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  • Author or Editor: Francesco Porciello x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To characterize sleeping respiratory rates (SRRs) and resting respiratory rates (RRRs), collected in the home environment, of dogs with subclinical heart disease that could result in left-sided congestive heart failure.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.

Animals—190 adult dogs with subclinical left-sided heart disease.

Procedures—Most dogs had mitral valve disease or dilated cardiomyopathy of various severities. Clients collected ten 1-minute SRRs or RRRs during a period ranging from 1 week to 6 months. Clinicians provided echocardiographic and medical data on each patient.

Results—The within-dog mean SRR (SRRmean; 16 breaths/min) was significantly lower than the within-dog mean RRR (RRRmean; 21 breaths/min). Seven dogs had SRRmean and 33 dogs had RRRmean > 25 breaths/min; 1 dog had SRRmean and 12 dogs had RRRmean > 30 breaths/min; these dogs mostly had a left atrial (LA)-to-aortic ratio > 1.8. Dogs with moderate LA enlargement had a significantly higher SRRmean than did other dogs. However, median SRRmean for each of 4 levels of LA enlargement was < 20 breaths/min; median RRRmean for each of 4 levels of LA enlargement was < 25 breaths/min. Both within-dog SRR and RRR remained stable for 10 consecutive measurements. Treatment with cardiac medications or presence of pulmonary hypertension was not associated with SRRmean or RRRmean.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that dogs with confirmed subclinical left-sided heart disease of various severities generally had SRRmean < 25 breaths/min, which was infrequently exceeded at any time, and that SRR and RRR remained stable, regardless of individual within-dog SRRmean or RRRmean. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013;243:839–843)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To describe ultrasonographic findings and outcomes for dogs with suspected migrating intrathoracic grass awns.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 43 client-owned dogs.

PROCEDURES Records for dogs with suspected migrating intrathoracic grass awns examined between 2010 and 2013 were reviewed. Ultrasonographic images and additional information such as signalment and pleural fluid analysis, radiographic, bronchoscopic, and CT findings were collected. Surgical treatments and outcomes were also reviewed.

RESULTS Transthoracic or transesophageal ultrasonography revealed grass awns in the pleural space (n = 13) or pulmonary parenchyma (10) of 23 dogs. Surgical removal of grass awns was successful on the first attempt in 21 of these 23 dogs (including 11/23 that had intraoperative ultrasonography performed to aid localization and removal of the awn). In the remaining 2 dogs, a second surgery was required. Twenty dogs with evidence of migrating intrathoracic grass awns had no foreign body identified on initial ultrasonographic evaluation and were treated medically; 16 developed draining fistulas, and awns identified ultrasonographically at follow-up visits were subsequently removed from the sublumbar region (n = 10) or thoracic wall (6). The remaining 4 dogs had no grass awn visualized. Clinical signs resolved in all dogs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Transthoracic, transesophageal, and intraoperative ultrasonography were useful for localization and removal of migrating intrathoracic grass awns. Ultrasonography may be considered a valuable and readily available diagnostic tool for monitoring dogs with suspected migrating intrathoracic grass awns.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association