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Abstract

Objective—To compare 2 assays for use in the identification of dogs with a protective antibody titer (PAT) against canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine distemper virus (CDV).

Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.

Animals—431 dogs admitted to a municipal animal shelter in north central Florida.

Procedures—Blood samples were collected from dogs on the day of admission to the shelter. Serum was obtained, criterion-referenced assays were used to identify dogs that had PATs against CPV (titers ≥ 80; hemagglutination inhibition assay) and CDV (titers ≥ 32; virus neutralization assay), and results were compared with results of a semiquantitative ELISA and an immunofluorescence assay (IFA).

Results—For correct identification of dogs that had PATs against viruses, the ELISA had significantly higher specificity for CPV (98%) and CDV (95%) than did the IFA (82% and 70%, respectively) and had significantly lower sensitivity for CDV (88%) than did the IFA (97%); the sensitivity for CPV was similar (ELISA, 98%; IFA, 97%). Overall diagnostic accuracy was significantly greater with the ELISA than with the IFA. Predictive value of a positive result for PATs was significantly higher with the ELISA for CPV (99%) and CDV (93%) than with the IFA (92% and 71 %, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The ELISA had fewer false-positive results than did the IFA and could be performed on-site in shelters in < 1 hour. Accuracy and practicality of the ELISA may be useful for identifying the infection risk of dogs exposed during outbreaks attributable to CPV and CDV infections in shelters.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether passive transfer of immunity affects results of diagnostic tests for antibodies against FIV in kittens born to vaccinated queens.

Design—Experimental trial.

Animals—12 specific-pathogen-free queens and their 55 kittens.

Procedure—Queens were vaccinated with a wholevirus FIV vaccine prior to breeding. Serum was obtained from the queens on the day of parturition and from the kittens on days 2 and 7, then weekly until results of tests for antibodies against FIV were negative for 2 consecutive weeks. Milk was collected from the queens daily for the first week and then weekly. Serum and milk were tested for antibodies against FIV with 2 commercial assays.

Results—Antibodies against FIV were detected in serum obtained from the queens on the day of parturition and in the milk throughout lactation. All kittens tested positive for antibodies against FIV at 2 days of age. At 8 weeks of age, 30 (55%) kittens tested positive with 1 of the commercial assays, and 35 (64%) tested positive with the other. All kittens tested negative for antibodies against FIV by 12 weeks of age.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that kittens readily absorb antibodies against FIV in colostrum from vaccinated queens and that these antibodies may interfere with results of commercially available tests for FIV infection past the age of weaning. Currently licensed diagnostic tests for FIV infection are unable to distinguish among kittens with antibodies against FIV as a result of infection, passive transfer from infected queens, and passive transfer from vaccinated queens. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1554–1557)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe the characteristics and frequency of gross uterine anomalies in cats and dogs undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy.

Design—Prospective and retrospective case series.

Animals—53,258 cats and 32,660 dogs undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy at 26 clinics in the United States and Canada during 2007.

Procedures—Clinics prospectively reported gross anomalies and submitted tissues from abnormal reproductive tracts identified during surgery. Records from a feral cat spay-neuter clinic were evaluated retrospectively.

Results—Suspected congenital anomalies of the uterus were identified in 0.09% (49/53,258) of female cats and 0.05% (15/32,660) of female dogs. Uterine anomalies identified included unicornuate uterus (33 cats and 11 dogs), segmental agenesis of 1 uterine horn (15 cats and 3 dogs), and uterine horn hypoplasia (1 cat and 1 dog). Ipsilateral renal agenesis was present in 29.4% (10/34) of cats and 50.0% (6/12) of dogs with uterine anomalies in which kidneys were evaluated. Mummified ectopic fetuses were identified in 4 cats with uterine anomalies. Both ovaries and both uterine tubes were present in most animals with uterine anomalies.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Urogenital anomalies were twice as common in cats as in dogs. Identification of uterine developmental anomalies in dogs and cats should trigger evaluation of both kidneys and both ovaries because ipsilateral renal agenesis is common, but both ovaries are likely to be present and should be removed during ovariohysterectomy.

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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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the seroprevalences of and seroconversion rates for FeLV and FIV infection in cats treated for bite wounds and cutaneous abscesses and to evaluate compliance with recommendations to determine the retrovirus infection status of cats at acquisition and 60 days after a high-risk event.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—967 cats from 134 veterinary practices in 30 states.

Procedures—Cats with bite wounds or abscesses were evaluated by use of a point-of-care immunoassay for blood-borne FeLV antigen and FIV antibody. Veterinarians were asked to retest cats approximately 60 days later to determine whether seronegative cats had seroconverted after injury.

Results—The combined FeLV-FIV status of only 96 (9.9%) cats was known prior to wound treatment. At the time of treatment, 187 (19.3%) cats were seropositive for 1 or both viruses. Age (adult), sex (male), history of cutaneous wounds, and outdoor access were significantly associated with seropositivity. At 73 of 134 (54.5%) veterinary practices, retesting of cats for retrovirus infection status was recommended to owners of 478 cats. Only 64 (13.4%) cats were retested; of these, 3 of 58 (5.2%) cats that were initially seronegative for FIV antibody seroconverted.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A high proportion of cats with abscesses or bite wounds were seropositive for FeLV antigen or FIV antibody. Compliance with recommendations to test cats for retrovirus infection status at acquisition or after treatment for injury was low. The FeLV-FIV infection status of cats with potential fight wounds should be determined at time of treatment and again 60 days later.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate the number of unowned free-roaming cats in a college community in the southern United States and identify the characteristics of community residents who feed these cats.

Design—Cross-sectional, random-digit telephone survey.

Sample Population—587 households in Alachua County, Florida, surveyed between March 1 and May 10, 1999.

Procedure—Telephone surveys were conducted, and respondents were asked questions about feeding of unowned free-roaming cats.

Results—70 (12%) households fed free-roaming cats; mean ± SD number of free-roaming cats fed per household was 3.6 ± 1.9. Households that fed free-roaming cats were more likely to own pet cats than were households that did not feed free-roaming cats; however, 30 of 70 (43%) households feeding free-roaming cats did not own cats or dogs. Although the percentage of pet cats that were neutered was high (90%), only 8 (11%) households that fed free-roaming cats attempted to have such cats neutered. The free-roaming cat population was estimated to represent approximately 44% of the population of cats in the county.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that unowned free-roaming cats may represent a substantial portion of the total cat population in a region. Public policies and education programs aimed at reducing cat overpopulation should include provisions for neutering unowned free-roaming cats, and efforts should target the general public, not only pet owners, because not all households that feed unowned free-roaming cats own pets. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:202–205)

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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.

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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)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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 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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association