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Abstract

Objective—To determine duration of administration, complications, and frequency of aortic thromboembolism associated with administration of low molecular weight heparin (dalteparin) in cats.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—57 cats treated with dalteparin.

Procedure—Data were recorded from the medical records of cats treated with dalteparin, and owners were contacted by telephone for information regarding ease of administration and possible adverse effects.

Results—Dalteparin was easily administered by owners. Median dose was 99 U/kg (45 U/lb) once or twice daily. Bleeding complications were infrequent. Of 43 cats with cardiomyopathy that received owner-administered dalteparin for a median follow-up time of 172 days, 8 cats developed documented or possible arterial thromboembolism.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dalteparin was easily administered by owners and was well tolerated by cats. Whether dalteparin administration can reduce the frequency or severity of arterial thromboembolism is not yet known. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1237–1241)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

The role of digoxin in treatment of cats with dilated cardiomyopathy and other forms of myocardial failure is unclear. We evaluated the chronotropic and inotropic effects of digoxin by comparing baseline, noninvasive indices of cardiac performance with those obtained after 9 ± 1.3 (mean ± SEM) days of digoxin treatment in 6 cats with heart failure attributable to dilated cardiomyopathy. Two-dimensionally directed, M-mode echocardiography and electrocardiography were used to determine left ventricular shortening fraction, preejection period (PEP), ejection time (LVET), PEP to LVET ratio, velocity of circumferential fiber shortening, electromechanical systole, heart rate, and PR interval.

Treatment consisted of administration of furosemide (mean dosage, 2.4 mg/kg of body weight/day), digoxin in tablet form (approximately 0.01 mg/kg, q 48 h), aspirin (80 mg, q 48 h), and a commercial low-salt diet. In addition, 2 cats were administered short-term, low-dose fluids IV, and 2 were given taurine supplementation at rates of 500 and 1,000 mg/day. Other off-loading or inotropic agents were not administered.

Therapeutic or toxic serum digoxin concentration was achieved in all cats. Significant (P < 0.05) improvement was detected in mean values for shortening fraction, PEP, PEP to LVET ratio, and velocity of circumferential fiber shortening. Mean electromechanical systole and LVET did not change significantly. Improvement, as assessed by indices of cardiac function, was documented in 4 of the 6 cats treated with digoxin, including the 2 cats given taurine supplementation. In the cats given taurine, positive inotropic effect was observed prior to the time when taurine-induced improvement in ventricular function is detectable. Because increase in preload or decrease in afterload was not observed or was not likely, improved ventricular function was thought to be related to digoxin's positive inotropic effect. Digitalization did not significantly decrease mean heart rate, but was associated with a significant (P < 0.05) mean PR interval prolongation of 28 ms.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To describe the historical, clinical, and echocardiographic findings in Dalmatians with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Design

Retrospective case series.

Sample Population

9 Dalmatians with a diagnosis of DCM and congestive heart failure (CHF), 9 Doberman Pinschers with DCM and CHF, and 9 dogs of other breeds with DCM and CHF.

Procedure

Disease history; signalment; physical, radiographic, and echocardiographic examination findings; treatment; and outcome from medical records were analyzed.

Results

All Dalmatians were male, with a mean age of 6.8 years. Eight dogs had been fed a commercially available low-protein diet formulated for the prevention of urate uroliths. All dogs had clinical signs consistent with left-sided CHF and had marked left ventricular systolic dysfunction and severe left ventricular dilatation, although arrhythmias were not an important finding in this series of dogs. Median duration of survival was 10 months.

Clinical Implications

The DCM syndrome in Dalmatians has some qualities that are distinct from DCM in other breeds of dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1592–1596)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To establish a focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) protocol in dogs, determine whether FAST can be performed by veterinary clinicians without extensive ultrasonographic experience, and assess the frequency of free fluid (as determined via FAST) in the abdominal cavity of dogs following motor vehicle accidents (MVAs).

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—100 client-owned dogs evaluated within 24 hours of an MVA.

Procedure—Dogs were placed in lateral recumbency for the FAST examination. To detect fluid in the abdomen, 2 ultrasonographic views (transverse and longitudinal) were obtained at each of 4 sites (just caudal to the xiphoid process, on the midline over the urinary bladder, and at the left and right flank regions).

Results—In the 100 dogs evaluated via FAST, free abdominal fluid was detected in 45 dogs. In 40 of those 45 dogs, abdominocentesis was performed; hemoperitoneum and uroperitoneum were diagnosed in 38 and 2 dogs, respectively. Compared with dogs that had no free abdominal fluid detected via FAST, dogs that had free abdominal fluid detected via FAST had significantly higher heart rates and serum lactate concentrations and significantly lower PCVs and total solid concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that FAST is a simple and rapid technique that can be performed on dogs in an emergency setting to detect intra-abdominal free fluid and can be performed by veterinary clinicians with minimal previous ultrasonographic experience. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1198–1204)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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 (tMg 2+ ) and calcium (tCa 2+ ), as well as ionized magnesium (iMg 2+ ) and calcium (iCa 2+ ) 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 tMg 2+ and iMg 2+ 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

Objective—To develop and assess the reproducibility of a protocol to noninvasively test endothelial function in dogs on the basis of the flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) procedure used in humans.

Animals—5 healthy spayed female dogs.

Procedures—Luminal arterial diameter and blood flow velocity in the brachial and femoral arteries were measured with ultrasonography. The within-dog reproducibility of these ultrasonographic measurements was tested. An occlusion period of 1, 3, or 5 minutes with an inflatable cuff was used to create the FMD response. Measurements made at 15, 30, and 60 seconds following release of the occlusion were compared with measurements made immediately prior to each occlusion to assess the FMD response.

Results—Within-dog reproducibility of measurements revealed moderate to high correlations. Change from baseline in luminal arterial diameter was most substantial when measured at 30 seconds following release of occlusion, whereas blood flow velocity changes were maximal when measured at 15 seconds following release. The brachial imaging site provided a larger number of significant FMD responses than the femoral site. The 3-minute occlusion period provided equal or better responses than the 5-minute occlusion period.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ultrasonographic measurement of the FMD responses was a feasible and reproducible technique and significant changes from baseline were detected. The FMD responses in dogs were most substantial when performed at the brachial artery with blood flow velocity and luminal arterial diameter changes from baseline measured at 15 and 30 seconds, respectively, following release of a 3-minute occlusion period.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine current population characteristics of, clinical findings in, and survival times for cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—260 cats with HCM.

Procedure—Information was obtained from the medical records. Cats were classified into 1 of 4 clinical groups (congestive heart failure [CHF] group, arterial thromboembolism [ATE] group, syncope group, or cats without clinical signs [subclinical group]) on the basis of the primary clinical signs at the initial examination.

Results—120 cats were classified in the CHF group, 43 in the ATE group, 10 in the syncope group, and 87 in the subclinical group. Antecedent events that may have precipitated CHF included IV fluid administration, anesthesia, surgery, and recent corticosteroid administration. Median survival time was 709 days (range, 2 to 4,418 days) for cats that survived > 24 hours. Cats in the subclinical group lived the longest (median survival time, 1,129 days; range, 2 to 3,778 days), followed by cats in the syncope group (654 days; range, 28 to 1,505 days), cats in the CHF group (563 days; range, 2 to 4,418 days), and cats in the ATE group (184 days; range, 2 to 2,278 days). Causes of death included ATE (n = 56), CHF (49), sudden death (13), and noncardiac causes (27). In univariate analyses, survival time was negatively correlated with left atrial size, age, right ventricular enlargement, and thoracentesis. Cats with systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve lived longer than cats without this echocardiographic finding. In multivariate analyses, only age and left atrial size remained significant predictors of survival time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although overall survival time for cats with HCM was similar to earlier reports, survival times for cats with CHF or ATE were longer than previously reported. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:202–207)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association