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  • Author or Editor: Cheryl L. Waldner x
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Objective—To determine whether use of serologic evaluation of a sentinel sample of calves or cows for antibodies against bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) would accurately predict whether an animal persistently infected with BVDV could be detected in beef herds.

Sample Population—27 cow-calf herds in which the status of persistently infected calves was not known and 11 herds known to have persistently infected calves.

Procedure—Detection of persistently infected calves was determined through immunohistochemical testing of tissue obtained at necropsy of all calves that died during calving season and skin (ear notch) specimens obtained from all young stock in the fall of 2002. Serum samples were collected from 30 springborn calves and 10 mature cows.

Results—Optimum serologic test performance at time of weaning was detected when 10 calves were evaluated. At least 3 of 10 randomly selected calves were likely to have a titer > 1:1,000 against BVDV type I or II in 53% of herds in which a persistently infected calf was detected during that year (sensitivity, 53%). However, at least 3 of 10 randomly selected calves were also likely to have a titer > 1:1,000 in 20% of herds that did not have a persistently infected calf detected during that year (specificity, 80%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Despite the use of a number of various cutoff values and sample sizes, serologic evaluation of a small number of calves or cows could not be used to accurately predict the presence of persistently infected cattle in a herd. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:825–834)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To measure associations between health and productivity in cow-calf beef herds and persistent infection with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), antibodies against BVDV, or antibodies against infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus in calves.

Animals—1,782 calves from 61 beef herds.

Procedures—Calf serum samples were analyzed at weaning for antibodies against type 1 and type 2 BVDV and IBR virus. Skin biopsy specimens from 5,704 weaned calves were tested immunohistochemically to identify persistently infected (PI) calves. Herd production records and individual calf treatment and weaning weight records were collected.

Results—There was no association between the proportion of calves with antibodies against BVDV or IBR virus and herd prevalence of abortion, stillbirth, calf death, or nonpregnancy. Calf death risk was higher in herds in which a PI calf was detected, and PI calves were more likely to be treated and typically weighed substantially less than herdmates at weaning. Calves with high antibody titers suggesting exposure to BVDV typically weighed less than calves that had no evidence of exposure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—BVDV infection, as indicated by the presence of PI calves and serologic evidence of infection in weaned calves, appeared to have the most substantial effect on productivity because of higher calf death risk and treatment risk and lower calf weaning weight.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To identify whether age, sex, or breed is associated with crown height of the left and right maxillary first molar tooth (M1) measured on CT images, to develop a mathematical model to determine age of horses by use of M1 crown height, and to determine the correlation between M1 crown height measured on radiographic and CT images.

SAMPLE CT (n = 735) and radiographic images (35) of the heads of horses.

PROCEDURES Crown height of left and right M1 was digitally measured on axial CT views. Height was measured on a lateral radiographic image when available. Linear regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with crown height. Half the data set was subsequently used to generate a regression model to predict age on the basis of M1 crown height, and the other half was used to validate accuracy of the predictions.

RESULTS M1 crown height decreased with increasing age, but the rate of decrease slowed with increasing age. Height also differed by sex and breed. The model most accurately reflected age of horses < 10 years old, although age was overestimated by a mean of 0.1 years. The correlation between radiographic and CT crown height of M1 was 0.91; the mean for radiographic measurements was 2.5 mm greater than for CT measurements.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE M1 crown height can be used to predict age of horses. Results for CT images correlated well with those for radiographic images. Studies are needed to develop a comparable model with results for radiographic images.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine effects of athletic conditioning on thyroid hormone concentrations in a population of healthy sled dogs.

Animals—19 healthy adult sled dogs.

Procedure—Serum concentrations of thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free T4 (fT4), free T3 (fT3), and autoantibodies directed against T3, T4, and thyroglobulin were measured in sled dogs that were not in training (ie, nonracing season) and again after dogs had been training at maximum athletic potential for 4 months.

Results—Analysis revealed significant decreases in T4 and fT4 concentrations and a significant increase in TSH concentration for dogs in the peak training state, compared with concentrations for dogs in the untrained state. Serum concentrations of T4 and fT4 were less than established reference ranges during the peak training state for 11 of 19 and 8 of 19 dogs, respectively; fT4 concentration was greater than the established reference range in 9 of 19 dogs in the untrained state.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Decreased total T4 and fT4 concentrations and increased serum concentrations of TSH were consistently measured during the peak training state in healthy sled dogs, compared with concentrations determined during the untrained state. Although thyroid hormone concentrations remained within the established reference ranges in many of the dogs, values that were outside the reference range in some dogs could potentially lead to an incorrect assessment of thyroid status. Endurance training has a profound impact on the thyroid hormone concentrations of competitive sled dogs. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:333–337)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine associations between serum concentrations of copper, molybdenum, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin E measured in beef cows at the start of the community pasture breeding season and pregnancy status at the end of the season.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—771 beef cows from 39 cow-calf herds.

Procedures—Serum micronutrient concentrations were measured in samples collected from cows on arrival at 5 different community pastures in Saskatchewan, Canada, in May 2008. Cows were palpated transrectally to determine pregnancy status in October 2008. Herd owners and professional herd managers were surveyed to collect individual data for cows (age, calving date, and history of exposure to bulls before the start of the breeding season) and information on herd and breeding management. Associations between animal-, herd-, and pasture-level variables and pregnancy status were examined.

Results—Serum concentrations of selenium, molybdenum, vitamin A, and vitamin E were not associated with pregnancy status after accounting for prebreeding body condition score, age, and calving-to-breeding interval. Serum copper concentrations were more commonly assessed as below adequate than were other micronutrients. Decreased serum copper concentrations were associated with increased odds of nonpregnancy in cows < 10 years of age.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prebreeding micronutrient supplementation programs should be carefully managed in herds with poor reproductive performance in areas known to be copper deficient, and evaluation of serum copper concentrations from a subset of cows should be considered before the start of the breeding season.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To describe response rate, tumor progression, patient survival times, prognostic factors associated with tumor progression and patient survival times, and radiation toxicoses (acute and latent) in dogs treated with curative-intent stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for soft tissue sarcomas (STS).


35 client-owned dogs with STS treated with curative-intent SBRT between October 2011 and May 2017.


Medical records were reviewed to identify dogs that underwent SBRT. Dogs with oral tumors, hemangiosarcoma, or histiocytic sarcoma were excluded. Data collected included patient-, STS-, and SBRT-related information, including follow-up information pertaining to tumor progression and patient survival time for ≥ 6 months, unless tumor progression or patient death occurred sooner.


Objective measurements allowing for evaluation of tumor response were available for 28 dogs, of which 13 (46%) had either a partial (10/28 [36%]) or complete (3/28 [11%]) response. Twenty-four dogs died, and the medians for progression-free survival time, time to progression of disease, overall survival time, and disease-specific survival time were 521, 705, 713, and 1,149 days, respectively. Low histologic grade and extremity locations of STSs were positive prognostic factors for patient survival times. Acute adverse effects were limited to skin, and 1 dog underwent limb amputation because of a nonhealing wound.


Results indicated that SBRT for STS was well tolerated in most dogs and provided local tumor control. Additional studies are needed to determine the best SBRT protocol for treatment of STSs in dogs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To describe self-reported use of x-ray personal protective equipment (PPE) by veterinary workers in Saskatchewan, Canada, and to examine factors that affected their use of x-ray PPE.

DESIGN Cross-sectional survey.

SAMPLE 331 veterinary workers.

PROCEDURES A questionnaire was distributed to Saskatchewan veterinary workers electronically and by conventional mail. Recipients were encouraged to share the questionnaire with colleagues. The questionnaire consisted of questions regarding radiation safety practices used during small animal radiographic procedures, including frequency of use of dosimeters and lead aprons, thyroid shields, eyeglasses, and gloves. Respondents were also requested to provide suggestions for increasing use of PPE.

RESULTS 460 questionnaires were completed, of which 331 were returned by workers involved with performing radiographic procedures. Two hundred eighty-five of 331 (86%) respondents reported that at least 1 worker was always in the room during x-ray exposure, and 325 (98%), 291 (88%), and 9 (3%) respondents reported always wearing a lead apron, thyroid shield, and protective eyeglasses, respectively, during radiographic imaging. Two hundred seventeen of 327 (66%) respondents used lead gloves correctly less than half the time. Mean percentage of time that gloves were worn correctly was higher for workers who were required to do so by their employers than for those who were not.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested use of PPE during radiographic procedures can be increased by employers making PPE use mandatory. Other respondent-identified factors that would increase PPE use included the availability of properly fitting and functional PPE and education of workers about health risks associated with ionizing radiation exposure.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To determine seroprevalence of Neospora caninum infection in beef herds and the association between serologic status and rate of abortion, stillbirth, calf mortality, and reproductive failure.


Longitudinal study.


419 cows from 8 beef herds in central Alberta.


1,391 serum samples from a serum bank were analyzed, using ELISA, and results were compared, using logistic regression, with productivity data on individual cows obtained from a database established during a 4-year period.


30% of cows were seropositive at some point during the 4-year period. Risks of abortion (odds ratio [OR], 5.7) and stillbirth (OR, 2.8) in seropositive cows were significantly greater than in seronegative cows. Risks of being culled for any reason (OR, 1.9) or for reproductive failure (OR, 2.5) in seropositive cows were also significantly greater than in seronegative cows. Changes in titer with time in individual cows and a lack of association between serologic status of dam versus daughter suggest that postnatal transmission was possible in these herds. However, horizontal transmission did not appear to play a substantial role in abortions that occurred in these herds.

Clinical Implications

Neosporosis should be investigated as a potential source of economic loss to the beef industry. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:685-690)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To measure respiratory motion of the thoracic wall region in dogs using a real-time motion tracking system and compare the amount of respiratory motion between dogs positioned with and without a vacuum-formable cushion.

Animals—8 healthy adult mixed-breed dogs (median weight, 23 kg).

Procedures—Dogs were anesthetized and positioned in sternal and dorsal recumbency with and without a vacuum-formable cushion. Three-dimensional movement of anatomic landmarks was measured with a real-time motion capture system that tracked the locations of infrared light–emitting diodes attached externally to the dorsal or ventral and lateral aspects of the thoracic wall.

Results—Dogs positioned in sternal recumbency had significantly less cranial-to-caudal and left-to-right respiratory motion at the lateral aspect of the thoracic wall, compared with dogs positioned in dorsal recumbency, whether or not a cushion was used. For dogs treated in sternal recumbency, use of a cushion significantly increased the peak displacement vector (overall movement in 3-D space) for 3 of 4 marker locations on the dorsal thoracic wall. As respiratory rate increased, respiratory motion at the lateral and ventral aspects of the thoracic wall decreased when data for all dogs in dorsal recumbency were evaluated together.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Associations between respiratory rate and respiratory motion suggested that the use of rapid, shallow ventilation may be beneficial for dogs undergoing highly conformal radiation treatment. These results provide a basis for further research on respiratory motion in anesthetized dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research