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Objective—To investigate bacterial culture practices in veterinary clinics, with an emphasis on laboratory biosafety and on quality of laboratory practices.

Design—Survey-based prospective study.

Sample Population—166 veterinarians.

Procedures—Veterinarians were recruited through the Veterinary Information Network (an Internet-based network restricted to veterinary personnel). All Network-registered veterinarians were eligible to participate. A standardized questionnaire regarding bacterial culture practices in veterinary clinics was completed electronically by study participants.

Results—720 veterinarians completed the survey; 166 (23%) indicated that bacterial culture was performed in his or her clinic. Clinic practices ranged from preliminary aerobic bacterial culture only with submission of isolates to a diagnostic laboratory for further testing (93/160 [58%]) to bacterial culture, identification, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (19/160 [12%]). Most commonly, urine samples were cultured (151/162 [93%] clinics). Several prob-lematic practices were identified regarding quality and quality control, including inadequate facilities, equipment, supervision, interpretation of data, and culture methods. Biosafety infractions were also common, including inadequate laboratory location, lack of biosafety protocols, and dangerous disposal practices. Ninety-four percent of respondents stated that continuing education regarding culture practices and laboratory safety would be useful.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Data confirmed that bacterial culture was commonly performed in clinics, but that major deficiencies in laboratory methods were widespread. These could result in negative effects on testing quality and increased risk of laboratory-acquired infections among clinic personnel. Veterinary practices in which bacterial cultures are performed must ensure that adequate equipment, facilities, personnel, and training are provided to enable accurate and safe sample testing.

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


CASE DESCRIPTION 2 dogs with chylothorax were identified to have cardiac mass lesions obstructing the return of venous blood from the cranial vena cava. Chylous effusion was presumed to have been a result of an increase in cranial vena cava pressure affecting flow of chyle through the thoracic duct.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Both dogs had tachypnea and pleural effusion requiring therapeutic thoracocentesis. Fluid analysis confirmed chylothorax. A heart-base mass was identified via echocardiography in each dog, and CT-angiographic findings confirmed obstruction to venous return in the cranial vena cava in both dogs and compression of the pulmonary artery in 1 dog.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Each dog was anesthetized, and self-expanding endovascular stents were placed with fluoroscopic guidance. In both dogs, the site of stent placement was the cranial vena cava, and in 1 dog, an additional stent was positioned in the pulmonary artery. Chylous effusion resolved successfully in both dogs after surgery, with postoperative survival times exceeding 6 months. Complications included periprocedural arrhythmias in both dogs and eventual obstruction of the stent with tumor extension and fluid reaccumulation in 1 dog.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Endovascular stent placement may provide a useful palliative treatment for chylothorax secondary to vascular compression by a heart-base mass in dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine whether pamidronate di-sodium can reduce vitamin D3-induced hypercalcemia in dogs and whether combination treatment with calcitonin is more effective than treatment with pamidronate alone.


20 clinically normal male Beagles.


All dogs were given 8 mg of cholecalciferol (CCF)/kg of body weight once orally, then were assigned randomly to 4 groups of 5 dogs each. Dogs were given 0.9% NaCl solution IV (group 1), calcitonin SC and 0.9% NaCl solution IV (group 2), pamidronate and 0.9% NaCl solution IV (group 3), or a combination of all 3 agents (group 4). Dogs were observed for 28 days, and serial blood and urine samples were collected for determination of serum biochemical, electrolyte, and 25(OH)D3 values, CBC, and urine mineral excretion. Samples of kidney, stomach, lung, aorta, liver, duodenum, and brain were evaluated by light microscopy and quantitative mineral analysis.


Two dogs in group 1 were euthanatized 4 days after CCF administration because of severe clinical signs of disease. Dogs in group 3 lost less weight and had significantly lower serum phosphorus, total and ionized calcium, and urinary zinc concentrations, compared with dogs in group 1. On day 4, serum urea nitrogen concentration was significantly lower in dogs of groups 3 and 4, compared with dogs in group 1. Mild to moderate mineralization of kidneys and stomach were observed in the 2 group-1 dogs euthanatized on day 4.


Pamidronate administration effectively prevents CCF-induced hypercalcemia and mineralization of soft tissues.

Clinical Relevance

Pamidronate is a potentially useful antidote against CCF toxicosis in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1092-1097)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the frequency of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in dogs with indwelling urinary catheters in an intensive care unit (ICU) and the frequency of multi–drug-resistant (MDR) Escherichia coli UTIs in those dogs.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—All dogs in the ICU with an indwelling urinary catheter from January 2003 through December 2003.

Procedures—Urine samples and rectal swab specimens were collected at admission and every 3 days until discharge from the hospital. Escherichia coli isolates from urine samples and rectal swab specimens and those from dogs that were temporally or spatially associated with dogs with MDR E coli UTIs underwent antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was performed on MDR isolates from urine and rectal swab specimens.

Results—Urinary catheters were placed in 137 dogs. Twenty-six UTIs were diagnosed, 15 on the day of admission and 11 after 3 or more days of catheterization. Of 12 dogs with E coli UTIs, 6 were infected at admission and 6 acquired the infection in the ICU. Two MDR E coli UTIs were detected, 1 of which was acquired in the ICU. One MDR E coli urinary isolate had an electrophoresis pattern similar to that of rectal isolates from the same dog. Urinary E coli isolates were most frequently resistant to ampicillin and cephalothin.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The ICU-acquired MDR E coli UTI likely originated from the dog's intestinal flora during hospitalization. Dogs that have been referred from a community practice may have MDR E coli UTIs at the time of admission.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether mild restriction of food intake affects clinicopathologic variables, body composition, and performance of dogs undertaking intense sprint exercise.

Animals—9 trained healthy adult Greyhounds.

Procedure—Dogs were offered food free choice once daily for 9 weeks until body weight and food intake stabilized. Dogs were then randomly assigned to be fed either 85% or 100% of this quantity of food in a crossover study (duration of each diet treatment period, 9 weeks). Dogs raced a distance of 500 m twice weekly. Clinicopathologic variables were assessed before and 5 minutes after racing; food intake, weight, body composition, body condition score, and race times were compared at the end of each diet period.

Results—Compared with values associated with unrestricted access to food, there were significant decreases in mean body weight (by 6%) and median body condition score (from 3.75 to 3.5 on a 9-point scale) and the mean speed of the dogs was significantly faster (by 0.7 km/h) when food intake was restricted. Body composition and most clinicopathologic variables were unaffected by diet treatment, but dogs given restricted access to food had slightly fewer neutrophils, compared with values determined when food intake was unrestricted.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that the common practice among Greyhound trainers of mildly restricting food intake of racing dogs to reduce body weight does improve sprint performance. A body condition score of approximately 3.5 on a 9-point scale is normal for a trained Greyhound in racing condition. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1065–1070)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine effects of increased dietary protein and decreased dietary carbohydrate on hematologic variables, body composition, and racing performance in Greyhounds.

Animals—8 adult Greyhounds.

Procedure—Dogs were fed a high-protein (HP; 37% metabolizable-energy [ME] protein, 33% ME fat, 30% ME carbohydrate) or moderate-protein (MP; 24% ME protein, 33% ME fat, 43% ME carbohydrate) extruded diet for 11 weeks. Dogs subsequently were fed the other diet for 11 weeks (crossover design). Dogs raced a distance of 500 m twice weekly. Rectal temperature, hematologic variables before and after racing, plasma volume, total body water, body weight, average weekly food intake, and race times were measured at the end of each diet period.

Results—When dogs were fed the MP diet, compared with the HP diet, values (mean ± SD) differed significantly for race time (32.43 ± 0.48 vs 32.61 ± 0.50 seconds), body weight (32.8 ± 2.5 vs 32.2 ± 2.9 kg), Hct before (56 ± 4 vs 54 ± 6%) and after (67 ± 3 vs 64 ± 8%) racing, and glucose (131 ± 16 vs 151 ± 27 mg/dl) and triglyceride (128 ± 17 vs 104 ± 28 mg/dl) concentrations after racing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Greyhounds were 0.18 seconds slower (equivalent to 0.08 m/s or 2.6 m) over a distance of 500 m when fed a diet with increased protein and decreased carbohydrate. Improved performance attributed to feeding meat to racing Greyhounds apparently is not attributable to increased dietary protein and decreased dietary carbohydrate. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:440–447)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research