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  • Author or Editor: Arno Wuenschmann x
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OBJECTIVE To identify historical and necropsy findings suggestive of neglect or abuse of dogs and cats by retrospective analysis of necropsy reports from a veterinary diagnostic laboratory.

DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.

SAMPLE 119 necropsy reports of dogs and cats.

PROCEDURES Necropsy reports from February 2001 to May 2012 were electronically searched to identify potential animal abuse or neglect cases. Cases were selected and categorized according to a previously proposed method for classification of animal abuse. Inclusion criteria included signs of neglect, nonaccidental injury (NAI; blunt-force or sharp-force trauma, gunshot, burns, drowning, asphyxiation, and suspicious intoxications), and sexual abuse. Poor preservation of cadavers, age < 6 weeks, and signs of chronic illness (eg, cachexia) or injuries consistent with history indicating natural or accidental causes resulted in exclusion. Variables of interest were compared between identified cases and a reference population.

RESULTS Prevalence of potential abuse cases, determined on the basis of all necropsies performed in the study period, was 73 of 8,417 (0.87%) in dogs and 46 of 4,905 (0.94%) in cats. Neglect and NAI were commonly identified in cats; NAI was most commonly found in dogs. Gunshot and blunt-force trauma were the most common NAIs in dogs and cats, respectively. Pit bull–type dogs (29/73 [40%]) were overrepresented in several abuse categories. Most cats (29/46 [63%]) were domestic shorthair, but no breed association was found. Most (41/71 [58%]) affected animals with age data available were ≤ 2 years old.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Approximately 1% of dogs and cats necropsied in the study period had signs suggestive of abuse. Medical findings alone are not necessarily indicative of abuse, but some findings can increase the index of suspicion.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


In collaboration with the American College of Veterinary Radiology

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine clinical relevance for quantitative and qualitative features of canine hepatic masses evaluated by use of triphasic CT and B-mode, color flow, power, and pulsed-wave Doppler ultrasonography and to compare diagnostic accuracy of these modalities for predicting mass type on the basis of histopathologic classification.

ANIMALS 44 client-owned dogs.

PROCEDURES Dogs with histopathologic confirmation (needle core, punch, or excisional biopsy) of a hepatic mass were enrolled. Triphasic CT and B-mode, color flow, power, and pulsed-wave Doppler ultrasonography of each hepatic mass were performed. Seventy quantitative and qualitative variables of each hepatic mass were recorded by 5 separate observers and statistically evaluated with discriminant and stepwise analyses. Significant variables were entered in equation-based predictions for the histopathologic diagnosis.

RESULTS An equation that included the lowest delayed-phase absolute enhancement of the mass and the highest venous-phase mass conspicuity was used to correctly classify 43 of 46 (93.5%) hepatic masses as benign or malignant. An equation that included only the lowest delayed-phase absolute enhancement of the mass could be used to correctly classify 42 of 46 (91.3%) masses (with expectation of malignancy if this value was < 37 Hounsfield units). For ultrasonography, categorization of the masses with cavitations as malignant achieved a diagnostic accuracy of 80.4%.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Triphasic CT had a higher accuracy than ultrasonography for use in predicting hepatic lesion classification. The lowest delayed-phase absolute enhancement of the mass was a simple calculation that required 2 measurements and aided in the differentiation of benign versus malignant hepatic masses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research