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To determine outcome of cats with nonlymphoid tumors of the vertebral canal that undergo surgery.


Retrospective study.


11 cats.


Information obtained from the medical records included signalment, tumor location, gross evaluation of completeness of surgical excision, histologic diagnosis, and survival time.


Median age of cats was 12 years; all cats had negative FeLV and feline immunodeficiency virus test results. All cats underwent a hemilaminectomy or dorsal laminectomy. The tumor was located in the thoracic portion of the vertebral column in 6 cats. Six cats had intradural-extramedullary tumors. Tumors included meningioma (n = 5), malignant nerve sheath tumors (2), and meningeal sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, lipoma, and osteosarcoma (1 each). One cat was lost to follow-up, 1 cat with meningioma was alive 1,400 days after surgery, and 1 cat with a nerve sheath tumor was alive 2,190 days after surgery. Median survival time for the other 4 cats with meningioma was 180 days (range, 30 to 600 days).

Clinical Implications

Cats with nonlymphoid vertebral canal tumors that undergo surgery may have a good prognosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;210:663–664

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


During a 5-year period, leiomyosarcoma was diagnosed in 57 dogs. Forty-four dogs were included in the study on the basis of completeness of medical records. All dogs underwent exploratory laparotomy, and dogs were allotted to 4 groups according to primary site of tumor: spleen (16 dogs, median age 10.3 years), stomach/small intestine (13 dogs, median age 10.3 years), cecum (10 dogs, median age 11.8 years), and liver (5 dogs, median age 9 years). All dogs with leiomyosarcoma of the liver had visible metastasis and were euthanatized at surgery. In the other 3 groups, 79% of the dogs had no gross evidence of metastasis at surgery, and 64% survived > 2 weeks. Median survival in these 3 groups was 10 months (range, 1 month to 7 years); 48% died of metastasis, 32% died of unrelated causes, and 16% died of unknown causes. The prognosis in dogs with leiomyosarcoma of the spleen, stomach, small intestine, and especially the cecum is good to excellent if surgery is performed. In dogs with leiomyosarcoma of the liver, the prognosis is poor.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To assess validity and reliability for a visual analogue scale (VAS) used by owners to measure chronic pain in their osteoarthritic dogs.

Sample—68, 61, and 34 owners who completed a questionnaire.

Procedures—Owners answered questionnaires at 5 time points. Criterion validity of the VAS was evaluated for all dogs in the intended-to-treat population by correlating scores for the VAS with scores for the validated Helsinki Chronic Pain Index (HCPI) and a relative quality-of-life scale. Intraclass correlation was used to assess repeatability of the pain VAS at 2 baseline evaluations. To determine sensitivity to change and face validity of the VAS, 2 blinded, randomized control groups (17 dogs receiving carprofen and 17 receiving a placebo) were analyzed over time.

Results—Significant correlations existed between the VAS score and the quality-of-life scale and HCPI scores. Intraclass coefficient (r = 0.72; 95% confidence interval, 0.57 to 0.82) for the VAS indicated good repeatability. In the carprofen and placebo groups, there was poor correlation between the 2 pain evaluation methods (VAS and HCPI items) at the baseline evaluation, but the correlation improved in the carprofen group over time. No correlation was detected for the placebo group over time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although valid and reliable, the pain VAS was a poor tool for untrained owners because of poor face validity (ie, owners could not recognize their dogs' behavior as signs of pain). Only after owners had seen pain diminish and then return (after starting and discontinuing NSAID use) did the VAS have face validity.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether age, breed, sex, weight, or distraction index (DI) was associated with the risk that dogs of 4 common breeds (German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler) would have radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease (DJD) associated with hip dysplasia.

Design—Cross-sectional prevalence study.

Animals—15,742 dogs.

Procedure—Hips of dogs were evaluated radiographically by use of the ventrodorsal hip-extended view, the compression view, and the distraction view. The ventrodorsal hip-extended view was examined to determine whether dogs had DJD. For each breed, a multiple logistic regression model incorporating age, sex, weight, and DI was created. For each breed, disease-susceptibility curves were produced, using all dogs, regardless of age, and dogs grouped on the basis of age.

Results—Weight and DI were significant risk factors for DJD in all breeds. For German Shepherd Dogs, the risk of having DJD was 4.95 times the risk for dogs of the other 3 breeds combined. In all breeds, the probability of having DJD increased with age.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the probability of having hip DJD increased with hip joint laxity as measured by use of DI. This association was breed-specific, indicating that breedspecific information on disease susceptibility should be incorporated when making breeding decisions and when deciding on possible surgical treatment of hip dysplasia. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:1719–1724)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine which imaging modality best determines the microscopic extent of primary appendicular osteosarcoma in amputated limbs in dogs.

Design—Case series.

Animals—10 dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma.

Procedure—10 dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma that did not receive neoadjuvent chemotherapy were treated by use of limb amputation. Amputated limbs were imaged by use of radiography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and examined microscopically to determine longitudinal extent of neoplastic cell involvement and length of associated intramedullary fibrosis. Changes detected by use of the various imaging studies were compared with the actual tumor length determined microscopically. Data were analyzed to determine which imaging technique most closely predicted tumor length.

Results—Measurements obtained by use of craniocaudal radiographic views were most accurate at predicting tumor length but underestimated tumor length substantially in 1 limb and slightly in another limb. Measurements made by use of CT were most accurate at predicting tumor length when intramedullary fibrosis was taken into account but underestimated tumor length in 1 limb. Measurements made by use of MRI were least accurate but did not underestimate tumor length in any of the limbs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although radiography is used in diagnosis of osteosarcoma in dogs, additional imaging studies to confirm the extent of neoplasia prior to limb-sparing ostectomy may be beneficial. Underestimation of tumor length would be associated with higher incidence of incomplete excision and local tumor recurrence. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1171–1176)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To assess risk factors for recurrence of clinical signs associated with thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) in dogs that had decompressive laminectomy without attempted prophylactic treatment of other disk spaces.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—229 dogs.

Procedure—Medical records of dogs that had decompressive laminectomy without prophylactic fenestration for a first episode of IVDD and were available for follow-up were reviewed. Information on 7 clinical and 8 radiographic potential risk factors were recorded.

Results—Clinical signs associated with recurrence of IVDD developed in 44 (19.2%) dogs. Ninety-six percent of recurrences developed within 3 years after surgery. Recurrence developed in 25% of Dachshunds and 15% of dogs of other breeds combined. Number of opacified disks was a significant risk factor for recurrence. Risk increased with number of opacified disks in an almost linear manner; each opacified disk increased risk by 1.4 times. Dogs with 5 or 6 opacified disks at the time of first surgery had a recurrence rate of 50%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When all likely episodes of recurrence are considered and a long follow-up period is achieved, true rate of recurrence of IVDD appears to be higher than in many previous reports. Dogs with multiple opacified disks at the time of first surgery should be considered a high-risk subpopulation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225: 1231–1236)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To describe the torsional and axial compressive properties of tibiotarsal bones of red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis).

SAMPLE 16 cadaveric tibiotarsal bones from 8 red-tailed hawks.

PROCEDURES 1 tibiotarsal bone from each bird was randomly assigned to be tested in torsion, and the contralateral bone was tested in axial compression. Intact bones were monotonically loaded in either torsion (n = 8) or axial compression (8) to failure. Mechanical variables were derived from load-deformation curves. Fracture configurations were described. Effects of sex, limb side, and bone dimensions on mechanical properties were assessed with a mixed-model ANOVA. Correlations between equivalent torsional and compressive properties were determined.

RESULTS Limb side and bone dimensions were not associated with any mechanical property. During compression tests, mean ultimate cumulative energy and postyield energy for female bones were significantly greater than those for male bones. All 8 bones developed a spiral diaphyseal fracture and a metaphyseal fissure or fracture during torsional tests. During compression tests, all bones developed a crushed metaphysis and a fissure or comminuted fracture of the diaphysis. Positive correlations were apparent between most yield and ultimate torsional and compressive properties.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The torsional and axial compressive properties of tibiotarsal bones described in this study can be used as a reference for investigations into fixation methods for tibiotarsal fractures in red-tailed hawks. Although the comminuted and spiral diaphyseal fractures induced in this study were consistent with those observed in clinical practice, the metaphyseal disruption observed was not and warrants further research.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in synovial fluid (SF) obtained from the joints of dogs with degenerative joint disease (DJD) secondary to various underlying conditions.

Sample Population—35 samples of SF obtained from 18 clinically normal (control) dogs and 34 samples of SF obtained from 17 dogs with DJD; dogs with DJD were from 2 populations (client-owned dogs and research dogs that had DJD secondary to the lysosomal storage disease mucopolysaccharidosis VII).

Procedure—MMP activity in samples of SF was semiquantitatively examined by use of gelatin or casein zymography. Western blot analysis was performed by use of antibodies for MMP-2 and MMP-9. In addition, in situ MMP activity was observed in sections of synovial membrane obtained from healthy and osteoarthritic joints.

Results—Samples of SF from osteoarthritic joints had higher MMP-2 activity and dramatically increased MMP-9 activity, compared with values for healthy joints. Substrate-overlay analyses indicated minimal gelatin-degrading activity in synoviocytes obtained from control dogs, whereas greater activity was seen in osteoarthritic synoviocytes, with additional activity in the underlying tissue.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Higher MMP-2 activity and dramatic increases in MMP-9 activity were associated with the osteoarthritic state, even though MMP-2 activity was detected in healthy joints. This study expands information on MMP production in SF of osteoarthritic joints in other species and documents the similarity of MMP activity patterns regardless of the cause of DJD. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1225–1233)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate hip joint laxity in 10 breeds of dogs via 2 radiographic techniques.

Animals—500 clinically normal dogs.

Design—Prospective study.

Procedure—Radiographs obtained via routine hip joint evaluations performed in sedated dogs of 10 popular breeds were randomly selected from a database. Measurements of distraction index (DI) and hipextended index (HEI) on 1 hip joint radiograph randomly chosen from each dog were made.

Results—Mean age of dogs was 20.7 months. Mean HEI was 0.17 (range, 0.0 to 0.72) and mean DI was 0.44 (range, 0.07 to 0.96). Borzois had uniformly tight hip joints as judged by use of both methods and were considered the gold standard by which hip joint laxity was judged (all Borzois had DI ≤ 0.32). Overall, DI was significantly greater than HEI. Within each breed, mean DI was always greater than mean HEI. Significant differences were detected among breeds for HEI; however, compared with DI, the magnitude of differences among breeds was less.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Distraction radiography detected the greatest range and magnitude of passive hip laxity in the 10 breeds of dogs. The difference in values between breeds known to have high prevalence of canine hip dysplasia and those in Borzois was greater for DI than for HEI. Breeds must be evaluated individually because of inherent differences in hip joint laxity. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004; 224:542–546)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To report the outcome of locally administered antibiotic-impregnated poloxamer 407 (P407) hydrogel in dogs diagnosed with orthopedic surgical site infections (SSIs) and to identify risk factors for treatment failure.


34 client-owned dogs diagnosed with an orthopedic surgical site infection treated with local antibiotic-impregnated P407 hydrogel.


Medical records were reviewed of dogs receiving antibiotic-impregnated P407 hydrogel for an active orthopedic SSI between March 2018 and December 2020. The rate of successful infection clearance was calculated. Risk factors for failed treatment were evaluated with statistical analyses.


34 dogs met the inclusion criteria. Vancomycin-impregnated P407 hydrogel (20 mg/mL) was implanted in all dogs. The rate of infection clearance was 77%. Each unit increase in the number of surgeries performed at a site before gel implantation decrease the chance of successful infection clearance by 25% (P = .005; unit OR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.81). Presence of multidrug or methicillin resistance increased risk for treatment failure by 7.69 times (P = .042; OR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.01 to 1.14). No adverse events related to gel administration were seen.


Treatment outcomes were negatively impacted by the presence of multidrug or methicillin resistance and by an increased number of surgeries before gel implantation. Local administration of antibiotic-impregnated P407 hydrogel had a high success rate with no adverse effects in this population. Local antibiotic gel administration may improve treatment outcomes in dogs with complicated SSI.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association