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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify clinical or clinicopathologic variables that can be used to predict a positive PCR assay result for Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in equids.

ANIMALS 162 equids.

PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed to identify equids that underwent testing for evidence of A phagocytophilum infection by PCR assay between June 1, 2007, and December 31, 2015. For each equid that tested positive (case equid), 2 time-matched equids that tested negative for the organism (control equids) were identified. Data collected included age, sex, breed, geographic location (residence at the time of testing), physical examination findings, and CBC and plasma biochemical analysis results. Potential predictor variables were analyzed by stepwise logistic regression followed by classification and regression tree analysis. Generalized additive models were used to evaluate identified predictors of a positive test result for A phagocytophilum.

RESULTS Total lymphocyte count, plasma total bilirubin concentration, plasma sodium concentration, and geographic latitude were linear predictors of a positive PCR assay result for A phagocytophilum. Plasma creatine kinase activity was a nonlinear predictor of a positive result.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Assessment of predictors identified in this study may help veterinarians identify equids that could benefit from early treatment for anaplasmosis while definitive test results are pending. This information may also help to prevent unnecessary administration of oxytetracycline to equids that are unlikely to test positive for the disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

  • Elk infected with Mycobacterium paratuberculosis have clinical signs that are similar to those in infected cattle, but elk may die from the disease at a younger age than is commonly reported in cattle. Histologic lesions in elk are similar to classic lesions of paratuberculosis in cattle.

  • Diagnostic techniques such as bacterial culture of feces or tissues and microscopic examination of tissues are useful in confirming a diagnosis made by the agar gel immunodiffusion test.

  • Husbandry methods that can limit transmission of the infection include use of feed and water troughs that can be cleaned with tuberculocidal disinfectant, fencing off or draining areas of standing water, removal of manure from feeding areas, and prompt and continued isolation of elk with clinical signs consistent with paratuberculosis.

  • The elk farming industry, characterized by frequent exchange and sale of elk, may benefit from increased veterinary attention to detection and control of paratuberculosis.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Objective

To examine the role of apoptosis in retinal photoreceptor degeneration in dogs with sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS).

Sample Population

Retinas from 3 dogs with SARDS and from 2 clinically normal adult dogs.

Procedure

Apoptosis was identified by in situ endlabeling and observation of characteristic morphologic changes by light microscopy.

Results

The degree of photoreceptor degeneration varied with duration of vision loss in SARDS-affected eyes. The retina of all 3 SARDS-affected eyes had numerous (34, 61, and 70) apoptotic nuclei per section that were overwhelmingly located in the outer nuclear layer. Apoptotic nuclei were not detected, or were rare in similarly sized retinal sections from normal dogs. Inflammation was not an important feature of SARDS.

Conclusions

Apoptosis appears to be at least 1 mechanism of photoreceptor cell death in dogs with SARDS.

Clinical Relevance

Because apoptosis appears to be a final common pathway in many retinal degeneration syndromes, future treatment strategies that control apoptosis in other diseases may be applicable to dogs with SARDS. Halting this pathway may allow some photoreceptors to survive and, perhaps, preserve vision. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:149–152)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the items (question topics) for a subjective instrument to assess degenerative joint disease (DJD)–associated chronic pain in cats and determine the instrument design most appropriate for use by cat owners.

Animals—100 randomly selected client-owned cats from 6 months to 20 years old.

Procedures—Cats were evaluated to determine degree of radiographic DJD and signs of pain throughout the skeletal system. Two groups were identified: high DJD pain and low DJD pain. Owner-answered questions about activity and signs of pain were compared between the 2 groups to define items relating to chronic DJD pain. Interviews with 45 cat owners were performed to generate items. Fifty-three cat owners who had not been involved in any other part of the study, 19 veterinarians, and 2 statisticians assessed 6 preliminary instrument designs.

Results—22 cats were selected for each group; 19 important items were identified, resulting in 12 potential items for the instrument; and 3 additional items were identified from owner interviews. Owners and veterinarians selected a 5-point descriptive instrument design over 11-point or visual analogue scale formats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Behaviors relating to activity were substantially different between healthy cats and cats with signs of DJD-associated pain. Fifteen items were identified as being potentially useful, and the preferred instrument design was identified. This information could be used to construct an owner-based questionnaire to assess feline DJD-associated pain. Once validated, such a questionnaire would assist in evaluating potential analgesic treatments for these patients.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To estimate sensitivity and accuracy of subjective evaluation of mild lameness in horses during treadmill locomotion and to correlate subjective evaluation with kinematic analysis.

Animals

19 lame and 5 clinically normal horses.

Procedure

Lameness was evaluated by subjective score and kinematic analysis before and after palmar digital nerve block (PDNB). Evaluations were made by 6 clinicians and 7 interns or residents. Within- and between-observer agreement analyses (κ values) were calculated and compared, using a Student’s t-test. Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated between clinician’s change in score and the change in kinematic variables after PDNB.

Results

Within-observer agreement was within the range expected for conditions of moderate diagnostic difficulty. Within-observer agreement was higher for clinicians than for interns or residents. Between-observer agreement was acceptable for scores within 1 value of each other. Between-observer agreement of change in lameness score after PDNB was poor. When kinematic variables were ranked with each clinician’s subjective change in score, only 2 were among the top 3 for the majority of clinicians. Asymmetry of vertical head movement between contralateral forelimb stance phases and the point of maximum hoof height during swing decreased as lameness subjectively improved.

Conclusion

Mild lameness may be difficult to evaluate during treadmill locomotion. Although clinicians were more repeatable in their subjective evaluation of lameness than interns or residents, they were not more reliable at detecting the true state of lameness.

Clinical Relevance

Lack of agreement between clinician scoring of mild lameness emphasizes the need to use more objective measures for quantifying lameness. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1370–1377)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research