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To describe outcomes for dogs that underwent balloon dilation for palliative treatment of urethral obstruction caused by urothelial carcinoma.


12 client-owned dogs.


Medical records were searched to identify dogs with urothelial (bladder, urethra, or prostate) carcinoma that underwent balloon dilation for treatment of urethral obstruction between April 2010 and December 2015. Information regarding history, signalment, clinical signs, diagnostic imaging findings, balloon dilation technique, clinical outcomes, complications, and additional treatments was obtained by review of medical records.


Improvement in clinical signs of urethral obstruction was observed after the initial dilation procedure for 9 of 12 dogs. Urethral obstruction was known to recur in 5 dogs 48 to 296 days after the initial procedure. Three of these dogs underwent a second dilation procedure, with clinical improvement in all 3 dogs for 41 to 70 days. One of 2 dogs that had a third procedure after the second reobstruction had clinical improvement in urinary tract signs until subsequent death from metastatic disease 22 days later. Complications included hematuria, urinary incontinence, and dysuria; these resolved within a few days after treatment.


Urethral balloon dilation was a minimally invasive procedure that provided relief of urethral obstruction from urothelial carcinoma in most dogs of the study population. Prospective studies are needed to identify optimal techniques for balloon dilation in dogs with neoplastic urethral obstructions and to identify patients that are likely to benefit most from the treatment.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate the biological activity of dihydroartemisinin on canine osteosarcoma cell lines in vitro.

Sample Population—4 canine osteosarcoma cell lines.

Procedures—Cell viability assays were performed on canine osteosarcoma cell lines OSCA2, OSCA16, OSCA50, and D17 after 24, 48, and 72 hours of treatment with dihydroartemisinin at concentrations of 0.1 to 100μM. Apoptosis was assessed by use of an ELISA for free nuclosomal DNA fragmentation and by western blot analysis for cleavage of caspase 3. Cell cycle analysis was performed by use of staining with propidium iodide and flow cytometry. Detection of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was conducted in the D17 cell line by use of 6-carboxy-2′,7′-dihydrofluorescein diacetate and flow cytometry.

Results—The concentration of dihydroartemisinin required for 50% inhibition of cell viability (IC50) was achieved in all 4 canine osteosarcoma cell lines and ranged from 8.7 to 43.6μM. Induction of apoptosis was evident as an increase in nucleosomal DNA fragmentation, cleavage of caspase 3, and an increase in the population in the sub G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle detected by flow cytometry. Exposure to dihydroartemisinin also resulted in a decrease in the G0/G1 population. Iron-dependent generation of ROS was detected in dihydroartemisinin-treated D17 cells; ROS generation increased in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Incubation with dihydroartemisinin resulted in biological activity against canine osteosarcoma cell lines, which included induction of apoptosis and arrest of the cell cycle. Clinical trials of dihydroartemisinin in dogs with osteosarcoma should be conducted.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare WBC, neutrophil, and platelet counts and Hct values obtained with a point-of-care hematology analyzer with values obtained by a reference method for dogs and cats receiving chemotherapy.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—105 dogs and 25 cats undergoing chemotherapy.

Procedures—Blood samples were analyzed with a point-of-care hematology analyzer and with an impedance- and laser-based analyzer with manual differential WBC counts. Results for WBC, neutrophil, and platelet counts and Hct were compared. Sensitivity and specificity of the point-of-care analyzer to detect leukopenia, neutropenia, and anemia were calculated.

Results—554 canine and 96 feline blood samples were evaluated. Correlation coefficients for dogs and cats, respectively, were 0.92 and 0.95 for total WBC count, 0.91 and 0.88 for neutrophil count, 0.95 and 0.92 for Hct, and 0.93 and 0.71 for platelet count. Sensitivity and specificity, respectively, of the point-of-care analyzer to detect leukopenia were 100% and 75% for dogs and 100% and 68% for cats; to detect neutropenia were 80% and 97% for dogs and 100% and 80% for cats; to detect anemia were 100% and 80% for dogs and 100% and 66% for cats; and to detect thrombocytopenia were 86% and 95% for dogs and 50% and 87% for cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The point-of-care analyzer was reliable for monitoring CBCs of dogs and cats receiving chemotherapy. It had good to excellent correlation for WBC and neutrophil counts and Hct and accurately detected leukopenia, neutropenia, and anemia. Sensitivity of the analyzer for detecting thrombocytopenia was lower but acceptable.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association