To determine whether a dose-response relationship exists between short-term oral prednisone administration and common clinicopathologic variables, cardiovascular biomarkers, and systolic arterial blood pressure (SAP) in healthy dogs.
8 healthy Beagles.
Dogs underwent five 5-day experiments (no prednisone treatment [control condition] and prednisone administration at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h), with a 9-day washout period between protocols. Analyses performed before and after treatments included a CBC, serum biochemical analysis, and determination of SAP, fractional excretion of electrolytes, urine protein-to-creatinine ratio, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), serum N-terminal pro B–type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and plasma cortisol concentrations, and plasma renin activity. Linear mixed-effects modeling was used to compare changes in variables from baseline (day 1 for the same experiment) among treatment conditions.
Changes in serum glucose concentration and GFR were significantly greater after administration of prednisone at 4 mg/kg than for the control condition. Fractional excretion of sodium was decreased from baseline when dogs received 0.5, 1, or 4 mg of prednisone/kg, compared with results for the control condition. Several expected changes in clinicopathologic values were observed after prednisone administration at any dose. Changes in serum NT-proBNP concentration, plasma renin activity, and SAP did not differ from changes for the control condition at any prednisone dose.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Oral prednisone administration did not affect SAP, NT-proBNP concentration, or measures of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activation in healthy laboratory-housed dogs but was associated with relative increases in GFR and serum glucose concentration.
To determine the diagnostic utility of a smartphone-based ECG device (Alivecor KardiaMobile) in awake bonobos (Pan paniscus).
7 adult bonobos in human care.
Bonobos were trained with positive reinforcement to hold 1 finger from each hand onto the KardiaMobile sensors for 30 seconds to obtain an ECG reading. Ten ECG tracings were recorded from each bonobo and evaluated by a veterinarian, a veterinary cardiologist, and a human cardiologist for tracing quality, tracing length, heart rate, identification of P-waves, and presence and quantification of premature ventricular or atrial contractions.
6 of the 7 bonobos were trained within 21 weeks to allow the collection of 10 diagnostic quality ECG tracings. The average heart rate recorded was 87 bpm (range = 60 to 118 bpm). Potential abnormalities identified by the KardiaMobile included premature ventricular contractions in 2 male bonobos and 1 premature atrial contraction in another male. There was strong agreement by reviewers in all ECG parameters except for the identification of P-waves.
The Alivecor KardiaMobile device has diagnostic utility as a screening tool for use in bonobos in human care. The training was accomplished to yield diagnostic ECG readings of acceptable duration in awake bonobos. Given the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in great apes, this technology may identify a subset of great apes who may benefit from early intervention and treatment in an effort to delay the progression of cardiac disease.
To compare the use of curvilinear-array (microconvex) and phased-array transducers for ultrasonographic examination of the lungs in dogs.
13 client-owned dogs with left-sided congestive heart failure.
In a prospective methods comparison study, 24 ultrasonographic examinations of the lungs (4 sites/hemithorax) were performed with both curvilinear-array and phased-array transducers at 3 clinical time points. Two observers independently assessed the number of B lines (scored per site and in total), number of sites strongly positive for B lines (ie, those with > 3 B lines/site), and image quality (scored on a 5-point scale). Analyses included assessment of interobserver agreement with κ analysis, comparison of quality scores between transducers with mixed-effects modeling, and investigation of agreement and bias for B-line data and quality scores between transducers with Passing-Bablok regression.
Interobserver agreement for total B-line scores and number of strong-positive sites was excellent (κ > 0.80) for both transducers. There was no evidence of analytic bias for the number of B lines or strong-positive sites between transducers. Interobserver agreement for image quality scores was moderate (κ, 0.498 and 0.517 for the curvilinear-array and phased-array transducers, respectively). Both observers consistently assigned higher-quality scores to curvilinear-array images than to phased-array images.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated both curvilinear-array (microconvex) and phased-array transducers can be used by experienced sonographers to obtain diagnostic ultrasonographic images of the lungs in dogs with acute or resolving left-sided congestive heart failure and suggested the former transducer may be preferred, particularly to aid identification of anatomic landmarks for orientation.
OBJECTIVE To determine the accuracy of a point-of-care lung ultrasonography (LUS) protocol designed to diagnose cardiogenic pulmonary edema (CPE) in dyspneic dogs and cats.
DESIGN Diagnostic test evaluation.
ANIMALS 76 dogs and 24 cats evaluated for dyspnea.
PROCEDURES Dogs and cats were evaluated by LUS; B lines were counted at 4 anatomic sites on each hemithorax. A site was scored as positive when > 3 B lines were identified. Animals with ≥ 2 positive sites identified on each hemithorax were considered positive for CPE. Medical records were evaluated to obtain a final diagnosis (reference standard) for calculation of the sensitivity and specificity of LUS and thoracic radiography for the diagnosis of CPE.
RESULTS Dogs and cats with a final diagnosis of CPE had a higher number of positive LUS sites than did those with noncardiac causes of dyspnea. Overall sensitivity and specificity of LUS for the diagnosis of CPE were 84% and 74%, respectively, and these values were similar to those of thoracic radiography (85% and 87%, respectively). Use of LUS generally led to the misdiagnosis of CPE (ie, a false-positive result) in animals with diffuse interstitial or alveolar disease. Interobserver agreement on LUS results was high (κ > 0.85).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE LUS was useful for predicting CPE as the cause of dyspnea in dogs and cats, although this technique could not be used to differentiate CPE from other causes of diffuse interstitial or alveolar disease. Point-of-care LUS has promise as a diagnostic tool for dyspneic dogs and cats.
To characterize lung ultrasonography (LUS) findings in dogs with a primary clinical complaint of cough.
100 client-owned coughing dogs.
A standardized LUS examination was performed for all dogs to quantify the number of B lines and identify subpleural abnormalities at 4 sites on each hemithorax. The final clinical diagnosis (reference standard) was determined by medical record review, and sensitivity and specificity of LUS for the diagnosis of selected causes of cough was determined.
Common underlying causes of cough included dynamic airway collapse (n = 37), cardiogenic pulmonary edema (CPE; 12), and bronchitis (10). Compared with dogs with other causes of cough, dogs with bacterial pneumonia (n = 7) were more likely to have subpleural shred signs, whereas dogs with pulmonary neoplasia (4) were more likely to have subpleural nodule signs. Dogs with CPE had higher total B-line scores and higher numbers of LUS sites strongly positive for B lines (> 3 B lines/site) than other dogs. The LUS criteria of total B-line score ≥ 10 and presence of ≥ 2 sites strongly positive for B lines were each 92% sensitive and 94% specific for CPE diagnosis. Notably, 18% (16/88) of dogs with noncardiac causes of cough had been treated previously with diuretics because of prior CPE misdiagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
LUS profiles in dogs with cough differed by the underlying cause. In dogs with a clinical history of cough, this imaging modality could be diagnostically useful, particularly to help exclude the possibility of underlying CPE.
A 15-year-old sexually intact female ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) was evaluated for a heart murmur and progressive radiographic cardiomegaly.
The lemur was clinically normal at the time of initial evaluation. Results of transthoracic echocardiography performed when the animal was anesthetized indicated mitral valve stenosis and severe left atrial dilation. Three months later, signs of left-sided congestive heart failure (CHF; coughing, exercise intolerance, and tachypnea) were observed and confirmed by the presence of radiographic pulmonary edema.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
Medical treatment that consisted of aspirin, benazepril, furosemide, pimobendan, spironolactone, and ultimately torsemide in lieu of furosemide successfully controlled the lemur's clinical signs for 33 months after the development of CHF. Euthanasia was then elected on the basis of perceived poor quality of life because tachypnea became refractory to progressively higher dosages of diuretic. Necropsy confirmed mitral stenosis with severe left atrial dilation and chronic pulmonary congestion.
The present report described the long-term medical management of CHF secondary to mitral stenosis in a lemur. Mitral stenosis was suspected to be a congenital defect, similar to the cause of mitral stenosis reported for dogs and cats, rather than to be an acquired change in association with rheumatic heart disease as commonly occurs for people. The lemur's CHF was well managed for 33 months with treatment, including pimobendan, which was well tolerated.
To evaluate the clinicopathologic, hemodynamic, and echocardiographic effects of short-term administration of anti-inflammatory dosages of prednisolone to systemically normal cats.
10 cats with allergic dermatitis and 10 healthy control cats.
Cats with allergic dermatitis were randomly allocated to 2 groups and received 2 dosages of prednisolone (1 and 2 mg/kg/d, PO, for 7 days) in a crossover design followed by 9-day tapering and 14-day washout periods. Each prednisolone-treated cat was matched to a healthy control cat on the basis of sex, neuter status, age (± 1 year), and body weight (± 10%). Control cats received no treatment during the 35-day observation period. Clinicopathologic, echocardiographic, and hemodynamic variables were measured at baseline (day 0) and predetermined times during and after prednisolone administration and compared within and between the 2 treatment groups.
Prednisolone-treated cats had expected clinicopathologic alterations (mild increases in neutrophil and monocyte counts and serum concentrations of albumin, cholesterol, and triglycerides) but systolic arterial blood pressure; blood glucose, serum potassium, and cardiac biomarker concentrations; urinary sodium excretion; and echocardiographic variables did not differ significantly from baseline at any time. Statistically significant, albeit clinically irrelevant, increases in blood glucose and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide concentrations were observed between baseline and the prednisolone pharmacokinetic steady state (7 days after initiation) only when the 2-mg/kg dosage was administered.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated short-term oral administration of anti-inflammatory dosages of prednisolone did not cause relevant hemodynamic, echocardiographic, or diabetogenic effects in systemically normal cats with allergic dermatitis.
OBJECTIVE To investigate mechanisms by which anti-inflammatory doses of orally administered intermediate-acting glucocorticoids (prednisone) could predispose dogs to progression of heart disease or congestive heart failure.
ANIMALS 11 client-owned dogs with allergic dermatitis and 11 matched healthy control dogs.
PROCEDURES Clinicopathologic, echocardiographic, and hemodynamic variables were measured. Dogs with allergic dermatitis then received prednisone (1 mg/kg, PO) once daily for 14 consecutive days beginning on day 0 (baseline), followed by a tapering and washout period; control dogs received no treatment. Measurements were repeated on days 7, 14, and 35. Linear mixed modeling was used to compare changes in variables across measurement points and between dog groups.
RESULTS Prednisone administration caused no significant changes in serum sodium or potassium concentration, blood glucose concentration, or target echocardiographic variables. The change from baseline in systolic arterial blood pressure at day 7 was significantly greater in prednisone-treated dogs than in control dogs. Expected changes in hematologic and serum biochemical values with prednisone administration (neutrophilia, eosinopenia, isosthenuria, and high serum alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase activities) also occurred in the prednisone-treated dogs.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that anti-inflammatory doses of orally administered glucocorticoids have the potential to adversely impact cardiac function in dogs by causing an increase in blood pressure and thus increased cardiac afterload.
To describe the clinical presentation and outcome in dogs diagnosed with Trypanosoma cruzi infection in nonendemic areas and to survey veterinary cardiologists in North America for Chagas disease awareness.
12 client-owned dogs; 83 respondents from a veterinary cardiology listserv.
A retrospective, multicenter medical records review to identify dogs diagnosed with American trypanosomiasis between December 2010 and December 2020. An anonymous online survey was conducted August 9 to 22, 2022.
Diagnosis was made using indirect fluorescent antibody titer (n = 9), quantitative PCR assay (1), or postmortem histopathology (2). Time spent in Texas was < 1 year (n = 7) or 2 to 8 years (5). Time in nonendemic areas prior to diagnosis was < 1 year (n = 10) and > 3 years (2). Eleven had cardiac abnormalities. Of the 12 dogs, 5 had died unexpectedly (range, 1 to 108 days after diagnosis), 4 were still alive at last follow-up (range, 60 to 369 days after diagnosis), 2 were euthanized because of heart disease (1 and 98 days after diagnosis), and 1 was lost to follow-up. Survey results were obtained from 83 cardiologists in North America, of which the self-reported knowledge about Chagas disease was limited in 49% (41/83) and 69% (57/83) expressed interest in learning resources.
Results highlight the potential for encountering dogs with T cruzi infection in nonendemic areas and need for raising awareness about Chagas disease in North America.