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  • Author or Editor: H. Leon Thacker x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether the increasing prevalence of feline hyperthyroidism is the result of aging of the cat population and whether consumption of canned foods at various times throughout life is associated with increased risk of hyperthyroidism.

Design—Retrospective and case-control studies.

Study Population—Medical records of 169,576 cats, including 3,570 cats with hyperthyroidism, evaluated at 9 veterinary school hospitals during a 20-year period, and 109 cats with hyperthyroidism (cases) and 173 cats without hyperthyroidism (controls).

Procedure—Age-adjusted hospital prevalence of hyperthyroidism was calculated by use of Veterinary Medical Database records. On the basis of owners' questionnaire responses, logistic regression was used to evaluate associations between consumption of canned food and development of hyperthyroidism.

Results—Age-specific hospital prevalence of feline hyperthyroidism increased significantly from 1978 to 1997. Overall, consumption of pop-top canned (vs dry) food at various times throughout life and each additional year of age were associated with greater risk of developing hyperthyroidism. In female cats, increased risk was associated with consumption of food packaged in pop-top cans or in combinations of pop-top and non-pop-top cans. In male cats, increased risk was associated with consumption of food packaged in pop-top cans and age.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These findings suggest that the increasing prevalence of feline hyperthyroidism is not solely the result of aging of the cat population and that canned foods may play a role. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:879–886)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe an outbreak of encephalomyelitis caused by West Nile virus (WNV) in horses in northern Indiana.

Design—Case series.

Animals—170 horses.

Procedure—Horses with clinical signs suggestive of encephalomyelitis caused by WNV were examined. Date, age, sex, breed, and survival status were recorded. Serum samples were tested for anti-WNV antibodies, and virus isolation was attempted from samples of brain tissue. Climate data from local weather recording stations were collected. An epidemic curve was constructed, and case fatality rate was calculated.

Results—The most common clinical signs were ataxia, hind limb paresis, and muscle tremors and fasciculations. Eight horses had been vaccinated against WNV from 2 to 21 days prior to the appearance of clinical signs. West Nile virus was isolated from brain tissue of 2 nonvaccinated horses, and anti-WNV IgM antibodies were detected in 132 nonvaccinated horses; in 2 other nonvaccinated horses, anti-WNV antibodies were detected and WNV was also isolated from brain tissue. Thirty-one (22.8%) horses died or were euthanatized. The peak of the outbreak occurred on September 6, 2002. Ambient temperatures were significantly lower after the peak of the outbreak, compared with prior to the peak.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The peak risk period for encephalomyelitis caused by WNV in northern Indiana was mid-August to mid-September. Reduction in cases coincided with decreasing ambient temperatures. Because of a substantial case fatality rate, owners of horses in northern Indiana should have their horses fully protected by vaccination against WNV before June. In other regions of the United States with a defined mosquito breeding season, vaccination of previously nonvaccinated horses should commence at least 4 months before the anticipated peak in seasonal mosquito numbers, and for previously vaccinated horses, vaccine should be administered no later than 2 months before this time. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:84–89)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association