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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate equine IgG as a treatment for kittens with failure of passive transfer of immunity (FPT).

Animals—13 specific pathogen-free queens and their 77 kittens.

Procedure—Kittens were randomized at birth into 9 treatment groups. One group contained colostrumfed (nursing) kittens; the other groups contained colostrum-deprived kittens that were administered supplemental feline or equine IgG PO or SC during the first 12 hours after birth. Blood samples were collected at serial time points from birth to 56 days of age for determination of serum IgG concentrations. The capacity of equine IgG to opsonize bacteria for phagocytosis by feline neutrophils was determined via flow cytometry.

Results—Kittens that received feline or equine IgG SC had significantly higher serum IgG concentrations than those of kittens that received the supplements PO. In kittens that were administered supplemental IgG SC, serum IgG concentrations were considered adequate for protection against infection. The half-life of IgG in kittens treated with equine IgG was shorter than that in kittens treated with feline IgG. Feline IgG significantly enhanced the phagocytosis of bacteria by feline neutrophils, but equine IgG did not.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum concentrations of equine IgG that are considered protective against infection are easily attained in kittens, but the failure of these antibodies to promote bacterial phagocytosis in vitro suggests that equine IgG may be an inappropriate treatment for FPT in kittens. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:969–975)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare castration of dogs by use of intratesticular injection of zinc gluconate with traditional surgical procedures in terms of acceptance by pet owners, ease of use, and short-term outcomes on Isabela Island of the Galápagos Islands.

Animals—161 privately owned male dogs admitted to a neuter program.

Procedures—Medical records of male dogs neutered during a 4-week animal control campaign were reviewed to collect information regarding signalment, method of castration, complication rate, and treatment outcomes.

Results—Of the 161 dogs admitted for castration, 58 were surgically castrated and 103 were treated with zinc gluconate. Dogs were returned to their owners for observation following castration. Wound dehiscence occurred in 2 skin incisions, representing 3.4% of the 58 dogs that underwent bilateral orchiectomy. Necrotizing zinc-gluconate injection-site reactions occurred in 4 dogs receiving injection volumes near the maximum label dose (0.8 to 1.0 mL), representing 3.9% of the zinc-gluconate procedures. Surgical wound complications were treated by superficial wound debridement and resuturing, in contrast to zinc-gluconate injection-site reactions, which all required orchiectomy and extensive surgical debridement, including scrotal ablation in 2 dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Low cost, ease of use, and cultural acceptance of a castration technique that does not require removal of the testes make zinc gluconate a valuable option for large-scale use in dogs, particularly in remote locations lacking sophisticated clinical facilities or skilled surgeons and staff. Further investigation is needed to identify risk factors in dogs for adverse reactions to zinc gluconate and to develop strategies for avoidance.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence and severity of pulmonary arterial lesions in cats seropositive for heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) but lacking adult heartworms in the heart and lungs during necropsy.

Animals—630 adult cats from an animal control shelter in Florida.

Procedure—Cats were tested for adult heartworms in the heart and pulmonary arteries and antibody against heartworms in the serum. Histologic examination was conducted on the right caudal lung lobe of 24 heartworm- and antibody-positive cats; 24 heartworm-negative and antibody-positive cats; and 24 heartworm-, antibody-, and antigen-negative cats. Wall areas of 10 small to medium-sized pulmonary arteries of each cat were measured and expressed as a proportion of total cross-sectional area.

Results—Heartworm infection or seropositive status was significantly and strongly associated with severity of medial hypertrophy of pulmonary arterial walls. Heartworm- and antibody-positive cats and heartworm-negative and antibody-positive cats had a significant increase in wall thickness, compared with wall thickness for heartworm- and antibody-negative cats. Heartworm- and antibody-positive cats had the most severe hypertrophy. The proportion with occlusive medial hypertrophy was significantly higher in heartworm- and antibody-positive cats (19/24 [79%]) and heartworm-negative and antibody-positive cats (12/24 [50%]), compared with heartworm- and antibody-negative cats (3/24 [13%]).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cats with serologic evidence of exposure to heartworms, including those without adult heartworms in the lungs and heart, have a greater prevalence of pulmonary arterial lesions than heartworm-negative cats without serologic evidence of exposure. Additional studies are needed to define the pathogenesis, specificity, and clinical importance of these lesions. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1544–1549)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether passive transfer of IgG in neonatal kittens affects plasma opsonic capacity and neutrophil phagocytic and oxidative burst responses to bacteria in vitro.

Animals—22 kittens from 6 specific pathogen-free queens.

Procedure—Kittens were randomized at birth into the following treatment groups: colostrum-fed, colostrum-deprived, or colostrum-deprived supplemented with feline or equine IgG. Blood samples were collected at intervals from birth to 56 days of age. Plasma IgG concentrations were determined by radial immunodiffusion assay. Neutrophil function was assessed by a flow cytometry assay providing simultaneous measurement of bacteria-induced phagocytosis and oxidative burst. The opsonic capacity of kitten plasma was determined in an opsonophagocytosis assay with bacteria incubated in untreated or heat-inactivated plasma.

Results—Among treatment groups, there were no significant differences in neutrophil phagocytic and oxidative burst responses to bacteria or opsonic capacity of plasma. In all samples of plasma, inactivation of complement and other heat-labile opsonins significantly reduced the opsonic capacity. Plasma IgG concentrations in kittens did not correlate with neutrophil function or plasma opsonic capacity before or after inactivation of complement.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The plasma opsonic capacity and neutrophil phagocytic and oxidative burst responses in vitro of kittens receiving passive transfer of IgG via colostrum intake or IgG supplementation and those deprived of colostrum were similar. The alternate complement pathway or other heat-labile opsonins may be more important than IgG in bacterial opsonization and phagocytosis. ( Am J Vet Res 2003;64:538–543)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin in neonatal kittens and compare the pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin in young and adult cats.

Animals—7 adult cats and 111 kittens (2 to 8 weeks old).

Procedure—A single dose of 5 mg of enrofloxacin/kg was administered to adults (IV) and kittens (IV, SC, or PO). Plasma concentrations of enrofloxacin and its active metabolite, ciprofloxacin, were determined.

Results—The half-life of enrofloxacin administered IV in 2-, 6-, and 8-week-old kittens was significantly shorter and its elimination rate significantly greater than that detected in adults. The apparent volumes of distribution were lower at 2 to 4 weeks and greater at 6 to 8 weeks. This resulted in lower peak plasma concentration (Cmax) at 6 to 8 weeks; however, initial plasma concentration was within the therapeutic range after IV administration at all ages. Compared with IV administration, SC injection of enrofloxacin in 2-weekold kittens resulted in similar Cmax, half-life, clearance, and area under the curve values. Enrofloxacin administered via SC injection was well absorbed in 6- and 8- week-old kittens, but greater clearance and apparent volume of distribution resulted in lower plasma concentrations. Oral administration of enrofloxacin resulted in poor bioavailability.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In neonatal kittens, IV and SC administration of enrofloxacin provided an effective route of administration. Oral administration of enrofloxacin in kittens did not result in therapeutic drug concentrations. Doses may need to be increased to achieve therapeutic drug concentrations in 6- to 8-week-old kittens. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:350–356)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

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)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

As community efforts to reduce the overpopulation and euthanasia of unwanted and unowned cats and dogs have increased, many veterinarians have increasingly focused their clinical efforts on the provision of spay-neuter services. Because of the wide range of geographic and demographic needs, a wide variety of spay-neuter programs have been developed to increase delivery of services to targeted populations of animals, including stationary and mobile clinics, MASH-style operations, shelter services, community cat programs, and services provided through private practitioners. In an effort to promote consistent, high-quality care across the broad range of these programs, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians convened a task force of veterinarians to develop veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs. These guidelines consist of recommendations for general patient care and clinical procedures, preoperative care, anesthetic management, surgical procedures, postoperative care, and operations management. They were based on current principles of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, infection control, and surgical practice, as determined from published evidence and expert opinion. They represent acceptable practices that are attainable in spay-neuter programs regardless of location, facility, or type of program. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians envisions that these guidelines will be used by the profession to maintain consistent veterinary medical care in all settings where spay-neuter services are provided and to promote these services as a means of reducing sheltering and euthanasia of cats and dogs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

As efforts to reduce the overpopulation and euthanasia of unwanted and unowned dogs and cats have increased, greater attention has been focused on spay-neuter programs throughout the United States. Because of the wide range of geographic and demographic needs, a wide variety of programs have been developed to increase delivery of spay-neuter services to targeted populations of animals, including stationary and mobile clinics, MASH-style operations, shelter services, feral cat programs, and services provided through private practitioners. In an effort to ensure a consistent level of care, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians convened a task force of veterinarians to develop veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs. The guidelines consist of recommendations for preoperative care (eg, patient transport and housing, patient selection, client communication, record keeping, and medical considerations), anesthetic management (eg, equipment, monitoring, perioperative considerations, anesthetic protocols, and emergency preparedness), surgical care (eg, operating-area environment; surgical-pack preparation; patient preparation; surgeon preparation; surgical procedures for pediatric, juvenile, and adult patients; and identification of neutered animals), and postoperative care (eg, analgesia, recovery, and release). These guidelines are based on current principles of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, microbiology, and surgical practice, as determined from published evidence and expert opinion. They represent acceptable practices that are attainable in spay-neuter programs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association