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  • Author or Editor: Chika C. Okafor x
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OBJECTIVE To investigate the use of canine whole blood (WB) for measurement of ammonia concentration by use of a point-of-care ammonia meter and to compare results of measuring ammonia concentrations in WB, EDTA-anticoagulated WB, and plasma.

ANIMALS 40 client-owned dogs.

PROCEDURES A blood sample (2 mL) was obtained from each dog. One drop of WB was immediately applied to a test strip for evaluation with an ammonia meter. The remainder of the blood sample was placed in an EDTA-containing tube, and 1 drop of EDTA-anticoagulated WB was applied to a test strip. The remaining EDTA-anticoagulated WB sample was centrifuged, and the plasma was harvested and placed on ice. One drop of plasma was applied to a test strip; the remainder of the plasma sample was transported on ice and used for ammonia measurement with a reference laboratory instrument. All samples were tested within 1 hour after sample collection. Results were evaluated to detect significant differences in ammonia concentration.

RESULTS Ammonia concentrations did not differ significantly between WB and EDTA-anticoagulated WB and between plasma samples measured with the meter and reference laboratory instrument. However, median ammonia concentration was significantly higher in plasma than in WB or EDTA-anti-coagulated WB.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Anticoagulant-free WB was a valid sample for measurement by use of the ammonia meter. Plasma samples had higher ammonia concentrations than did WB samples. Results for each sample type should be interpreted by use of specimen- and method-specific reference intervals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether an interferon (IFN)-γ response sufficient to categorize cattle as positive for tuberculosis can be detected in blood collected at commencement of exsanguination at slaughter.

Animals—15 Holstein cows.

Procedures—12 cows were experimentally sensitized by SC injection with inactivated Mycobacterium bovis in mineral oil, which induced an immune response that mimicked natural infection with M bovis. Three nonsensitized control cows were injected SC with mineral oil alone. By 5 weeks after injection, only the 12 sensitized cows had positive results for tuberculosis with whole blood IFN-γ assay. At that time, all 15 cows were sent to slaughter and samples of blood were collected from each cow immediately before stunning and at commencement of exsanguination (within 90 seconds after stunning). A whole blood IFN-γ assay was performed on the samples. Conditional probability and paired t tests were used to analyze changes in the categorical test interpretation and qualitative IFN-γ production, respectively.

Results—All 12 sensitized cows had positive results for tuberculosis in samples obtained immediately before stunning, and 9 retained positive results for samples obtained at commencement of exsanguination. There was a significant decrease in the mean background-corrected IFN-γ ELISA optical density values for samples obtained at commencement of exsanguination.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—IFN-γ response sufficient to classify cattle as positive for tuberculosis could be detected in blood collected at commencement of exsanguination. These findings support further development and use of the IFN-γ assay on blood samples collected at exsanguination as part of a bovine tuberculosis surveillance program.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To identify factors associated with development of struvite urolithiasis in dogs evaluated at general care veterinary hospitals in the United States.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—508 dogs with a first-time diagnosis of struvite urolithiasis and 7,135 control dogs.

Procedures—Electronic medical records of all dogs evaluated at 787 general care veterinary hospitals in the United States between October 2007 and December 2010 were reviewed to identify dogs that developed struvite urolithiasis and 2 groups of control dogs with no history of urolithiasis. Information extracted included diet, age, sex, neuter status, breed size category, hospital location, and date of diagnosis. Urinalysis results, urolith composition, and other disease conditions were recorded if applicable. Potential risk factors were assessed with univariable and multivariable regression analysis.

Results—Toy- or small-sized breeds had significantly greater odds of struvite urolithiasis, compared with medium- or large-sized breeds. Neutering significantly increased the odds of this outcome in females only; sexually intact females were more likely to develop struvite urolithiasis than were sexually intact males, but only up to 5 years of age. Urinary factors significantly associated with the outcome were basic (vs acidic) pH, presence of RBCs or WBCs, protein concentration > 30 mg/dL, and ketone concentration ≥ 5 mg/dL.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Evaluation of demographic characteristics and urinalysis results may be useful in the early identification of struvite urolithiasis in dogs. Periodic urinalysis in dogs is recommended because of the potential health impact of a late diagnosis of urolithiasis.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association