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Objective—To identify underlying medical conditions in cats with a presumptive diagnosis of psychogenic alopecia.

Design—Case series.

Animals—21 adult cats referred with a presumptive diagnosis of psychogenic alopecia.

Procedures—A detailed behavior and dermatologic questionnaire was completed by the primary caregiver, and complete behavioral and dermatologic examinations were performed. A standard diagnostic testing protocol that included cytologic examination of skin scrapings, fungal culture of hairs, evaluation of responses to parasiticides and an exclusion diet, assessment for atopy and endocrinopathies, and histologic examination of skin biopsy specimens was used to establish a definitive diagnosis in all cats. Cats that did not respond to an elimination diet were treated with methylprednisolone acetate to determine whether pruritus was a factor.

Results—Medical causes of pruritus were identified in 16 (76%) cats. Only 2 (10%) cats were found to have only psychogenic alopecia, and an additional 3 (14%) cats had a combination of psychogenic alopecia and a medical cause of pruritus. An adverse food reaction was diagnosed in 12 (57%) cats and was suspected in an additional 2. All cats with histologic evidence of inflammation in skin biopsy specimens were determined to have a medical condition, but of 6 cats without histologic abnormalities, 4 had an adverse food reaction, atopy, or a combination of the 2, and only 2 had psychogenic alopecia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that psychogenic alopecia is overdiagnosed in cats. Thorough diagnostic testing should be done before ascribing a behavioral cause to hair loss in cats.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Efficacy of sulbactam, a β-lactamase inhibitor, in combination with ampicillin, was evaluated for treatment of experimentally induced pneumonia caused by β-lactam-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. Infection was experimentally induced in 18 healthy weanling foals that were randomly allocated to 3 treatment groups: sulbactam plus ampicillin (s/a, 3.3 and 6.6 mg/kg of body weight, respectively), ampicillin (6.6 mg/kg), or vehicle only. Foals were treated daily for 7 days; the observer was unaware of treatment status. Compared with ampicillin and vehicle, treatment with s/a resulted in a statistically significant (P < 0.05) decrease in severity of pneumonia, with regard to bronchoalveolar lavage cytologic findings (decreased total cell and neutrophil numbers, and increased lymphocyte numbers) and extent of macroscopic lesions in lung tissue of the noninoculated regions. Marked trends toward improvement of s/a-treated foals were observed for quantitative results of bacteriologic culture of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples (P < 0.07), macroscopic pathologic features of the whole lung (P < 0.1), and histopathologic variables (P < 0.07), compared with ampicillin- and vehicle-treated foals. Treatment effects were not observed for radiographic, hematologic, and blood gas abnormalities that resulted from infection. In conclusion, the combination of sulbactam plus ampicillin was found to have synergistic effects in vivo, to reduce the extent and severity of experimentally induced gram-negative lung infection in foals.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research