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  • Author or Editor: Armelle M. deLaforcade x
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Objective—To characterize the clinical course of disease and identify prognostic indicators for immune-mediated thrombocytopenia in dogs.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—73 dogs treated for immune-mediated thrombocytopenia at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and the Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment and Specialties Hospital.

Procedures—Medical records from the period of January 2002 through June 2008 were reviewed to identify dogs with a diagnosis of immune-mediated thrombocytopenia. Data collected included signalment, clinical signs, results of initial diagnostic tests, treatment, complications, and survival duration.

Results—Dog ages ranged from 5 months to 15 years (median, 8.1 years). Cocker Spaniels were overrepresented, compared with their distribution in the entire hospital population during the same period. Sixty-one of the 73 (84%) dogs survived to discharge. Seven (11 %) of those dogs were lost to follow-up. Five of the remaining 54 (9%) dogs had a relapse of the disease. The presence of melena or high BUN concentration at admission to the hospital was significantly correlated with a decreased probability of survival.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia is a serious yet treatable disease, which may have a lower rate of recurrence than previously reported. The presence of melena or high BUN concentration in the study suggested a poor prognosis for affected dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine reference values for kaolin-activated thromboelastography in echocardiographically normal cats.

Animals—30 healthy cats without evidence of cardiomyopathy on echocardiographic examination.

Procedures—All cats underwent echocardiographic examination, the findings of which were reviewed by a board-certified cardiologist. Cats that struggled (n = 10) received mild sedation with butorphanol and midazolam IM to permit phlebotomy without interruption in jugular venous blood flow. Blood samples were collected for analysis of thromboelastography variables, PCV, total solids concentration, platelet count, activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time, fibrinogen concentration, and antithrombin concentration.

Results—All 4 thromboelastography variables had < 5% mean intra-assay variability. Mean values were as follows: reaction time, 4.3 minutes; clotting time, 1.6 minutes; α angle, 66.5°; and maximum amplitude, 56.4 mm. Compared with nonsedated cats, cats that required sedation had a significantly shorter clotting time and greater α angle, whereas reaction time and maximum amplitude were not significantly different.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Kaolin-activated thromboelastography was a reliable test with unremarkable intra-assay variability in echocardiographically normal cats. Sedation may affect certain thromboelastography variables, but the effect is unlikely to be clinically important. It remains unknown whether subclinical cardiomyopathy has a significant effect on thromboelastography variables in cats.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—A 3-year-old 19-kg (42-lb) spayed female mixed-breed dog was referred after being hit by a car. Injuries included pneumothorax, hemothorax, pulmonary contusions, a full-thickness axillary skin wound, and a grade I transverse fracture of the midshaft of the right humerus. Following patient stabilization, open reduction and internal fixation of the fracture were performed. The dog had weight-bearing lameness at the time of discharge. Eight days after fracture repair, the dog was reevaluated for acute onset of signs of pain and non–weight-bearing lameness in the right forelimb.

Clinical Findings—Physical examination findings in the right forelimb (knuckling and coolness, with absent digital pulses) were suggestive of a thrombus. Ultrasonography confirmed a right brachial artery thrombus with minimal blood flow to the affected limb.

Treatment and Outcome—Unfractionated heparin was administered via continuous IV infusion for the first 36 hours of hospitalization. Clopidogrel administration was also started at this time. During hospitalization, rapid clinical improvement occurred, and the dog was discharged 48 hours after admission. The transition to outpatient therapy was achieved by discontinuation of the unfractionated heparin infusion at 36 hours and beginning SC administration of dalteparin. Outpatient treatment with dalteparin and clopidogrel was continued. Repeated physical examination and ultrasonography 5 weeks later revealed resolution of the thrombus and normal blood flow to the limb. Anticoagulant administration was discontinued at that time.

Clinical Relevance—Thrombosis should be suspected in any dog with signs of acute pain after severe trauma or fracture repair, with or without concurrent lameness, that do not resolve with appropriate treatment. Restoration of blood flow to the affected limb after initiation of unfractionated heparin and clopidogrel administration followed by outpatient treatment with dalteparin and clopidogrel was achieved in this case.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate whole blood hemostasis by means of thromboelastography in dogs with primary immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) to determine whether these dogs had evidence of hypercoagulability prior to the administration of immunosuppressant medications, blood transfusion products, or anticoagulant agents.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—11 client-owned dogs admitted to a teaching hospital for management of primary IMHA and 20 clinically normal dogs.

Procedures—Citrated whole blood samples were obtained from all dogs for performance of kaolin-activated thromboelastography. Citrated plasma was harvested from blood samples of dogs with IMHA for plasma-based coagulation testing, including activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time, D-dimer concentration, fibrinogen concentration, and antithrombin activity.

Results—Compared with control dogs, dogs with primary IMHA had evidence of hypercoagulability as indicated by a significantly lower median (range) clot formation time (0.8 seconds [0.8 to 2.0 seconds] vs 1.9 seconds [1.3 to 3.8 seconds]), higher median angle (76.1° [59.2° to 84.6°] vs 64.0° [45.4° to 71.0°]), higher median maximum amplitude (75.9 mm [66.3 to 86.3 mm] vs 55.7 mm [49.9 to 63.6 mm]), and higher median clot strength (15,000 dyne/cm2 [9,900 to 31,400 dyne/cm2] vs 6,100 dyne/cm2 [4,900 to 8,700 dyne/cm2]).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dogs with primary IMHA had hypercoagulability as demonstrated by thromboelastography at the time of initial diagnosis and prior to treatment. Such hypercoagulability may be a precursor to clinically evident thrombosis as a complication of the disease process.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objectives—To evaluate the use of human albumin in critically ill dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—73 client-owned hospitalized dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs that received human albumin were reviewed to assess effects of the use of human albumin on serum albumin concentration, colloid osmotic pressure, and total protein concentration; determine the relationships between these variables and outcome; and assess its safety. Data for signalment, diagnoses, physiologic variables, dosage, amount of crystalloid fluid administered prior to human albumin administration, complications, and outcome were reviewed. Additionally, pre- and postadministration values for serum albumin, colloid osmotic pressure, and total protein were recorded.

Results—Administration of human albumin resulted in significant changes in serum albumin, colloid osmotic pressure, and total protein. The serum albumin, total protein, degree of improvement in serum albumin, colloid osmotic pressure, and dosage of human albumin were significantly greater in survivors. Seventeen of 73 (23%) dogs had at least 1 complication that could be potentially associated with the administration of human albumin that occurred during or immediately following administration of human albumin. Three of 73 (4%) dogs had severe delayed complications.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of human albumin significantly increased serum albumin, and total protein concentrations and colloid osmotic pressure, especially in survivors. Because of the high mortality rate of the study population and other confounding factors, it was uncertain whether complications were associated with the underlying disease or with human albumin administration. Acute and delayed complications may have been under-recognized.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of urinary bladder lavage on in-hospital recurrence of urethral obstruction (UO) and durations of urinary catheter retention and hospitalization for male cats.

DESIGN Randomized controlled clinical trial.

ANIMALS 137 male cats with UO.

PROCEDURES Following random allocation, cats either did (flush group; n = 69) or did not (no-flush group; 68) undergo urinary bladder lavage with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution after alleviation of the obstruction and placement of a urethral catheter. Signalment, prior history of UO, presence of crystalluria, difficulty of urinary tract catheterization, in-hospital UO recurrence rate, and durations of urinary catheter retention and hospitalization were compared between the flush and no-flush groups.

RESULTS Baseline characteristics did not differ significantly between the 2 treatment groups. The in-hospital UO recurrence rate (9/69 [13%]) and median durations of urinary catheter retention (37 hours; range, 3 to 172 hours) and hospitalization (3 days; range, 0.5 to 12 days) for the flush group did not differ significantly from the in-hospital UO recurrence rate (13/68 [19%]) and median durations of urinary catheter retention (36 hours; range, 1 to 117 hours) and hospitalization (3 days; range, 1 to 9 days) for the no-flush group.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that, for male cats with UO, urinary bladder lavage at the time of urethral catheterization had no significant effect on in-hospital recurrence rate of the condition, duration of urinary catheter retention, or duration of hospitalization; however, additional studies are necessary to validate or refute these findings.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) could be identified in dogs with sepsis secondary to gastrointestinal tract leakage, and whether the number of affected organ systems was significantly associated with mortality rate.

Design—Multicenter retrospective case series.

Animals—114 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records for dogs treated surgically because of sepsis secondary to gastrointestinal tract leakage between 2003 and 2007 were reviewed. Sepsis was diagnosed on the basis of results of bacterial culture of peritoneal fluid, gross evidence of gastrointestinal tract leakage at surgery, or both. Renal dysfunction was defined as a ≥ 0.5 mg/dL increase in serum creatinine concentration after surgery. Cardiovascular dysfunction was defined as hypotension requiring vasopressor treatment. Respiratory dysfunction was defined as a need for supplemental oxygen administration or mechanical ventilation. Hepatic dysfunction was defined as a serum bilirubin concentration > 0.5 mg/dL. Dysfunction of coagulation was defined as prolonged prothrombin time, prolonged partial thromboplastin time, or platelet count ≤ 100,000/μL.

Results—89 (78%) dogs had dysfunction of 1 or more organ systems, and 57 (50%) dogs had MODS. Mortality rate increased as the number of dysfunctional organ systems increased. Mortality rate was 70% (40/57) for dogs with MODS and 25% (14/57) for dogs without.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that MODS, defined as dysfunction of at least 2 organ systems, can be identified in dogs with sepsis and that organ system dysfunction increased the odds of death.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association