin, urea nitrogen, and creatinine were higher than in adults at birth but were similar to or lower than adult reference intervals by 8 weeks. Compared with adult reference intervals, reference intervals for calcium and phosphorus concentrations were higher and for albumin and total protein concentrations were lower throughout the study period.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Important differences exist between reference intervals for serum biochemical values of neonatal and adult cats. Age-appropriate reference intervals should be used for accurate assessment of serum biochemical test results in cats.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify surrogate markers of passive transfer of immunity in kittens.

Design—Prospective clinical trial.

Animals—55 kittens from 12 specific-pathogen–free queens.

Procedure—Kittens were allocated at birth into colostrum-fed (n = 27) and colostrum-deprived (28) groups. Blood was collected at birth and on days 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, 28, and 56. Serum samples were analyzed for activities of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, γ-glutamyltransferase, amylase, and lipase and for concentrations of albumin, total protein, bilirubin, urea nitrogen, creatinine, cholesterol, glucose, calcium, phosphorus, and triglycerides by use of an automated analyzer. Total serum solids concentrations were estimated by use of refractometry. Serum IgG concentrations were quantified by use of radial immunodiffusion.

Results—All kittens were agammaglobulinemic at birth. Colostrum-fed kittens had significantly higher IgG concentrations than did colostrum-deprived kittens from 1 though 28 days of age. Transient significant differences in serum biochemical variables between the colostrum-deprived and colostrum-fed groups were substantially resolved by day 4. Passive transfer of immunity could be reliably determined at 1 day of age and to a lesser extent at 2 days of age only by measurement of serum activity of ALP.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Adequacy of passive transfer in kittens initially correlated with serum activity of ALP, but quantification of serum IgG concentration was necessary after 2 days of age.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate 2 county trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs for feral cat population management via mathematical modeling.

Design—Theoretical population model.

Animals—Feral cats assessed from 1992 to 2003 in San Diego County, California (n = 14,452), and from 1998 to 2004 in Alachua County, Florida (11,822).

Procedure—Data were analyzed with a mathematical Ricker model to describe population dynamics of the feral cats and modifications to the dynamics that occurred as a result of the TNR programs.

Results—In both counties, results of analyses did not indicate a consistent reduction in per capita growth, the population multiplier, or the proportion of female cats that were pregnant.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Success of feral cat management programs that use TNR can be monitored with an easily collected set of data and statistical analyses facilitated by population modeling techniques. Results may be used to suggest possible future monitoring and modification of TNR programs, which could result in greater success controlling and reducing feral cat populations. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1775–1781)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate equine IgG as a treatment for kittens with failure of passive transfer of immunity (FPT).

Animals—13 specific pathogen-free queens and their 77 kittens.

Procedure—Kittens were randomized at birth into 9 treatment groups. One group contained colostrumfed (nursing) kittens; the other groups contained colostrum-deprived kittens that were administered supplemental feline or equine IgG PO or SC during the first 12 hours after birth. Blood samples were collected at serial time points from birth to 56 days of age for determination of serum IgG concentrations. The capacity of equine IgG to opsonize bacteria for phagocytosis by feline neutrophils was determined via flow cytometry.

Results—Kittens that received feline or equine IgG SC had significantly higher serum IgG concentrations than those of kittens that received the supplements PO. In kittens that were administered supplemental IgG SC, serum IgG concentrations were considered adequate for protection against infection. The half-life of IgG in kittens treated with equine IgG was shorter than that in kittens treated with feline IgG. Feline IgG significantly enhanced the phagocytosis of bacteria by feline neutrophils, but equine IgG did not.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum concentrations of equine IgG that are considered protective against infection are easily attained in kittens, but the failure of these antibodies to promote bacterial phagocytosis in vitro suggests that equine IgG may be an inappropriate treatment for FPT in kittens. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:969–975)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine characteristics of free-roaming cats evaluated in a trap-neuter-return program.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—5,323 free-roaming cats.

Procedure—Data collected included sex, maturity, pregnancy status, number of fetuses per pregnancy, cryptorchidism, and occurrence of complications or euthanasia.

Results—Adult cats represented 85% of the population, and 57% were female. Overall, 19% of adult females were pregnant, and mean litter size was 3.6 fetuses. Pregnancy rate peaked at 36 to 47% of all females evaluated in March and April and decreased to ≤ 4% from October through January. Cryptorchidism was observed in 1.9% of the males; 0.4% of the adult females had pyometra. Only 1.9% of the cats were already neutered. Euthanasia and unexpected death rates were 0.4 and 0.3%, respectively. The most common severe problems encountered included pyometra, neoplasia, surgical complications, diaphragmatic hernia, debilitation, and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Neutering programs for free-roaming cats should include preparations to perform more spays than castrations. Typically, almost half of the female cats trapped during spring will be pregnant. Cryptorchidism is uncommon but is encountered on a consistent basis, so care should be taken to differentiate previous castration from retained testicles. Euthanasia of debilitated cats for humane reasons is rarely necessary, and unexpected deaths occur at a low rate. It is feasible and safe to neuter large numbers of free-roaming cats in large-scale clinics. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1136–1138)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the sensitivity, specificity, and overall diagnostic accuracy of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays offered by commercial diagnostic laboratories for diagnosis of FIV infection in cats.

Design—Prospective clinical trial.

Animals—124 cats.

Procedure—Blood was collected from cats that were neither infected with nor vaccinated against FIV, uninfected cats that were vaccinated with a licensed FIV vaccine, and cats experimentally and naturally infected with FIV representing subtypes A, B, and C. Coded blood samples were submitted to 3 laboratories in the United States and Canada offering PCR assays for diagnosis of FIV infection to veterinary practitioners. All laboratories tested fresh blood samples, and 1 laboratory also tested samples submitted as dried blood smears. The FIV infection status in all cats was confirmed by virus isolation. Sensitivity, specificity, and correct results were calculated for each PCR assay.

Results—Sensitivity ranged from 41% to 93%. Specificity ranged from 81% to 100% in unvaccinated cats and 44% to 95% in cats vaccinated against FIV. Correct results were obtained in 58% to 90% of 124 cats tested. All tests misidentified both uninfected and infected cats. False-positive results by all laboratories were higher in cats vaccinated against FIV than in unvaccinated cats, suggesting that vaccination interferes with the performance or interpretation of PCR assays used for diagnosis of FIV infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—PCR assays used for diagnosis of FIV infection presently marketed to veterinary practitioners in North America vary significantly in diagnostic accuracy and did not resolve the diagnostic dilemma resulting from vaccination of cats against FIV. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1503–1507)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association