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  • Author or Editor: Emily C. McCobb x
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This study aimed to determine whether an infiltrative block with liposomal bupivacaine was associated with less rescue analgesia administration and lower pain scores than a bupivacaine splash block after ovariohysterectomy in dogs.


Eligible dogs included those that were spayed as part of a veterinary teaching laboratory. Dogs were up to 7 years old and otherwise healthy. A total of 136 dogs were analyzed.


All dogs underwent ovariohysterectomy performed by veterinary students. Dogs received hydromorphone and acepromazine premedication, propofol induction, isoflurane maintenance, and an NSAID. Dogs were randomly allocated to receive either a splash block with standard bupivacaine or an infiltrative block with liposomal bupivacaine for incisional analgesia. Postoperatively, all dogs were assessed by a blinded evaluator using the Colorado State University–Canine Acute Pain Scale (CSU-CAPS) and Glasgow Composite Measures Pain Scale–Short Form (GCPS-SF). Dogs received rescue analgesia with buprenorphine if they scored ≥ 2 on the CSU-CAPS scale.


Dogs that received liposomal bupivacaine had a significantly lower incidence of (P = .04) and longer time to (P = .03) administration of rescue analgesia. There was an overall time-averaged significant difference between groups for CSU-CAPS (P = .049) and GCPS-SF scores (P = .015), with dogs in the bupivacaine group being more likely to have an elevated pain score at some point for both scales.


The use of liposomal bupivacaine in an infiltrative block may decrease the need for rescue analgesia in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy compared to a bupivacaine splash block.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To measure stress levels among cats in traditional and enriched shelter environments via behavioral assessment and urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratios.

Design—Cross-sectional observational study.

Animals—120 cats in 4 Boston-area animal shelters

Procedure—Cats were randomly selected and observed during 3 periods (morning, midday, and afternoon) of 1 day and scored by use of a behavioral assessment scale. The next day, urine samples were collected for analysis of the urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio. Information about each cat's background before entering the shelter was collected.

Results—Stress scores were highest in the morning. The relationships between the amount of time cats spent in the shelter and the cat stress score or urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio were not strong. There was no correlation between the cat stress score and urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio. Urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratios did correlate with signs of systemic disease and were significantly lower in cats in the more environmentally enriched shelters, compared with cats in the traditional shelters. Urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio was highest among cats with high exposure to dogs. Of the cats in the study, 25% had subclinical hematuria detectable on a urine dipstick.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this study, the cat stress score was not a useful instrument for measuring stress because it failed to identify cats with feigned sleep and high stress levels. Urine cortisol-tocreatinine ratios can be monitored to noninvasively assess stress levels in confined cats. Environmental enrichment strategies may help improve the welfare of cats in animal shelters. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:548–555)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To characterize and compare injuries found in dogs involved in spontaneously occurring dogfights with those of dogs used in illegal organized dogfighting.

DESIGN Retrospective case-control study.

ANIMALS 36 medium-sized dogs evaluated following spontaneous fights with a dog of the same sex and similar weight (medium dog–medium dog [MDMD] fights), 160 small dogs examined following spontaneous fights with a larger dog (big dog–little dog [BDLD] fights), and 62 dogs evaluated after being seized in connection with dogfighting law enforcement raids.

PROCEDURES Demographic characteristics and injuries were recorded from medical records. Prevalence of soft tissue injuries in predetermined body surface zones, as well as dental or skeletal injuries, was determined for dogs grouped by involvement in BDLD, MDMD, and organized dogfights. The extent of injuries in each location was scored and compared among groups by 1-factor ANOVA. Patterns of injuries commonly incurred by each group were determined by use of prevalence data.

RESULTS Mean extent of injury scores differed significantly among groups for all body surface zones except the eye and periorbital region. Mean scores for dental injuries and rib fractures also differed significantly among groups. Organized fighting dogs more commonly had multiple injuries, particularly of the thoracic limbs, dorsal and lateral aspects of the head and muzzle or oral mucosa, dorsal and lateral aspects of the neck, and ventral neck and thoracic region.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE To the authors' knowledge, this was the first study to compare injuries incurred during spontaneous and organized dogfighting. Establishing evidence-based patterns of injury will help clinicians identify dogs injured by organized dogfighting and aid in the prosecution of this crime.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


As community efforts to reduce the overpopulation and euthanasia of unwanted and unowned cats and dogs have increased, many veterinarians have increasingly focused their clinical efforts on the provision of spay-neuter services. Because of the wide range of geographic and demographic needs, a wide variety of spay-neuter programs have been developed to increase delivery of services to targeted populations of animals, including stationary and mobile clinics, MASH-style operations, shelter services, community cat programs, and services provided through private practitioners. In an effort to promote consistent, high-quality care across the broad range of these programs, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians convened a task force of veterinarians to develop veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs. These guidelines consist of recommendations for general patient care and clinical procedures, preoperative care, anesthetic management, surgical procedures, postoperative care, and operations management. They were based on current principles of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, infection control, and surgical practice, as determined from published evidence and expert opinion. They represent acceptable practices that are attainable in spay-neuter programs regardless of location, facility, or type of program. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians envisions that these guidelines will be used by the profession to maintain consistent veterinary medical care in all settings where spay-neuter services are provided and to promote these services as a means of reducing sheltering and euthanasia of cats and dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association