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  • Author or Editor: Sandra L. Lefebvre x
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Abstract

Objective—To identify risk factors associated with diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—1,230 cats with a clinical diagnosis of CKD, serum creatinine concentration > 1.6 mg/dL, and urine specific gravity < 1.035 and 1,230 age-matched control cats.

Procedures—Data on putative risk factors for CKD were extracted for multivariate logistic regression analysis from the medical records of cats brought to 755 primary care veterinary hospitals. For a subset of cats evaluated 6 to 12 months prior to the date of CKD diagnosis or control group inclusion, the percentage change in body weight between those dates as well as clinical signs at the earlier date were analyzed for associations with CKD development.

Results—Risk factors for CKD in cats included thin body condition, prior periodontal disease or cystitis, anesthesia or documented dehydration in the preceding year, being a neutered male (vs spayed female), and living anywhere in the United States other than the northeast. The probability of CKD decreased with increasing body weight in nondehydrated cats, domestic shorthair breed, and prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and increased when vomiting, polyuria or polydipsia, appetite or energy loss, or halitosis was present at the time of diagnosis or control group inclusion but not when those signs were reported 6 to 12 months earlier. Median weight loss during the preceding 6 to 12 months was 10.8% and 2.1% in cats with and without CKD, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The probability of CKD diagnosis in cats was influenced by several variables; recent weight loss, particularly in combination with the other factors, warrants assessment of cats for CKD.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether dogs that visited human health-care facilities were at greater risk of acquiring certain health-care–associated pathogens, compared with dogs performing animal-assisted interventions in other settings, and to identify specific behaviors of dogs associated with an increased risk of acquiring these pathogens.

Design—Prospective cohort and nested case-control studies.

Animals—96 dogs that visited human health-care facilities and 98 dogs involved in other animal-assisted interventions.

Procedures—Fecal samples and nasal swab specimens were collected from dogs at the time of recruitment and every 2 months for 1 year and were tested for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile, and other selected bacteria. Information was also obtained on facilities visited during animal-assisted interventions, dog diet, dog illnesses, and antimicrobial use within the home. At the end of the study, dog handlers were asked about the behavior of their dogs during visits to health-care facilities.

Results—Rates of acquisition of MRSA and C difficile were 4.7 and 2.4 times as high, respectively, among dogs that visited human health-care facilities, compared with rates among dogs involved in other animal-assisted interventions. Among dogs that visited human health-care facilities, those that licked patients or accepted treats during visits were more likely to be positive for MRSA and C difficile than were dogs that did not lick patients or accept treats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that dogs that visited human health-care facilities were at risk of acquiring MRSA and C difficile, particularly when they licked patients or accepted treats during visits.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether gonadectomy or age at gonadectomy was associated with the risk that dogs would subsequently become overweight.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—1,930 dogs gonadectomized between 1998 and 2001 at ≤ 6 months of age (n = 782), > 6 months to ≤ 1 year of age (861), or > 1 to ≤ 5 years of age (287) and 1,669 sexually intact dogs.

Procedures—Dogs were followed-up through medical records for ≥ 10 years or until a diagnosis of overweight (defined as overweight, obese, or having a body condition score ≥ 4/5) was recorded. Information extracted included age at study entry, sex, breed, breed-size category, hospital visit frequency, and diagnosis (yes or no) of overweight or diseases that might affect body condition. Relative risk of a diagnosis of overweight was assessed among age groups of gonadectomized dogs and between gonadectomized and sexually intact dogs.

Results—No difference was detected among dogs grouped according to age at gonadectomy with respect to the risk of being overweight. This risk was significantly greater in gonadectomized dogs than in sexually intact dogs, but only during the first 2 years after gonadectomy. Sexually intact male dogs were approximately 40% less likely to have this diagnosis (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.72) than were sexually intact female dogs; no difference in risk between the sexes was evident for gonadectomized dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gonadectomized dogs had a greater risk of being overweight than did sexually intact dogs, but this risk was not influenced by age at gonadectomy. Opportunities exist for veterinarians to provide counseling during the first years after gonadectomy to help dogs maintain a healthy weight.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To characterize and evaluate risk factors for suture-associated cystoliths in dogs and cats.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—163 dogs and 13 cats with suture-associated cystoliths and 326 control dogs and 26 control cats with non–suture-associated cystoliths.

Procedures—Submissions to the Canadian Veterinary Urolith Centre received from 1999 to 2006 were reviewed. Case dogs and cats had cystoliths associated with visible suture or with hollow, cylindrical channels or suture knot impressions consistent with dissolved suture. Control dogs and cats had at least a single recurrent non–suture-associated cystolith submitted closest in time to the sample case. Associations among cystolith composition, recurrence times, sex, age, and breed were evaluated.

Results—Cases consisted of 92 dogs and 7 cats with visible suture and 71 dogs and 6 cats with dissolved suture. Suture-associated cystoliths represented 0.6% of canine cystoliths, 9.4% of recurrent canine cystoliths, 0.17% of feline cystoliths, and 4% of recurrent feline cystoliths. Sexually intact and neutered males were at increased odds of suture-associated cystoliths, relative to spayed female dogs. Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, and Pomeranians were significantly predisposed to form suture-associated cystoliths. In dogs, compound suture-associated cystoliths were significantly more likely than other cystolith types (OR, 8.6). Dogs with suture-associated cystoliths had significantly shorter recurrence times than did control dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Suture remnants in the bladder have an important role in recurrent cystolithiasis in dogs. Identification of risk factors is important for avoiding recurrence of iatrogenic cystoliths.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with development of struvite urolithiasis in dogs evaluated at general care veterinary hospitals in the United States.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—508 dogs with a first-time diagnosis of struvite urolithiasis and 7,135 control dogs.

Procedures—Electronic medical records of all dogs evaluated at 787 general care veterinary hospitals in the United States between October 2007 and December 2010 were reviewed to identify dogs that developed struvite urolithiasis and 2 groups of control dogs with no history of urolithiasis. Information extracted included diet, age, sex, neuter status, breed size category, hospital location, and date of diagnosis. Urinalysis results, urolith composition, and other disease conditions were recorded if applicable. Potential risk factors were assessed with univariable and multivariable regression analysis.

Results—Toy- or small-sized breeds had significantly greater odds of struvite urolithiasis, compared with medium- or large-sized breeds. Neutering significantly increased the odds of this outcome in females only; sexually intact females were more likely to develop struvite urolithiasis than were sexually intact males, but only up to 5 years of age. Urinary factors significantly associated with the outcome were basic (vs acidic) pH, presence of RBCs or WBCs, protein concentration > 30 mg/dL, and ketone concentration ≥ 5 mg/dL.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Evaluation of demographic characteristics and urinalysis results may be useful in the early identification of struvite urolithiasis in dogs. Periodic urinalysis in dogs is recommended because of the potential health impact of a late diagnosis of urolithiasis.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify risk factors for anesthetic-related death in pet dogs and cats.

DESIGN Matched case-control study.

ANIMALS 237 dogs and 181 cats.

PROCEDURES Electronic medical records from 822 hospitals were examined to identify dogs and cats that underwent general anesthesia (including sedation) or sedation alone and had death attributable to the anesthetic episode ≤ 7 days later (case animals; 115 dogs and 89 cats) or survived > 7 days afterward (control animals [matched by species and hospital]; 122 dogs and 92 cats). Information on patient characteristics and data related to the anesthesia session were extracted. Conditional multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with anesthetic-related death for each species.

RESULTS The anesthetic-related death rate was higher for cats (11/10,000 anesthetic episodes [0.11%]) than for dogs (5/10,000 anesthetic episodes [0.05%]). Increasing age was associated with increased odds of death for both species, as was undergoing nonelective (vs elective) procedures. Odds of death for dogs were significantly greater when preanesthetic physical examination results were not recorded (vs recorded) or when preanesthetic Hct was outside (vs within) the reference range. Odds of death for cats were greater when intra-anesthesia records for oxygen saturation as measured by pulse oximetry were absent. Underweight dogs had almost 15 times the odds of death as nonunderweight dogs; for cats, odds of death increased with increasing body weight (but not with overweight body condition).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Several factors were associated with anesthetic-related death in cats and dogs. This information may be useful for development of strategies to reduce anesthetic-related risks when possible and for education of pet owners about anesthetic risks.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association