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  • Author or Editor: Ragnvi Hagman x
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Objective—To determine the characteristics of an automated canine C-reactive protein (CRP) assay and evaluate 2 human CRP assays for use in dogs.

Animals—56 client-owned dogs with pyometra and 11 healthy control dogs.

Procedures—Samples from 11 dogs with high (> 100 mg/L) or low (< 10 mg/L) CRP concentrations (determined by use of a canine ELISA) were evaluated by use of the automated canine CRP assay. Intra- and interassay imprecision was determined (by use of those 2 plasma pools), and assay inaccuracy was assessed by use of logistic regression analysis of results obtained via ELISA and the automated canine CRP assay. Two automated human CRP assays were used to measure plasma CRP concentration in 10 dogs.

Results—By use of the ELISA, mean ± SD plasma CRP concentration was 96.1 ± 38.5 mg/L and 10.1 ± 23.2 mg/L in dogs with pyometra and control dogs, respectively. The automated canine assay had intra-assay coefficients of variation (CVs) of 7.8% and 7.9%, respectively, and interassay CVs of 11.1% and 13.1%, respectively. Results from the automated assay were highly correlated with results obtained via ELISA. The human assay results did not exceed 0.4 mg/L in any dog.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The automated canine CRP assay had less interassay imprecision, compared with the ELISA. The 2 human CRP assays were not suitable for analysis of canine plasma samples. The automated canine CRP assay was more precise than the ELISA for serial evaluations of plasma CRP concentration in dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess whether the Pfirrmann system for grading lumbar intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration in humans can also be used in dogs.

Animals—202 dogs.

Procedures—Magnetic resonance imaging was used to obtain images of vertebral segments from dogs, which were reviewed separately by 3 observers who graded the extent of degeneration in each visible IVD by use of the Pfirrmann classification system used for grading lumbar IVD degeneration in humans. Grading was validated against 2 factors associated with the extent of disk degeneration: type of dog (chondrodystrophic or nonchondrodystrophic breeds) and age.

Results—Interobserver and intraobserver agreement for Pfirrmann grading of IVD degeneration were good (κ scores, 0.81 to 0.93). An increase in the extent of disk degeneration was positively correlated with increases in age and with chondrodystrophic breed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The Pfirrmann system was reliably used to grade IVD degeneration in dogs of various breeds and ages. An increase in the extent of IVD degeneration was positively correlated with increases in age and with chondrodystrophic-type dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the reliability of the Thompson system for use in grading the gross pathological changes of intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration in dogs and to investigate the agreement between gross pathological findings and low-field (0.2-T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings.

Sample—Vertebral columns from cadavers of 19 dogs of various ages, breeds, and origins.

Procedures—182 intervertebral segments were collected from 19 canine cadavers. Sagittal T2-weighted MRI of the T11 through S1 portion of the vertebral column was performed within 24 hours after the dogs were euthanized. The vertebral columns were subsequently divided in the midsagittal plane, and high-resolution photographs were obtained of each intervertebral segment (end plate—disk—end plate). The MRI images and photographs were graded separately in a blinded manner by 4 observers who used both Pfirrmann and Thompson grading criteria.

Results—The interobserver agreement for Thompson scores ranged from 0.76 to 0.88, and the intraobserver agreement ranged from 0.88 to 0.94 (Cohen weighted κ analysis). Agreement between scores for the Pfirrmann and Thompson grading criteria was κ = 0.70.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Grading of IVD degeneration in dogs by use of the Thompson system resulted in high interobserver and intraobserver agreement, and scores for the Thompson system had substantial agreement with low-field MRI findings graded by use of the Pfirrmann system. This suggested that low-field MRI can be used to diagnose IVD degeneration in dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the incidence and distribution of intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration–related diseases in a large population of dogs of various breeds, ages, and sexes and to determine mortality rates among dogs with these diseases.

Design—Epidemiological study.

Sample—Insurance data for dogs with veterinary health-care and life insurance coverage (n = 665,249 and 552,120, respectively).

Procedures—Insurance claim records of 1 company in Sweden were searched to identify dogs with IVD degeneration–related diseases; incidence and mortality rates were determined for affected dogs < 12 years old and < 10 years old, respectively. Only the first paid IVD degeneration–related claim for a dog was included in incidence rate calculations.

Results—The incidence rate of IVD degeneration–related diseases was 27.8 (95% confidence interval [CI], 27.2 to 28.4) occurrences/10,000 dog-years at risk (DYAR), indicating that approximately 0.3% of dogs/y in this population were affected. Miniature Dachshund was the most highly represented breed, followed by Standard Dachshund and Doberman Pinscher (237.1 [95% CI, 212.9 to 261.4], 141.5 [95% CI, 135.5 to 147.4], and 88.6 [95% CI, 72.1 to 105.2] occurrences/10,000 DYAR, respectively). The incidence rate of IVD degeneration–related disease was greater in male than in female dogs and increased with age. Overall mortality rate attributed to IVD degeneration–related diseases was 9.4 (95% CI, 8.9 to 9.8) deaths/10,000 DYAR and was greater in males than in females.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Differences in incidence rates among various breeds suggested a genetic involvement. Knowledge of the distribution of IVD degeneration–related diseases among dogs of various breeds and ages may facilitate early diagnosis and preemptive treatments in patients at risk for developing these diseases.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association