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  • Author or Editor: Emily K. Shea x
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OBJECTIVE To examine the association between blood lactate concentration and survival to hospital discharge in critically ill hypotensive cats.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 39 cats admitted to an intensive care unit of a university veterinary hospital between January 2005 and December 2011 for which blood lactate concentration was recorded ≤ 1 hour before or after a Doppler-derived arterial blood pressure measurement ≤ 90 mm Hg (ie, hypotension) was obtained.

PROCEDURES Medical records of each cat were reviewed to assess survival to hospital discharge, illness severity, duration of hospitalization, age, body weight, and PCV. Results were compared between hypotensive cats with and without hyperlactatemia (blood lactate concentration ≥ 2.5 mmol/L).

RESULTS 6 of 39 (15%) hypotensive cats survived to hospital discharge. Twelve (31%) cats were normolactatemic (blood lactate concentration < 2.5 mmol/L), and 27 (69%) were hyperlactatemic. Hypotensive cats with normolactatemia had a higher blood pressure and higher survival rate than hypotensive cats with hyperlactatemia. Five-day Kaplan-Meier survival rates were 57% for normolactatemic cats and 17% for hyperlactatemic cats. Age, body weight, duration of hospitalization, PCV, and illness severity did not differ significantly between hypotensive cats with and without hyperlactatemia.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Hypotensive, normolactatemic cats in an intensive care unit had a significantly greater chance of survival to hospital discharge than their hyperlactatemic counterparts. Blood lactate concentration may be a useful prognostic indicator for this patient population when used in conjunction with other clinical and laboratory findings.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



A 5-year-old spayed female Maltese mixed-breed dog was referred for evaluation because of severe urinary incontinence refractory to medical management.


Physical examination revealed constant dribbling of urine and urine scalding. Culture of a urine sample yielded methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and Proteus mirabilis. Abdominal ultrasonographic examination revealed absence of the left kidney, a small, nondistended urinary bladder, and diffuse hepatopathy. Urinary incontinence persisted despite appropriate antimicrobial treatment. Cystourethroscopy and vaginoscopy were subsequently performed and revealed a hypoplastic bladder and a vesicovaginal fistula with urinary leakage through the vaginal diverticulum; no left ureterovesicular junction was identified, consistent with suspected left renal aplasia.


Exploratory laparotomy was performed, and the cranial aspect of the vagina was circumferentially ligated immediately caudal to the fistula. The urinary incontinence resolved immediately after surgery, and lower urinary tract signs improved over the next 2 weeks. Moderate urinary incontinence recurred approximately 6 months later, and a urinary tract infection with Escherichia coli was subsequently identified and treated; clinical signs resolved ≤ 48 hours after treatment was initiated.


To the author's knowledge, vesicovaginal fistulas in dogs have not been previously described and should be considered a differential diagnosis for persistent urinary incontinence and recurrent urinary tract infections in female dogs. Vaginoscopy in addition to cystourethroscopy was required to identify the abnormality in this patient. Because multiple concurrent anomalies can be present, both procedures should be performed in female dogs with these clinical signs, even if an abnormality is identified cystoscopically.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association