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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth S. Roberts x
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Objective—To develop a method for percutaneous collection of fetal fluid from cattle in the late stages of gestation and determine whether bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) can be isolated from such fluids.

Design—Case series.

Animals—169 pregnant beef cattle.

Procedure—Animals were restrained in a squeeze chute, and hair was clipped from a region of the right flank. Pregnancy was confirmed, and fetal fluids were identified by means of abdominal ultrasonography. Fetal fluid was collected with a spinal needle. Virus isolation was performed on fetal fluids, WBC lysates from 160 live calves, and tissues from 12 calves that died or were aborted. Blood samples collected from adult cattle were assayed with an immunoperoxidase monolayer assay.

Results—Fourteen animals aborted or delivered premature calves within 3 weeks after fetal fluid collection; however, it could not be determined whether this was a complication of the procedure or attributable to other factors. Results of BVDV isolation from fetal fluid samples were negative for 168 animals. However, a noncytopathic BVDV was isolated from fetal fluid obtained from a 2-year-old heifer; results of the immunoperoxidase assay of serum from this heifer were also positive, and a noncytopathic BVDV was isolated from tissue specimens from a stillborn calf produced by this heifer.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that fetal fluids can be collected percutaneously from cattle in the late stages of gestation and that virus isolation performed on fetal fluids can be used to identify fetuses infected with BVDV in utero. However, safety of the procedure could not be evaluated. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1348–1352).

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether anti-inflammatory doses of cyclosporine activate Toxoplasma gondii in chronically infected cats or potentiate infection in cats exposed for the first time.

ANIMALS 30 T gondii–negative cats.

PROCEDURES Cats were assigned to 1 of 3 groups (10 cats/group). Group 1 (control) cats were administered a placebo for 126 days; group 2 cats were administered a placebo for 84 days, followed by cyclosporine at 7.5 mg/kg/d, PO, for 42 days; and group 3 cats were administered cyclosporine at 7.5 mg/kg/d, PO, for 126 days. Cats were orally inoculated with T gondii on day 42. Results for fecal flotations, PCR assays, and histologic examinations and IgM and IgG titers were analyzed. Cyclosporine concentrations were measured on selected days.

RESULTS All cats were infected by T gondii and developed signs of self-limiting gastrointestinal tract infection. Group 3 had the highest incidence and severity of CNS and pulmonary histopathologic findings typical of toxoplasmosis. One cat in group 3 died of systemic toxoplasmosis; that cat had a cyclosporine concentration of 1,690 ng/mL. Group 2 cats infected with T gondii before cyclosporine administration did not have repeated oocyst shedding. Group 3 cats shed fewer oocysts for a shorter time than did control cats of group 1.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Oral administration of cyclosporine in accordance with the protocol for this study did not potentiate the enteroepithelial phase of T gondii infection. Cats with high cyclosporine blood concentrations at the time of primary T gondii infection may be at risk of developing systemic toxoplasmosis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether serum N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) concentration is useful in discriminating between cardiac and noncardiac (ie, primary respiratory tract disease) causes of respiratory signs (ie, coughing, stertor, stridor, excessive panting, increased respiratory effort, tachypnea, or overt respiratory distress) in dogs.

Design—Multicenter cross-sectional study.

Animals—115 dogs with respiratory signs.

Procedures—Dogs with respiratory signs were solicited for study. Physical examination, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography were used to determine whether respiratory signs were the result of cardiac (ie, congestive heart failure) or noncardiac (ie, primary respiratory tract disease) causes. Serum samples for NT-proBNP assay were obtained at time of admission for each dog. Receiver-operating characteristic curves were constructed to determine the ability of serum NT-proBNP concentration to discriminate between cardiac and noncardiac causes of respiratory signs.

Results—Serum NT-proBNP concentration was significantly higher in dogs with cardiac versus noncardiac causes of respiratory signs. In dogs with primary respiratory tract disease, serum NT-proBNP concentration was significantly higher in those with concurrent pulmonary hypertension than in those without. A serum NT-proBNP cutoff concentration > 1,158 pmol/L discriminated between dogs with congestive heart failure and dogs with primary respiratory tract disease with a sensitivity of 85.5% and a specificity of 81.3%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Measuring serum NT-proBNP concentration in dogs with respiratory signs helps to differentiate between congestive heart failure and primary respiratory tract disease as an underlying cause.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association