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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

This monthly feature is being sponsored by the Academy of Veterinary Cardiology. Readers of the JAVMA are invited to submit contributions. Contributions should include: (l) a brief description of the case (l50 words); (2) good contrast glossy photographs (5 in by 7 in) of tracings, with ECG lead, voltage calibration scale, and paper speed indicated; and (3) a discussion of the abnormality.

Send comments and tracings to Dr. Christophe Lombard, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Box J-l26, JHMHC, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 31610.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To develop and evaluate a questionnaire (functional evaluation of cardiac health [FETCH] questionnaire) for assessing health-related quality of life in dogs with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—360 dogs with cardiac disease.

Procedure—The questionnaire was developed on the basis of widely accepted clinical signs of cardiac disease in dogs. A FETCH score was calculated by summing responses to questionnaire items; possible scores ranged from 0 to 85. For questionnaire validation, owners of 60 dogs were asked to complete the questionnaire and provide an overall assessment of their dogs' quality of life (16 owners completed the questionnaire twice). Disease severity was assessed with the International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) classification for cardiac disease. Following validation, the final questionnaire was administered to owners of the remaining 300 dogs.

Results—Internal consistency of the questionnaire was good, and the FETCH score was significantly correlated with the owner-reported quality-of-life score and with ISACHC classification. For owners that completed the questionnaire twice, scores were significantly correlated. During the second phase of the study, the FETCH score ranged from 0 to 70 (median, 7) and was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification, but did not vary significantly with underlying disease. For dogs examined twice, the change in FETCH score was significantly greater for dogs in which ISACHC classification improved than for dogs in which ISACHC classification was unchanged.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the FETCH questionnaire is a valid and reliable method for assessing health-related quality of life in dogs with cardiac disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1864–1868)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare myocardial concentrations of fatty acids in dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with concentrations in control dogs.

Sample Population—Myocardial tissues from 7 dogs with DCM and 16 control dogs.

Procedure—Myocardial tissues were homogenized, and total fatty acids were extracted and converted to methyl esters. Myocardial concentrations of fatty acids were analyzed by use of gas chromatography and reported as corrected percentages.

Results—The amount of docosatetraenoic acid (C22:4 n-6) was significantly higher in myocardial samples from dogs with DCM (range, 0.223% to 0.774%; median, 0.451%), compared with the amount in samples obtained from control dogs (range, 0.166% to 0.621%; median, 0.280%). There were no significant differences between DCM and control dogs for concentrations of any other myocardial fatty acids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although concentrations of most myocardial fatty acids did not differ significantly between dogs with DCM and control dogs, the concentration of docosatetraenoic acid was significantly higher in dogs with DCM. Additional investigation in a larger population is warranted to determine whether this is a primary or secondary effect of the underlying disease and whether alterations in fatty acids may be a target for intervention in dogs with DCM. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1483–1486)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare signalment, clinical signs, diet, echocardiographic findings, and outcome for pit bull–type breeds diagnosed between 2015 and 2022 with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or with DCM diagnosed by a cardiologist but that did not meet all study echocardiographic criteria (DCM-C).

ANIMALS

91 dogs with DCM and 11 dogs with DCM-C.

PROCEDURES

Data were collected on clinical findings, echocardiographic measurements, and diet at the time of diagnosis (for 76/91 dogs); echocardiographic changes; and survival.

RESULTS

For dogs with diet information available for time of diagnosis, 64/76 (84%) dogs were eating nontraditional commercial diets, while 12/76 (16%) were eating traditional commercial diets. There were few differences between diet groups at baseline, with congestive heart failure and arrhythmias common in both groups. Thirty-four dogs with known baseline diet and diet change status had follow-up echocardiograms between 60 and 1,076 days later (traditional diet, n = 7; nontraditional diet that changed diets, 27; and nontraditional diet group without diet change, 0). Dogs in the nontraditional diet group that changed diets had a significantly greater decrease in normalized left ventricular diameter (diastolic, P = .02; systolic, P = .048) and the left atrium-to-aorta ratio (P = .002) and a significantly greater increase in fractional shortening (P = .02) compared to dogs eating traditional diets. Dogs eating nontraditional diets with diet change (n = 45; P < .001) and dogs eating traditional diets (12; P < .001) had a significantly longer survival time compared to dogs eating nontraditional diets without diet change (4). Dogs with DCM-C also had significant echocardiographic improvements after diet change.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Congestive heart failure and arrhythmias were common in pit bull–type breeds with DCM. Those eating nontraditional diets that changed diets had significant improvements in echocardiographic measurements after diet change.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare metabolomic profiles of dogs eating grain-free (GF) versus grain-inclusive (GI) diets (1) for healthy dogs at baseline and (2) for dogs with subclinical cardiac abnormalities at 12 months after a diet change.

SAMPLE

Serum samples from 23 dogs eating GF diets and 79 dogs eating GI diets, of which 17 (8 eating a GF diet and 9 eating a GI diet) were reevaluated 12 months after a diet change.

PROCEDURES

Metabolomic profiles were developed by means of ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectroscopy of serum samples. Baseline results for the GF group were compared with those for the GI group. Dogs from both groups with subclinical cardiac abnormalities were transitioned to a GI, pulse-free, intervention diet, and samples collected 12 months later were compared between diet groups. Statistical significance for biochemical group differences was defined as P < .05 with a false discovery rate (q) < .10.

RESULTS

Baseline differences in lipid metabolism and amino acid metabolism were found between the GF and GI diet groups. There were 46 metabolites that were higher and 82 metabolites that were lower in the GF group (n = 23), compared with the GI group (79). Comparison of the GF (n = 8) and GI (9) groups 12 months after the diet change showed only 6 metabolites that were higher and 11 metabolites that were lower in the GF group, compared with the GI group.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Metabolomic pathway differences between dogs eating GF versus GI diets highlight the important effect of diet in metabolomics analyses. The clinical importance of these differences and how they might relate to cardiac disease in dogs remains undetermined.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research