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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare results of 3 commercial heartworm antigen test kits performed on serum samples from dogs infected with low numbers of adult female heartworms.

Design—Blinded laboratory evaluation.

Sample Population—Serum samples from dogs (n = 208) proven at necropsy to be infected with 1 to 4 adult female heartworms and from dogs (32) without heartworms.

Procedure—Samples were sequentially tested with each test kit, following the manufacturers' instructions, by licensed veterinary technicians in private practice who were not aware of infection status of the dogs. The order of test kit evaluations was randomly chosen. For each test kit, sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were evaluated.

Results—All tests yielded some false-negative results, and there were significant differences among tests in regard to ability to detect low heartworm burdens. Sensitivity of the test kits ranged from 78 to 84%. For all test kits, sensitivity increased as number of female heartworms increased. All 3 test kits had high specificity (97%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that sensitivity of the 3 commercially available heartworm antigen test kits ranged from 78 to 84% when used to test serum samples from dogs with low heartworm burdens, and that sensitivity varied among test kits. For all 3 test kits, specificity was 97%. All 3 test kits yielded false-positive and false-negative results for some dogs with low heartworm burdens. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:1221–1223)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether a high dosage of pimobendan, when administered concurrently with moderate-dosage furosemide to healthy dogs, would activate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) more than furosemide alone.

Animals—12 healthy dogs.

Procedures—6 dogs received furosemide (2.0 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) only, as an RAAS activator, for 10 days. The other 6 dogs received furosemide (2.0 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) and pimobendan (0.6 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) for 10 days. The effect of these drugs on the RAAS was determined by measurement of the aldosterone-to-creatinine ratio (A:C) in urine collected in the morning and evening of study days −2, −1, 1, 5, and 10.

Results—Although there was an increase in the urine A:C during the study period in both groups, it was significant only for dogs that received both drugs. The urine A:C only differed significantly between groups on day 1, at which time A:C was greater in the group that received both drugs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—High-dosage pimobendan administration neither substantially suppressed nor potentiated the RAAS when administered with furosemide in healthy dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine whether high doses of enalapril and benazepril would be more effective than standard doses of these drugs in suppressing the furosemide-activated renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS).

ANIMALS 6 healthy Beagles.

PROCEDURES 2 experiments were conducted; each lasted 10 days, separated by a 2-week washout period. In experiment 1, all dogs received furosemide (2 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) and enalapril (1 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) for 8 days (days 0 through 7). In experiment 2, dogs received furosemide (2 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) and benazepril (1 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) for 8 days. Effects on the RAAS were determined by assessing serum angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity on days −1, 3, and 7; serum aldosterone concentration on days −2, −1, 1, 3, and 7; and the urinary aldosterone-creatinine ratio (UAldo:C) in urine collected in the morning and evening of days −2, −1, 1, 3, and 7.

RESULTS High doses of enalapril and benazepril caused significant reductions in serum ACE activity on all days but were not more effective than standard doses used in other studies. Mean UAldo:C remained significantly higher on days 2 through 7, compared with baseline values. Serum aldosterone concentration also increased after drug administration, which mirrored changes in the UAldo:C.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this study, administration of high doses of enalapril and benazepril significantly inhibited ACE activity, yet did not prevent increases in mean urine and serum aldosterone concentrations resulting from furosemide activation of RAAS. This suggested that aldosterone breakthrough from ACE inhibition was a dose-independent effect of ACE inhibitors.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis on paraffin-embedded myocardium from dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and dogs with myocarditis to screen for canine parvovirus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, and herpesvirus.

Sample Population—Myocardial specimens from 18 dogs with an antemortem diagnosis of DCM and 9 dogs with a histopathologic diagnosis of myocarditis were evaluated.

Procedure—Paraffin-embedded myocardial specimens were screened for viral genome by PCR analysis. Positive-control specimens were developed from cell cultures as well as paraffin-embedded tissue specimens from dogs with clinical and histopathologic diagnoses of viral infection with canine parvovirus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, and herpesvirus. The histologic characteristics of all myocardial specimens were classified regarding extent, location, and type of inflammation and fibrosis.

Results—Canine adenovirus type 1 was amplified from 1 specimen from a dog with DCM. Canine parvovirus, adenovirus type 2, and herpesvirus were not amplified from any myocardial specimens. Histologic analysis of specimens from dogs with DCM revealed variable amounts of fibrosis; myocardial inflammation was observed in 1 affected dog. Histopathologic analysis of specimens from dogs with myocarditis disclosed variable degrees of inflammation and fibrosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Viral agents canine parvovirus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, and herpesvirus are not commonly associated with DCM or active myocarditis in dogs. Additional studies evaluating for nucleic acid from viruses that less commonly affect dogs or different types of infectious agents may be warranted to gain insight into the cause of DCM and myocarditis in dogs. ( Am J Vet Res 2001;62: 130–135)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the usefulness of echocardiography in the diagnosis of heartworm disease in cats and to compare this modality with other tests.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—43 cats with heartworm infection that had echocardiographic examinations at 2 veterinary teaching hospitals between 1985 and 1997. Twenty-two of these 43 cats also underwent radiography of the thorax and heartworm antibody and heartworm antigen testing.

Procedure—Cats were determined to be infected with Dirofilaria immitis infection on the basis of 1 or more of the following findings: positive modified Knott or antigen test result, echocardiographic evidence of heartworm disease, or confirmation of the disease on postmortem examination. The percentage of echocardiographs in which heartworms were evident was compared with the percentage of radiographs in which pulmonary artery enlargement was evident and results of antigen or antibody tests in cats in which all tests were performed.

Results—Overall, heartworms were detectable by use of echocardiography in 17 of 43 cats, most often in the pulmonary arteries. In the 22 cats in which all tests were performed, antibody test results were positive in 18, antigen test results were positive in 12, and pulmonary artery enlargement was evident radiographically and heartworms were identifiable echocardiographically in 14. Heartworm infection was diagnosed exclusively by use of echocardiography in 5 cats in which the antigen test result was negative.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although echocardiography was less sensitive than antigen testing, it was a useful adjunctive test in cats that had negative antigen test results in which there was a suspicion of heartworm disease. The pulmonary arteries should be evaluated carefully to increase the likelihood of detection of heartworms echocardiographically. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc2001;218:66–69)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To characterize clinical and clinicopathologic findings, response to treatment, and causes of systemic hypertension in cats with hypertensive retinopathy.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—69 cats with hypertensive retinopathy.

Procedure—Medical records from cats with systemic hypertension and hypertensive retinopathy were reviewed.

Results—Most cats (68.1%) were referred because of vision loss; retinal detachment, hemorrhage, edema, and degeneration were common findings. Cardiac abnormalities were detected in 37 cats, and neurologic signs were detected in 20 cats. Hypertension was diagnosed concurrently with chronic renal failure (n = 22), hyperthyroidism (5), diabetes mellitus (2), and hyperaldosteronism (1). A clearly identifiable cause for hypertension was not detected in 38 cats; 26 of these cats had mild azotemia, and 12 did not have renal abnormalities. Amlodipine decreased blood pressure in 31 of 32 cats and improved ocular signs in 18 of 26 cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Retinal lesions, caused predominantly by choroidal injury, are common in cats with hypertension. Primary hypertension in cats may be more common than currently recognized. Hypertension should be considered in older cats with acute onset of blindness; retinal edema, hemorrhage, or detachment; cardiac disease; or neurologic abnormalities. Cats with hypertensioninduced ocular disease should be evaluated for renal failure, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and cardiac abnormalities. Blood pressure measurements and funduscopic evaluations should be performed routinely in cats at risk for hypertension (preexisting renal disease, hyperthyroidism, and age > 10 years). Amlodipine is an effective antihypertensive agent in cats.(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:695–702)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of administration of the labeled dosage of pimobendan to dogs with furosemide-induced activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS).

Animals—12 healthy hound-type dogs.

Procedures—Dogs were allocated into 2 groups (6 dogs/group). One group received furosemide (2 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) for 10 days (days 1 to 10). The second group received a combination of furosemide (2 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) and pimobendan (0.25 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) for 10 days (days 1 to 10). To determine the effect of the medications on the RAAS, 2 urine samples/d were obtained for determination of the urinary aldosterone-to-creatinine ratio (A:C) on days 0 (baseline), 5, and 10.

Results—Mean ± SD urinary A:C increased significantly after administration of furosemide (baseline, 0.37 ± 0.14 μg/g; day 5, 0.89 ± 0.23 μg/g) or the combination of furosemide and pimobendan (baseline, 0.36 ± 0.22 μg/g; day 5, 0.88 ± 0.55 μg/g). Mean urinary A:C on day 10 was 0.95 ± 0.63 μg/g for furosemide alone and 0.85 ± 0.21 μg/g for the combination of furosemide and pimobendan.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Furosemide-induced RAAS activation appeared to plateau by day 5. Administration of pimobendan at a standard dosage did not enhance or suppress furosemide-induced RAAS activation. These results in clinically normal dogs suggested that furosemide, administered with or without pimobendan, should be accompanied by RAAS-suppressive treatment.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research