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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 evaluate the use of the anesthetic combination tiletamine, zolazepam, ketamine, and xylazine (TKX) for anesthesia of feral cats at largescale neutering clinics.

Design—Original study.

Animals—7,502 feral cats.

Procedure—Cats were trapped by their caretakers for a feral cat neutering program from July 1996 to August 2000. The anesthetic combination TKX was injected IM into cats while they remained in their traps. Each milliliter of TKX contained 50 mg of tiletamine, 50 mg of zolazepam, 80 mg of ketamine, and 20 mg of xylazine. Females were spayed by veterinarians, whereas males were castrated by veterinarians or veterinary students. Yohimbine (0.5 mg, IV) was administered at the end of the procedure. Logs were kept of the individual drug doses, signalment of the cats, and any complications encountered. These data were analyzed retrospectively (1996 to 1999) and prospectively (2000).

Results—Of the 5,766 cats for which dosing records were complete, 4,584 (79.5%) received a single dose of TKX. The mean initial dose of TKX was 0.24 ± 0.04 ml/cat, and the total mean dose of TKX was 0.27 ± 0.09 ml. Overall mortality rate was 0.35% (26/7,502) cats, and the death rate attributable solely to potential anesthetic deaths was 0.23% (17/7,502) cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The use of TKX for large-scale feral cat neutering clinics has several benefits. The TKX combination is inexpensive, provides predictable results, can be administered quickly and easily in a small volume, and is associated with a low mortality rate in feral cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002; 220:1491–1495)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the frequency of enteropathogens in dogs entering an animal shelter with normal feces or diarrhea.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—100 dogs evaluated at an open-admission municipal animal shelter in Florida.

Procedures—Fecal samples were collected within 24 hours after admission from 50 dogs with normal feces and 50 dogs with diarrhea. Feces were tested by fecal flotation, antigen testing, PCR assay, and electron microscopy for selected enteropathogens.

Results—13 enteropathogens were identified. Dogs with diarrhea were significantly more likely to be infected with ≥ 1 enteropathogens (96%) than were dogs with normal feces (78%). Only Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin A gene was significantly more common in dogs with diarrhea (64%) than in dogs with normal feces (40%). Other enteropathogens identified in dogs with and without diarrhea included hookworms (58% and 48%, respectively), Giardia spp (22% and 16%, respectively), canine enteric coronavirus (2% and 18%, respectively), whipworms (12% and 8%, respectively), Cryptosporidium spp (12% and 2%, respectively), ascarids (8% and 8%, respectively), Salmonella spp (2% and 6%, respectively), Cystoisospora spp (2% and 4%, respectively), canine distemper virus (8% and 0%, respectively), Dipylidium caninum (2% and 2%, respectively), canine parvovirus (2% and 2%, respectively), and rotavirus (2% and 0%, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dogs entered the shelter with a variety of enteropathogens, many of which are pathogenic or zoonotic. Most infections were not associated with diarrhea or any specific dog characteristics, making it difficult to predict the risk of nfection for individual animals. Guidelines for preventive measures and empirical treatments that are logistically and financially feasible for use in shelters should be developed for control of the most common and important enteropathogens.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine seroprevalence of dirofilariasis in dogs and seroprevalences of dirofilariasis, FeLV infection, and FIV infection in cats exported from the Gulf Coast region following the 2005 hurricanes.

Design—Seroprevalence survey.

Animals—1,958 dogs and 1,289 cats exported from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas between August 20 and December 31, 2005.

Procedures—141 animal welfare groups in 37 states and Alberta, Canada, reported results of serologic testing. Risk factors for infection, including age, sex, neuter status, breed, and state of rescue, were examined by means of univariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Results—Seroprevalence of dirofilariasis in dogs was 48.8%. Sexually intact dogs were 1.6 times as likely to have dirofilariasis as were neutered dogs, dogs in the ancient breed group were 2.2 times as likely and dogs in the guarding breed group were 1.7 times as likely to have dirofilariasis as were dogs in the herding breed group, and dogs from Mississippi were significantly less likely to have dirofilariasis than were dogs from Texas. Seroprevalences of dirofilariasis, FeLV infection, and FIV infection in cats were 4.0%, 2.6%, and 3.6%, respectively. Seroprevalence of FIV infection was significantly higher in adult cats than in juveniles and in males than in females.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that dogs and cats exported from the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricane disaster area had disease rates similar to those for animals in the region prior to the hurricanes.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of adult cat serum as an immunoglobulin supplement in kittens with failure of passive transfer.

Design—Randomized controlled study.

Animals—11 specific pathogen-free queens and their 43 kittens.

Procedure—Kittens were removed from the queens at birth, prior to suckling colostrum, and randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups: colostrum-deprived, colostrum-fed, colostrum-deprived and administration of pooled adult cat serum IP, and colostrum-deprived and administration of pooled adult serum SC. Colostrum-fed kittens were returned to the queen and allowed to suckle normally. Colostrum-deprived kittens were isolated from the queen and fed a kitten milk replacer for 2 days to prevent absorption of colostral IgG. All colostrum-deprived kittens were returned to the queen on day 3. Serum IgG concentrations were measured by radial immunodiffusion in the kittens at birth and 2 days and 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after birth.

Results—None of the kittens had detectable serum IgG at birth. Both IP and SC administration of adult cat serum resulted in peak serum IgG concentrations equivalent to those in kittens that suckled normally. Untreated colostrum-deprived kittens did not achieve serum IgG concentrations comparable to those for kittens in the other groups until 6 weeks of age.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that adult cat serum may be used as an immunoglobulin supplement in colostrum-deprived kittens. Although the minimum concentration of IgG necessary to protect kittens from infection is unknown, concentrations achieved were comparable to those in kittens that suckled normally. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:1401–1405)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the proportion of dogs entering an animal shelter with protective antibody titers (PATs) for canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) and identify factors associated with having a PAT.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—431 dogs admitted to an open-admission municipal animal shelter in north central Florida with a history of infectious disease outbreaks.

Procedures—Blood was collected from dogs on the day of admission to the shelter. Antibody titers for CDV and CPV were measured by virus neutralization and hemagglutination inhibition, respectively. Age, sex, neuter status, address of origin, source (stray or previously owned), health status (healthy or not healthy), and outcome (adoption, euthanasia, or reclaimed by owner) data were also collected.

Results—Overall, 64.5% (278/431) of dogs had insufficient titers for antibodies against CDV, CPV, or both. A total of 153 (35.5%) dogs had PATs for both CDV and CPV, 33 (7.7%) had PATs for CDV but not CPV, 136 (31.5%) had PATs for CPV but not CDV, and 109 (25.3%) did not have PATs for either virus. Older dogs were more likely to have PATs for CDV and CPV. Neutered dogs were more likely to have PATs for CDV. Factors not associated with having a PAT included source, health status, and type of community from which the dog originated.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most dogs had insufficient antibody titers for CDV, CPV, or both at the time of admission to the animal shelter. Findings support current guidelines recommending vaccination of all dogs immediately upon admission to shelters, regardless of source or physical condition.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the earliest day of gestation at which relaxin could be detected in pregnant queens by use of a commercially available point-of-care test designed for use in dogs, and to calculate sensitivity and specificity of the test for pregnancy detection on any specified day of gestation.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—162 female cats (24 queens from a breeding colony, 128 stray and feral queens undergoing ovariohysterectomy, and 10 ovariohysterectomized cats).

Procedures—24 queens were monitored for pregnancy. Blood samples were collected daily and tested for relaxin until 2 consecutive positive test results were obtained. The earliest day of pregnancy detection was estimated by counting backward from the day of parturition to the day of the first positive test. The uteri, ovaries, and any fetuses of 128 stray and feral queens undergoing ovariohysterectomy were examined grossly, and gestational day in pregnant queens was determined on the basis of fetal crown-rump length. Blood samples from these queens and from 10 cats ovariohysterectomized prior to the study were collected for relaxin testing.

Results—Pregnancy was detected by use of the relaxin test kit as early as gestational day 20; sensitivity of the test was 100% on and after gestational day 29. False-positive results were detected in 3 queens, 2 of which had large (approx 2 × 3-cm) ovarian cysts, resulting in a specificity of 95.9%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A commercially available relaxin test kit designed for use in dogs can be used to reliably detect pregnancy in cats.

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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 determine the relationship between parturition date and fetal skeletal mineralization detected radiographically in cats.

Design—Prospective clinical trial.

Animals—31 queens and their 49 pregnancies.

Procedure—Seventeen pregnant queens were radiographed with a computed radiography system every 2 to 3 days from 1 week after pregnancy was identified by abdominal palpation until parturition. Radiographs were evaluated to determine the first identifiable mineralization of 16 bony structures and teeth during each pregnancy. This information was used to establish a table of expected parturition dates on the basis of fetal mineralization. Single radiographs from an additional 32 pregnant cats were evaluated, and predictions of parturition dates were made on the basis of the mineralization table.

Results—Mineralization was first detected 25 to 29 days prior to parturition (dpp). Mineralization was determined for the spinal column (22 to 27 dpp), skull (21 to 27 dpp), ribs (20 to 25 dpp), scapula (17 to 24 dpp), humerus (20 to 24 dpp), femur (19 to 23 dpp), radius (15 to 22 dpp), tibia (15 to 21 dpp), ulna (5 to 21 dpp), pelvis (8 to 20 dpp), fibula (0 to 17 dpp), tail (8 to 16 dpp), metacarpals and metatarsals (3 to 14 dpp), phalanges (0 to 11 dpp), calcaneus (0 to 10 dpp), and teeth (1 to 6 dpp). Date of parturition was predictable within 3 days in 75% of cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Identification of bony structures in the fetus is useful in estimating the time to parturition in queens. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1614–1616)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association