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Objective

To determine the incidence of acute and subacute myocardial infarction on postmortem examination, identify associated diseases, and evaluate clinical or diagnostic indicators of myocardial infarction in dogs and cats.

Design

Retrospective study.

Animals

32 dogs and 5 cats.

Procedure

Records from the necropsy service from December 1985 through August 1994 were searched for dogs and cats in which acute or subacute myocardial infarction was diagnosed on postmortem examination. Clinical records were reviewed for signalment, initial owner complaint, medical history, results of physical examination, electrocardiography, radiography, echocardiography, CBC, serum chemistry analysis, urinalysis, and coagulation profile as well as clinical course, outcome, necropsy findings, and results of histologic evaluation.

Results

Initial owner complaints and physical examination findings were consistent with associated diseases. Electrocardiographic abnormalities in dogs included ventricular tachycardia (16%), atrial fibrillation (9%), and premature ventricular contractions (6.5%). Premature ventricular contractions were noticed in 2 cats. Echocardiography revealed dilated, poorly contractile hearts (n = 3) and thickened mitral valves (2) in dogs, and ventricular hypertrophy (3) in cats. Ninety-seven percent of dogs had infarction of the left ventricle as well as other other portions of the heart. Infarctions in cats were found in all parts of the myocardium including the right ventricle (n = 3), left ventricle (3), and interventricular septum (1).

Clinical Implications

Myocardial infarction is rare in dogs and cats. It is associated with a number of common diseases and may contribute to morbidity and mortality in those dogs and cats that are critically ill. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:1444-1448)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To investigate development of femoral artery occlusion in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

954 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Procedure

1,750 cardiovascular examinations consisting of visual inspection of mucous membranes, thoracic auscultation in areas associated with the heart valves, thoracic palpation, and palpation of the femoral arteries were made at 10 dog shows on 954 dogs. Findings of clinically normal, weak, or undetectable femoral pulses were recorded. Pathologic changes in occluded femoral arteries of 2 dogs were examined histologically.

Results

Of the 954 dogs, 22 (2.3%) had an undetectable right or left femoral pulse on 1 or more examinations. Forty (4.2%) additional dogs had weak unilateral or bilateral femoral pulses. Only 1 dog had exercise intolerance, and it had coexistent congestive heart failure. Histologic examination of serial sections of an occluded femoral artery from 1 dog revealed intimai thickening with breaks in the internal elastic lamina proximal to the occluded segment. The occluded segment of the femoral artery was contracted and filled with an organizing, recanalizing thrombus. Similar histopathologic changes were found in sections of a femoral artery from another dog.

Clinical Implications

Femoral artery occlusion is rare in other breeds and is not clinically important in dogs because of adequate collateral circulation; however, its rather common development in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels indicates a genetic predisposition and probable weakness in the femoral artery wall. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:872–874)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether plasma cardiac troponin I (cTnI) concentrations can be used to discriminate cardiac from noncardiac causes of dyspnea in cats.

Design—Prospective, multicenter study.

Animals—Client-owned cats with dyspnea attributable to congestive heart failure (D-CHF; n = 31) or to noncardiac causes (D-NCC; n = 12).

Procedures—For each cat, plasma cTnI concentration was analyzed by use of a solid-phase radial partition immunoassay; values in cats with D-CHF and D-NCC were compared. A receiver operating characteristic curve was analyzed to determine the accuracy of plasma cTnI concentration for diagnosis of D-CHF.

Results—Median plasma concentration of cTnI in cats with D-CHF (1.59 ng/mL; range, 0.20 to 30.24 ng/mL) was significantly higher than in cats with D-NCC (0.165 ng/mL; range, 0.01 to 1.42 ng/mL). With regard to the accuracy of plasma cTnI concentration for diagnosis of D-CHF, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.84. At plasma concentrations ≥ 0.2 ng/mL, cTnI had 100% sensitivity but only 58% specificity for identification of CHF as the cause of dyspnea. At plasma concentrations ≥ 1.43 ng/mL, cTnI had 100% specificity and 58% sensitivity for identification of CHF as the cause of dyspnea.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of the derived diagnostic limits, CHF as the cause of dyspnea could be ruled in or ruled out without additional diagnostic testing in > 50% of the study cats. Measurement of plasma cTnI concentration may be clinically useful for differentiation of cardiac from noncardiac causes of dyspnea in cats.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association