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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify courses in which first-year veterinary students struggled academically and to survey veterinarians as to their opinions on existing prerequisite courses and proposed alternatives.

DESIGN Electronic surveys.

SAMPLE Associate deans for academic affairs at colleges of veterinary medicine and practicing veterinarians in North America and the Caribbean.

PROCEDURES Surveys were sent to associate deans of academic affairs seeking information on courses in which first-year veterinary students most commonly struggled academically. The 6 courses most commonly listed as prerequisites for admission to veterinary college were identified, and practitioners were asked to rank the relative importance of those courses for preparing students for veterinary college and to rank the importance of 7 potential alternative courses.

RESULTS Data were obtained from 21 associate deans and 771 practicing veterinarians. First-year veterinary students most commonly struggled academically in anatomy, physiology, and histology courses, but these courses were rarely included as prerequisites for admission. Practicing veterinarians agreed that anatomy and physiology should be considered as possible alternatives to 1 or more current prerequisite courses, such as organic chemistry and physics.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE First-year veterinary students commonly encountered academic difficulties in anatomy, physiology, and histology. Because few surveyed veterinary colleges include these courses as prerequisites for admission, many students were exposed to this material for the first time as veterinary students, potentially adding to their academic difficulties and causing stress and anxiety. To help address this situation, veterinary colleges might consider replacing 1 or more current prerequisite courses (eg, organic chemistry and physics) with anatomy, physiology, and histology.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the value of serial measurements of peritoneal fluid lactate concentration (PFL) for detecting strangulating intestinal lesions (SLs) in referred horses with signs of colic.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—94 horses with signs of colic.

Procedures—Medical records of horses evaluated between September 2006 and February 2010 because of signs of colic were reviewed. All included horses had ≥ 2 peritoneal fluid samples collected, including one at admission and another within 1 to 6 hours after admission. Of the 94 horses, 26 were assigned to the SL group on the basis of findings at surgery or necropsy and 68 were assigned to the nonstrangulating intestinal lesion group because their signs of colic resolved with medical management. Peritoneal fluid lactate concentration was measured by use of a handheld lactate monitor. Data were analyzed by use of univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Results—PFL at admission > 4 mmol/L, an increase in PFL over time, and especially an increase in PFL over time in horses with a PFL < 4 mmol/L at admission (OR, 62; sensitivity, 95%; specificity, 77%) were significant predictors of horses with an SL.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serially determined PFL was a strong predictor for differentiating horses with SLs from horses with nonstrangulating intestinal lesions. Given the high OR, sensitivity, and specificity of these tests, serially determined PFL may have potential as a screening test for identifying horses with SLs. Further evaluation of the clinical value of PFL for predicting SLs in a prospective, multicenter study is warranted.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of volume of IV regional limb perfusion (IVRLP) on amikacin concentrations in synovial and interstitial fluid of horses.

ANIMALS 8 healthy adult horses.

PROCEDURES Each forelimb was randomly assigned to receive IVRLP with 4 mL of amikacin sulfate solution (250 mg/mL) plus 56 mL (total volume, 60 mL) or 6 mL (total volume, 10 mL) of lactated Ringer solution. Horses were anesthetized, and baseline synovial and interstitial fluid samples were collected. A tourniquet was placed, and the assigned treatment was administered via the lateral palmar digital vein. Venous blood pressure in the distal portion of the limb was recorded. Additional synovial fluid samples were collected 30 minutes (just before tourniquet removal) and 24 hours after IVRLP began; additional interstitial fluid samples were collected 6 and 24 hours after IVRLP began.

RESULTS 30 minutes after IVRLP began, mean amikacin concentration in synovial fluid was significantly greater for the large-volume (459 μg/mL) versus small-volume (70 μg/mL) treatment. Six hours after IVRLP, mean concentration in interstitial fluid was greater for the large-volume (723 μg/mL) versus small-volume (21 μg/mL) treatment. Peak venous blood pressure after large-volume IVRLP was significantly higher than after small-volume IVRLP, with no difference between treatments in time required for pressure to return to baseline.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Study findings suggested that large-volume IVRLP would deliver more amikacin to metacarpophalangeal joints of horses than would small-volume IVRLP, without a clinically relevant effect on local venous blood pressure, potentially increasing treatment efficacy.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the prophylactic efficacy of triclosan-coated (TC) suture in preventing surgical site infections (SSIs) in dogs and cats undergoing surgical procedures.

ANIMALS

862 animals (794 dogs and 68 cats).

PROCEDURES

Incidences of SSI of surgical wounds closed with TC suture and surgical wounds closed with non-TC suture occurring between the time of surgery and 1 month postoperatively were compared. Animals were randomly assigned to TC or non-TC suture groups. When TC suture was assigned, all suture available as TC material was used rather than non-TC suture. Presence of an SSI was determined by an owner questionnaire or direct examination.

RESULTS

Overall, 50 of 862 (5.8%) animals developed SSIs. Incidence of SSI was 6% (24/428) in the non-TC suture group and 6% (26/434) in the TC suture group. No significant difference was found in the incidence of SSI between groups. No significant difference was detected in the incidence of incisional problems (eg, redness, dehiscence, and seroma formation) between animals in which TC suture was used and those in which non-TC suture was used. On multivariable analysis, other factors were associated with increased SSI rates, including an incision length > 10 cm, surgery performed by the soft tissue surgery department, and anesthesia duration of > 240 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

No significant difference in incidence of SSI was detected between animals undergoing surgical procedures performed with non-TC versus TC suture.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate the probability of concurrently exceeding thresholds for plasma concentration of furosemide and urine specific gravity after IV administration of furosemide in horses.

Animals—12 mature healthy Thoroughbred (n = 6) or Quarter Horse (6) mares.

Procedure—Venous blood was collected from each horse prior to and 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4.5, 5, and 6 hours after IV administration of 250 mg (first experiment) or 500 mg (second experiment) of furosemide. Urine was collected hourly between 1 and 6 hours after administration of furosemide at both doses. Concentrations of furosemide were determined by use of an ELISA. Concentration of furosemide and urine specific gravity was modeled as a function of time, accounting for inter- and intrahorse variabilities. On the basis of pharmacokinetic and specific gravity data, the probability of exceeding a concentration of 100 ng of furosemide/ml as a function of time was determined, using a semiparametric smooth functional averaging method. A bootstrap approach was used to assess the inherent variation in this estimated probability.

Results—The estimated probability of exceeding the threshold of 100 ng of furosemide/ml and urine specific gravity < 1.012 was approximately 0% between 4.0 and 5.5 hours after IV administration of 250 mg of furosemide/horse, and ranged from 0 to 1% between 4 and 5.5 hours after IV administration of 500 mg of furosemide/horse. The probability of a horse being falsely identified as in violation of regulatory concentrations was inversely associated with time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Coupling plasma furosemide concentration with urine specific gravity testing will greatly reduce the chance that some horses are misclassified as being in violation of regulatory concentrations. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1349–1353)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To estimate the probability for exceeding a threshold concentration of furosemide commonly used for regulatory purposes after IV administration of furosemide in horses.

Animals—12 mature healthy horses (6 Thoroughbreds and 6 Quarter Horses).

Procedure—Venous blood was collected from each horse prior to and 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4.5, 5, and 6 hours after administration of 250 or 500 mg of furosemide. Concentrations of furosemide were determined, using an ELISA. Concentration of furosemide was modeled as a function of time, accounting for inter- and intrahorse variabilities. On the basis of pharmacokinetic data, the probability for exceeding a concentration of 100 ng/ml as a function of time was determined, using a semiparametric smooth functional averaging method. A bootstrap approach was used to assess inherent variation in this estimated probability.

Results—The estimated probability of exceeding the threshold of 100 ng of furosemide/ml ranged from 11.6% at 4 hours to 2.2% at 5.5 hours after IV administration of 250 mg of furosemide/horse and 34.2% at 4 hours to 12.3% at 5.5 hours after IV administration of 500 mg of furosemide/horse. The probability of a horse being falsely identified in violation of regulatory concentrations was inversely associated with time and positively associated with dose.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Interhorse variability with respect to pharmacokinetics of furosemide will result in misclassification of some horses as being in violation of regulatory concentrations. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:320–325)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify farm characteristics as risk factors for the development of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals.

Design—Prospective matched case-control study.

Animals—2,764 foals on 64 equine breeding farms with 9,991 horses.

Procedure—During 1997, participating veterinarians completed paired data collection forms, 1 for a farm with ≥ 1 foal with R equi pneumonia and 1 for an unaffected control farm. Matched data were compared by use of conditional logistic regression analysis.

Results—Farm characteristics found in bivariate analyses to be associated with increased risk for pneumonia caused by R equi in foals included > 200 farm acres, ≥ 60 acres used in the husbandry of horses, > 160 horses, ≥ 10 mares housed permanently on the farm (resident mares), > 17 foals, > 0.25 foals/acre, and the presence of transient mares (mares brought temporarily to the farm for breeding or foaling) and their foals. Affected farms were significantly more likely to be > 200 acres in size and have ≥ 10 resident dam-foal pairs, whereas control farms were significantly more likely to have ≥ 75% of their dam-foal pairs housed permanently on the farm.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Breeding farms with large acreage, a large number of mares and foals, high foal density, and a population of transient mares and foals are at high risk for foals developing pneumonia caused by R equi. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:467–475)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To ascertain the frequency of ultrasonographic identification of liver at sites recommended for blind percutaneous liver biopsy in middle-aged horses and to determine whether the liver is obscured by other organs or too thin for safe sample collection at recommended locations.

Design—Prospective case series.

Animals—36 healthy middle-aged (between 6 and 18 years old) Quarter Horses or Quarter Horse crosses.

Procedures—Blood samples were collected from each horse and submitted for evaluation of liver function. Horses with any indication of liver dysfunction on serum biochemical analysis were excluded. The region just below a line drawn between the dorsal aspect of the tuber coxae and the point of the elbow joint in the right 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th intercostal spaces (ICSs) was imaged by ultrasonography for the presence of liver. In each ICS, liver thickness and whether there was partial obstruction in viewing the liver caused by other abdominal or thoracic organs were recorded.

Results—39% (14/36) of horses had liver imaged on ultrasonographic examination in all of the 11th to 14th ICSs. None of the 36 horses had liver of adequate thickness (ie, liver thickness ≥ 3.5 cm) for biopsy in all of the imaged ICSs. For 22 horses in which the liver was not visible on ultrasonographic examination of an ICS, lung was imaged instead in 12 (55%) horses, intestine in 8 (36%), and both intestine and lung in 2 (9%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of the results of this study, the practice of blind percutaneous liver biopsy in horses is not recommended because of the risk of serious complications.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of azithromycin chemoprophylaxis on the cumulative incidence of pneumonia caused by Rhodococcus equi, age at onset of pneumonia, and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of azithromycin for R equi isolates cultured from fecal and clinical samples.

Design—Controlled, randomized clinical trial.

Animals—338 foals born and raised at 10 equine breeding farms; each farm had a history of endemic R equi infections.

Procedures—Group 1 foals were control foals, and group 2 foals were treated with azithromycin (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 48 h) during the first 2 weeks after birth. Foals were monitored for development of pneumonia attributable to R equi infection and for adverse effects of azithromycin. Isolates of R equi were tested for susceptibility to azithromycin.

Results—The proportion of R equi–affected foals was significantly higher for control foals (20.8%) than for azithromycin-treated foals (5.3%). Adverse effects of azithromycin treatment were not detected, and there were no significant differences between groups for the MICs of azithromycin for R equi isolates cultured from fecal or clinical samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Azithromycin chemoprophylaxis effectively reduced the cumulative incidence of pneumonia attributable to R equi among foals at breeding farms with endemic R equi infections. There was no evidence of resistance to azithromycin. Nonetheless, caution must be used because it is possible that resistance could develop with widespread use of azithromycin as a preventative treatment. Further investigation is needed before azithromycin chemoprophylaxis can be recommended for control of R equi infections.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether foal management practices, environmental management, and preventative health practices are risk factors for development of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals.

Design—Prospective matched case-control study.

Animals—2,764 foals on 64 equine breeding farms with 9,991 horses.

Procedure—During 1997, participating veterinarians completed paired data collection forms for comparison; 1 for an affected farm (containing ≥ 1 foal with pneumonia caused by R equi)and 1 for a control farm. Information collected pertained to stabling facilities, environmental management, foal husbandry, and preventative equine health practices.

Results—Matched farm data compared by use of conditional logistic regression indicated that personnel on affected farms were more likely to attend foal births, test foals for adequacy of passive immunity, administer plasma or other treatments to foals to supplement serum immunoglobulin concentrations, administer hyperimmune plasma prophylactically to foals, vaccinate mares and foals against Streptococcus equi infection, and use multiple anthelmintics in deworming programs. Affected farms were also more likely to have foals that developed other respiratory tract disorders and were approximately 4 times as likely to have dirt floors in stalls used for housing foals as were control farms.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceRhodococcus equi pneumonia does not appear to be associated with poor farm management or a lack of attention to preventative health practices. Housing foals in stalls with dirt floors may increase the risk for development of R equi pneumonia. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003; 222:476–485)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association