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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine reproductive capacity of naturally breeding free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate.

Design—Prospective cohort and retrospective crosssectional study.

Animals—2,332 female cats brought to a trap-neuterreturn clinic for neutering and 71 female cats and 171 kittens comprising 50 litters from a cohort study of feral cats in managed colonies.

Procedure—Data collected for all cats included pregnancy, lactation, and estrus status and number of fetuses for pregnant cats. Additional data collected for feral cats in managed colonies included numbers of litters per year and kittens per litter, date of birth, kitten survival rate, and causes of death.

Results—Pregnant cats were observed in all months of the year, but the percentage of cats found to be pregnant was highest in March, April, and May. Cats produced a mean of 1.4 litters/y, with a median of 3 kittens/litter (range, 1 to 6). Overall, 127 of 169 (75%) kittens died or disappeared before 6 months of age. Trauma was the most common cause of death.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results illustrate the high reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats. Realistic estimates of the reproductive capacity of female cats may be useful in assessing the effectiveness of population control strategies. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1399–1402)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the time and financial costs of programs for live trapping feral cats and determine whether allowing cats to become acclimated to the traps improved trapping effectiveness.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—107 feral cats in 9 colonies.

Procedure—15 traps were set at each colony for 5 consecutive nights, and 5 traps were then set per night until trapping was complete. In 4 colonies, traps were immediately baited and set; in the remaining 5 colonies, traps were left open and cats were fed in the traps for 3 days prior to the initiation of trapping. Costs for bait and labor were calculated, and trapping effort and efficiency were assessed.

Results—Mean ± SD overall trapping effort (ie, number of trap-nights until at least 90% of the cats in the colony had been captured or until no more than 1 cat remained untrapped) was 8.9 ± 3.9 trap-nights per cat captured. Mean overall trapping efficiency (ie, percentage of cats captured per colony) was 98.0 ± 4.0%. There were no significant differences in trapping effort or efficiency between colonies that were provided an acclimation period and colonies that were not. Overall trapping costs were significantly higher for colonies provided an acclimation period.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that these live-trapping protocols were effective. Feeding cats their regular diets in the traps for 3 days prior to the initiation of trapping did not have a significant effect on trapping effort or efficiency in the present study but was associated with significant increases in trapping costs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1403–1405)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

State veterinarians in 11 southeastern states completed a questionnaire designed to determine the proportion of equids in the region that were seropositive for equine infectious anemia (eia). Cases of eia were diagnosed in each of the states surveyed. Distinct geographic clusters of cases were apparent in Tennessee and Kentucky adjacent to the Mississippi River, in the Piedmont of North Carolina at the Virginia border, in north central Georgia, and throughout the Florida peninsula. It is suggested that the national eia program could be improved by standardization and wider application of uniform active surveillance measures, and improved documentation of eia status of horses on acquisition and transfer records.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare seroprevalences of antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Toxoplasma gondii and fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and Toxocara cati in feral and pet domestic cats.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional serologic and coprologic survey.

Animals—100 feral cats and 76 pet domestic cats from Randolph County, NC.

Procedure—Blood and fecal samples were collected and tested.

Results—Percentages of feral cats seropositive for antibodies against B henselae and T gondii (93% and 63%, respectively) were significantly higher than percentages of pet cats (75% and 34%). Percentages of feral and pet cats with Cryptosporidium spp (7% of feral cats; 6% of pet cats), Giardia spp (6% of feral cats; 5% of pet cats), and T cati ova (21% of feral cats; 18% of pet cats) in their feces were not significantly different between populations. Results of CBCs and serum biochemical analyses were not significantly different between feral and pet cats, except that feral cats had a significantly lower median PCV and significantly higher median neutrophil count.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that feral and pet cats had similar baseline health status, as reflected by results of hematologic and serum biochemical testing and similar prevalences of infection with Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and T cati. Feral cats did have higher seroprevalences of antibodies against B henselae and T gondii than did pet cats, but this likely was related to greater exposure to vectors of these organisms. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1394–1398)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether FIV infection in captive African lions is associated with changes in immune cell variables similar to those detected in domestic cats infected with FIV.

Animals—5 captive African lions naturally infected with FIV (FIV+) and 5 lions not infected with FIV (FIV).

Procedure—Peripheral blood samples were collected from FIV+ lions during annual examinations conducted during a 7-year period and at a single time point from the FIV lions. From results of CBC and flow cytometry, lymphocyte subsets were characterized and compared.

Results—Flow cytometric analysis revealed that the percentage and absolute number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were significantly lower in FIV+ lions, compared with these values in FIV– lions. In FIV+ lions, severe depletion in the absolute number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was detected, although this did not correlate with clinical signs. Muscle wasting was the most consistent clinical sign of infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that FIV+ African lions develop lymphocyte deficiencies, including significant decreases in the absolute number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells; these findings of immune dysfunction are similar to those defined for FIV+ domestic cats. It is important to monitor the number of CD4+ T cells in infected animals as a measure of disease progression. (Am J Vet Res 2003; 64:1293–1300)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine long-term (> 6 months) outcome of dogs with paraplegia and loss of hind limb deep pain perception (DPP) resulting from intervertebral disk herniation or trauma.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—87 dogs.

Procedure—Outcome was determined as successful or unsuccessful. The association of neuroanatomic localization, breed, age, weight, sex, and (for dogs with intervertebral disk herniation) speed of onset of signs and duration of paraplegia prior to surgery with outcome was evaluated. Owners were contacted by telephone to identify long-term health problems.

Results—Nine of 17 dogs with traumatic injuries were treated, and 2 regained the ability to walk; none of the 17 dogs regained DPP. Sixty-four of 70 dogs with intervertebral disk herniation underwent surgery; 9 (14%) were euthanatized within 3 weeks after surgery (7 because of ascending myelomalacia), 37 (58%) regained DPP and the ability to walk, 7 (11%) regained the ability to walk without regaining DPP, and 11 (17%) remained paraplegic without DPP. Outcome was not associated with any of the factors evaluated, but speed of recovery of ambulation was significantly associated with body weight and age. Fifteen (41%) and 12 (32%) dogs that regained DPP had intermittent fecal and urinary incontinence, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the prognosis for paraplegic dogs without DPP because of trauma was guarded, while dogs with disk herniation had a better chance of recovering motor function. A third of the dogs that recovered motor function had intermittent incontinence. Persistent loss of DPP did not preclude recovery of motor function, but such dogs remained incontinent. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:762–769)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION 5 dogs (median age, 9 years; median body weight, 31 kg [68.2 lb]) with undefined nasal masses were examined after undergoing CT of the head and nasal biopsy via a rostral rhinoscopic or unaided (blind) approach because histologic results for collected biopsy specimens (inflammatory, necrotic, or hemorrhagic disease) suggested the specimens were nonrepresentative of the underlying disease process identified via CT (aggressive or malignant disease).

CLINICAL FINDINGS Clinical signs at the time dogs were evaluated included open-mouth breathing, sneezing, or unilateral epistaxis. Histologic findings pertaining to the original biopsy specimens were suggestive of benign processes such as inflammation. In an attempt to obtain better representative specimens, a frameless CT-guided stereotactic biopsy system (CTSBS) was used to collect additional biopsy specimens from masses within the nasal and sinus passages of the dogs. The second set of biopsy specimens was histologically evaluated.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Histologic evaluation of biopsy specimens collected via the CTSBS revealed results suggestive of malignant neoplasia (specifically, chondrosarcoma, hemangiopericytoma, or undifferentiated sarcoma) for 3 dogs, mild mixed-cell inflammation for 1 dog, and hamartoma for 1 dog. No complications were reported. These findings resulted in a change in treatment recommendations for 3 dogs and confirmed that no additional treatment was required for 1 dog (with hamartoma). For the remaining dog, in which CT findings and clinical history were strongly suggestive of neoplasia, the final diagnosis was rhinitis.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Biopsy specimens were safely collected from masses within the nasal and sinus passages of dogs by use of a frameless CTSBS, allowing a definitive diagnosis that was unachievable with other biopsy approaches.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Objective

To determine usefulness of carbamylated hemoglobin (CarHb) concentration for differentiation of acute renal failure (ARF) from chronic renal failure (CRF) in dogs.

Sample Population

Samples from dogs with ARF or CRF and from nonazotemic control dogs.

Procedure

CarHb concentration was determined in heparinized blood samples by measuring the micrograms of valine hydantoin (VH) per gram of hemoglobin (Hb), using a high-performance liquid chromatography assay, in which carbamyl valine is converted to VH via acid hydrolysis.

Results

CarHb concentration was significantly higher in dogs with ARF and CRF, compared with values in control dogs (ARF vs control, P < 0.05; CRF vs control, P < 0.001). Furthermore, CarHb concentration was significantly (P < 0.001) higher in dogs with CRF, compared with that in dogs with ARF. Carbamylated hemoglobin concentration did not correlate with serum urea nitrogen or creatinine concentration. Using a cutoff value of 100 μg of VH/g of Hb, the sensitivity and specificity of CarHb concentration for differentiating ARF from CRF was 96.1 and 84.2%, respectively.

Conclusions

CarHb concentration was useful in the differentiation of ARF from CRF in the dogs of this study.

Clinical Relevance

CarHb concentration may be used to increase the accuracy of identifying ARF, so that early, aggressive management can be instituted, thereby increasing the chance of recovery. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:1193–1196)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research