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  • Author or Editor: Valarie V. Tynes x
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Objectives—To determine whether associations exist between human-directed aggression and sex, neutering status, age of weaning, the presence of other pet pigs, or the presence of environmental enrichment objects in miniature pet pigs.

Design—Internet survey.

Study Population—Responses from 222 owners of miniature pet pigs.

Procedures—Pet pig owners were requested to complete a 48-item multiple-choice and short-answer Internet survey for each pig that they presently owned.

Results—Among 222 surveys that met enrollment criteria, human-directed aggression that occurred on at least 1 occasion was reported in 64% (n = 142) and aggression that occurred once or more per month was reported in 31% (69). No significant differences were found in the prevalence of human-directed aggression among castrated males, sexually intact females, and spayed females. Ages of weaning and neutering and the presence of objects intended to serve as environmental enrichment were not associated with frequency of aggression. A significant inverse association was detected between presence of other pigs in the same household and human-directed aggression, such that 21% (20/95) of pigs that lived with at least 1 conspecific were aggressive on a frequent basis, compared with 39% (49/126) of pigs that lived with no conspecific. A similar inverse association was evident regarding aggression that occurred on at least 1 occasion.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that human-directed aggression is a common problem in miniature pet pigs. The presence of a conspecific can be expected to reduce the likelihood of human-directed aggression.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether clomipramine differs from fluoxetine in reducing feline urine marking; whether reduction of marking continues in cats treated > 8 weeks; whether recurrence of marking, after abrupt drug withdrawal, is less in cats treated > 8 weeks; and whether cats that are successfully treated but resume marking after drug withdrawal can be successfully treated again with the same drug regimen.

Design—Positive-controlled, double-masked clinical trial.

Animals—22 neutered cats (2 females, 20 males) ≥ 1 year old with objectionable urine marking.

Procedure—Cats that marked vertically ≥ 3 times/wk were treated with fluoxetine (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb], q 24 h, PO) or clomipramine (0.5 mg/kg [0.23 mg/lb], q 24 h, PO) for 16 weeks, and efficacy was compared. Recurrence of marking was determined after abrupt withdrawal of fluoxetine at 16 or 32 weeks. Reduction in marking in cats treated with fluoxetine for 8 weeks after returning to marking following drug withdrawal was compared with the initial 8 weeks of successful treatment.

Results—Efficacy of fluoxetine and clomipramine was similar. Treatment > 8 weeks revealed increasing efficacy in reduction of marking. Return of marking after termination of fluoxetine administration occurred in most cats. Cats successfully treated initially with fluoxetine responded similarly to repeated treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clomipramine and fluoxetine were equivalent in treating urine marking. Longer treatment increased efficacy. Most cats return to marking after abrupt drug withdrawal. A second course of treatment can be expected to be as effective as the first. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226: 378–382)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether findings of urinalyses could be used to reliably distinguish gonadectomized cats with urine-marking behavior from those with no problem urination.

Design—Case control study.

Animals—58 gonadectomized cats (47 males and 11 females) with urine-marking behavior (ie, marking of vertical surfaces) and 39 (26 males and 13 females) without problem urination or urinary tract-associated conditions.

Procedure—Urine was collected by cystocentesis from all cats. Findings of urinalyses of cats with urinemarking behavior were analyzed statistically for sexrelated differences and differences between cats that marked vertical surfaces only and those that marked both vertical and horizontal surfaces; findings of urinalyses of control cats were compared between sexes. Subsequently, results of urinalyses of cats with urine-marking behavior were compared with those of control cats.

Results—With regard to variables measured via urinalysis, there were no differences between male and female cats within either group. Among cats with urine-marking behavior, there were no differences between those that only marked vertically and those that marked vertically and horizontally. Analyses of data from all cats with urine-marking behavior and control cats revealed no differences that could be associated with urine marking.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data suggest that urine-marking behavior by gonadectomized cats is an aspect of normal behavior. Clinicians are advised to focus on behavioral history of house-soiling cats to differentiate between urine-marking behavior and inappropriate urination; for the latter, urinalysis is appropriate to rule out lower urinary tract disorders. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:457–461)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association