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Abstract

Objective—To determine plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and serum vitamin E concentrations in dogs with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) and healthy control dogs.

Sample Population—Serum and plasma samples from 36 dogs with IMHA and 40 healthy control dogs.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected from all study dogs. Plasma MDA concentrations were measured by use of a commercial colorimetric assay, and serum vitamin E concentrations (α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol concentrations) were measured via high-performance liquid chromatography.

Results—Plasma MDA concentrations were significantly higher in the dogs with IMHA than in the control dogs. Compared with control dogs, serum α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol concentrations were significantly lower in the IMHA-affected dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated a state of oxidative stress and reduced antioxidant reserve in dogs with IMHA; this finding provides support for further investigation of the potential benefits of antioxidant treatment in dogs with this disease. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1621–1624)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine whether the degree of CT attenuation of muscle would differ between healthy old and young dogs.

ANIMALS 10 healthy old (> 8 years old) and 9 healthy young (1 to 5 years old) Labrador Retrievers with a body condition score of 5 or 6 on a 9-point scale.

PROCEDURES CT was performed with the dogs mildly sedated. A freehand closed polygon tool was used to define the outer margin of the left epaxial muscles on each transverse image obtained from the cranial to caudal endplates of T13. The CT attenuation values from every voxel from within these regions of interest were exported from DICOM software as a single dataset in an extensible markup language file. From these data, mean CT attenuation values were calculated for each dog and these mean values were compared between age groups.

RESULTS Mean CT attenuation values for the epaxial muscles were significantly lower in old dogs than in young dogs. A significant negative correlation (r = –0.74) was identified between mean CT attenuation values and dog age.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In addition to loss of skeletal muscle mass, low muscle CT attenuation values suggested that the old dogs in this study also had greater muscle fat content than did young dogs. Additional studies are warranted to evaluate qualitative and quantitative muscle changes in old dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate clinically applicable methods of assessing lean body mass in dogs and compare muscle mass and inflammatory markers in healthy young and old dogs.

Animals—9 healthy young (1 to 5 years old) and 10 old (> 8 years old) Labrador Retrievers with a body condition score of 5 to 6 of 9.

Procedures—Radiography of the thoracolumbar region was performed for measurement of epaxial muscle height at the level of T13–L1. Computed tomographic images were obtained for the measurement of the epaxial and temporal muscles. Ultrasonography also was performed for regional muscle measurements at these same sites and the quadriceps muscle. Serum C-reactive protein, insulin-like growth factor-1, and tumor necrosis factor-α concentrations also were measured, and dogs' activity for 14 days was assessed with an activity monitor.

Results—Mean epaxial muscle area measured by ultrasonography was significantly lower in the old group, compared with the young group, whereas epaxial muscle area measured by CT was only significantly lower in the old group after normalization for vertebral height. Neither temporal and quadriceps muscle measurements nor serum C-reactive protein or insulin-like growth factor-1 concentrations were significantly different between age groups. Tumor necrosis factor-α concentrations were undetectable in all dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study documented reduced epaxial muscle area in healthy old Labrador Retrievers, consistent with the syndrome of sarcopenia. Ultrasonography and CT were feasible methods of measuring epaxial muscle area, but much additional research is required to assess this method. A better understanding of underlying mechanisms of sarcopenia as well as methods for slowing progression is needed.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine nutrient intake and dietary patterns in cats with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—95 cats with congenital cardiac disease or primary cardiomyopathy.

Procedures—Owners completed a standardized telephone questionnaire regarding their cat's diet and a 24-hour food recall to determine daily intake of calories, fat, protein, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

Results—Of the 95 cats, 18 (19%) had a history of congestive heart failure and 73 (77%) had no clinical signs of cardiac disease. Fifty-five percent (52/95) of cats had concurrent disease. Inappetance was reported in 38% (36/95) of all cats and in 72% (68/95) of cats with a history of congestive heart failure. Most (57% [54/95]) cats received treats or table scraps on a regular basis. Approximately half the cats were receiving orally administered medications, supplements, or both. Only 34% (32/68) of owners used food to administer medications to cats. Cats consumed more than the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimums for protein, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and nearly all cats consumed more than the AAFCO minimum for fat. Daily nutrient intake was variable for all of the nutrients assessed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary intake in cats with cardiac disease was variable, but results for dietary supplement use, food use for medication administration, and treat feeding were different from those found in a similar study of dogs with cardiac disease. This information may be useful for treating and designing nutritional studies for cats with cardiac disease.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

In past years, nutritional deficiencies were considered to be an important problem in dogs and cats. Currently, most pet owners in many countries, such as the United States and Canada, feed nutritionally balanced commercial pet foods. As a result, nutritional deficiencies have become uncommon because reputable pet food manufacturers regularly test their products to ensure that they contain adequate amounts of all nutrients. Anecdotally, most reported deficiencies currently arise from animals eating incomplete or unbalanced homemade, vegetarian, or raw meat diets. Therefore, veterinarians may not consider deficiencies as differential diagnoses in animals eating traditional commercial diets. However, thiamine (vitamin B

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To test the quality, disintegration properties, and compliance with labeling regulations for representative commercially available taurine and carnitine dietary products.

Design—Evaluation study.

Sample Population—11 commercially available taurine and 10 commercially available carnitine products.

Procedures—For each product, the amount of taurine or carnitine was determined and compared with the label claim. All products were evaluated for concentrations of mercury, arsenic, and selenium. Disintegration properties of 5 taurine and 8 carnitine products were determined in vitro. Labels were evaluated for compliance with FDA guidelines.

Results—10 of 11 taurine and 10 of 10 carnitine products were within 10% of the stated label claim. Three of 11 taurine and 6 of 10 carnitine products were within 5% of the stated label claim. The median percentage difference between laboratory analysis and label claim was −5.7% (range, −26.3% to 2.5%) for taurine and 3.6% (range, −2.6% to 8.8%) for carnitine. No substantial amount of contamination with mercury, arsenic, or selenium was found in any of the products. During disintegration testing, 1 of 5 taurine products and 5 of 8 carnitine products did not disintegrate within 45 minutes during at least 1 test. Disintegration time for those that did disintegrate ranged from 1.7 to 37.0 minutes. All product labels conformed with FDA regulations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Taurine and carnitine products evaluated in this study closely adhered to manufacturer claims and labeling guidelines. However, disintegration testing suggested high variability in some products, possibly limiting uptake and use by animals that receive them.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine outcome in dogs and cats that underwent extensive (ie, > 50%) resection of the small intestine and identify factors associated with outcome.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—13 dogs and 7 cats.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed, and follow-up information was obtained.

Results—In all 7 cats and in 8 of the 13 dogs, extensive intestinal resection was performed because of a foreign body. Mean ± SD estimated percentage of intestine that was removed was 68 ± 14% (range, 50% to 90%). Two dogs were euthanized 3 days after surgery because of dehiscence of the surgical site and development of septic peritonitis; 1 dog died of acute respiratory distress syndrome 5 days after surgery. The remaining 10 dogs and 7 cats were discharged from the hospital, and follow-up information was available for 15 of the 17. Median survival time was 828 days, and 12 of the 15 animals for which long-term follow-up information was available had good outcomes. However, none of the factors examined, including percentage of intestine resected, were significantly associated with outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most dogs and cats that underwent extensive resection of the small intestine had a good outcome. The amount of intestine resected was not associated with outcome. These data may be useful in providing prognostic information in cases of extensive small intestinal resection.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare myocardial concentrations of fatty acids in dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with concentrations in control dogs.

Sample Population—Myocardial tissues from 7 dogs with DCM and 16 control dogs.

Procedure—Myocardial tissues were homogenized, and total fatty acids were extracted and converted to methyl esters. Myocardial concentrations of fatty acids were analyzed by use of gas chromatography and reported as corrected percentages.

Results—The amount of docosatetraenoic acid (C22:4 n-6) was significantly higher in myocardial samples from dogs with DCM (range, 0.223% to 0.774%; median, 0.451%), compared with the amount in samples obtained from control dogs (range, 0.166% to 0.621%; median, 0.280%). There were no significant differences between DCM and control dogs for concentrations of any other myocardial fatty acids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although concentrations of most myocardial fatty acids did not differ significantly between dogs with DCM and control dogs, the concentration of docosatetraenoic acid was significantly higher in dogs with DCM. Additional investigation in a larger population is warranted to determine whether this is a primary or secondary effect of the underlying disease and whether alterations in fatty acids may be a target for intervention in dogs with DCM. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1483–1486)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To develop and evaluate a questionnaire (functional evaluation of cardiac health [FETCH] questionnaire) for assessing health-related quality of life in dogs with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—360 dogs with cardiac disease.

Procedure—The questionnaire was developed on the basis of widely accepted clinical signs of cardiac disease in dogs. A FETCH score was calculated by summing responses to questionnaire items; possible scores ranged from 0 to 85. For questionnaire validation, owners of 60 dogs were asked to complete the questionnaire and provide an overall assessment of their dogs' quality of life (16 owners completed the questionnaire twice). Disease severity was assessed with the International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) classification for cardiac disease. Following validation, the final questionnaire was administered to owners of the remaining 300 dogs.

Results—Internal consistency of the questionnaire was good, and the FETCH score was significantly correlated with the owner-reported quality-of-life score and with ISACHC classification. For owners that completed the questionnaire twice, scores were significantly correlated. During the second phase of the study, the FETCH score ranged from 0 to 70 (median, 7) and was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification, but did not vary significantly with underlying disease. For dogs examined twice, the change in FETCH score was significantly greater for dogs in which ISACHC classification improved than for dogs in which ISACHC classification was unchanged.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the FETCH questionnaire is a valid and reliable method for assessing health-related quality of life in dogs with cardiac disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1864–1868)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate marketing claims, ingredients, and nutrient profiles of over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample—24 over-the-counter dry and canned diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.

Procedures—Data on marketing claims and ingredients were collected from diet packaging and manufacturer websites. Concentrations of selected nutrients were obtained by contacting the manufacturers and were compared against minimum values for Association of American Feed Control Officials Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult dog maintenance based on calorie content.

Results—Most diets incorporated marketing terms such as digestive health, sensitive, or premium that are poorly defined and may have limited relevance to skin, coat, or general health. The types and numbers of major ingredients (ie, potential to contribute protein to the diet) differed. The total number of unique major ingredients in each diet ranged from 3 to 8 (median, 5.5), but the total number of unique ingredients in each diet ranged from 28 to 68 (median, 38). Concentrations of nutrients associated with skin and coat condition also differed widely.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the large variation among over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health may cause confusion for owners during diet selection. Owners of a dog with dermatologic problems should consult their veterinarian to select a good-quality diet that meets specific nutrient goals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;246:1334–1338)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association