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Objective—To determine signalment, history, clinical signs, blood and plasma taurine concentrations, electrocardiographic and echocardiographic findings, treatment, and outcome of dogs with low blood or plasma taurine concentrations and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—12 client-owned dogs with low blood or plasma taurine concentrations and DCM.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed, and clinical data were obtained.

Results—All 12 dogs were being fed a commercial dry diet containing lamb meal, rice, or both as primary ingredients. Cardiac function and plasma taurine concentration improved with treatment and taurine supplementation. Seven of the 12 dogs that were still alive at the time of the study were receiving no cardiac medications except taurine.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that consumption of certain commercial diets may be associated with low blood or plasma taurine concentrations and DCM in dogs. Taurine supplementation may result in prolonged survival times in these dogs, which is not typical for dogs with DCM. Samples should be submitted for measurement of blood and plasma taurine concentrations in dogs with DCM, and taurine supplementation is recommended while results of these analyses are pending. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1137–1141)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—A 5-year-old castrated male Vietnamese pot-bellied pig (Sus scrofa) was evaluated because of anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.

Clinical Findings—Hypermotile gastrointestinal sounds were noted on abdominal auscultation. An inflammatory leukogram, dehydration, prerenal azotemia, hyponatremia, hypochloremia, hyperproteinemia, hyperglobulinemia, hypomagnesemia, and high γ-glutamyl transpeptidase activity were identified. Transabdominal ultrasonography revealed distended loops of small intestine.

Treatment—IV fluid therapy and analgesic treatment were unsuccessful in the resolution of clinical signs. Exploratory laparotomy revealed an ileocecal intussusception involving the distal portion of the ileum. Distal ileal and cecal bypass were achieved via side-to-side anastomosis of the proximal portion of the ileum and spiral colon with a gastrointestinal anastomosis stapler. Ileal transection or occlusion was not performed. Postoperative complications were minimal, and the pig was clinically normal 15 months after surgery and required no special care or diet.

Clinical Relevance—Distal ileal and cecal bypass without ileal transection have not been described previously in Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs. Anastomosis of the proximal portion of the ileum to the spiral colon without major complications represents a novel, technically simple approach to bypass of the distal portion of the ileum and cecum.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association