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Objective—To identify risk factors for rectal tears in horses; assess the effect of initiating cause on tear location, size, and distance from anus; and determine short-term survival rate among horses with various grades of rectal tears.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—99 horses.

Procedures—Medical records for horses with a rectal tear were reviewed, and data including age; sex; breed; cause, location, and size of the tear and its distance from the anus; tear grade; treatment; and outcome (short-term survival [ie, survival to discharge from the hospital] vs nonsurvival) were recorded. Data for age, sex, and breed of horses with rectal tears were compared with data for all horses evaluated at the hospital during the same interval to determine risk factors for rectal tears.

Results—Arabians, American Miniature Horses, mares, and horses > 9 years of age were more likely to develop a rectal tear than other breeds, males, or younger horses. Dystocia had a significant influence on rectal tear size. Location of a rectal tear and its distance from the anus were not associated with cause. Applied treatments for grade 1, 2, and 3 rectal tears were effective, unlike treatments for grade 4 rectal tears. Irrespective of treatment, the overall short-term survival rate among horses with grade 1, 2, 3, and 4 rectal tears was 100%, 100%, 38%, and 2%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Accurate identification of risk factors could help practitioners and owners implement adequate measures to prevent the development of rectal tears in horses.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To identify courses in which first-year veterinary students struggled academically and to survey veterinarians as to their opinions on existing prerequisite courses and proposed alternatives.

DESIGN Electronic surveys.

SAMPLE Associate deans for academic affairs at colleges of veterinary medicine and practicing veterinarians in North America and the Caribbean.

PROCEDURES Surveys were sent to associate deans of academic affairs seeking information on courses in which first-year veterinary students most commonly struggled academically. The 6 courses most commonly listed as prerequisites for admission to veterinary college were identified, and practitioners were asked to rank the relative importance of those courses for preparing students for veterinary college and to rank the importance of 7 potential alternative courses.

RESULTS Data were obtained from 21 associate deans and 771 practicing veterinarians. First-year veterinary students most commonly struggled academically in anatomy, physiology, and histology courses, but these courses were rarely included as prerequisites for admission. Practicing veterinarians agreed that anatomy and physiology should be considered as possible alternatives to 1 or more current prerequisite courses, such as organic chemistry and physics.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE First-year veterinary students commonly encountered academic difficulties in anatomy, physiology, and histology. Because few surveyed veterinary colleges include these courses as prerequisites for admission, many students were exposed to this material for the first time as veterinary students, potentially adding to their academic difficulties and causing stress and anxiety. To help address this situation, veterinary colleges might consider replacing 1 or more current prerequisite courses (eg, organic chemistry and physics) with anatomy, physiology, and histology.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Cattle persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea (bvd) virus have decreased neutrophil and lymphocyte functions. We reevaluated these functions and further characterized the inhibition of persistent bvd virus infection in neutrophils, using sensitive kinetic assays. In addition, the influence of in vitro incubation of neutrophils with recombinant bovine interferon gamma (rBoifn gamma) and in vitro incubation of lymphocytes with recombinant bovine interleukin-2 was evaluated.

Significant (P < 0.05) decrease in random migration under agarose, Staphylococcus aureus ingestion, cytochrome-C reduction, iodination, antibody-independent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, oxidant production, and cytoplasmic calcium flux were observed in neutrophils from cattle persistently infected with bvd virus, compared with noninfected control cattle. Incubation of neutrophils from noninfected controls with rBoifn gamma significantly (P < 0.05) decreased random migration under agarose, cytochrome-C reduction, and cytoplasmic calcium flux. Neutrophils from cattle persistently infected with bvd virus also had decreased random migration under agarose after incubation with rBoifn gamma; in addition, antibody-independent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, elastase release, and cytoplasmic calcium flux were significantly enhanced. The rBoifn gamma induced significantly (P < 0.05) different effects on chemotaxis, cytochrome-C reduction, iodination, and cytoplasmic calcium flux of neutrophils from infected and control cattle. The rBoifn gamma was more effective at improving the function of neutrophils from cattle persistently infected with bvd virus, compared with neutrophils from controls.

Lymphocytes from infected cattle had decreased histogenesis in response to phytohemagglutinin, concanavalin A, and pokeweed mitogen. Incubation of those lymphocytes with recombinant bovine interleukin-2, with no mitogen present, significantly (P < 0.05) increased incorporation of [3H]thymidine. However, the response of lymphocytes to mitogen stimulation was not significantly increased by the presence of recombinant bovine interleukin-2, indicating that depression of in vitro lymphocyte histogenesis in the cattle persistently infected with bvd virus is not attributable to decreased production of interleukin-2.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize cytokine messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in intranasally vaccinated calves after bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) challenge.

Animals—Twelve 8- to 12-week-old calves.

Procedures—Calves received modified-live BRSV vaccine (vaccinated) or spent tissue culture medium (mock-vaccinated) intranasally, followed by challenge 30 days later with BRSV, or mock challenge with spent tissue culture medium (mock-challenge controls). Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) mRNA was measured in lungs, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid cells, pharyngeal tonsils, and tracheobronchial lymph nodes, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) mRNA was measured in lungs and BAL fluid cells by reverse transcriptase-competitive polymerase chain reaction assay.

Results—Resistance to clinical signs of disease was conferred in vaccinated calves. Expression of TNF-α mRNA in lungs and BAL fluid cells was higher in mock-vaccinated calves than control or vaccinated calves. In the lung, IL-4 mRNA expression was higher in vaccinated calves than control or mock-vaccinated calves. In pharyngeal tonsils, expression of mRNA for IL-4 and IFN-γ was higher in mock-vaccinated calves than control calves. In tracheobronchial lymph nodes, IFN-γ mRNA expression was higher in mock-vaccinated calves than vaccinated calves.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although vaccinated calves had decreased clinical signs of disease after BRSV challenge, compared with mock-vaccinated calves, this difference was not related to a T helper type 1 bias, as determined by increased expression of interferon-γ mRNA relative to interleukin-4 mRNA in lungs, BAL fluid cells, or tracheobronchial lymph nodes of vaccinated calves. Pulmonary inflammation was decreased in vaccinated calves as determined by decreased expression of TNF-α mRNA. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:725–733)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


To examine clinical and pathologic findings in 60 ferrets with lymphoma.


Retrospective case series.


60 ferrets in which the diagnosis of lymphoma had been confirmed by means of histologic examination of biopsy or necropsy specimens.


Information including age, sex, coat color, history, clinical signs, clinicopathologic abnormalities, treatment, outcome, and results of histologic examination of biopsy and necropsy specimens were retrieved from medical records of ferrets with spontaneous lymphoma examined between 1982 and 1994 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or private veterinary practices in 10 states. Classification of lymphoma was assigned according to the National Cancer Institute's working formulation for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, χ2 Trend analysis was used to determine whether age was associated with history, clinical signs, hematologic abnormalities, stage, histologic grade, or outcome.


Acute onset, mediastinal mass, lymphocytosis, and multicentric distribution were linked with younger ferrets, and lymphopenia and survival longer than 2 months after diagnosis was associated with older ferrets. Twenty percent of ferrets in this study had cohabitated with another ferret with lymphoma. Chemotherapeutic efficacy was not evaluated.

Clinical Implications

Clinical and pathologic features linked with age should be considered when evaluating diagnostic and therapeutic options for ferrets with lymphoma. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208: 1297–1301)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether a single intranasal dose of modified-live bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) vaccine protects calves from BRSV challenge and characterize cell-mediated immune response in calves following BRSV challenge.

Animals—13 conventionally reared 4- to 6-week-old Holstein calves.

Procedure—Calves received intranasal vaccination with modified live BRSV vaccine (VC-group calves; n = 4) or mock vaccine (MC-group calves; 6) 1 month before BRSV challenge; unvaccinated control-group calves (n = 3) underwent mock challenge. Serum virus neutralizing (VN) antibodies were measured on days –30, -14, 0, and 7 relative to BRSV challenge; nasal swab specimens were collected for virus isolation on days 0 to 7. At necropsy examination on day 7, tissue specimens were collected for measurement of BRSV-specific interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production. Tissue distribution of CD3+ T and BLA.36+ B cells was evaluated by use of immunohistochemistry.

Results—The MC-group calves had significantly higher rectal temperatures, respiratory rates, and clinical scores on days 5 to 7 after BRSV challenge than VCgroup calves. No difference was seen between distributions of BRSV in lung tissue of VC- and MC-group calves. Production of BRSV-specific IFN-γ was increased in tissue specimens from VC-group calves, compared with MC- and control-group calves. Virusspecific IFN-γ production was highest in the mediastinal lymph node of VC-group calves. Increased numbers of T cells were found in expanded bronchialassociated lymphoid tissue and airway epithelium of VC-group calves.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An intranasal dose of modified-live BRSV vaccine can protect calves against virulent BRSV challenge 1 month later. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:363–372)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare the results of regulatory screening and confirmation assays with those of highperformance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in the detection of ceftiofur metabolites in the tissues of culled dairy cattle.

Animals—17 lactating Holstein dairy cows.

Procedure—Daily IM injections of ceftiofur sodium were administered at a dose of 2.2 mg of ceftiofur equivalents/kg (n = 6) or 1.0 mg of ceftiofur equivalents/kg (10) for 5 days. Following withdrawal times of 12 hours (high-dose ceftiofur) and either 5 or 10 days (low-dose ceftiofur), cows were slaughtered and liver, kidney, and diaphragmatic muscle specimens were harvested and analyzed by HPLC and standard regulatory methods that included the following assays: the swab test on premises, the fast antimicrobial screen test, the calf antibiotic and sulfa test, and the 7-plate bioassay confirmation test.

Results—In all tissue specimens, residues of ceftiofur and desfuroylceftiofur-related metabolites, as measured by HPLC, were less than regulatory tolerance, as defined by the FDA. False-positive screening assay results were more likely for tissue specimens that had been frozen for shipment to a federal laboratory, compared with fresh tissue specimens that were assayed at the slaughter establishment (23% vs 3% false-positive results, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The observation that fresh tissues had negative results on screening assays, whereas subsets of the same tissue specimens had false-positive results on screening assays following freezing, suggests that freezing and thawing interferes with microbial inhibition-based regulatory screening assays. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1730–1733)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To estimate spatial risks associated with mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) during 2001 among horses in a specific study population and partition the herd effects into those attributable to herd location and those that were spatially random and likely attributable to herd management.

Animals—Pregnant broodmares from 62 farms in 7 counties in central Kentucky.

Procedure—Veterinarians provided the 2001 abortion incidence proportions for each farm included in the study. Farms were georeferenced and data were analyzed by use of a fully Bayesian risk-mapping technique.

Results—Large farm-to-farm variation in MRLS incidence proportions was identified. The farm-to-farm variation was largely attributed to spatial location rather than to spatially random herd effects

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that there are considerable data to support an ecologic cause and potential ecologic risk factors for MRLS. Veterinary practitioners with more detailed knowledge of the ecology in the 7 counties in Kentucky that were investigated may provide additional data that would assist in the deduction of the causal factor of MRLS via informal geographic information systems analyses and suggest factors for inclusion in further investigations. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:17–20)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine whether muscle-sparing laryngoplasty results in fewer changes in swallowing function compared to standard surgical treatment for laryngeal paralysis.


12 clinically normal sexually intact male Beagles.


Group A dogs (n = 4) had a standard approach to the larynx, with left arytenoid cartilage lateralization. Group B dogs (n = 4) had a muscle-sparing laryngoplasty performed with the thyropharyngeus muscle fibers bluntly separated, and the cricoarytenoideus dorsalis muscle spared. Pre- and 24-hour postoperative fluoroscopic swallowing studies were performed and graded. Larynges were harvested after humane euthanasia, and glottic area was measured. Group C dogs (n = 4) acted as controls, with surgical dissection ending lateral to the thyropharyngeus muscle, arytenoid lateralization not performed, and the dogs not euthanized. The study was performed between October 15, 2011 and May 15, 2021.


Changes in pharyngeal and upper esophageal sphincter function were not detected in any group. There was no difference in glottic area between treatment groups. Aspiration of liquid was not a consistent finding. Two dogs in each treatment group developed moderate to severe cervical esophageal paresis. This did not occur in control dogs.


We found no evidence to support our hypothesis that muscle-sparing laryngoplasty results in less severe changes in swallowing function compared to a standard technique. The cervical esophageal paresis identified in both treatment groups could increase the risk of postoperative aspiration pneumonia in dogs treated for laryngeal paralysis via a lateral approach to the larynx. Further study to determine the frequency, cause, and duration of esophageal dysfunction is warranted.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association