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To determine whether previously described cutoffs for ultrasonographically determined kidney length-to-aorta diameter ratio (KL:Ao) for evaluation of kidney size in adult dogs are applicable to healthy dogs 1 to 18 months of age and to assess interobserver and intraobserver variability for ultrasonographic kidney and aorta measurements in these dogs grouped according to age.


82 dogs.


41 university-owned dogs and 41 client- or staff-owned dogs of 3 age groups (approx 1, 6, and 12 to 18 months of age) underwent ultrasonographic examination by 3 observers. Kidney length, kidney width, and diameter of the aorta were measured by each observer 3 times, and KL:Ao and kidney length-to-body weight ratio were calculated for each dog. Measurements and calculated ratios for the 3 age groups were compared by statistical methods; interobserver and intraobserver variability were calculated.


Mean kidney length, kidney width, and aorta diameter were smaller, and calculated KL:Ao and kidney length-to-body weight ratio were larger, for dogs of the 1-month age group than for dogs of the 6-month and 12 to 18–month age groups. There were significant interobserver differences for ultrasonographic measurements in all age groups; these were most frequent in the youngest group of dogs and affected KL:Ao for that group only.


Results revealed that 1-month-old dogs have larger kidneys relative to body weight and aorta diameter than do older dogs. Interobserver variability for the youngest group of dogs indicated limited usefulness of these measurements and related ratios for neonatal dogs in clinical practice. The KL:Ao values for dogs ≥ 6 months of age in this study were similar to values previously described for dogs > 12 months of age.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the microvascular anatomy of the suspensory ligament of the forelimb of horses.

Sample—17 cadaveric forelimbs from 9 adult horses with no known history of forelimb lameness.

Procedures—The median artery of the forelimb was cannulated proximal to the antebrachiocarpal joint and injected with contrast medium for CT evaluation of the gross vasculature (n = 2) or India ink to evaluate the microvasculature (12). Routine histologic evaluation was performed on an additional 3 forelimbs to confirm the microvascular anatomy.

Results—The vascular supply of the suspensory ligament of the forelimb originated from branches of the medial and lateral palmar and palmar metacarpal vessels as well as the proximal and distal deep palmar arches. An abundant, longitudinally oriented microvascular supply was evident throughout the length of the suspensory ligament without distinct variation among the proximal, midbody, and distal regions. The intraligamentous blood supply originated from a periligamentous vascular plexus that surrounded the suspensory ligament throughout its length. Histologic findings indicated the presence of a periligamentous connective tissue plexus, which contained vessels that penetrated and anastomosed with an extensive network of intraligamentous vessels throughout the length of the suspensory ligament.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The suspensory ligament of the equine forelimb had an abundant intraligamentous microvascular supply throughout its entire length. The absence of an obvious hypovascular area suggested that regional variations in healing rates of the suspensory ligament are not associated with the microvascular anatomy.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


CASE DESCRIPTION An 18-month-old spayed female domestic shorthair cat was evaluated because of conjunctivitis and skin-fold dermatitis secondary to bilateral microphthalmia, corneal dermoids, and ankyloblepharon.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination revealed bilateral microphthalmia, bilaterally symmetrical corneal dermoids, ankyloblepharon, superior and inferior entropion, prognathism, and facial asymmetry with deviation of the nasal septum. Computed tomography revealed malformed, thickened bony orbits with mineralization of the orbital ligament bilaterally. Moderate rightward deviation of the nasal septum and ventral nasal meatus was also evident, with no identifiable maxillary sinuses. Results of MRI of the brain were unremarkable. Abdominal ultrasonography showed an irregularly marginated left kidney and a right kidney defect suggestive of chronic renal infarction. An abnormal, well-demarcated, focally thickened region of the muscularis externa of the jejunum was also evident.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Transpalpebral enucleation was performed bilaterally. Histologic examination of ocular tissues confirmed the corneal dermoids and microphthalmia with anterior and posterior segment dysgenesis and cataracts in both eyes. Ocular discomfort resolved after postoperative recovery, and follow-up revealed that the patient's activity level and quality of life were excellent. No clinical signs of upper respiratory, urinary, or gastrointestinal tract disease were observed during the approximately 3.5-year follow-up period.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE The congenital abnormalities observed resembled those described for human patients with Goldenhar syndrome, and the outcome of treatment was favorable. This report may prompt clinicians to consider this diagnosis when evaluating young cats with similar clinical signs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the minimal electric threshold (MET) of neurostimulation in and out of the lumbosacral epidural space necessary to cause muscle contraction of the hind limb or tail, determine an MET cutoff value that indicates epidural needle placement, and compare predictability of epidural needle placement attained by use of neurostimulation versus the standard technique that uses loss of resistance in dogs.

Animals—96 healthy Beagles.

Procedures—Dogs received nonionic contrast medium (90 mg/kg) either in or out of the epidural space. Correct placement of the needle was evaluated by use of neurostimulation and loss of resistance of injection and confirmed by use of epidurography.

Results—With the neurostimulator test, MET was significantly lower in dogs with needle placement in the epidural space (mean ± SEM, 0.30 ± 0.07 mA) than those with needle placement out of the epidural space (1.2 ± 0.13 mA). When an electric current cutoff of ≤ 0.28 mA for the neurostimulator test was used to suggest correct needle placement in the lumbosacral epidural space, sensitivity and specificity were 74% and 93%, respectively. The loss of resistance test had sensitivity of 63% and specificity of 90%. The combination of both tests yielded a sensitivity of 89% and specificity of 83%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Neurostimulation is a useful tool to suggest correct lumbosacral epidural needle placement in dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the items (question topics) for a subjective instrument to assess degenerative joint disease (DJD)–associated chronic pain in cats and determine the instrument design most appropriate for use by cat owners.

Animals—100 randomly selected client-owned cats from 6 months to 20 years old.

Procedures—Cats were evaluated to determine degree of radiographic DJD and signs of pain throughout the skeletal system. Two groups were identified: high DJD pain and low DJD pain. Owner-answered questions about activity and signs of pain were compared between the 2 groups to define items relating to chronic DJD pain. Interviews with 45 cat owners were performed to generate items. Fifty-three cat owners who had not been involved in any other part of the study, 19 veterinarians, and 2 statisticians assessed 6 preliminary instrument designs.

Results—22 cats were selected for each group; 19 important items were identified, resulting in 12 potential items for the instrument; and 3 additional items were identified from owner interviews. Owners and veterinarians selected a 5-point descriptive instrument design over 11-point or visual analogue scale formats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Behaviors relating to activity were substantially different between healthy cats and cats with signs of DJD-associated pain. Fifteen items were identified as being potentially useful, and the preferred instrument design was identified. This information could be used to construct an owner-based questionnaire to assess feline DJD-associated pain. Once validated, such a questionnaire would assist in evaluating potential analgesic treatments for these patients.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research