CASE DESCRIPTION An adult sexually intact female Harris hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) housed at a wildlife hospital was evaluated because of acute collapse during an educational exhibition.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination and hematologic analysis revealed no abnormalities; radiography revealed findings consistent with a previous tibiotarsal fracture. Coelioscopy with histologic examination and fungal culture of lung and air sac samples revealed anthracosis but no fungal infection. The hawk was discharged and temporarily removed from the education program; 1 month later, upon reintroduction into the program, it collapsed again. Physical examination and hematologic findings were similar to those after the first episode. Transcoelomic and transesophageal echocardiography and CT angiocardiography findings were consistent with cardiomyopathy.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Initial cardiac treatment included furosemide (0.5 mg/kg [0.23 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) and pimobendan (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h). After 10 days of treatment, peak and trough plasma concentrations of pimobendan were measured at 25, 196 and 715.97 ng/mL, respectively; the dosage was decreased to 0.25 mg/kg (0.11 mg/lb), PO, every 12 hours. No overt signs of toxicosis were detected. A sample was collected to reevaluate plasma pimobendan concentration after 30 days of treatment; results were not obtained prior to the patient's death but revealed a peak concentration of 16.8 ng/mL, with an undetectable trough concentration. The hawk was found dead 6 months after initial evaluation. Necropsy revealed cardiomegaly, but histologic examination did not reveal an inciting cause of cardiac dysfunction.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cardiac disease in raptors may be underreported. Transcoelomic and transesophageal echocardiography and CT angiography provided useful information for the diagnosis of cardiac disease in the hawk of this report.
Objective—To determine whether serum N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) concentration is useful in discriminating between cardiac and noncardiac (ie, primary respiratory tract disease) causes of respiratory signs (ie, coughing, stertor, stridor, excessive panting, increased respiratory effort, tachypnea, or overt respiratory distress) in dogs.
Design—Multicenter cross-sectional study.
Animals—115 dogs with respiratory signs.
Procedures—Dogs with respiratory signs were solicited for study. Physical examination, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography were used to determine whether respiratory signs were the result of cardiac (ie, congestive heart failure) or noncardiac (ie, primary respiratory tract disease) causes. Serum samples for NT-proBNP assay were obtained at time of admission for each dog. Receiver-operating characteristic curves were constructed to determine the ability of serum NT-proBNP concentration to discriminate between cardiac and noncardiac causes of respiratory signs.
Results—Serum NT-proBNP concentration was significantly higher in dogs with cardiac versus noncardiac causes of respiratory signs. In dogs with primary respiratory tract disease, serum NT-proBNP concentration was significantly higher in those with concurrent pulmonary hypertension than in those without. A serum NT-proBNP cutoff concentration > 1,158 pmol/L discriminated between dogs with congestive heart failure and dogs with primary respiratory tract disease with a sensitivity of 85.5% and a specificity of 81.3%.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Measuring serum NT-proBNP concentration in dogs with respiratory signs helps to differentiate between congestive heart failure and primary respiratory tract disease as an underlying cause.