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Abstract

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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

The feeding of RMBDs to dogs and cats has received increasing attention in recent years. The American Animal Hospital Association, 1 AVMA, 2 and Canadian Veterinary Medical Association 3 have adopted statements discouraging the inclusion of raw or undercooked animal-source protein in dog and cat diets. The Delta Society's Pet Partners Program expressed concern that pets in a therapy animal program could be shedding pathogens in the presence of immunocompromised humans and other at-risk human populations. Therefore, they adopted in 2010 a policy that precludes animals that eat RMBDs from participating in their therapy animal program. 4

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

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.

ANIMALS

40 cats of various ages, body condition scores (BCSs), and MCSs.

PROCEDURES

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.

RESULTS

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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

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.

ANIMALS

40 dogs of various age, body condition score (BCS), and MCS.

PROCEDURES

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.

RESULTS

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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the dietary patterns and intake of nutrients of concern in dogs with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

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, and magnesium.

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 CHF.

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: 1301–1305)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia in horses with surgical colic.

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 2001;62:7-12)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 9-year-old castrated male domestic shorthair cat was evaluated because of hematuria and weight loss after an 8-year history of intermittent signs of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). A complete diet history revealed that the cat was eating a commercial diet that does not undergo the same processing procedures as most pet foods and so might be at increased risk for bacterial contamination owing to a nonstandard industry cooking procedure.

Clinical Findings—The cat had a history consistent with FLUTD, but bacteriologic culture of the urine revealed Salmonella organisms. Additional analysis revealed Salmonella enterica serotype I:ROUGH-O:g,m,s:- in samples of urine and feces as well as Salmonella enterica serotype Johannesburg and Salmonella enterica serotype Senftenberg in the diet.

Treatment and Outcome—The cat responded positively to antimicrobial treatment for the Salmonella bacteriuria as well as to dietary and environmental management for the clinical signs associated with FLUTD.

Clinical Relevance—Findings in this case highlighted an additional health consequence associated with ingestion of Salmonella-contaminated food. Such contamination is of particular concern with raw meat–based diets or diets that have not undergone standard industry cooking practices. Veterinarians should obtain a diet history for every companion animal during every evaluation to help with diagnosis and optimal treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;247:525–530)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association