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  • Author or Editor: Margaret Slater x
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Abstract

Objective—To develop a visual analogue scale (VAS) questionnaire that is repeatable and valid for use in assessing pain and lameness in dogs.

Sample Population—48 client-owned dogs with mild to moderate lameness.

Procedure—The dogs were from 3 studies conducted during a 3-year period. Of the 48 dogs, 19 were used in repeatability assessment, 48 were used in principal component analysis, and 44 were used in model selection procedures and validity testing. A test-retest measure of repeatability was conducted on dogs with a change of < 10% in vertical peak force. A force platform was used as the criterion-referenced standard for detecting lameness. Principal component analysis was used to describe dimensionality of the data. Repeatable questions were used as explanatory variables in multiple regression models to predict force plate measurements. Peak vertical, craniocaudal, and associated impulses were the forces used to quantify lameness. The regression models were used to test the criterion validity of the questionnaire.

Results—19 of 39 questions were found to be repeatable on the basis of a Spearman rank-correlation cut point of > 0.6. Model selection procedures resulted in 3 overlapping subsets of questions that were considered valid representations of the forces measured (vertical peak, vertical impulse, and propulsion peak). Each reduced model fit the data as well as the full model.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The VAS questionnaire was repeatable and valid for use in assessing the degree of mild to moderate lameness in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1634–1643)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the percentage of pet cats still wearing collars and having functional microchips 6 months after application.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—538 client-owned cats.

Procedures—Cats were randomly assigned to wear 1 of 3 types of collars: plastic buckle, breakaway plastic buckle safety, and elastic stretch safety. Each cat was fitted with the assigned collar, and a microchip was inserted SC between the scapulae. Owners completed questionnaires about their experiences and expectations of collars at enrollment and at the conclusion of the study.

Results—391 of the 538 (72.7%) cats successfully wore their collars for the entire 6-month study period. Owners' initial expectations of the cats' tolerance of the collar and the number of times the collar was reapplied on the cats' necks were the most important factors predicting success. Type of collar likely influenced how often collars needed to be reapplied. Eighteen (3.3%) cats caught a forelimb in their collar or caught their collar on an object or in their mouth. Of the 478 microchips that were scanned at the conclusion of the study, 477 (99.8%) were functional.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most cats successfully wore their collars. Because even house cats can become lost, veterinarians should recommend that all cats wear identification collars since they are the most obvious means of identifying an owned pet. For some cats, collars may frequently come off and become lost; therefore, microchips are an important form of backup identification. Owners should select a collar that their cat will tolerate and should check it often to ensure a proper fit.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effectiveness and adverse effects of apomorphine and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution used for emesis in dogs.

Design—Prospective observational study.

Animals—147 dogs that received apomorphine (IV or placed in the conjunctival sac) or 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (PO) to induce emesis after exposure to toxic agents.

Procedures—Data regarding signalment; agent information; type, dose, route, and number of emetic administrations; whether emesis was successful; number of times emesis occurred; percentage of ingested agent recovered; and adverse effects were collected via telephone during American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Animal Poison Control Center operations and stored in a database for analysis. Mann-Whitney and Fisher exact tests were used to evaluate emetic success rates.

Results—Apomorphine and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution successfully induced emesis in 59 of 63 (94%) and 76 of 84 (90%) of dogs, respectively. Mean time to onset of emesis after the first dose of emetic was 14.5 and 18.6 minutes when hydrogen peroxide (n = 37) and apomorphine (31) were used, respectively, with mean durations of 42 and 27 minutes, respectively. Mean estimates for recovery of ingested agents were 48% for hydrogen peroxide and 52% for apomorphine. Adverse effects were reported in 16 of 112 (14%) dogs for which information was available.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—3% hydrogen peroxide solution and apomorphine effectively induced emesis in dogs when used as directed. Emesis occurred within minutes after administration and helped recover substantial amounts of ingested agents. Adverse effects of both emetics were considered mild and self-limiting.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of FeLV infection and serum antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in unowned free-roaming cats.

Design—Cross-sectional serologic survey.

Animals—733 unowned free-roaming cats in Raleigh, NC, and 1,143 unowned free-roaming cats in Gainesville, Fla.

Results—In Raleigh, overall prevalence of FeLV infection was 5.3%, and overall seroprevalence for FIV was 2.3%. In Gainesville, overall prevalence of FeLV infection was 3.7%, and overall seroprevalence for FIV was 4.3%. Overall, FeLV prevalence was 4.3%, and seroprevalence for FIV was 3.5%. Prevalence of FeLV infection was not significantly different between males (4.9%) and females (3.8%), although seroprevalence for FIV was significantly higher in male cats (6.3%) than in female cats (1.5%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prevalence of FeLV infection and seroprevalence for FIV in unowned free-roaming cats in Raleigh and Gainesville are similar to prevalence rates reported for owned cats in the United States. Male cats are at increased risk for exposure to FIV, compared with female cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:620–622)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate a questionnaire for obtaining owner-perceived, weighted quality-oflife assessments for dogs with spinal cord injuries.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—100 dogs with spinal cord injuries and 48 healthy control dogs.

Procedures—The questionnaire was adapted from a questionnaire (the schedule for the evaluation of individual quality of life–direct weighting) used for human patients. Specifically, owners were asked to identify 5 areas or activities they believed had the most influence on their dogs' quality of life, assess their dogs' current status in each of those areas, and provide a weighting for the importance of each area. Results were used to construct a weighted quality-of-life score ranging from 0 to 100 for each dog. Owners were also asked to provide a quality-of-life score with a visual analog scale (VAS).

Results—A good correlation was found between weighted and VAS quality-of-life scores. Dogs with spinal cord injuries had weighted quality-of-life scores that were significantly lower than scores for control dogs. Quality-of-life areas and activities provided by owners of dogs with spinal cord injuries were similar to areas and activities provided by owners of healthy control dogs and could mostly be encompassed by 5 broader domains: mobility, play or mental stimulation, health, companionship, and other.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the questionnaire could be used to obtain owner-perceived, weighted quality-of-life assessments for dogs with spinal cord injuries. Obtaining owner-perceived quality-of-life assessments for individual dogs should allow veterinarians to better address quality-of-life concerns and expectations of owners.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate changes over time in owner-perceived, weighted quality-of-life assessments in dogs with spinal cord injuries and determine whether scores were associated with underlying etiology or with veterinarian-assigned scores for severity of neurologic dysfunction.

Design—Cohort study.

Animals—100 dogs with spinal cord injury.

Procedures—Duration of dysfunction, modified Frankel neurologic injury score, and etiology were recorded. At initial and recheck (4- to 6-week) evaluations, owners were asked to identify 5 areas or activities they believed had the most influence on their dogs' quality of life, assess their dogs' current status in each area, and provide a weighting for the importance of each area; results were used to construct a weighted quality-of-life score. Owners were also asked to provide a quality-of-life score with a visual analog scale (VAS).

Results—At initial and recheck evaluations, weighted quality-of-life scores were higher for ambulatory than for nonambulatory dogs. However, scores did not differ among groups when dogs were grouped on the basis of underlying etiology or duration of injury. Dogs with an increase in Frankel score between the initial and recheck evaluations had a significant increase in weighted quality-of-life score, whereas for dogs that did not have any change in Frankel score, initial and recheck weighted quality-of-life scores were not significantly different.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that owner-assigned, weighted quality-of-life scores for dogs with spinal cord injuries did not vary significantly on the basis of underlying etiology or duration of injury but were higher for ambulatory than for nonambulatory dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To examine associations between CSF biomarkers, initial neurologic dysfunction, and long-term ambulatory outcome in dogs with acute intervertebral disk herniation (IVDH).

Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—54 dogs with acute thoracolumbar IVDH and 16 clinically normal dogs.

Procedures—For each dog, variables, including CSF myelin basic protein (MBP), lactate, calcium, glucose, and total protein concentrations; nucleated cell count; and creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotransferase activities, were measured. For dogs with thoracolumbar IVDH, initial neurologic function was characterized by use of a modified Frankel score (MFS; determined on a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 represented paraplegia with no deep nociception and 5 represented paraspinal hyperesthesia only). Long-term follow-up was assessed.

Results—Among dogs with thoracolumbar IVDH, those with CSF CK activity ≤ 38 U/L had a 35-fold increase in the odds of long-term ambulation, compared with the odds in dogs with CSF CK activity > 38 U/L, adjusting for neurologic functioning at the evaluation. The CSF lactate, calcium, and glucose concentrations and aspartate aminotransferase activity were not predictive of long-term ambulatory outcome. Data analysis revealed that long-term functional recovery was > 98% for affected dogs, regardless of their initial MFS, when CSF CK activity was ≤ 38 U/L and MBP concentration was ≤ 3 ng/mL.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs with acute thoracolumbar IVDH, CSF CK activity and MBP concentration appeared to be prognostic indicators and, along with initial MFS, can be used to predict long-term ambulatory outcome.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine long-term results and complications of gonadectomy performed at an early age (prepubertal) or at the traditional age in cats.

Design—Cohort study.

Animals—263 cats from animal shelters.

Procedure—Cats that underwent gonadectomy were allotted to 2 groups on the basis of estimated age at surgery (traditional age, ≥ 24 weeks old; prepubertal, < 24 weeks old). Adoptive owner information was obtained from shelter records, and telephone interviews were conducted with owners to determine physical or behavioral problems observed in the cats after adoption. Follow-up information was obtained from attending veterinarians for cats with complex problems or when owners were uncertain regarding the exact nature of their cat's problem.

Results—Compared with traditional-age gonadectomy, prepubertal gonadectomy did not result in an increased incidence of infectious disease, behavioral problems, or problems associated with any body system during a median follow-up period of 37 months. Additionally, the rate of retention in the original adoptive household was the same for cats that underwent prepubertal gonadectomy as those that underwent traditional-age gonadectomy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prepubertal gonadectomy may be performed safely in cats without concern for increased incidence of physical or behavioral problems for at least a 3-year period after gonadectomy. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217: 1661–1665)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine long-term results and complications of gonadectomy performed at an early age (prepubertal) or at the traditional age in dogs.

Design—Cohort study.

Animals—269 dogs from animal shelters.

Procedure—Dogs that underwent gonadectomy were allotted to 2 groups on the basis of estimated age at surgery (traditional age, ≥ 24 weeks old; prepubertal, < 24 weeks old). Adoptive owner information was obtained from shelter records, and telephone interviews were conducted with owners to determine physical or behavioral problems observed in the dogs since adoption. Follow-up information was obtained from attending veterinarians for dogs with complex problems or when owners were uncertain regarding the exact nature of their dog's problem.

Results—Prepubertal gonadectomy did not result in an increased incidence of behavioral problems or problems associated with any body system, compared with traditional-age gonadectomy, during a median follow-up period of 48 months after gonadectomy. Rate of retention in the original adoptive household was the same for dogs that underwent prepubertal gonadectomy as those that underwent traditional- age gonadectomy. Infectious diseases, however, were more common in dogs that underwent prepubertal gonadectomy.

Conclusions and Clinical Implications—With the exception of infectious diseases, prepubertal gonadectomy may be safely performed in dogs without concern for increased incidence of physical or behavioral problems during at least a 4-year period after gonadectomy. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218: 217–221)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether substantial interobserver variation exists among diagnostic pathologists for descriptions of intestinal mucosal cell populations and whether histopathologic descriptions accurately predict when a patient does not have clinically evident intestinal disease.

Design—Comparative survey.

Sample Population—14 histologic slides of duodenal, ileal, or colonic tissue from 10 dogs and 3 cats.

Procedure—Each histologic slide was evaluated independently by 5 pathologists at 4 institutions. Pathologists, who had no knowledge of the tissues' origin, indicated whether slides were adequate for histologic evaluation and whether the tissue was normal or abnormal. They also identified the main infiltrating cell type in specimens that were considered abnormal, and whether infiltrates were mild, moderate, severe, or neoplastic.

Results—Quality of all slides was considered adequate or superior by at least 4 of the 5 pathologists. For intensity of mucosal cellular infiltrates, there was uniformity of opinion for 1 slide, near-uniformity for 6 slides, and nonuniformity for 7 slides. Five dogs did not have clinical evidence of intestinal disease, yet the pathologists' descriptions indicated that their intestinal tissue specimens were abnormal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Substantial interobserver variation was detected. Standardization of pathologic descriptions of intestinal tissue is necessary for meaningful comparisons with published articles. Clinicians must be cautious about correlating clinical signs and histopathologic descriptions of intestinal biopsy specimens. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1177–1182)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association