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  • Author or Editor: Jerome C. Nietfeld x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine signalment, history, clinical findings, results of autonomic function testing and other antemortem diagnostic tests, and pathologic findings in dogs with dysautonomia.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—65 dogs with dysautonomia.

Procedure—Case records of 68 dogs with a diagnosis of dysautonomia were reviewed; inclusion criteria included histologic confirmation of dysautonomia or clinical signs and results of pharmacologic testing consistent with dysautonomia.

Results—65 dogs fulfilled all criteria for dysautonomia. Dogs from rural environments were overrepresented, and cases of dysautonomia were reported for every month, although the highest number of cases was reported in February and March. Vomiting was the most common clinical sign, followed by diarrhea, signs of anorexia and depression, weight loss, and dysuria. The most common physical examination finding was decreased or absent anal tone, followed by absent pupillary light reflexes and elevated nictitating membrane. Results of pharmacologic te sting were consistent with dysautonomia, although no single test was 100% sensitive. Histologic lesions consistent with dysautonomia were found in the autonomic ganglia, brainstem nuclei, and ventral horns of the spinal cord.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dysautonomia is an endemic disease in Kansas, and a high index of suspicion of the disease can be made by combining clinical signs, physical examination findings, and results of pharmacologic testing. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:633–639)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the pharmacokinetics and safety of meloxicam in rabbits when administered orally for 29 days.

Animals—6 healthy rabbits.

Procedures—Meloxicam (1.0 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) was administered to rabbits for 29 days. Blood was collected immediately before (time 0) and 2, 4, 6, 8, and 24 hours after drug administration on days 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of meloxicam. On day 30, an additional sample was collected 36 hours after treatment. Plasma meloxicam concentrations were quantified with liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, and noncompartmental pharmacokinetic analysis was performed. Weekly plasma biochemical analyses were performed to evaluate any adverse physiologic effects. Rabbits were euthanatized for necropsy on day 31.

Results—Mean ± SD peak plasma concentrations of meloxicam after administration of doses 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 were 0.67 ± 0.19 μg/mL, 0.81 ± 0.21 μg/mL, 1.00 ± 0.31 μg/mL, 1.00 ± 0.29 μg/mL, and 1.07 ± 0.19 μg/mL, respectively; these concentrations did not differ significantly among doses 8 through 29. Results of plasma biochemical analyses were within reference ranges at all time points evaluated. Gross necropsy and histologic examination of tissues revealed no clinically relevant findings.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Plasma concentrations of meloxicam for rabbits in the present study were similar to those previously reported in rabbits that received 1. 0 mg of meloxicam/kg, PO every 24 hours, for 5 days. Results suggested that a dosage of 1. 0 mg/kg, PO, every 24 hours for up to 29 days may be safe for use in healthy rabbits.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate, under field conditions, the effects of a commercial porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) vaccine on mortality rate and growth performance in a herd infected with PCV2 that had a history of porcine circovirus disease.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—485 commercial, cross-bred, growing pigs.

Procedures—Prior to weaning, pigs were randomly assigned within litter to a vaccination or unvaccinated control group. Pigs in the vaccination group were given a commercial PCV2 vaccine at weaning and 3 weeks later. Mortality rate was recorded, and pigs were weighed prior to vaccination, when moved from the nursery, and prior to marketing. Infection status was assessed by serologic testing and detection of viral DNA in serum.

Results—Compared with control pigs, pigs vaccinated against PCV2 had a significantly lower mortality rate during the finishing phase, significantly higher average daily gain during the finishing phase, and significantly lower likelihood of being lightweight at the time of marketing. For vaccinated pigs, overall mortality rate was reduced by 50% and average daily gain during the finishing period was increased by 9.3%. At the time of marketing, vaccinated pigs weighed an average of 8.8 kg (19.4 lb) more than control pigs, without any difference in days to marketing. Serum PCV2 antibody titers increased in control pigs, and PCV2 DNA was detected, indicating active PCV2 infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that vaccination against PCV2 was effective at reducing mortality rate and improving growth performance among pigs in a herd infected with PCV2.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association