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  • Author or Editor: Robert B. Duncan Jr. x
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Objective—To quantitatively evaluate expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in intracranial tumors in dogs and determine whether relationships exist between circulating and intratumoral VEGF concentrations and tumor type and grade.

Animals—27 dogs with primary intracranial neoplasms and 4 unaffected control dogs.

Procedures—Plasma and brain tumor samples were obtained from each dog, and plasma and intratumoral concentrations of VEGF were measured by use of an ELISA.

Results—Dogs with meningiomas (n = 11) were significantly older than dogs with oligodendrogliomas (7) or astrocytomas (9). Measurable VEGF was detected in all tumors, and a significant negative correlation between age and intratumoral VEGF concentration was detected. Age-adjusted comparisons identified significant differences in intratumoral VEGF concentrations among all tumor types; the highest VEGF concentrations were associated with astrocytomas. Within each tumor type, increasing tumor grade was significantly associated with increasing VEGF expression. Plasma VEGF concentrations were detectable in 9 of 27 dogs; the proportion of dogs with astrocytomas and a detectable circulating VEGF concentration (7/9 dogs) was significantly higher than the proportion of dogs with meningiomas (1/11 dogs) or oligodendrogliomas (1/7 dogs) with a detectable circulating VEGF concentration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Overexpression of VEGF appears common in canine astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and meningiomas. In the neoplasms examined, intratumoral VEGF concentrations correlated well with tumor malignancy. The VEGF expression patterns paralleled those of analogous human tumors, providing evidence that dogs are a suitable species in which to study angiogenesis and intracranial neoplasia for human application.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


An episode of pulmonary arteritis and sclerosis in twenty 5- to 6-month-old dairy calves was investigated. Sixteen of the calves died acutely, without marked premonitory signs of disease. Four calves evaluated clinically had lethargy, pallor, weakness, tachycardia, tachypnea, and jugular venous distention. Cardiac catheterization performed in 3 of the calves revealed pulmonary hypertension; 1 of these calves survived.

Necropsy findings in 19 calves included pale lungs and excess free fluid in the pleural and abdominal cavities. In addition, 13 of 19 calves had a dilated and thin-walled right ventricle; 4 of the calves had right-sided cardiac hypertrophy, and 2 had dilatation of the pulmonary artery. Microscopically, pulmonary arteritis and sclerosis of the small to medium-sized arteries were evident in all calves submitted for necropsy. A lung biopsy specimen from a surviving calf had similar lesions. Centrilobular hepatic necrosis was found in 17 of 19 calves. Investigation of the disease episode, including feed analysis for toxins and serologic and microbiological studies of clinically affected calves and clinically normal in-contact penmates, failed to reveal any associated risk factor. The pulmonary arterial changes in the calves were similar to lung lesions in rats fed monocrotaline.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine effects of cyclophotocoagulation via administration of 100 J with a neodymium: yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser on corneal touch threshold (CTT), intraocular pressure (IOP), aqueous tear production, and corneal nerve morphology in eyes of dogs.

Animals—15 dogs.

Procedure—Noncontact Nd:YAG laser was transsclerally applied (10 applications; 25 W for 0.1 seconds for each application to each of 4 quadrants) to the ciliary body of the left eye of 15 dogs; the right eye was the control eye. Corneal integrity, CTT, tear production as measured by the Schirmer tear test (STT), and IOP were evaluated for 14 days following laser treatment. On day 14, dogs were euthanatized, eyes harvested, and corneas stained with gold chloride. Major nerve bundles were analyzed by use of a drawing tube attached to a light microscope, and maximum diameters were measured by use of image analysis software.

Results—All laser-treated eyes had significantly higher CTT values, compared with control eyes. Six of 15 laser-treated eyes developed ulcerative keratitis. On most days, IOP was significantly lower in laser-treated eyes in both morning and evening. Laser-treated eyes had a significant decrease of approximately 1 nerve bundle/corneal quadrant. Values for STT or nerve bundle diameters did not differ significantly.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Administration of 100 J with a Nd:YAG laser effectively reduced IOP while increasing CTT and caused a significant decrease in number, but not diameter, of major corneal nerve bundles. Nerve damage and corneal hypoesthesia are etiologic factors in ulcerative keratitis following Nd:YAG cyclophotocoagulation. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:906–915)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To study the effects of experimentally induced hypothyroidism on skeletal muscle and characterize any observed myopathic abnormalities in dogs.

Animals—9 female, adult mixed-breed dogs; 6 with hypothyroidism induced with irradiation with 131 iodine and 3 untreated control dogs.

Procedures—Clinical examinations were performed monthly. Electromyographic examinations; measurement of plasma creatine kinase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, lactate, and lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme activities; and skeletal muscle morphologic-morphometric examinations were performed prior to and every 6 months for 18 months after induction of hypothyroidism. Baseline, 6-month, and 18-month assessments of plasma, urine, and skeletal muscle carnitine concentrations were also performed.

Results—Hypothyroid dogs developed electromyographic and morphologic evidence of myopathy by 6 months after treatment, which persisted throughout the study, although these changes were subclinical at all times. Hypothyroid myopathy was associated with significant increases in plasma creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase 5 isoenzyme activities and was characterized by nemaline rod inclusions, substantial and progressive predominance of type I myofibers, decrease in mean type II fiber area, subsarcolemmal accumulations of abnormal mitochondria, and myofiber degeneration. Chronic hypothyroidism was associated with substantial depletion in skeletal muscle free carnitine.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Chronic, experimentally induced hypothyroidism resulted in substantial but subclinical phenotypic myopathic changes indicative of altered muscle energy metabolism and depletion of skeletal muscle carnitine. These abnormalities may contribute to nonspecific clinical signs, such as lethargy and exercise intolerance, often reported in hypothyroid dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research