OBJECTIVE To evaluate use of an ultrasonographically and radiographically determined value, the vertebral epaxial muscle score (VEMS), for assessing muscle mass in cats.
ANIMALS 30 healthy neutered cats of various body weights and between 1 and 6 years of age.
PROCEDURES Mean epaxial muscle height was calculated from 3 transverse ultrasonographic images obtained at the level of T13. Length of T4 was measured on thoracic radiographs, and the VEMS (ratio of epaxial muscle height to T4 length) was calculated and compared with body weight. Ratios of epaxial muscle height to various anatomic measurements also were compared with body weight as potential alternatives to use of T4 length.
RESULTS 1 cat was excluded because of a heart murmur. For the remaining 29 cats, mean ± SD body weight was 5.05 ± 1.40 kg. Mean epaxial muscle height was 1.27 ± 0.13 cm, which was significantly correlated (r = 0.65) with body weight. The VEMS and value for epaxial muscle height/(0.1 × forelimb circumference) were not significantly correlated (r = −0.18 and −0.06, respectively) with body weight, which is important for measures used for animals of various sizes.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The VEMS and value for epaxial muscle height/(0.1 × forelimb circumference) can both be used to normalize muscle size among cats of various body weights. Studies are warranted to determine whether these values can be used to accurately assess muscle mass in cats with various adiposity and in those with muscle loss.
To compare metabolomic profiles of dogs eating grain-free (GF) versus grain-inclusive (GI) diets (1) for healthy dogs at baseline and (2) for dogs with subclinical cardiac abnormalities at 12 months after a diet change.
Serum samples from 23 dogs eating GF diets and 79 dogs eating GI diets, of which 17 (8 eating a GF diet and 9 eating a GI diet) were reevaluated 12 months after a diet change.
Metabolomic profiles were developed by means of ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectroscopy of serum samples. Baseline results for the GF group were compared with those for the GI group. Dogs from both groups with subclinical cardiac abnormalities were transitioned to a GI, pulse-free, intervention diet, and samples collected 12 months later were compared between diet groups. Statistical significance for biochemical group differences was defined as P < .05 with a false discovery rate (q) < .10.
Baseline differences in lipid metabolism and amino acid metabolism were found between the GF and GI diet groups. There were 46 metabolites that were higher and 82 metabolites that were lower in the GF group (n = 23), compared with the GI group (79). Comparison of the GF (n = 8) and GI (9) groups 12 months after the diet change showed only 6 metabolites that were higher and 11 metabolites that were lower in the GF group, compared with the GI group.
Metabolomic pathway differences between dogs eating GF versus GI diets highlight the important effect of diet in metabolomics analyses. The clinical importance of these differences and how they might relate to cardiac disease in dogs remains undetermined.
Objective—To describe the disposition of and pharmacodynamic response to atenolol when administered as a novel transdermal gel formulation to healthy cats.
Animals—7 healthy neutered male client-owned cats.
Procedures—Atenolol was administered either orally as a quarter of a 25-mg tablet or as an equal dose by transdermal gel. Following 1 week of treatment, an ECG and blood pressure measurements were performed and blood samples were collected for determination of plasma atenolol concentration at 2 and 12 hours after administration.
Results—2 hours after oral administration, 6 of 7 cats reached therapeutic plasma atenolol concentrations with a mean peak concentration of 579 ± 212 ng/mL. Two hours following transdermal administration, only 2 of 7 cats reached therapeutic plasma atenolol concentrations with a mean peak concentration of 177 ± 123 ng/mL. The difference in concentration between treatments was significant. Trough plasma atenolol concentrations of 258 ± 142 ng/mL and 62.4 ± 17 ng/mL were achieved 12 hours after oral and transdermal administration, respectively. A negative correlation was found between heart rate and plasma atenolol concentration.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Oral administration of atenolol at a median dose of 1.1 mg/kg every 12 hours (range, 0.8 to 1.5 mg/kg) in cats induced effective plasma concentrations at 2 hours after treatment in most cats. Transdermal administration provided lower and inconsistent plasma atenolol concentrations. Further studies are needed to find an effective formulation and dosing scheme for transdermal administration of atenolol.
To compare muscle condition scores (MCSs) and muscle ultrasonographic measurements in cats with and without muscle loss and to evaluate repeatability and reproducibility of MCS assessment.
40 cats of various ages, body condition scores (BCSs), and MCSs.
A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted. Body weight, BCS, MCS, epaxial muscle height (EMH), vertebral epaxial muscle score (VEMS), and forelimb epaxial muscle score (FLEMS) were assessed in each cat. The MCS for each cat was assessed 3 separate times by each of 5 raters.
The MCS was significantly correlated with EMH (r = 0.59), VEMS (r = 0.66), and FLEMS (r = 0.41). For MCS, the overall value of the κ coefficient for interrater agreement (reproducibility) was 0.43 and the overall value of the κ coefficient for intrarater agreement (repeatability) ranged from 0.49 to 0.76.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Ultrasonographic measurements of muscle may be useful for assessing muscle loss in individual cats over time. However, for the cats of this study, no advantage was observed for assessment of VEMS or FLEMS over EMH. Substantial repeatability and moderate reproducibility were shown when MCS was used for assessment of muscle mass in cats. Prospective ultrasonographic studies are warranted to evaluate the usefulness of MCS and EMH assessment for evaluation of changes in muscle mass of cats over time.
To evaluate repeatability and reproducibility of muscle condition score (MCS) in dogs with various degrees of muscle loss; to compare MCS, muscle ultrasonographic measurements, and quantitative magnetic resonance (QMR) measurements; and to identify cutoff values for ultrasonographic measurements of muscle that can be used to identify dogs with cachexia and sarcopenia.
40 dogs of various age, body condition score (BCS), and MCS.
A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted. Body weight, BCS, QMR measurements, thoracic radiographic measurements, and muscle ultrasonographic measurements were assessed once in each dog. The MCS for each dog was assessed 3 separate times by 4 separate raters.
For the MCS, overall κ for interrater agreement was 0.50 and overall κ for intrarater agreement ranged from 0.59 to 0.77. For both interrater and intrarater agreement, κ coefficients were higher for dogs with normal muscle mass and severe muscle loss and lower for dogs with mild and moderate muscle loss. The MCS was significantly correlated with age (r = −0.62), vertebral epaxial muscle score (VEMS; r = 0.71), forelimb epaxial muscle score (FLEMS; r = 0.58), and BCS (r = 0.73), and VEMS was significantly correlated (r = 0.84) with FLEMS. Cutoff values for identification of mild muscle loss determined by use of VEMS and FLEMS were 1.124 and 1.666, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
MCS had substantial repeatability and moderate reproducibility for assessment of muscle mass in dogs. Prospective studies of MCS, VEMS, and FLEMS for assessment of muscle mass in dogs are warranted.
Objective—To determine the dietary patterns and
intake of nutrients of concern in dogs with cardiac disease.
Animals—82 dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy
(DCM) or chronic valvular disease.
Procedure—Owners of dogs were contacted and
given a standardized telephone questionnaire regarding
diet and a 24-hour food recall to determine daily
intake of calories, protein, fat, sodium, potassium,
Results—Among the 82 dogs, 71% had no congestive
heart failure (CHF), and 29% had CHF or a history
of CHF. Sixty-one percent of dogs had concurrent
diseases. Anorexia was or had been evident in 34%
of dogs and was significantly more common in the
CHF group and in dogs with DCM. Most dogs (92%)
received some treats and table food, with a median
percentage of daily calories from treats of 19%
(range, 0% to 100%). Most owners (57%) that administered
pills used human or pet foods for pill administration.
Most dogs ate more than the Association of
American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimum
values for fat and protein. Daily sodium intake varied
from 14 to 384 mg/100 kcal, compared with the
AAFCO minimum of 17 mg/100 kcal. A median of
25% of total daily sodium came from treats and table
food (range, 0% to 100%). Dogs with CHF ate significantly
more sodium, compared with dogs with no
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary intake
for dogs with cardiac disease is highly variable and
often not optimal. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:
Objective—To compare plasma fatty acid concentrations and the relationships of fatty acids to arrhythmias in Boxers versus Doberman Pinschers.
Animals—38 Boxers and 13 Doberman Pinschers.
Procedures—Boxers and Doberman Pinschers evaluated via Holter recording and for which a blood sample was available were included. Echocardiograms were performed in 49 of 51 dogs. The number of ventricular premature complexes (VPCs)/24 h was counted and fatty acids analyzed. Plasma fatty acid concentrations and VPCs/24 h, as well as correlations between the 2 variables, were compared between the 2 breeds.
Results—Compared with the Doberman Pinschers, Boxers had significantly higher plasma concentrations of γ-linolenic acid but lower concentrations of arachidonic acid. Total n-6 fatty acids and total polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations were higher in Doberman Pinschers. There were significant, but weak, positive correlations between VPCs and oleic acid, total n-3 fatty acids, and total n-9 fatty acids in Boxers but not in Doberman Pinschers.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Data suggested that plasma fatty acid concentrations may differ between Boxers and Doberman Pinschers and that the relationship between fatty acid concentrations and VPCs may be different between these 2 breeds.
Objective—To determine the prevalence of hypomagnesemia
and hypocalcemia in horses with surgical
Animals—35 horses with surgically managed colic.
Procedure—Serum concentrations of total magnesium
(tMg2+) and calcium (tCa2+), as well as ionized
magnesium (iMg2+) and calcium (iCa2+) were analyzed
before surgery and 1, 3, 5, and 7 days following
surgery. A lead-II ECG and pertinent clinical data were
also obtained at each time.
Results—Preoperative serum tMg2+ and iMg2+ concentrations
were below the reference range in 6
(17%) and 19 (54%) horses, respectively. Serum concentrations
of tCa2+ and iCa2+ were less than the reference
range in 20 (57%) and 30 (86%) horses before
surgery. Horses with strangulating lesions of the gastrointestinal
tract had significantly lower preoperative
serum concentrations of iMg2+ and iCa2+, as well as a
higher heart rate than horses with nonstrangulating
lesions. Horses that developed postoperative ileus
had significantly lower serum concentrations of iMg2+
after surgery. Serum concentrations of magnesium
and calcium (total and ionized) correlated significantly
with the PR, QRS, QT, and corrected QT (QTc) intervals.
Horses that were euthanatized at the time of
surgery (n = 7) had significantly lower preoperative
serum concentrations of iMg2+, compared with horses
that survived. Neither serum magnesium nor calcium
concentrations were predictors of hospitalization
time or survival.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hypomagnesemia
and hypocalcemia were common during
the perioperative period, particularly in horses with
strangulating intestinal lesions and ileus. Serum concentrations
of tMg2+ and tCa2+ were less sensitive
than iMg2+ and iCa2+ in detecting horses with hypomagnesemia
and hypocalcemia. ( Am J Vet Res
Case Description—An 8-month-old male Saint Bernard developed tetanic seizures and hyperthermia during evaluation of bilateral osteochondritis dissecans of the shoulder joints. Further investigation revealed that the dog was receiving an unbalanced homemade diet.
Clinical Findings—Preliminary evaluation of the dog revealed bilateral signs of pain and mild muscle wasting in the shoulder joint areas. Serum biochemical analysis revealed severe hypocalcemia, hyponatremia, hypochloremia, hyperphosphatemia, vitamin D deficiency, and taurine deficiency. Diffuse osteopenia was identified on radiographs of the mandible and long bones, confirming bone demineralization. Analysis of the homemade diet revealed that the dog's diet was severely deficient in a variety of nutrients.
Treatment and Outcome—The dog responded positively to treatment for hypocalcemia, hyperthermia, and seizures. The dog's diet was changed to a complete and balanced canine diet formulated for growth. Body weight and body condition were monitored, and dietary intake was adjusted to achieve optimal body condition during growth. After initial evaluation, serial monitoring of serum calcium and taurine concentrations revealed that values were within reference limits and the dog had no further clinical signs associated with dietary deficiency.
Clinical Relevance—Findings in this puppy highlight the risks associated with feeding an unbalanced homemade diet during growth and the importance of obtaining a thorough dietary history from all patients. For owners who elect to feed a homemade diet, it is critical to have the homemade diet carefully formulated by a veterinary nutritionist to avoid severe nutrient imbalances, especially in young, growing dogs.