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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

Abstract

Objective—To determine the frequency and duration of feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) vaccine-induced interference with fecal parvovirus diagnostic testing in cats.

Design—Prospective controlled study.

Animals—Sixty-four 8- to 10-week-old specific-pathogen–free kittens.

Procedures—Kittens were inoculated once with 1 of 8 commercial multivalent vaccines containing modified-live virus (MLV) or inactivated FPV by the SC or intranasal routes. Feces were tested for parvovirus antigen immediately prior to vaccination, then daily for 14 days with 3 tests designed for detection of canine parvovirus. Serum anti-FPV antibody titers were determined by use of hemagglutination inhibition prior to vaccination and 14 days later.

Results—All fecal parvovirus test results were negative prior to vaccination. After vaccination, 1 kitten had positive test results with test 1, 4 kittens had positive results with test 2, and 13 kittens had positive results with test 3. Only 1 kitten had positive results with all 3 tests, and only 2 of those tests were subjectively considered to have strongly positive results. At 14 days after vaccination, 31% of kittens receiving inactivated vaccines had protective FPV titers, whereas 85% of kittens receiving MLV vaccines had protective titers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Animal shelter veterinarians should select fecal tests for parvovirus detection that have high sensitivity for FPV and low frequency of vaccine-related test interference. Positive parvovirus test results should be interpreted in light of clinical signs, vaccination history, and results of confirmatory testing. Despite the possibility of test interference, the benefit provided by universal MLV FPV vaccination of cats in high-risk environments such as shelters outweighs the impact on diagnostic test accuracy.

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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 determine the seroprevalence of heartworm infection, risk factors for seropositivity, and frequency of prescribing heartworm preventives for cats.

DESIGN Prospective cross-sectional study.

ANIMALS 34,975 cats from 1,353 veterinary clinics (n = 26,707) and 125 animal shelters (8,268) in the United States and Canada.

PROCEDURES Blood samples were collected from all cats and tested with a point-of-care ELISA for Dirofilaria immitis antigen, FeLV antigen, and FIV antibody. Results were compared among geographic regions and various cat groupings.

RESULTS Seropositivity for heartworm antigen in cats was identified in 35 states but not in Canada; overall seroprevalence in the United States was 0.4%. Seroprevalence of heartworm infection was highest in the southern United States. A 3-fold increase in the proportion of seropositive cats was identified for those with (vs without) outdoor access, and a 2.5-fold increase was identified for cats that were unhealthy (vs healthy) when tested. Seroprevalence was 0.3% in healthy cats, 0.7% in cats with oral disease, 0.9% in cats with abscesses or bite wounds, and 1.0% in cats with respiratory disease. Coinfection with a retrovirus increased the risk of heartworm infection. Heartworm preventives were prescribed for only 12.6% of cats at testing, and prescribing was more common in regions with a higher seroprevalence.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE At an estimated prevalence of 0.4%, hundreds of thousands of cats in the United States are likely infected with heartworms. Given the difficulty in diagnosing infection at all clinically relevant parasite stages and lack of curative treatment options, efforts should be increased to ensure all cats receive heartworm preventives.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
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 characterize the biological effects of IM administration of a recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (rAAV2) vector containing feline erythropoietin (fEPO) cDNA and determine whether readministration of the vector or removal of muscle tissue at the injection sites alters those effects.

Animals—10 healthy 7-week-old specific pathogenfree cats.

Procedure—Cats received 1 × 107 infective units (iU; n = 3), 1 × 108 iU (3), or 1 × 109 iU (2) of rAAV2-fEPO vector IM (day 0). Two control cats received an rAAV2 vector containing the LacZ gene (1 × 109 iU, IM). In all cats, hematologic variables and serum fEPO concentration were measured at intervals; anti-rAAV2 antibody titer was measured on day 227. In cats that did not respond to treatment, the rAAV2- fEPO vector was readministered. Injection sites were subsequently surgically removed.

Results—Compared with control cats, cats treated with 1 × 109 iU of rAAV2-fEPO vector had increased Hct and serum fEPO concentrations. One of these cats developed pure RBC aplasia; its Hct normalized following injection site excision. Cats receiving lower doses of vector had no response; on retreatment, 1 of those cats developed sustained erythrocytosis that persisted despite injection site removal and the others did not respond or responded transiently. Antibodies against rAAV2 were detected in all vector-treated cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gene therapy may be an effective treatment for cats with hypoproliferative anemia. However, rAAV2-fEPO vector administration may result in pure RBC aplasia or pathologic erythrocytosis, and injection site removal does not consistently abolish the biological response. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:450–456)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare heartworm serum antibody (Ab) and antigen (Ag) test results, using commercial laboratories and in-house heartworm test kits, with necropsy findings in a population of shelter cats.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—330 cats at an animal shelter.

Procedure—Between March and June 1998, 30 ml of blood was collected from the cranial and caudal venae cavae of 330 cats that were euthanatized at a local animal shelter. Results of heartworm Ab and Ag serologic tests for heartworm infection were compared with necropsy findings in this population of cats, using commercial laboratories and in-house test kits to measure serum Ab and Ag concentrations.

Results—On necropsy, adult Dirofilaria immitis were found in 19 of 330 (5.8%) cats. Combining results from serum Ab and Ag tests achieved higher sensitivities than using serum Ab and Ag test results alone (ie, maximum sensitivities of 100% vs 89.5%, respectively), whereas use of serum Ag and Ab test results alone achieved higher specificities compared with the use of a combination of serum Ab and Ag results (ie, maximum specificities of 99.4% vs 92.9%, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of our findings, if a cat has clinical signs that suggest heartworm disease despite a negative heartworm serum Ab test result, an alternative heartworm Ab test, a heartworm Ag test, thoracic radiography, or two-dimensional echocardiography should be performed. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:693–700)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether administration of inactivated virus or modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines to feral cats at the time of neutering induces protective serum antiviral antibody titers.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—61 feral cats included in a trap-neuter-return program in Florida.

Procedures—Each cat received vaccines against feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline herpes virus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV), FeLV, and rabies virus (RV). Immediately on completion of surgery, vaccines that contained inactivated RV and FeLV antigens and either MLV or inactivated FPV, FHV, and FCV antigens were administered. Titers of antiviral antibodies (except those against FeLV) were assessed in serum samples obtained immediately prior to surgery and approximately 10 weeks later.

Results—Prior to vaccination, some of the cats had protective serum antibody titers against FPV (33%), FHV (21%), FCV (64%), and RV (3%). Following vaccination, the overall proportion of cats with protective serum antiviral antibody titers increased (FPV [90%], FHV [56%], FCV [93%], and RV [98%]). With the exception of the FHV vaccine, there were no differences in the proportions of cats protected with inactivated virus versus MLV vaccines.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that exposure to FPV, FHV, and FCV is common among feral cats and that a high proportion of cats are susceptible to RV infection. Feral cats appeared to have an excellent immune response following vaccination at the time of neutering. Incorporation of vaccination into trap-neuter-return programs is likely to protect the health of individual cats and possibly reduce the disease burden in the community.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association