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Abstract

Objective—To describe the relative importance of pets' quality versus quantity of life among owners of dogs with heart disease.

Design—Prospective questionnaire-based clinical study.

Sample Population—Owners of 201 dogs with heart disease.

Procedures—Owners each completed a questionnaire that was designed to ascertain the relative importance of quality versus quantity of life for their pet and to assess the owners' willingness to trade survival time for quality of life, if that were possible. Analyses were performed to evaluate factors associated with owner willingness to trade time for quality of life.

Results—Most owners (170/197 [86%]) were willing to trade survival time for quality of life for their heart disease–affected dogs; of those owners, 88 (52%) were willing to trade 6 months. Owners were highly concerned with detection of perceived pet suffering and their pet's ability to interact with them. Owners whose pets had respiratory difficulty or fainting episodes and were treated on an outpatient basis had a greater willingness to trade survival time than owners of dogs that were treated on an emergency basis. Among owners willing to trade time for quality of life, younger owners and those whose pets had fainting episodes were willing to trade the most amount of time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that quality of life is highly important to owners of dogs with heart disease. Owners' priorities partly depend on owner age and the pet's clinical circumstances; ongoing client-veterinarian communication is important to optimize treatment success as perceived by owners.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize clinical, clinicopathologic, and hepatic histopathologic features and outcome for dogs with probable ketoconazole-induced liver injury.

ANIMALS

15 dogs with suspected ketoconazole-induced liver injury that underwent liver biopsy.

PROCEDURES

Medical record data were summarized regarding signalment, clinical signs, clinicopathologic and hepatic histopathologic findings, concurrent medications, ketoconazole dose, treatment duration, and outcome.

RESULTS

Median age and body weight were 8.2 years (range, 5 to 15 years) and 13.0 kg (28.6 lb; range, 8.2 to 38.0 kg [18.0 to 83.6 lb]), respectively. The most common breed was Cocker Spaniel (n = 5). All dogs received ketoconazole to treat cutaneous Malassezia infections. Median daily ketoconazole dose was 7.8 mg/kg (3.5 mg/lb; range, 4.4 to 26.0 mg/kg [2.0 to 11.8 mg/lb]), PO. Treatment duration ranged from 0.3 to 100 cumulative weeks (intermittent cyclic administration in some dogs); 6 dogs were treated for ≤ 10 days. Common clinical signs included lethargy, anorexia, and vomiting. All dogs developed high serum liver enzyme activities. Hepatic histopathologic findings included variable lobular injury, mixed inflammatory infiltrates, and conspicuous aggregates of ceroid-lipofuscin–engorged macrophages that marked regions of parenchymal damage. Five dogs developed chronic hepatitis, including 3 with pyogranulomatous inflammation. Of the 10 dogs reported to have died at last follow-up, survival time after illness onset ranged from 0.5 to 165 weeks, with 7 dogs dying of liver-related causes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings for dogs with hepatotoxicosis circumstantially associated with ketoconazole treatment suggested proactive monitoring of serum liver enzyme activities is advisable before and sequentially after initiation of such treatment.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) could be identified in dogs with sepsis secondary to gastrointestinal tract leakage, and whether the number of affected organ systems was significantly associated with mortality rate.

Design—Multicenter retrospective case series.

Animals—114 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records for dogs treated surgically because of sepsis secondary to gastrointestinal tract leakage between 2003 and 2007 were reviewed. Sepsis was diagnosed on the basis of results of bacterial culture of peritoneal fluid, gross evidence of gastrointestinal tract leakage at surgery, or both. Renal dysfunction was defined as a ≥ 0.5 mg/dL increase in serum creatinine concentration after surgery. Cardiovascular dysfunction was defined as hypotension requiring vasopressor treatment. Respiratory dysfunction was defined as a need for supplemental oxygen administration or mechanical ventilation. Hepatic dysfunction was defined as a serum bilirubin concentration > 0.5 mg/dL. Dysfunction of coagulation was defined as prolonged prothrombin time, prolonged partial thromboplastin time, or platelet count ≤ 100,000/μL.

Results—89 (78%) dogs had dysfunction of 1 or more organ systems, and 57 (50%) dogs had MODS. Mortality rate increased as the number of dysfunctional organ systems increased. Mortality rate was 70% (40/57) for dogs with MODS and 25% (14/57) for dogs without.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that MODS, defined as dysfunction of at least 2 organ systems, can be identified in dogs with sepsis and that organ system dysfunction increased the odds of death.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether serum N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) concentration is useful in discriminating between cardiac and noncardiac (ie, primary respiratory tract disease) causes of respiratory signs (ie, coughing, stertor, stridor, excessive panting, increased respiratory effort, tachypnea, or overt respiratory distress) in dogs.

Design—Multicenter cross-sectional study.

Animals—115 dogs with respiratory signs.

Procedures—Dogs with respiratory signs were solicited for study. Physical examination, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography were used to determine whether respiratory signs were the result of cardiac (ie, congestive heart failure) or noncardiac (ie, primary respiratory tract disease) causes. Serum samples for NT-proBNP assay were obtained at time of admission for each dog. Receiver-operating characteristic curves were constructed to determine the ability of serum NT-proBNP concentration to discriminate between cardiac and noncardiac causes of respiratory signs.

Results—Serum NT-proBNP concentration was significantly higher in dogs with cardiac versus noncardiac causes of respiratory signs. In dogs with primary respiratory tract disease, serum NT-proBNP concentration was significantly higher in those with concurrent pulmonary hypertension than in those without. A serum NT-proBNP cutoff concentration > 1,158 pmol/L discriminated between dogs with congestive heart failure and dogs with primary respiratory tract disease with a sensitivity of 85.5% and a specificity of 81.3%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Measuring serum NT-proBNP concentration in dogs with respiratory signs helps to differentiate between congestive heart failure and primary respiratory tract disease as an underlying cause.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association