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Objective—To determine prevalence of FeLV infection and serum antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in unowned free-roaming cats.

Design—Cross-sectional serologic survey.

Animals—733 unowned free-roaming cats in Raleigh, NC, and 1,143 unowned free-roaming cats in Gainesville, Fla.

Results—In Raleigh, overall prevalence of FeLV infection was 5.3%, and overall seroprevalence for FIV was 2.3%. In Gainesville, overall prevalence of FeLV infection was 3.7%, and overall seroprevalence for FIV was 4.3%. Overall, FeLV prevalence was 4.3%, and seroprevalence for FIV was 3.5%. Prevalence of FeLV infection was not significantly different between males (4.9%) and females (3.8%), although seroprevalence for FIV was significantly higher in male cats (6.3%) than in female cats (1.5%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prevalence of FeLV infection and seroprevalence for FIV in unowned free-roaming cats in Raleigh and Gainesville are similar to prevalence rates reported for owned cats in the United States. Male cats are at increased risk for exposure to FIV, compared with female cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:620–622)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the relationship between parturition date and fetal skeletal mineralization detected radiographically in cats.

Design—Prospective clinical trial.

Animals—31 queens and their 49 pregnancies.

Procedure—Seventeen pregnant queens were radiographed with a computed radiography system every 2 to 3 days from 1 week after pregnancy was identified by abdominal palpation until parturition. Radiographs were evaluated to determine the first identifiable mineralization of 16 bony structures and teeth during each pregnancy. This information was used to establish a table of expected parturition dates on the basis of fetal mineralization. Single radiographs from an additional 32 pregnant cats were evaluated, and predictions of parturition dates were made on the basis of the mineralization table.

Results—Mineralization was first detected 25 to 29 days prior to parturition (dpp). Mineralization was determined for the spinal column (22 to 27 dpp), skull (21 to 27 dpp), ribs (20 to 25 dpp), scapula (17 to 24 dpp), humerus (20 to 24 dpp), femur (19 to 23 dpp), radius (15 to 22 dpp), tibia (15 to 21 dpp), ulna (5 to 21 dpp), pelvis (8 to 20 dpp), fibula (0 to 17 dpp), tail (8 to 16 dpp), metacarpals and metatarsals (3 to 14 dpp), phalanges (0 to 11 dpp), calcaneus (0 to 10 dpp), and teeth (1 to 6 dpp). Date of parturition was predictable within 3 days in 75% of cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Identification of bony structures in the fetus is useful in estimating the time to parturition in queens. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1614–1616)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare heartworm serum antibody (Ab) and antigen (Ag) test results, using commercial laboratories and in-house heartworm test kits, with necropsy findings in a population of shelter cats.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—330 cats at an animal shelter.

Procedure—Between March and June 1998, 30 ml of blood was collected from the cranial and caudal venae cavae of 330 cats that were euthanatized at a local animal shelter. Results of heartworm Ab and Ag serologic tests for heartworm infection were compared with necropsy findings in this population of cats, using commercial laboratories and in-house test kits to measure serum Ab and Ag concentrations.

Results—On necropsy, adult Dirofilaria immitis were found in 19 of 330 (5.8%) cats. Combining results from serum Ab and Ag tests achieved higher sensitivities than using serum Ab and Ag test results alone (ie, maximum sensitivities of 100% vs 89.5%, respectively), whereas use of serum Ag and Ab test results alone achieved higher specificities compared with the use of a combination of serum Ab and Ag results (ie, maximum specificities of 99.4% vs 92.9%, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of our findings, if a cat has clinical signs that suggest heartworm disease despite a negative heartworm serum Ab test result, an alternative heartworm Ab test, a heartworm Ag test, thoracic radiography, or two-dimensional echocardiography should be performed. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:693–700)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association