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Objective—To compare myocardial concentrations of fatty acids in dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with concentrations in control dogs.
Sample Population—Myocardial tissues from 7 dogs with DCM and 16 control dogs.
Procedure—Myocardial tissues were homogenized, and total fatty acids were extracted and converted to methyl esters. Myocardial concentrations of fatty acids were analyzed by use of gas chromatography and reported as corrected percentages.
Results—The amount of docosatetraenoic acid (C22:4 n-6) was significantly higher in myocardial samples from dogs with DCM (range, 0.223% to 0.774%; median, 0.451%), compared with the amount in samples obtained from control dogs (range, 0.166% to 0.621%; median, 0.280%). There were no significant differences between DCM and control dogs for concentrations of any other myocardial fatty acids.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although concentrations of most myocardial fatty acids did not differ significantly between dogs with DCM and control dogs, the concentration of docosatetraenoic acid was significantly higher in dogs with DCM. Additional investigation in a larger population is warranted to determine whether this is a primary or secondary effect of the underlying disease and whether alterations in fatty acids may be a target for intervention in dogs with DCM. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1483–1486)
Objective—To develop and evaluate a questionnaire (functional evaluation of cardiac health [FETCH] questionnaire) for assessing health-related quality of life in dogs with cardiac disease.
Animals—360 dogs with cardiac disease.
Procedure—The questionnaire was developed on the basis of widely accepted clinical signs of cardiac disease in dogs. A FETCH score was calculated by summing responses to questionnaire items; possible scores ranged from 0 to 85. For questionnaire validation, owners of 60 dogs were asked to complete the questionnaire and provide an overall assessment of their dogs' quality of life (16 owners completed the questionnaire twice). Disease severity was assessed with the International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) classification for cardiac disease. Following validation, the final questionnaire was administered to owners of the remaining 300 dogs.
Results—Internal consistency of the questionnaire was good, and the FETCH score was significantly correlated with the owner-reported quality-of-life score and with ISACHC classification. For owners that completed the questionnaire twice, scores were significantly correlated. During the second phase of the study, the FETCH score ranged from 0 to 70 (median, 7) and was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification, but did not vary significantly with underlying disease. For dogs examined twice, the change in FETCH score was significantly greater for dogs in which ISACHC classification improved than for dogs in which ISACHC classification was unchanged.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the FETCH questionnaire is a valid and reliable method for assessing health-related quality of life in dogs with cardiac disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1864–1868)
To compare signalment, clinical signs, diet, echocardiographic findings, and outcome for pit bull–type breeds diagnosed between 2015 and 2022 with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or with DCM diagnosed by a cardiologist but that did not meet all study echocardiographic criteria (DCM-C).
91 dogs with DCM and 11 dogs with DCM-C.
Data were collected on clinical findings, echocardiographic measurements, and diet at the time of diagnosis (for 76/91 dogs); echocardiographic changes; and survival.
For dogs with diet information available for time of diagnosis, 64/76 (84%) dogs were eating nontraditional commercial diets, while 12/76 (16%) were eating traditional commercial diets. There were few differences between diet groups at baseline, with congestive heart failure and arrhythmias common in both groups. Thirty-four dogs with known baseline diet and diet change status had follow-up echocardiograms between 60 and 1,076 days later (traditional diet, n = 7; nontraditional diet that changed diets, 27; and nontraditional diet group without diet change, 0). Dogs in the nontraditional diet group that changed diets had a significantly greater decrease in normalized left ventricular diameter (diastolic, P = .02; systolic, P = .048) and the left atrium-to-aorta ratio (P = .002) and a significantly greater increase in fractional shortening (P = .02) compared to dogs eating traditional diets. Dogs eating nontraditional diets with diet change (n = 45; P < .001) and dogs eating traditional diets (12; P < .001) had a significantly longer survival time compared to dogs eating nontraditional diets without diet change (4). Dogs with DCM-C also had significant echocardiographic improvements after diet change.
Congestive heart failure and arrhythmias were common in pit bull–type breeds with DCM. Those eating nontraditional diets that changed diets had significant improvements in echocardiographic measurements after diet change.
Objective—To determine nutrient intake and dietary patterns in cats with cardiac disease.
Animals—95 cats with congenital cardiac disease or primary cardiomyopathy.
Procedures—Owners completed a standardized telephone questionnaire regarding their cat's diet and a 24-hour food recall to determine daily intake of calories, fat, protein, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Results—Of the 95 cats, 18 (19%) had a history of congestive heart failure and 73 (77%) had no clinical signs of cardiac disease. Fifty-five percent (52/95) of cats had concurrent disease. Inappetance was reported in 38% (36/95) of all cats and in 72% (68/95) of cats with a history of congestive heart failure. Most (57% [54/95]) cats received treats or table scraps on a regular basis. Approximately half the cats were receiving orally administered medications, supplements, or both. Only 34% (32/68) of owners used food to administer medications to cats. Cats consumed more than the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimums for protein, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and nearly all cats consumed more than the AAFCO minimum for fat. Daily nutrient intake was variable for all of the nutrients assessed.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary intake in cats with cardiac disease was variable, but results for dietary supplement use, food use for medication administration, and treat feeding were different from those found in a similar study of dogs with cardiac disease. This information may be useful for treating and designing nutritional studies for cats with cardiac disease.
CASE DESCRIPTION 2 dogs with chylothorax were identified to have cardiac mass lesions obstructing the return of venous blood from the cranial vena cava. Chylous effusion was presumed to have been a result of an increase in cranial vena cava pressure affecting flow of chyle through the thoracic duct.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Both dogs had tachypnea and pleural effusion requiring therapeutic thoracocentesis. Fluid analysis confirmed chylothorax. A heart-base mass was identified via echocardiography in each dog, and CT-angiographic findings confirmed obstruction to venous return in the cranial vena cava in both dogs and compression of the pulmonary artery in 1 dog.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Each dog was anesthetized, and self-expanding endovascular stents were placed with fluoroscopic guidance. In both dogs, the site of stent placement was the cranial vena cava, and in 1 dog, an additional stent was positioned in the pulmonary artery. Chylous effusion resolved successfully in both dogs after surgery, with postoperative survival times exceeding 6 months. Complications included periprocedural arrhythmias in both dogs and eventual obstruction of the stent with tumor extension and fluid reaccumulation in 1 dog.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Endovascular stent placement may provide a useful palliative treatment for chylothorax secondary to vascular compression by a heart-base mass in dogs.
Objective—To compare morphometric measurements and serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) concentration in cats with and without hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and assess the hypothesis that cats with HCM have larger body size and skeletal features and higher serum IGF-1 concentrations than healthy cats.
Animals—25 cats with HCM and 22 healthy control cats.
Procedures—Physical examination and echocardiography were performed to classify cats into the HCM and control groups. Data collected from each cat included diet history, body weight, body condition score, lengths of the humerus and 4th and 12th thoracic vertebrae, heart size, head length and width, and abdominal circumferences. Comparisons of these variables were made between groups.
Results—Body condition score in HCM-affected and control cats did not differ significantly. However, median head width; lengths of the head, 4th and 12th thoracic vertebrae, and humerus; and body weight in the HCM-affected group were significantly greater than values in the control group. Median serum concentration of IGF-1 was not significantly different between groups.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data suggested that among the study cats, those with HCM were skeletally larger, but not more obese, than healthy cats. Whether this was attributable to differences in early growth or other causes requires additional investigation.
Objective—To determine reference values for kaolin-activated thromboelastography in echocardiographically normal cats.
Animals—30 healthy cats without evidence of cardiomyopathy on echocardiographic examination.
Procedures—All cats underwent echocardiographic examination, the findings of which were reviewed by a board-certified cardiologist. Cats that struggled (n = 10) received mild sedation with butorphanol and midazolam IM to permit phlebotomy without interruption in jugular venous blood flow. Blood samples were collected for analysis of thromboelastography variables, PCV, total solids concentration, platelet count, activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time, fibrinogen concentration, and antithrombin concentration.
Results—All 4 thromboelastography variables had < 5% mean intra-assay variability. Mean values were as follows: reaction time, 4.3 minutes; clotting time, 1.6 minutes; α angle, 66.5°; and maximum amplitude, 56.4 mm. Compared with nonsedated cats, cats that required sedation had a significantly shorter clotting time and greater α angle, whereas reaction time and maximum amplitude were not significantly different.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Kaolin-activated thromboelastography was a reliable test with unremarkable intra-assay variability in echocardiographically normal cats. Sedation may affect certain thromboelastography variables, but the effect is unlikely to be clinically important. It remains unknown whether subclinical cardiomyopathy has a significant effect on thromboelastography variables in cats.
Objective—To determine plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and serum vitamin E concentrations in dogs with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) and healthy control dogs.
Sample Population—Serum and plasma samples from 36 dogs with IMHA and 40 healthy control dogs.
Procedure—Blood samples were collected from all study dogs. Plasma MDA concentrations were measured by use of a commercial colorimetric assay, and serum vitamin E concentrations (α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol concentrations) were measured via high-performance liquid chromatography.
Results—Plasma MDA concentrations were significantly higher in the dogs with IMHA than in the control dogs. Compared with control dogs, serum α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol concentrations were significantly lower in the IMHA-affected dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated a state of oxidative stress and reduced antioxidant reserve in dogs with IMHA; this finding provides support for further investigation of the potential benefits of antioxidant treatment in dogs with this disease. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1621–1624)
To compare metabolomic profiles of dogs eating grain-free (GF) versus grain-inclusive (GI) diets (1) for healthy dogs at baseline and (2) for dogs with subclinical cardiac abnormalities at 12 months after a diet change.
Serum samples from 23 dogs eating GF diets and 79 dogs eating GI diets, of which 17 (8 eating a GF diet and 9 eating a GI diet) were reevaluated 12 months after a diet change.
Metabolomic profiles were developed by means of ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectroscopy of serum samples. Baseline results for the GF group were compared with those for the GI group. Dogs from both groups with subclinical cardiac abnormalities were transitioned to a GI, pulse-free, intervention diet, and samples collected 12 months later were compared between diet groups. Statistical significance for biochemical group differences was defined as P < .05 with a false discovery rate (q) < .10.
Baseline differences in lipid metabolism and amino acid metabolism were found between the GF and GI diet groups. There were 46 metabolites that were higher and 82 metabolites that were lower in the GF group (n = 23), compared with the GI group (79). Comparison of the GF (n = 8) and GI (9) groups 12 months after the diet change showed only 6 metabolites that were higher and 11 metabolites that were lower in the GF group, compared with the GI group.
Metabolomic pathway differences between dogs eating GF versus GI diets highlight the important effect of diet in metabolomics analyses. The clinical importance of these differences and how they might relate to cardiac disease in dogs remains undetermined.