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  • Author or Editor: Frances S. Shofer x
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Abstract

Objective—To compare hepatic, pancreatic, and gastric perfusion on dynamic computed tomography (CT) scans of clinically normal dogs with those of dogs with portal vascular anomalies.

Sample Population—Dynamic computed tomography (CT) scans of 10 clinically normal dogs and 21 dogs with portal vascular anomalies.

Procedures—Retrospective analysis of dynamic CT scans. Hepatic arterial perfusion, hepatic portal perfusion, total hepatic perfusion, hepatic perfusion index, gastric perfusion, and pancreatic perfusion were calculated from time attenuation curves.

Results—Mean ± hepatic arterial perfusion was significantly higher in affected dogs (0.57 ± 0.27 mL/min•mL−1) than in clinically normal dogs (0.23 ± 0.11 mL/min•mL−1), and hepatic portal perfusion was significantly lower in affected dogs (0.52 ± 0.47 mL/min•mL−1) than in clinically normal dogs (1.08 ± 0.45 mL/min•mL−1). This was reflected in the hepatic perfusion index, which was significantly higher in affected dogs (0.59 ± 0.34), compared with clinically normal dogs (0.19 ± 0.07). Gastric perfusion was significantly higher in dogs with portal vascular anomalies (0.72 ± 0.44 mL/min•mL−1) than in clinically normal dogs (0.41 ± 0.21 mL/min•mL−1), but total hepatic perfusion and pancreatic perfusion were not significantly different. Among subgroups, dogs with congenital intrahepatic portosystemic shunts and dogs with arterioportal fistulae had higher hepatic arterial perfusion than did clinically normal dogs. Dogs with congenital intrahepatic portosystemic shunts also had an increase in gastric perfusion and hepatic perfusion index.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hepatic perfusion variables measured on CT scans revealed differences in hemodynamics between clinically normal dogs and those with portal vascular anomalies.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess the effects of gender and parental status of dog owners on knowledge of and attitudes toward factors associated with dog aggression directed toward children.

Design—Prevalence survey.

Population—804 dog owners.

Procedures—A questionnaire was distributed to owners of all dogs examined at a university veterinary hospital between January and April 2007. Respondents were asked to indicate whether they agreed or disagreed with 37 statements regarding dog behavior and safety practices for dog-child interactions. Responses were compared between women and men and between parents and nonparents.

Results—Of 804 questionnaires that were completed, 421 (52%) were completed by parents and 598 (74%) were completed by women. There was a general lack of knowledge regarding dog behavior and safety practices for dog-child interactions. Women were more knowledgeable than men, regardless of parental status. Mothers were more knowledgeable than fathers and female nonparents regarding interactions with young children and had greater awareness than female nonparents and males (regardless of parental status) regarding interactions with infants and toddlers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that dog owners frequently had only limited knowledge of dog behavior and often were unaware of factors that increased the risk of dog bites to children. The veterinary examination presents an important opportunity for education of dog owners regarding dog behavior, including body language, social signals, resource-guarding, and self-defense, and the risks of dog bites to infants and young children.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the reliability of plasma electrophoresis (EPH) in psittacine birds.

Animals—93 psittacine birds.

Procedure—Jugular venipuncture was performed on 93 awake psittacine birds. The plasma was centrifuged, separated, aliquoted into duplicate samples, frozen, and sent to 2 commercial laboratories that routinely perform avian EPH. Samples from 51 birds were sent to laboratory A, and samples from 42 birds were sent to laboratory B. The reliability of EPH results within each laboratory was assessed, but not between laboratories. To determine the reliability (agreement between duplicate samples) of total protein, albumin, prealbumin, α1-, α2-, β-, and γ-globulin concentrations, the intraclass correlation coefficient ( ri ) was calculated.

Results—Both laboratories had excellent agreement between samples for measurement of total protein concentration and only good agreement for albumin concentration. Except for the prealbumin concentration measured at laboratory B, both laboratories had poor agreement for all other values of the EPH.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data indicate that plasma EPH for measuring prealbumin, α1-, α2-, β-, and γ-globulin concentrations may not be a reliable tool for assessing avian health. Small amounts of these proteins in birds plus human variation in reading the EPH curves may lead to variable results. Avian veterinarians should cautiously interpret results from plasma EPH assays for these protein fractions. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:375–378)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine agreement for total protein (TP) and albumin concentrations measured by a point-of-care biochemical analyzer in heparinized whole blood and plasma samples obtained from psittacines and compare results with those from a commercial laboratory.

Sample Population—Hematologic samples from 92 healthy birds.

Procedures—Duplicate samples of heparinized whole blood and plasma were obtained. A point-of-care biochemical analyzer was used to determine TP and albumin concentrations. To assess precision, intraclass correlation coefficient (r i) and Bland-Altman measures of agreement were used. These results were compared by use of Bland-Altman plots with those obtained from a commercial laboratory that used a biuret method for TP concentration and electrophoresis for albumin concentration.

Results—For the analyzer, there was excellent agreement (r i = 0.91) between heparinized whole blood and plasma samples for TP and albumin concentrations. Relative error was 0.9% for TP and 0.7% for albumin. Analyzer results correlated well with commercial laboratory results, with a downward bias of 0.6 for TP and 0.3 for albumin.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The analyzer had excellent precision for analysis of heparinized whole blood or plasma samples for TP or albumin concentrations; analyzer values had good agreement with those from a commercial laboratory. The analyzer could be a valid method to measure plasma TP concentrations and provide point-of-care testing in apparently healthy parrots. Biochemical analyzer results for plasma albumin concentration were not validated by results from a commercial laboratory, so conclusions cannot be drawn regarding use of the analyzer in measurement of albumin concentrations in psittacines.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the association between pruritus and anxiety-related and aggressive behaviors in dogs.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Animals—238 dogs between 1 and 8 years old.

Procedures—Information including a score for general degree of pruritus (visual analogue scale from 0 to 10) and frequency of anxiety-related and aggressive behaviors was collected via a survey distributed to clients at 3 privately owned practices.

Results—Median score for pruritus was 2.4. Dogs were assigned to 2 groups on the basis of pruritus score (nonpruritic [0 to 2.4] and pruritic [2.5 to 10]). There was no significant difference between pruritic and nonpruritic dogs with regard to aggression or with regard to reactivity to being alone; to thunderstorms or noises; or to unfamiliar people, animals, or objects. Post hoc analysis revealed significantly more reactivity to thunderstorms or noises in dogs treated with glucocorticoids (18/37 [49%]) than in those not administered glucocorticoids (57/197 [29%]).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An association was not detected between pruritus and aggressive, anxious, or fearful behavior in dogs. There was greater reactivity to thunderstorms or noises in glucocorticoid-treated dogs. These findings do not preclude the possibility of a relationship between certain dermatoses or pruritic conditions and behavior. However, a concurrent behavioral abnormality cannot be assumed to result from a dermatosis and be expected to resolve with treatment of only the skin disease. Dogs with behavioral disorders and pruritic disease require primary treatment of both conditions. Additional studies to examine the effect of disease and glucocorticoids on canine behavior are warranted.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of ownerdirected aggression and identify associated environmental and genetic factors in English Springer Spaniels.

Design—Prevalence survey.

Animals—1,053 adult English Springer Spaniels.

Procedure—A mail survey was sent to 2,400 randomly selected owners of adult American Kennel Club-registered English Springer Spaniels. Dogs with a history of aggression to family members and familiar humans were compared with dogs without such a history.

Results—1,053 questionnaires (56.1% of the 1,877 delivered) were completed. A history of owner-directed growling or more intense aggression was reported in 510 (48.4%) dogs. Two hundred seventy-seven (26.3%) dogs had bitten a human in the past; 65.2% of bites were directed at familiar (owner or nonowner) adults and children. Variables associated with owner-directed aggression included sex of dog (male), neuter status (neutered, regardless of sex), show or bench lines, age > 4 years, aggression to unfamiliar adults and children, acquisition from a hobby breeder, less responsiveness to obedience cues, and a specific kennel and 1 popular sire from that kennel in a 4- generation pedigree.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Owner-directed aggression in adult English Springer Spaniels was associated with a number of environmental, sex-related, and inherited factors. To reduce the risk of aggression, prospective owners might seek a female, hunting-type English Springer Spaniel from an experienced breeder. However, because risk factors are broad and varied, there are limitations to the extent to which behavior can be predicted and further study is needed of the inheritance of aggression in this breed. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1594–1603)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare effects of 3.8% sodium citrate and anticoagulant citrate dextrose solution National Institutes of Health formula A (ACD-A) on pH, extracellular ionized calcium (iCa) concentration, and platelet aggregation in canine platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

Sample Population—Samples from 12 dogs.

Procedures—Blood samples were collected into 3.8% sodium citrate (dilution, 1:9) and ACD-A (dilution, 1:5). Platelet function, pH, and iCa concentration were evaluated in PRP. Platelet agonists were ADP, γ-thrombin, and convulxin; final concentrations of each were 20μm, 100nM, and 20nM, respectively. Washed platelets were used to evaluate effects of varying the pH and iCa concentration.

Results—Mean pH and iCa concentration were significantly greater in 3.8% sodium citrate PRP than ACD-A PRP. Platelet aggregation induced by ADP and γ-thrombin was markedly diminished in ACD-A PRP, compared with results for 3.8% sodium citrate PRP. Anticoagulant had no effect on amplitude of convulxin-induced platelet aggregation. In washed platelet suspensions (pH, 7.4), there were no differences in amplitude of platelet aggregation induced by convulxin or γ-thrombin at various iCa concentrations. Varying the pH had no effect on amplitude of aggregation induced by convulxin or γ-thrombin, but the aggregation rate increased with increasing pH for both agonists.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Aggregation of canine platelets induced by ADP and γ-thrombin was negligible in ACD-A PRP, which suggested an increase in extraplatelet hydrogen ion concentration inhibits signaling triggered by these agonists but not by convulxin. Choice of anticoagulant may influence results of in vitro evaluation of platelet function, which can lead to erroneous conclusions.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the effects of diazepam in dogs with behavior problems and to determine whether adverse effects were of sufficient concern to owners to prompt drug discontinuation.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population—37 dogs and their owners.

Procedures—Dogs for which diazepam had been prescribed by the behavior service of a veterinary teaching hospital from July 2005 through June 2007 were identified. Owners were interviewed via telephone to obtain data on dose and frequency of administration of diazepam, effectiveness, adverse effects, and, when applicable, reasons for discontinuing the drug.

Results—Diazepam was described as very (24% [9/37]) or somewhat (43% [16/37]) effective by most owners. At the time of the interview, 18 (49%) owners reported that they were still administering diazepam to their dogs. For the remainder, reasons for discontinuation included adverse effects (58% [11/19]) and lack of efficacy (53% [10/19]). Reported adverse effects included sedation, increased appetite, ataxia, agitation, increased activity, and aggression. Owners administering diazepam to ameliorate fear of thunderstorms (24% [9/37]) were more likely to view diazepam as effective than were owners of dogs that received it for separation anxiety (54% [20/37]). Owners of dogs that received ≥ 0.8 mg of diazepam/kg (0.36 mg/lb) were more likely to report increased activity as an adverse effect than were owners of dogs that received < 0.8 mg/kg.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Adverse effects of diazepam in dogs were commonly reported and often led to drug discontinuation. Owner education and follow-up is recommended to avoid treatment failure when prescribing diazepam for anxiety-related behavior problems in dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine motivation and feeding practices of people who feed their cats vegetarian diets as well as taurine and cobalamin status of cats consuming vegetarian diets.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—34 cats that had been exclusively fed a commercial or homemade vegetarian diet and 52 cats that had been fed a conventional diet for ≥ 1 year.

Procedures—Participants were recruited through a Web site and from attendees of a national animal welfare conference. Caregivers of cats in both groups answered a telephone questionnaire regarding feeding practices for their cats. Blood was obtained from a subset of cats that had been fed vegetarian diets. Blood and plasma taurine and serum cobalamin concentrations were measured.

Results—People who fed vegetarian diets to their cats did so largely for ethical considerations and were more likely than people who fed conventional diets to believe that there are health benefits associated with a vegetarian diet and that conventional commercial cat foods are unwholesome. Both groups were aware of the potential health problems that could arise from improperly formulated vegetarian diets. All cats evaluated had serum cobalamin concentrations within reference range, and 14 of 17 had blood taurine concentrations within reference range.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Vegetarian diets are fed to cats primarily for ethical considerations. Results of this study should aid practitioners in communicating with and providing advice to such clients.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the outcome of otitis media in dogs after video-otoscopic lavage of the tympanic bulla and long-term antimicrobial drug treatment.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—44 dogs with otitis media treated in an academic referral practice.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment, duration of ear canal disease, previous medical treatments, dermatologic diagnosis, results of cytologic examination and microbial culture of ear canal exudate, findings during video-otoscopy, medical treatment, days to resolution, and maintenance treatments prescribed. Four independent variables (age, duration of ear canal disease prior to referral, use of corticosteroids in treatment regimens, and infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa) were evaluated statistically for potential influence on time to resolution.

Results—Mean ± SD (range) duration of ear canal disease prior to referral was 24.9 ± 21.6 (3 to 84) months. Otitis media in 36 dogs resolved after lavage of the tympanic bulla and medical management; mean ± SD (range) time to resolution was 117 ± 86.7 (30 to 360) days. Time to resolution was not significantly influenced by any variable evaluated. Three dogs were lost to follow-up, and 4 dogs eventually required surgical intervention. Seven of 36 dogs in which otitis had resolved relapsed; 4 required additional lavage procedures.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that lavage of the tympanic bulla combined with medical management is an effective and viable option for treatment of otitis media in dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:548–553)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association