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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Inferential studies to investigate the health of rare, exotic, or companion animals are often challenging because sample groups of sufficiently large sizes are difficult to obtain. This may be a result of limited availability of exotic or endangered animals or the ethical desire to limit the number of animals involved in painful or terminal studies. In standard study designs with adequate statistical power, the number of animals required for inclusion is often greater than the number that can be obtained or feasibly managed. Also, the cost of providing long-term care for research animals is often greater than the available funding

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate short-term postoperative forelimb function after scalpel and laser onychectomy in cats.

Design—Randomized, prospective study.

Animals—20 healthy adult cats.

Procedures—Cats were randomly assigned to the laser (n = 10) or scalpel (10) onychectomy group. Unilateral left forelimb onychectomy was performed. In the scalpel group, a tourniquet was used during surgery and a bandage was applied after surgery. Pressure platform gait analysis was performed prior to and 1, 2, 3, and 12 days after onychectomy. Peak vertical force (PVF), vertical impulse, and the ratio of the PVF of the left forelimb to the sum of the remaining limbs (PVF ratio) were used as outcome measures.

Results—The laser onychectomy group had significantly higher ground reaction forces on days 1 and 2 and significantly higher PVF ratio on day 12, compared with the scalpel group. Similarly, significant differences were found in change in ground reaction forces on days 1 and 2 and the PVF ratio on day 12, compared with day −1. No cats required rescue analgesia during the course of the study. One cat in the laser group had signs of depression and was reluctant to walk on day 2 after surgery, had physical examination findings consistent with cardiac insufficiency, and was euthanized.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cats had improved limb function immediately after unilateral laser onychectomy, compared with onychectomy with a scalpel, tourniquet, and bandage. This improved limb function may result from decreased pain during the 48 hours following unilateral laser onychectomy.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the analgesic effects of topical administration of bupivacaine, IM administration of butorphanol, and transdermal administration of fentanyl in cats undergoing onychectomy.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—27 healthy adult cats.

Procedure—Cats were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups, and unilateral (left forefoot) onychectomy was performed. Gait analysis was performed before and 1, 2, 3, and 12 days after surgery. All forces were expressed as a percentage of the cat's body weight.

Results—On day 2, peak vertical force (PVF) was significantly decreased in cats treated with bupivacaine, compared with cats treated with butorphanol or fentanyl. The ratio of left forelimb PVF to PVF of the other 3 limbs was significantly lower on day 2 in cats treated with bupivacaine than in cats treated with fentanyl. No significant differences in vertical impulse (VI) were found between groups on any day. Values for PVF, VI, and the PVF ratio increased progressively following surgery. However, for all 3 groups, values were still significantly decreased, compared with baseline values, 12 days after surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that limb function following onychectomy is significantly better in cats treated with fentanyl transdermally or butorphanol IM than in cats treated with bupivacaine topically. Regardless of the analgesic regimen, limb function was still significantly reduced 12 days after surgery, suggesting that long-term analgesic treatment should be considered for cats undergoing onychectomy. Irrigation of the surgical incisions with bupivacaine prior to wound closure cannot be recommended as the sole method for providing postoperative analgesia in cats undergoing onychectomy. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:89–93)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate the economic impact to veterinary clients for the medical and surgical treatment of rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (RCCL) in dogs for the year 2003.

Design—Economic impact survey.

Sample Population—501 diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) indicating that their area of surgical emphasis was small animal orthopedic surgery or small animal general and orthopedic surgery and 4,000 veterinarians indicating to the AVMA that their professional area was small animal practice exclusive or mixed animal practice (at least 80% small animal).

Procedure—Veterinarians were surveyed concerning the cost for medical and surgical treatment of RCCL for 2003. The economic impact was calculated by multiplying the number of RCCL surgeries performed by the mean cost of surgery. This was added to the number of RCCL cases managed medically multiplied by the mean cost of medical management. This estimate for survey responders was extrapolated to the total number of veterinarians in the study population for the ACVS or AVMA.

Results—Estimates for the total cost of surgery were $171,730,134.72 and $1,020,167,907 for veterinarians in the ACVS and AVMA populations, respectively. The cost of medical management was $2,885,687.86 and $126,558,155.16 for veterinarians in the ACVS and AVMA populations, respectively. After combining the ACVS and AVMA populations, we estimated that owners spent $1.32 billion for the treatment of RCCL in the United States in 2003.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—RCCL is a prevalent, costly injury. Results may motivate veterinary and consumer agencies to prioritize funding for a better understanding of the injury. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005; 227:1604–1607)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare the torsional mechanical properties of 2 external skeletal fixators (ESFs) placed with 2 intramedullary pin (IP) and transfixation pin (TP) size combinations in a model of raptor tibiotarsal bone fracture.

SAMPLE

24 ESF-synthetic tibiotarsal bone model (polyoxymethylene) constructs.

PROCEDURES

Synthetic bone models were fabricated with an 8-mm (simulated fracture) gap. Four types of ESF-synthetic bone model constructs (6/group) were tested: a FESSA with a 1.6-mm IP and 1.6-mm TPs, a FESSA with a 2.0-mm IP and 1.1-mm TPs, an acrylic connecting bar with a 1.6-mm IP and 1.6-mm TPs, and an acrylic connecting bar with a 2.0-mm IP and 1.1-mm TPs. Models were rotated in torsion (5°/s) to failure or the machine angle limit (80°). Mechanical variables at yield and at failure were determined from load deformation curves. Effects of overall construct type, connecting bar type, and IP and TP size combination on mechanical properties were assessed with mixed-model ANOVAs.

RESULTS

Both FESSA constructs had significantly greater median stiffness and median torque at yield than both acrylic bar constructs; FESSA constructs with a 1.6-mm IP and 1.6-mm TPs had greatest stiffness of all tested constructs and lowest gap strain at yield. No FESSA constructs failed during testing; 7 of 12 acrylic bar constructs failed by fracture of the connecting bar at the interface with a TP.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Although acrylic bar ESFs have been successfully used in avian patients, the FESSA constructs in this study were mechanically superior to acrylic bar constructs, with greatest benefit resulting from use with the larger TP configuration.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe the torsional and axial compressive properties of tibiotarsal bones of red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis).

SAMPLE 16 cadaveric tibiotarsal bones from 8 red-tailed hawks.

PROCEDURES 1 tibiotarsal bone from each bird was randomly assigned to be tested in torsion, and the contralateral bone was tested in axial compression. Intact bones were monotonically loaded in either torsion (n = 8) or axial compression (8) to failure. Mechanical variables were derived from load-deformation curves. Fracture configurations were described. Effects of sex, limb side, and bone dimensions on mechanical properties were assessed with a mixed-model ANOVA. Correlations between equivalent torsional and compressive properties were determined.

RESULTS Limb side and bone dimensions were not associated with any mechanical property. During compression tests, mean ultimate cumulative energy and postyield energy for female bones were significantly greater than those for male bones. All 8 bones developed a spiral diaphyseal fracture and a metaphyseal fissure or fracture during torsional tests. During compression tests, all bones developed a crushed metaphysis and a fissure or comminuted fracture of the diaphysis. Positive correlations were apparent between most yield and ultimate torsional and compressive properties.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The torsional and axial compressive properties of tibiotarsal bones described in this study can be used as a reference for investigations into fixation methods for tibiotarsal fractures in red-tailed hawks. Although the comminuted and spiral diaphyseal fractures induced in this study were consistent with those observed in clinical practice, the metaphyseal disruption observed was not and warrants further research.

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