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  • Author or Editor: Claudia J. Baldwin x
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OBJECTIVE To determine whether associations existed between onychectomy or onychectomy technique and house soiling in cats.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE 281 owners of 455 cats in Polk County, Iowa, identified via a list of randomly selected residential phone numbers of cat owners in that region.

PROCEDURES A telephone survey was conducted to collect information from cat owners on factors hypothesized a priori to be associated with house soiling, including cat sex, reproductive status, medical history, and onychectomy history. When cats that had undergone onychectomy were identified, data were collected regarding the cat's age at the time of the procedure and whether a carbon dioxide laser (CDL) had been used. Information on history of house soiling behavior (urinating or defecating outside the litter box) was also collected.

RESULTS Onychectomy technique was identified as a risk factor for house soiling. Cats for which a non-CDL technique was used had a higher risk of house soiling than cats for which the CDL technique was used. Cats that had undergone onychectomy and that lived in a multicat (3 to 5 cats) household were more than 3 times as likely to have house soiled as were single-housed cats with intact claws.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of this cross-sectional study suggested that use of the CDL technique for onychectomy could decrease the risk of house soiling by cats relative to the risk associated with other techniques. This and other findings can be used to inform the decisions of owners and veterinarians when considering elective onychectomy for cats.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare the ease and effects of collecting blood from cats by use of subcutaneous totally implantable vascular access ports (VAPs) with collection via conventional jugular phlebotomy.

Design—Prospective randomized experimental study.

Animals—8 healthy cats.

Procedures—Cats in the port group (n = 4) underwent monthly blood donation by use of VAPs and manual restraint, and cats in the nonport group (4) underwent monthly blood donation by use of conventional jugular phlebotomy and sedation, for 6 months.

Results—Postsurgical VAP-related complications developed in 3 cats and included port erosion (n = 1), disconnection of the port from the catheter (1), and seroma formation (1). Blood was successfully collected 24 of 24 and 20 of 20 times in the nonport and port groups, respectively. Results of bacterial culture of blood were negative in 22 of 24 and 15 of 20 nonport and port collections, respectively. No differences in RBC morphology were observed between groups. Mean blood collection and total donation times were significantly longer for the nonport group. Collection time was more variable in the nonport group, and cats were less tolerant of handling during venipuncture, compared with cats in the port group. Blood collection required a mean of 2.4 persons for the nonport group and 2.1 persons for the port group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Positive results for blood collections via VAPs were increased donor acceptance, decreased number of personnel required, and decreased collection time. Drawbacks included contamination of blood products and port-related complications.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine community approaches to medical and behavioral diseases in dogs and cats.

Design—Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Sample—97 companion animal veterinarians and 424 animal owners.

Procedures—Companion animal veterinarians in central Iowa ranked medical or behavioral diseases or conditions by what they thought most clients would consider healthy, treatable, manageable, or unhealthy (unmanageable or untreatable). In a parallel survey, cat- or dog-owning households in central Iowa responded to a telephone survey regarding the relationship of their animal in the household, owner willingness to provide medical or behavioral interventions, and extent of financial commitment to resolving diseases.

Results—One hundred twenty common health or behavioral disorders in cats and dogs were ranked by veterinarians as healthy, treatable, manageable, or unhealthy (unmanageable or untreatable) on the basis of their opinion of what most clients would do. Findings were in congruence with animal owners' expressed willingness to provide the type of care required to maintain animals with many acute or chronic medical and behavioral conditions. In general, owners indicated a willingness to use various treatment modalities and spend money on veterinary services when considering current or previously owned animals as well as hypothetical situations with an animal. Past experiences with veterinary care in which an animal did not recover fully did not diminish the willingness of respondents to use veterinary services again in the future.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These results provide a baseline indication of community willingness to address medical or behavioral conditions in dogs and cats. These considerations can be used in conjunction with Asilomar Accords recommendations to assess adoptability of cats and dogs in animal shelters.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association