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Objective—To determine reference values for kaolin-activated thromboelastography in echocardiographically normal cats.

Animals—30 healthy cats without evidence of cardiomyopathy on echocardiographic examination.

Procedures—All cats underwent echocardiographic examination, the findings of which were reviewed by a board-certified cardiologist. Cats that struggled (n = 10) received mild sedation with butorphanol and midazolam IM to permit phlebotomy without interruption in jugular venous blood flow. Blood samples were collected for analysis of thromboelastography variables, PCV, total solids concentration, platelet count, activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time, fibrinogen concentration, and antithrombin concentration.

Results—All 4 thromboelastography variables had < 5% mean intra-assay variability. Mean values were as follows: reaction time, 4.3 minutes; clotting time, 1.6 minutes; α angle, 66.5°; and maximum amplitude, 56.4 mm. Compared with nonsedated cats, cats that required sedation had a significantly shorter clotting time and greater α angle, whereas reaction time and maximum amplitude were not significantly different.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Kaolin-activated thromboelastography was a reliable test with unremarkable intra-assay variability in echocardiographically normal cats. Sedation may affect certain thromboelastography variables, but the effect is unlikely to be clinically important. It remains unknown whether subclinical cardiomyopathy has a significant effect on thromboelastography variables in cats.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



The anti-GnRH immunotherapeutic product Improvest was administered to intact male large flying foxes (Pteropus vampyrus) under managed care for androgen mitigation, leading to a decrease in agonistic behaviors, falls, and injuries from conspecific attention.


12 males were included in this study.


Eleven bats received subcutaneous (SC) Improvest interscapular, and 1 animal received Improvest SC in its leg. Assessments included clinical presentation, treatment, behavior, and urine and fecal glucocorticoid metabolites and testosterone (T5) concentrations.


Eleven of the 12 bats developed reactions, which included facial edema, localized irritation, swelling of the head and neck, and pruritus with varying degrees of skin ulceration and subsequent necrosis. Three of the animals required extensive treatments, and the 1 animal who received the injection in its leg was unaffected. Posttreatment, fecal glucocorticoid metabolite and/or T5 values were at or below the nonbreeding season baseline for 3 successive breeding seasons, and there was a reduction in agonistic interactions, falls, and injuries.


A behavioral characteristic of this species is to focus on areas of irritation that exacerbated the extent of the skin wounds. Some cases required medical, surgical, and behavioral intervention. Large flying foxes may be particularly sensitive to this immunotherapeutic when given subcutaneously in the interscapular region. Despite this reaction, the positive long-term effects on behavior and multiyear reduction of hormones suggest that the use of this immunotherapeutic warrants further investigation, although the results should be taken into consideration with other factors such as handling, treatments, chronicity of lesions.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To develop, validate, and evaluate a questionnaire (Cats’ Assessment Tool for Cardiac Health [CATCH] questionnaire) for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—275 cats with cardiac disease.

Procedures—The questionnaire was developed on the basis of clinical signs of cardiac disease in cats. A CATCH score was calculated by summing responses to questionnaire items; possible scores ranged from 0 to 80. For questionnaire validation, owners of 75 cats were asked to complete the questionnaire (10 owners completed the questionnaire twice). Disease severity was assessed with the International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) classification for cardiac disease. Following validation, the final questionnaire was administered to owners of the remaining 200 cats.

Results—Internal consistency of the questionnaire was good, and the CATCH score was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification. For owners that completed the questionnaire twice, scores were significantly correlated. During the second phase of the study, the CATCH score ranged from 0 to 74 (median, 7) and was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the CATCH questionnaire is a valid and reliable method for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease. Further research is warranted to test the tool's sensitivity to changes in medical treatment and its potential role as a clinical and research tool.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association