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



To describe the radiation safety behaviors of veterinary specialists performing small animal fluoroscopic procedures and examine potential risk factors for these behaviors, including knowledge of radiation risk and training regarding machine operating parameters.


197 veterinary specialists and residents in training.


An electronic questionnaire was distributed to members of the American Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine (subspecialties of cardiology and small animal internal medicine), Veterinary Radiology, and Veterinary Surgery.


The overall survey response rate was 6% (240/4,274 email recipients). Of the 240 respondents, 197 (82%) had operated an x-ray unit for a small animal fluoroscopic procedure in the preceding year and fully completed the questionnaire. More than 95% of respondents believed that radiation causes cancer, yet approximately 60% of respondents never wore hand or eye protection during fluoroscopic procedures, and 28% never adjusted the fluoroscopy machine operating parameters for the purpose of reducing their radiation dose. The most common reasons for not wearing eye shielding included no requirement to wear eyeglasses, poor fit, discomfort, and interference of eyeglasses with task performance. Respondents who had received training regarding machine operating parameters adjusted those parameters to reduce their radiation dose during procedures significantly more frequently than did respondents who had not received training.


On the basis of the self-reported suboptimal radiation safety practices among veterinary fluoroscopy users, we recommend formal incorporation of radiation safety education into residency training programs. All fluoros-copy machine operators should be trained regarding the machine operating parameters that can be adjusted to reduce occupational radiation exposure.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To describe the clinical features, histopathologic lesions, and outcome of cardiovascular disease in central bearded dragons.


54 bearded dragons.


Retrospective evaluation of captive bearded dragons with antemortem imaging or postmortem diagnosis of cardiovascular disease from 2007 to 2022 from 6 hospitals.


The total prevalence of cardiovascular disease was 3.3% (54/1,655). Physical examination findings were available in 46 cases with change in mentation being the most common finding (n = 28/46 [60.9%]), followed by dehydration (17/46 [37%]), palpable coelomic mass (13/46 [28.3%]), dyspnea (10/46 [21.7%]), and sunken eyes (10/46 [21.7%)]. Doppler auscultation revealed an arrhythmia in 5/34 (14.7%) animals. Diagnostic imaging was only performed on 21 animals, and 10 (47.6%) had cardiovascular abnormalities described. In total, 84 cardiovascular diagnoses were found in 54 animals. The most common diagnosis was myocarditis (n = 14) followed by aneurysms (11), pericardial effusion (9), atherosclerosis (7), epicarditis (7), and myocardial degeneration/necrosis (7). Overall, 62 causes of death were identified in 52 cases, with cardiovascular disease being the most common (n = 18/52 [34.5%]). Only 3/54 animals were diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Animals with aneurysms were more likely to die to due cardiovascular disease compared to other types of cardiovascular diagnoses (OR, 43.75; 95% CI, 4.88 to 392.65; P < .001).


Diagnosis of cardiovascular disease in bearded dragons is challenging given the inconsistent clinical presentation; however, it should remain a differential in animals with nonspecific signs of illness. Antemortem diagnostics are recommended in suspected cases, including diagnostic imaging. Of the cardiovascular diseases described, aneurysms most often contributed to clinical demise.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research