Objectives—To describe the characteristics of
unowned, free-roaming cats and their caretakers who
participated in a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program and
to determine the effect of the program on free-roaming
Sample Population—101 caretakers of 920
unowned, free-roaming cats in 132 colonies in north
Results—Most (85/101; 84%) caretakers were
female. The median age was 45 years (range, 19 to
74 years). Most (89/101; 88%) caretakers owned pets
and of those, most (67/101; 66%) owned cats. The
major reasons for feeding free-roaming cats were
sympathy and love of animals. Most caretakers
reported that the cats they cared for were too wild to
be adopted, but many also reported that they considered
the cats to be like pets. The total surveyed cat
population was 920 before participation in TNR and
678 after TNR. Mean colony size was 7 cats before
TNR and 5.1 cats after TNR. Most cats lived on the
caretaker's property. At the time of the survey, 70%
(644/920) of the cats had been neutered.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The decrease
in the surveyed free-roaming cat population was
attributed to a reduction in births of new kittens,
adoptions, deaths, and disappearances. Recognition
of the human-animal bond that exists between caretakers
and the feral cats they feed may facilitate the
development of effective control programs for feral
cat populations. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:
Objective—To evaluate the effect of a long-term trapneuter-return program, with adoption whenever possible,
on the dynamics of a free-roaming cat population.
Design—Observational epidemiologic study.
Animals—155 unowned free-roaming cats.
Procedures—Free-roaming cats residing on a university
campus were trapped, neutered, and returned to
the environment or adopted over an 11-year period.
Results—During the observation period (January
1991 to April 2002), 75% of the cats were feral, and
25% were socialized. Kittens comprised 56% of the
original population. Male cats were slightly more
numerous (55%) than females. At the conclusion of
the observation period, 47% of the cats had been
removed for adoption, 15% remained on site, 15%
had disappeared, 11% were euthanatized, 6% had
died, and 6% had moved to the surrounding wooded
environment. Trapping began in 1991; however, a
complete census of cats was not completed until
1996, at which time 68 cats resided on site. At completion
of the study in 2002, the population had
decreased by 66%, from 68 to 23 cats (of which 22
were feral). No kittens were observed on site after
1995, but additional stray or abandoned cats continued
to become resident. New arrivals were neutered
or adopted before they could reproduce.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A comprehensive
long-term program of neutering followed by
adoption or return to the resident colony can result in
reduction of free-roaming cat populations in urban
areas. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:42–46)
Objective—To determine the percentage of pet cats still wearing collars and having functional microchips 6 months after application.
Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.
Animals—538 client-owned cats.
Procedures—Cats were randomly assigned to wear 1 of 3 types of collars: plastic buckle, breakaway plastic buckle safety, and elastic stretch safety. Each cat was fitted with the assigned collar, and a microchip was inserted SC between the scapulae. Owners completed questionnaires about their experiences and expectations of collars at enrollment and at the conclusion of the study.
Results—391 of the 538 (72.7%) cats successfully wore their collars for the entire 6-month study period. Owners' initial expectations of the cats' tolerance of the collar and the number of times the collar was reapplied on the cats' necks were the most important factors predicting success. Type of collar likely influenced how often collars needed to be reapplied. Eighteen (3.3%) cats caught a forelimb in their collar or caught their collar on an object or in their mouth. Of the 478 microchips that were scanned at the conclusion of the study, 477 (99.8%) were functional.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most cats successfully wore their collars. Because even house cats can become lost, veterinarians should recommend that all cats wear identification collars since they are the most obvious means of identifying an owned pet. For some cats, collars may frequently come off and become lost; therefore, microchips are an important form of backup identification. Owners should select a collar that their cat will tolerate and should check it often to ensure a proper fit.
Objective—To compare 2 assays for use in the identification of dogs with a protective antibody titer (PAT) against canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine distemper virus (CDV).
Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.
Animals—431 dogs admitted to a municipal animal shelter in north central Florida.
Procedures—Blood samples were collected from dogs on the day of admission to the shelter. Serum was obtained, criterion-referenced assays were used to identify dogs that had PATs against CPV (titers ≥ 80; hemagglutination inhibition assay) and CDV (titers ≥ 32; virus neutralization assay), and results were compared with results of a semiquantitative ELISA and an immunofluorescence assay (IFA).
Results—For correct identification of dogs that had PATs against viruses, the ELISA had significantly higher specificity for CPV (98%) and CDV (95%) than did the IFA (82% and 70%, respectively) and had significantly lower sensitivity for CDV (88%) than did the IFA (97%); the sensitivity for CPV was similar (ELISA, 98%; IFA, 97%). Overall diagnostic accuracy was significantly greater with the ELISA than with the IFA. Predictive value of a positive result for PATs was significantly higher with the ELISA for CPV (99%) and CDV (93%) than with the IFA (92% and 71 %, respectively).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The ELISA had fewer false-positive results than did the IFA and could be performed on-site in shelters in < 1 hour. Accuracy and practicality of the ELISA may be useful for identifying the infection risk of dogs exposed during outbreaks attributable to CPV and CDV infections in shelters.
Objective—To compare castration of dogs by use of intratesticular injection of zinc gluconate with traditional surgical procedures in terms of acceptance by pet owners, ease of use, and short-term outcomes on Isabela Island of the Galápagos Islands.
Animals—161 privately owned male dogs admitted to a neuter program.
Procedures—Medical records of male dogs neutered during a 4-week animal control campaign were reviewed to collect information regarding signalment, method of castration, complication rate, and treatment outcomes.
Results—Of the 161 dogs admitted for castration, 58 were surgically castrated and 103 were treated with zinc gluconate. Dogs were returned to their owners for observation following castration. Wound dehiscence occurred in 2 skin incisions, representing 3.4% of the 58 dogs that underwent bilateral orchiectomy. Necrotizing zinc-gluconate injection-site reactions occurred in 4 dogs receiving injection volumes near the maximum label dose (0.8 to 1.0 mL), representing 3.9% of the zinc-gluconate procedures. Surgical wound complications were treated by superficial wound debridement and resuturing, in contrast to zinc-gluconate injection-site reactions, which all required orchiectomy and extensive surgical debridement, including scrotal ablation in 2 dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Low cost, ease of use, and cultural acceptance of a castration technique that does not require removal of the testes make zinc gluconate a valuable option for large-scale use in dogs, particularly in remote locations lacking sophisticated clinical facilities or skilled surgeons and staff. Further investigation is needed to identify risk factors in dogs for adverse reactions to zinc gluconate and to develop strategies for avoidance.
Objective—To evaluate equine IgG as a treatment for
kittens with failure of passive transfer of immunity
Animals—13 specific pathogen-free queens and their
Procedure—Kittens were randomized at birth into 9
treatment groups. One group contained colostrumfed
(nursing) kittens; the other groups contained
colostrum-deprived kittens that were administered
supplemental feline or equine IgG PO or SC during
the first 12 hours after birth. Blood samples were collected
at serial time points from birth to 56 days of
age for determination of serum IgG concentrations.
The capacity of equine IgG to opsonize bacteria for
phagocytosis by feline neutrophils was determined
via flow cytometry.
Results—Kittens that received feline or equine IgG
SC had significantly higher serum IgG concentrations
than those of kittens that received the supplements
PO. In kittens that were administered supplemental
IgG SC, serum IgG concentrations were considered
adequate for protection against infection. The half-life
of IgG in kittens treated with equine IgG was shorter
than that in kittens treated with feline IgG. Feline IgG
significantly enhanced the phagocytosis of bacteria
by feline neutrophils, but equine IgG did not.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum concentrations
of equine IgG that are considered protective
against infection are easily attained in kittens, but
the failure of these antibodies to promote bacterial
phagocytosis in vitro suggests that equine IgG may
be an inappropriate treatment for FPT in kittens.
(Am J Vet Res 2003;64:969–975)
Objective—To determine characteristics of free-roaming
cats evaluated in a trap-neuter-return program.
Animals—5,323 free-roaming cats.
Procedure—Data collected included sex, maturity,
pregnancy status, number of fetuses per pregnancy,
cryptorchidism, and occurrence of complications or
Results—Adult cats represented 85% of the population,
and 57% were female. Overall, 19% of adult
females were pregnant, and mean litter size was 3.6
fetuses. Pregnancy rate peaked at 36 to 47% of all
females evaluated in March and April and decreased to
≤ 4% from October through January. Cryptorchidism
was observed in 1.9% of the males; 0.4% of the adult
females had pyometra. Only 1.9% of the cats were
already neutered. Euthanasia and unexpected death
rates were 0.4 and 0.3%, respectively. The most common
severe problems encountered included pyometra,
neoplasia, surgical complications, diaphragmatic hernia,
debilitation, and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Neutering programs
for free-roaming cats should include preparations
to perform more spays than castrations. Typically,
almost half of the female cats trapped during spring
will be pregnant. Cryptorchidism is uncommon but is
encountered on a consistent basis, so care should be
taken to differentiate previous castration from retained
testicles. Euthanasia of debilitated cats for humane
reasons is rarely necessary, and unexpected deaths
occur at a low rate. It is feasible and safe to neuter
large numbers of free-roaming cats in large-scale clinics.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1136–1138)
Objective—To determine the seroprevalences of and seroconversion rates for FeLV and FIV infection in cats treated for bite wounds and cutaneous abscesses and to evaluate compliance with recommendations to determine the retrovirus infection status of cats at acquisition and 60 days after a high-risk event.
Animals—967 cats from 134 veterinary practices in 30 states.
Procedures—Cats with bite wounds or abscesses were evaluated by use of a point-of-care immunoassay for blood-borne FeLV antigen and FIV antibody. Veterinarians were asked to retest cats approximately 60 days later to determine whether seronegative cats had seroconverted after injury.
Results—The combined FeLV-FIV status of only 96 (9.9%) cats was known prior to wound treatment. At the time of treatment, 187 (19.3%) cats were seropositive for 1 or both viruses. Age (adult), sex (male), history of cutaneous wounds, and outdoor access were significantly associated with seropositivity. At 73 of 134 (54.5%) veterinary practices, retesting of cats for retrovirus infection status was recommended to owners of 478 cats. Only 64 (13.4%) cats were retested; of these, 3 of 58 (5.2%) cats that were initially seronegative for FIV antibody seroconverted.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A high proportion of cats with abscesses or bite wounds were seropositive for FeLV antigen or FIV antibody. Compliance with recommendations to test cats for retrovirus infection status at acquisition or after treatment for injury was low. The FeLV-FIV infection status of cats with potential fight wounds should be determined at time of treatment and again 60 days later.
Objective—To describe the characteristics and frequency of gross uterine anomalies in cats and dogs undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy.
Design—Prospective and retrospective case series.
Animals—53,258 cats and 32,660 dogs undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy at 26 clinics in the United States and Canada during 2007.
Procedures—Clinics prospectively reported gross anomalies and submitted tissues from abnormal reproductive tracts identified during surgery. Records from a feral cat spay-neuter clinic were evaluated retrospectively.
Results—Suspected congenital anomalies of the uterus were identified in 0.09% (49/53,258) of female cats and 0.05% (15/32,660) of female dogs. Uterine anomalies identified included unicornuate uterus (33 cats and 11 dogs), segmental agenesis of 1 uterine horn (15 cats and 3 dogs), and uterine horn hypoplasia (1 cat and 1 dog). Ipsilateral renal agenesis was present in 29.4% (10/34) of cats and 50.0% (6/12) of dogs with uterine anomalies in which kidneys were evaluated. Mummified ectopic fetuses were identified in 4 cats with uterine anomalies. Both ovaries and both uterine tubes were present in most animals with uterine anomalies.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Urogenital anomalies were twice as common in cats as in dogs. Identification of uterine developmental anomalies in dogs and cats should trigger evaluation of both kidneys and both ovaries because ipsilateral renal agenesis is common, but both ovaries are likely to be present and should be removed during ovariohysterectomy.