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Abstract

Objective—To investigate the influence of dietary supplementation with l-carnitine on metabolic rate, fatty acid oxidation, weight loss, and lean body mass (LBM) in overweight cats undergoing rapid weight reduction.

Animals—32 healthy adult neutered colony-housed cats.

Procedures—Cats fattened through unrestricted ingestion of an energy-dense diet for 6 months were randomly assigned to 4 groups and fed a weight reduction diet supplemented with 0 (control), 50, 100, or 150 μg of carnitine/g of diet (unrestricted for 1 month, then restricted). Measurements included resting energy expenditure, respiratory quotient, daily energy expenditure, LBM, and fatty acid oxidation. Following weight loss, cats were allowed unrestricted feeding of the energy-dense diet to investigate weight gain after test diet cessation.

Results—Median weekly weight loss in all groups was ≥ 1.3%, with no difference among groups in overall or cumulative percentage weight loss. During restricted feeding, the resting energy expenditure-to-LBM ratio was significantly higher in cats that received l-carnitine than in those that received the control diet. Respiratory quotient was significantly lower in each cat that received l-carnitine on day 42, compared with the value before the diet began, and in all cats that received l-carnitine, compared with the control group throughout restricted feeding. A significant increase in palmitate flux rate in cats fed the diet with 150 μg of carnitine/g relative to the flux rate in the control group on day 42 corresponded to significantly increased stoichiometric fat oxidation in the l-carnitine diet group (> 62% vs 14% for the control group). Weight gain (as high as 28%) was evident within 35 days after unrestricted feeding was reintroduced.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary l-carnitine supplementation appeared to have a metabolic effect in overweight cats undergoing rapid weight loss that facilitated fatty acid oxidation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize the frequency and type of bacterial infection by culture- and immunohistochemical (IHC)-based methods and determine the impact of infection on clinical features and survival time in cats with suppurative cholangitis-cholangiohepatitis syndrome (S-CCHS).

ANIMALS

168 client-owned cats with S-CCHS (cases).

PROCEDURES

Clinical features, bacterial culture results, culture-inoculate sources, and survival details were recorded. Cases were subcategorized by comorbidity (extrahepatic bile duct obstruction, cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, ductal plate malformation, biopsy-confirmed inflammatory bowel disease, and biopsy-confirmed pancreatitis) or treatment by cholecystectomy or cholecystoenterostomy. Culture results, bacterial isolates, Gram-stain characteristics, and IHC staining were compared among comorbidities. Lipoteichoic acid IHC staining detected gram-positive bacterial cell wall components, and toll-like receptor expression IHC reflected pathologic endotoxin (gram-negative bacteria) exposure.

RESULTS

Clinical features were similar among cases except for more frequent abdominal pain and lethargy in cats with positive culture results and pyrexia, abdominal pain, and hepatomegaly for cats with polymicrobial infections. Bacteria were cultured in 93 of 135 (69%) cats, with common isolates including Enterococcus spp and Escherichia coli. IHC staining was positive in 142 of 151 (94%) cats (lipoteichoic acid, 107/142 [75%]; toll-like receptor 4, 99/142 [70%]). With in-parallel interpretation of culture and IHC-based bacterial detection, 154 of 166 (93%) cats had bacterial infections (gram-positive, 118/154 [77%]; gram-negative, 111/154 [72%]; polymicrobial, 79/154 [51%]). Greater frequency of bacterial isolation occurred with combined tissue, bile, and crushed cholelith inoculates. Infection and gram-positive bacterial isolates were associated with significantly shorter long-term survival times.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

S-CCHS was associated with bacterial infection, pathologic endotoxin exposure, and frequent polymicrobial infection in cats. Combined tissue inoculates improved culture detection of associated bacteria.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine disorders associated with vacuolar hepatopathy (VH), morphologic hepatic and clinicopathologic abnormalities, and affiliation with steroidogenic hormone excess in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—336 dogs with histologically confirmed moderate or severe VH.

Procedures—Information on signalment, results of diagnostic testing, definitive diagnoses, and exposure to glucocorticoids (ie, exogenous glucocorticoid administration or high endogenous concentrations of steroidogenic hormones) was obtained from medical records. Dogs were grouped by underlying disorder, glucocorticoid exposure, acinar zonal distribution of lesions, and histologic severity.

Results—12 disease groups (neoplastic, acquired hepatobiliary, neurologic, immune-mediated, gastrointestinal tract, renal, infectious, cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, portosystemic vascular anomaly, adrenal gland dysfunction, and miscellaneous disorders) were identified. There were 186 (55%) dogs with and 150 (45%) dogs without evidence of glucocorticoid exposure. Acinar zonal distribution of hepatic vacuolation and clinicopathologic values did not differ between dogs with and without evidence of glucocorticoid exposure. However, a 3-fold increased likelihood of severe VH was associated with steroidogenic hormone exposure. Of 226 dogs with high serum alkaline phosphatase activity, 102 (45%) had no evidence of glucocorticoid exposure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that neoplasia and congenital or acquired hepatobiliary disease are common in dogs with VH and provide support for the suggestion that VH, high alkaline phosphatase activity, and illness-invoked physiologic stress may be associated. Histologic confirmation of VH should initiate a diagnostic search for a primary disease if glucocorticoid treatment and hyperadrenocorticism are ruled out.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate disparities in hepatic copper concentrations determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and digital image analysis of rhodanine-stained sections.

ANIMALS

516 dogs.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of dogs for which hepatic biopsy specimens had been submitted between January 1999 and December 2019 for evaluation of copper content were reviewed. Paired hepatic copper concentrations obtained with digital image analysis and AAS or ICP-MS were compared, and Spearman rank correlation coefficients were calculated to test for correlations between qualitative copper accumulation scores and hepatic copper concentrations. For dogs for which ≥ 4 rhodanine-stained hepatic sections were available, intraindividual variation in copper distribution across hepatic sections was evaluated.

RESULTS

Median hepatic copper concentrations obtained with digital image analysis exceeded concentrations obtained with AAS or ICP-MS. Concentrations were also higher in older dogs (≥ 9 years vs < 9 years), dogs of breeds with a typical body weight ≥ 20 kg (44 lb), and dogs with necroinflammatory changes or uneven copper distribution. Qualitative copper accumulation scores were significantly associated with hepatic copper concentrations; however, the correlation between qualitative score and concentration obtained with digital image analysis (rs = 0.94) was higher than the correlation between qualitative score and concentration obtained with AAS (rs = 0.75) or ICP-MS (rs = 0.57). The coefficient of variation for hepatic copper concentrations obtained with digital image analysis was significantly higher for dogs with higher hepatic copper concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that spectroscopic-spectrometric analysis of hepatic biopsy specimens commonly underestimated the concentration obtained by digital image analysis of rhodanine-stained sections.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize clinical features, comorbidities, frequency of bacterial isolation, and survival time in cats with suppurative cholangitis-cholangiohepatitis syndrome (S-CCHS).

ANIMALS

168 client-owned cats with S-CCHS.

PROCEDURES

Data were prospectively (1980 to 2019) collected regarding clinical features, comorbidities, bacterial infection, illness duration, and treatments. Variables were evaluated for associations with survival time.

RESULTS

Median age of cats was 10.0 years, with no breed or sex predilection observed. Common clinical features included hyporexia (82%), hyperbilirubinemia (80%), lethargy (80%), vomiting (80%), jaundice (67%), weight loss (54%), and hypoalbuminemia (50%). Comorbidities included extrahepatic bile duct obstruction (53%), cholelithiasis (42%), cholecystitis (40%), and ductal plate malformation (44%) as well as biopsy-confirmed inflammatory bowel disease (60/68 [88%]) and pancreatitis (41/44 [93%]). Bacterial cultures were commonly positive (69%) despite prebiopsy antimicrobial administration in most cats. Of surgically confirmed choleliths, diagnostic imaging identified only 58%. Among 55 cats with “idiopathic pancreatitis,” 28 (51%) were documented to have transiting choleliths, and 20 had pancreatic biopsies confirming pancreatitis. Cholelithiasis (with or without bile duct obstruction) and cholecystectomy were associated with survival advantages. Survival disadvantages were found for leukocytosis, ≥ 2-fold increased alkaline phosphatase, and hyperbilirubinemia. Cholecystoenterostomy had no survival impact. Cats with ductal plate malformations were significantly younger at diagnosis and death than other cats. Chronic treatments with antimicrobials, S-adenosylmethionine, and ursodeoxycholic acid were common postbiopsy.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

S-CCHS in cats was associated with bacterial infection and various comorbidities and may be confused with pancreatitis. Surgically correctable morbidities (ie, cholecystitis, cholecystocholelithiasis) and cholecystectomy provided a significant survival advantage.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether body weight, age, or sex was associated with ultrasonographically determined adrenal gland thickness (AT) in dogs with non-adrenal gland illness.

DESIGN

Retrospective cross-sectional study.

ANIMALS

266 dogs (22 sexually intact and 119 castrated males and 19 sexually intact and 106 spayed females representing 12 breeds) with non-adrenal gland illness.

PROCEDURES

Thickness of the caudal pole of the left and right adrenal glands was measured on longitudinal ultrasonographic images. Dogs were stratified into age and body weight categories to investigate associations with AT.

RESULTS

AT was significantly lower in dogs that weighed ≤ 12 kg (26.4 lb) than in dogs that weighed > 12 kg and left AT increased with age. Both left and right AT were larger in male than in female dogs that weighed > 12 to ≤ 20 kg, and left AT was larger in male than in female dogs that weighed > 20 to ≤ 30 kg.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that body weight, age, and sex were significantly associated with AT, indicating that these variables should be considered when evaluating AT in dogs with non-adrenal gland illness and when developing reference intervals for AT in dogs. Further, findings indicated that dogs with non-adrenal gland illness that weigh ≤ 12 kg should have an AT no greater than 0.62 cm, whereas dogs that weigh > 12 kg should have an AT no greater than 0.72 cm.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

A 6-month-old sexually intact male Clumber Spaniel was evaluated because of small stature, recurrent dermatitis of the head, and progressive pigmentary hepatopathy.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

Clinicopathologic findings included nonanemic hypochromic microcytosis, hypocholesterolemia, persistently high serum liver enzyme activities, and anicteric hyperbilirubinemia. Histologic examination of liver biopsy specimens collected when the dog was 6 months and 2 years of age revealed expansion and bridging of portal tracts, occasional centrilobular parenchymal collapse, scattered lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates, and dark red to brown pigment within large aggregates of macrophages, engorged bile canaliculi, and hepatocytes. The pigment failed to stain for the presence of iron, copper, bile, and glycoprotein and, when examined with polarized microscopy, emitted a yellow to green birefringence with occasional Maltese cross configurations. Further analyses confirmed marked porphyrin accumulation in blood, urine, feces, and liver tissue; protoporphyrin accumulation in RBCs and liver tissue; and a signature porphyrin profile and fluorescence peak consistent with erythropoietic protoporphyria. Advanced protoporphyric hepatopathy was diagnosed. The chronic dermatopathy was presumed to reflect protoporphyric photosensitivity.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

Management was focused on avoiding conditions known to induce heme synthesis and catabolism, administrating ursodeoxycholic acid and antioxidants S-adenosylmethionine and vitamin E, and avoiding sunlight exposure. At follow-up at 4 years of age, the dog was stable without evidence of jaundice but with probable persistent erythropoietic protoporphyria–related solar dermatopathy.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Clinical and histologic features of congenital erythropoietic protoporphyria and resultant protoporphyric hepatopathy, the diagnosis, and the successful management of a dog with these conditions over 4 years were described. Veterinarians should consider porphyric syndromes when unusual pigmentary hepatopathies are encountered.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the activity of recombinant feline erythropoietin (rfEPO) in murine bioassays and evaluate its efficacy and safety in cats with erythropoietin-dependent nonregenerative anemia.

Animals—26 cats (group 1, 19 cats with anemia attributed to chronic kidney disease [CKD]; group 2, 7 cats with CKD and recombinant human erythropoietin [rhEPO]-induced red cell aplasia [RCA]).

Procedure—The rfEPO was synthesized by use of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with feline erythropoietin complementary DNA. Preclinical assessments of rfEPO included an erythroid cell proliferation assay and measurements of reticulocytosis in Balb/C mice. Clinical assessments of cats included hematologic, biochemical, and clinical examinations during 12 (group 1) or 6 (group 2) months of rfEPO treatment.

Results—Biological activity of rfEPO was broadly equivalent to rhEPO in preclinical murine bioassays. Median Hct and absolute reticulocyte count in cats increased significantly during the first 3 weeks of rfEPO treatment, and median Hct generally could be maintained within a target range of 30% to 40% with periodic adjustments of rfEPO doses. Unexpectedly, 5 cats in group 1 and 3 cats in group 2 that initially responded to rfEPO treatment again developed anemia that was refractory to additional rfEPO treatments, even at higher doses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with rfEPO can reestablish active erythropoiesis in most cats with CKD, even those with anemia attributable to rhEPO-induced RCA. Unfortunately, development of RCA during treatment with CHO cell-derived recombinant erythropoietin proteins was not eliminated as a serious safety concern, even for this feline-specific preparation. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1355–1366)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess the influence of meal ingestion and orally administered erythromycin on gallbladder volume in dogs.

Animals—22 healthy dogs.

Procedures—Ultrasonographically determined gallbladder dimensions in unsedated dogs were used to calculate volume. Measurements were recorded after food was withheld for 12 hours (time 0) and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after a 100-g meal without (n = 22) or with erythromycin (1.0 mg/kg [7], 2.5 mg/kg [7], and both dosages [8]). Gallbladder ejection fraction represented the percentage of volume change from time 0. Intraday and interday coefficients of variation determined operator repeatability and physiologic variation.

Results—We did not detect significant differences in gallbladder volume per unit of body weight between treatments at time 0 or in ejection fraction percentage within or between treatments. Median time 0 gallbladder volume was 0.6 mL/kg (range, 0.4 to 1.9) but was > 1.0 mL/kg in 3 of 22 (14%) dogs and ≤ 1.0 mL/kg in 19 of 22 (86%) dogs. Twenty dogs achieved an ejection fraction ≥ 25% with at least 1 treatment, but 2 dogs with a gallbladder volume ≤ 1.0 mL/kg at time 0 did not. Intraday and interday coefficients of variation were 18% and 25%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gallbladder volume ≤ 1.0 mL/kg at time 0 and ejection fraction ≥ 25% were typical. No treatment consistently induced greater gallbladder contraction. Dogs with a gallbladder volume > 1.0 mL/kg and ejection fraction < 25% may require a combined meal and erythromycin protocol.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research