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Objective

To study the relationship between parental cardiac status in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and development of chronic valvular disease (CVD) in offspring.

Design

Historical cohort.

Animals

54 female and 53 male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel offspring.

Procedure

7 sires, selected on the basis of their liability to develop CVD, were screened for clinical signs of CVD and assigned to 1 of 3 groups (late, intermediate, and early onset of CVD). The mates of these sires (30 dams) were selected and classified likewise, and 107 offspring produced in 1988 from matings between these parents were screened for clinical signs of CVD at a mean age of 5.3 ± 0.3 years.

Results

55% of the offspring were free from clinical signs of CVD, whereas 45% had cardiac murmurs of low or moderate intensity. The proportion of offspring with heart murmurs and the intensity of murmurs were significantly greater with increased parental classification. More males than females had developed murmurs, and murmurs of moderate intensity also were more prevalent in males. Results of multiple-regression analysis indicated that mean parental classification and sex had significant effects on proportion of offspring with murmurs and their intensity. Additionally, age affected disease prevalence and severity, despite the narrow range in age of offspring examined.

Clinical Implications

Parental CVD status is an important factor influencing the probability of heart murmurs and their intensity in offspring. The results of this study indicate that CVD development is a polygenic threshold trait and that sex of the offspring influences threshold levels. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:2009-2012)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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

Abstract

Case Description—4 dogs with acquired pulmonary artery stenosis (PAS) were examined for various clinical signs. One was a mixed-breed dog with congenital valvular PAS that subsequently developed peripheral PAS, one was a Golden Retriever with pulmonary valve fibrosarcoma, one was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi in which the left pulmonary artery had inadvertently been ligated during surgery for correction of patent ductus arteriosus, and one was a Boston Terrier with a heart-base mass compressing the pulmonary arteries.

Clinical Findings—All 4 dogs were evaluated with 2-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography to characterize the nature and severity of the stenoses; other diagnostic tests were also performed.

Treatment and Outcome—The mixed-breed dog with valvular and peripheral PAS was euthanized, surgical resection of the pulmonic valve mass was performed in the Golden Retriever, corrective surgery was performed on the Pembroke Welsh Corgi with left pulmonary artery ligation, and the Boston Terrier with the heart-base mass was managed medically.

Clinical Relevance—Acquired PAS in dogs may manifest as a clinically silent heart murmur, syncope, or right-sided heart failure. The diagnosis is made on the basis of imaging findings, particularly results of 2-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography. Treatment may include surgical, interventional, or medical modalities and is targeted at resolving the inciting cause.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 20-year-old sexually intact female African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) was evaluated to determine the cause of lethargy, hyporexia, weight loss, and persistent ascites of 21 days' duration.

Clinical Findings—Physical examination revealed a markedly distended abdomen and systolic heart murmur. Thoracic radiography revealed cardiomegaly and hepatomegaly. Doppler echocardiography revealed severe eccentric and concentric hypertrophy of the right ventricle with systolic dysfunction, moderate regurgitation through the right atrioventricular valve, a substantial increase in estimated systolic pulmonary arterial pressure, hepatic venous congestion, and coelomic effusion. A clinical diagnosis of chronic cor pulmonale was established.

Treatment and Outcome—The parrot was initially stabilized by use of coelomocentesis. During the next month, the parrot was treated by administration of furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, spironolactone, benazepril, and pimobendan. The parrot appeared to be responding well to treatment but was found dead in its cage 35 days following initial examination. Postmortem examination revealed substantial atherosclerosis of the large pulmonary arteries, with lesions extending into the medium-size arteries. Pulmonary atherosclerosis was suspected as a cause of the severe pulmonary hypertension.

Clinical Relevance—Although atherosclerosis most commonly affects the systemic and coronary arteries of parrots, sclerotic changes within the pulmonary vasculature should be considered as a possible cause of pulmonary hypertension and as a differential diagnosis for right-sided congestive heart failure in psittacine species.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To obtain heritability estimates for diseases and characteristics in Boxers.

Animals—Birth cohort of 2,929 purebred Boxers from 414 litters.

Procedure—Heritability estimates were determined for cheiloschisis-palatoschisis, cryptorchidism, epilepsy, stifle disorders, cardiac disorders, coat color, birth weight, and adult weight, and height. Binary traits were analyzed by use of a mixed-effects probit model. Some traits also were analyzed by use of a model that postulated monogenic inheritance. Full pedigree analyses were performed. Variation in incidences of disease among clusters of related dogs was evaluated.

Results—Heritability estimates were virtually zero for cardiac disorders, medium (0.17 to 0.36) for most other traits, and high (> 0.55) for coat color, birth weight, and adult height. Litter effects and risk factors affected cheiloschisis-palatoschisis, heart murmur, coat color, broadly defined epilepsy, and adult weight. Litter effects may be attributable to common environmental effects for littermates but also may be attributable to dominance variation caused by a recessive gene. Heritability estimates increased when stricter definitions for epilepsy and stifle disorders were used. The monogenic model did not reveal higher heritability estimates for 6 traits analyzed. Incidences for white coat differed significantly for 10 familial clusters, confirming high heritability and effects of familial lineage.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that genetic improvement of most traits should be feasible, except for cardiac disorders. However, because most traits are influenced by environmental effects as well as genetic effects, genetic counseling based on polygenic inheritance and use of familial information rather than strict exclusion of parents is preferred. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1198–1206)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

CASE DESCRIPTION

A 1-year-old externally sexually intact female Great Dane was referred for further evaluation of abnormal and underdeveloped internal reproductive organs.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Physical examination findings included a cranioventrally displaced vulva and a grade 2/6 left apical systolic heart murmur. No uterus or ovaries were identified during abdominal ultrasonography. Computed tomography with retrograde vaginourethrography revealed an underdeveloped uterus and possible left intra-abdominal gonad. Karyotyping revealed mixed sex chromosomes (70% XY and 30% XX). Analysis of a serum sample yielded positive results for anti-Müllerian hormone; other findings included mid range estradiol concentration (48.2 pg/mL [within reference intervals for sexually intact and neutered males and females]), low progesterone concentration (< 0.2 ng/mL [within reference intervals for anestrous females]), and low testosterone concentration (< 20 ng/dL [similar to the expected concentration in neutered males]). Overall, the results of the sex hormone analyses were consistent with findings for either a sexually intact female or a neutered male dog. The dog's cardiac structure and function were echocardiographically normal.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

The dog was anesthetized and underwent laparoscopic gonadectomy. The gonads, although abnormal and underdeveloped, were readily identified intraoperatively and successfully removed. On the basis of histologic findings, the removed gonads were confirmed to be rudimentary testicles. The dog recovered from anesthesia and surgery without complications.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Laparoscopic surgery was effective for visualization of abnormal and hypoplastic reproductive organs when abdominal ultrasonography and CT were of limited diagnostic usefulness, and laparoscopic surgery allowed straightforward gonadectomy in a 78,XX/78,XY chimeric dog.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

cardiomyopathy in healthy cats, and although many cats undergo echocardiographic evaluation after detection of a heart murmur, the relationship between heart murmurs and cardiomyopathy in healthy cats remains unclear. In a cross-sectional study in which

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

murmurs in chinchillas ( Chinchilla lanigera ) Results of a retrospective study of medical records for 260 chinchillas examined at 3 university-based veterinary teaching hospitals suggest that heart murmurs are common in chinchillas and that chinchillas

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

History A 4-year-old spayed female spayed Boston Terrier was referred to the Louisiana State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for evaluation of a heart murmur, respiratory distress, and lethargy. On physical examination, a VI

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Adverse reactions to oral administration of milbemycin oxime were investigated in heartworm (hw)-free and hw-infected dogs given either the minimal hw prophylactic dose (0.25 mg/kg of body weight) or the hookworm anthelmintic dose (0.5 mg/kg). In 12 hw-free control dogs treated with lactose excipient (100 mg/kg), abnormal signs were not observed. There were no differences between the 2 doses in prevalence of clinical signs of disease and laboratory test results. In 60 hw-free dogs (50 dogs administered the low dose, and 10 dogs given the high dose) and 46 nonmicrofilaremic hw-infected dogs (35 dogs administered the low dose, and 11 dogs given the high dose), only a transient and slight paleness of the visible mucous membranes, intestinal hyperperistalsis, or both were observed in some dogs. In 77 microfilaremic (mf) dogs (41 dogs administered the low dose, and 36 dogs given the high dose), weakness or loss of appetite was observed in 13 dogs (16.9%). Paleness of the visible mucous membranes was observed in 16 dogs (20.8%), intestinal hyperperistalsis was observed in 27 dogs (35.1%), and respiratory signs, such as mild labored respiration, were observed in 13 dogs (16.9%). Dullness of heart sounds was noticed in 4 dogs (5.2%). In 12 (9 dogs administered the low dose, and 3 dogs given the high dose) of 89 mf dogs (13.5%), adult heartworms migrated from the pulmonary arteries to the right atrium, causing signs of caval syndrome, including heart murmurs, jugular pulsations, and weakness.

C and neutrophil counts increased slightly at 3 hours. Serum alanine transaminase, alkaline phosphatasIn hw-free dogs, rectal temperature tended to decrease gradually, and heart and respiratory rates were transiently decreased. Mean blood pressure, rbc count, serum total protein concentration, serum osmolality, and serum sodium (Na) and potassium (K) concentrations decreased 3 or 6 hours after administration. The total WBe, and lactate dehydrogenase activities did not change significantly. In hw-infected, nonmicrofilaremic dogs, trends in laboratory changes were almost the same as those in hw-free dogs.

In mf dogs, circulating microfilaria count decreased starting at 6 hours after treatment. Heart rate, rbc count, and serum total protein concentration decreased transiently, similar to values in hw-free dogs. Rectal temperature, respiratory rate, and serum enzyme activities increased, and neutrophil and eosinophil counts, serum osmolality, and serum Na and K concentrations decreased. Changes in test results for dogs with hw migration were almost the same as those in mf hw-infected dogs.

Heartworm-free and nonmicrofilaremic hw-infected dogs did not have clinically relevant problems after treatment with milbemycin oxime. Administration of milbemycin oxime does not involve risks for these dogs. However, reactions in mf dogs appear to be related to the death of microfilariae, and caution must be used when these dogs are treated with this compound.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research