OBJECTIVE To determine clinical signs, case fatality rate, and factors associated with positive results of PCR testing for canine influenza virus (CIV) in dogs during an H3N2 CIV outbreak in the Atlanta area.
DESIGN Cross-sectional study.
ANIMALS 220 dogs with a nasal swab specimen submitted to an Atlanta-area diagnostic laboratory between May 1 and July 2, 2015, for PCR assay detection of CIV specifically or CIV and 5 other respiratory pathogens.
PROCEDURES Veterinarians of tested dogs were surveyed by various means to collect information regarding clinical signs, survival status at the time of survey completion, vaccination history (≤ 12 months prior to testing), and travel history (≤ 2 months prior to testing). Data were compared between CIV-positive and CIV-negative dogs.
RESULTS Surveys for 120 (55%) dogs were completed. Forty (33%) of these dogs had positive results of CIV testing. No significant differences were identified between CIV-positive and CIV-negative dogs regarding breed, sex, reproductive status, duration of clinical signs prior to testing, other dogs in the household, or travel history. When other factors were controlled for, CIV-positive dogs were more likely to be adult (> 1 year of age) than juvenile (≤ 1 year of age) and to be inappetent. Only 1 (3%) CIV-positive dog died during the study period (shortly after it was evaluated because of respiratory signs).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE From May 1 to July 2, 2015, the reported clinical signs of dogs tested during the Georgia H3N2 CIV outbreak were similar to those reported for dogs with H3N8 CIV infection, and the case fatality rate was low.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate use of cortisol concentration prior to ACTH stimulation (baseline) to monitor efficacy of twice-daily administration of trilostane to dogs with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (PDH).
DESIGN Retrospective case series.
ANIMALS 22 dogs with PDH.
PROCEDURES The database of a veterinary hospital was searched to identify dogs with PDH that were treated with the FDA-approved veterinary formulation of trilostane twice daily between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2012. For each dog, signalment and details regarding each hospital visit including comorbidities, electrolyte concentrations, and clinical signs were extracted from the record. For each ACTH stimulation test performed, the respective correlations between baseline cortisol concentration and the cortisol concentration after ACTH stimulation (ACTH-stimulated cortisol concentration) and resultant decision regarding trilostane dose adjustment were determined. Excessive suppression of cortisol production was defined as an ACTH-stimulated cortisol concentration < 2.0 μg/dL. The ability of various baseline cortisol concentrations to predict whether a dog had excessive suppression of cortisol production was determined.
RESULTS 109 ACTH stimulation tests were performed for the 22 dogs. A baseline cortisol concentration > 3.2 μg/dL predicted that ACTH-stimulated cortisol concentration would be ≥ 2.0 μg/dL with 100% certainty; however, 14 of 64 tests with a baseline cortisol concentration > 3.2 μg/dL had an ACTH-stimulated cortisol concentration ≤ 3.2 μg/dL, which was suggestive of inadequate adrenocortical cortisol reserves.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that baseline cortisol concentration should not be used as the sole monitoring tool for management of dogs with PDH treated with trilostane twice daily. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2016;248:814–821)
To develop a low-technology system that can be used by dog owners to obtain morphological and mobility measurements in companion dogs as candidate components of an eventual canine frailty scale.
57 adult (≥ 1-year-old) dogs enrolled by 43 owners.
Morphological measurements of dogs were performed by investigators and dog owners. Dogs participated in timed in-clinic mobility trials across a flat surface (on-leash trial with the owner, on-leash trial with the investigator, and off-leash trial) and on stairs; each trial was repeated 3 times. Owners were asked to conduct a second stair trial at home 2 weeks later. Agreement between owner- and investigator-obtained measurements was assessed with Shrout-Fleiss intraclass correlation coefficients and paired t tests. Age, quartile of projected percentage of mean life span attained (adjusted for body weight), and height were evaluated as predictors of speed and stride length in mobility trials with linear regression and Spearman rank correlation analysis.
Agreement between owner- and investigator-obtained morphological measurements was strong. Age was a weak but significant predictor of decreased dog speed in mobility trials (adjusted R2, 0.10 to 0.23). Speed decreased significantly with increasing quartile of projected life span attained. A linear regression model that included height and age predicted dog speed better than models with age or height alone.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Morphological and mobility trial measurements can be obtained by dog owners with minimal training. Low-technology measurements of mobility trial speed offer potential as components in a future scoring scale for canine frailty.
The researchers and clinicians within the Dog Aging Project (DAP), a longitudinal cohort study of aging in companion dogs, created and validated a novel survey instrument titled the End of Life Survey (EOLS) to gather owner-reported mortality data about companion dogs.
Bereaved dog owners who participated in the refinement, face validity assessment, or reliability assessment of the EOLS (n = 42) and/or completed the entire survey between January 20 and March 24, 2021 (646).
The EOLS was created and modified by veterinary health professionals and human gerontology experts using published literature, clinical veterinary experience, previously created DAP surveys, and feedback from a pilot study conducted with bereaved dog owners. The EOLS was subjected to qualitative validation methods and post hoc free-text analysis to evaluate its ability to thoroughly capture scientifically relevant aspects of companion dogs’ deaths.
The EOLS was well received with excellent face validity as assessed by dog owners and experts. The EOLS had fair to substantial reliability for the 3 validation themes—cause of death (κ = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.5 to 0.95), perimortem quality of life (κ = 0.49; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.73), and reason for euthanasia (κ = 0.3; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.52)—and had no need for any substantial content alterations based on free-text analysis.
The EOLS has proven to be a well-accepted, comprehensive, and valid instrument for capturing owner-reported companion dog mortality data and has the potential to enhance veterinarians’ ability to care for the aging dog population by illuminating their understanding of companion dogs’ end-of-life experiences.
The Dog Aging Project End of Life Survey was used to evaluate factors associated with manner of death (euthanasia vs unassisted death), including cause of death (CoD), reason for euthanasia (RFE) if performed, medical symptoms, old age characteristics, and perimortem quality of life (QoL).
Responses collected between the End of Life Survey launch (January 20, 2021) through December 31, 2021, from 2,570 participants whose dogs died.
Response frequencies were described. Associations between manner of death and medical symptoms or old age characteristics were evaluated using logistic regression. Factors associated with RFE were evaluated using multinomial regression. The effects of CoD, age at death, and QoL on the frequency of euthanasia as the manner of death were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression.
2,195 (85.4%) dogs were euthanized, and 375 (14.6%) experienced unassisted death. The most frequent owner-reported CoD was illness/disease (n = 1,495 [58.1%]). The most frequently reported RFE was pain/suffering (n = 1,080 [49.2% of those euthanized]). As age increased, RFE was more likely to be “poor QoL” than any other response. In a multivariate regression including CoD, chronologic age, and QoL, euthanasia as the manner of death was not significantly associated with age.
Euthanasia was a common manner of death for dogs in the US. Compared with unassisted death, euthanasia was associated with CoD illness/disease, lower QoL scores, and the presence and number of medical symptoms and old age characteristics. Understanding factors associated with manner of death is important to veterinarians who care for dogs at the end of life.
Objective—To investigate differences in CSF concentrations of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in dogs with and without T2-weighted (T2W) MRI hyperintense areas in the limbic system.
Sample—Archived CSF samples and stored brain MRI images of 5 healthy research dogs (group 1), 8 dogs with idiopathic epilepsy (IE) with no abnormal MRI findings (group 2), and 4 dogs with IE with hyperintense areas in the limbic system detected by means of T2W MRI (group 3).
Procedures—Archived CSF samples and stored MRI images obtained from all dogs were evaluated. Dogs in groups 2 and 3 were matched on the basis of age and breed. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to evaluate glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) concentrations in CSF samples.
Results—Glutamate concentrations were higher in CSF of both groups of dogs with IE than in healthy dogs. However, glutamate concentrations in CSF were not significantly higher in dogs with IE and with hyperintense areas than in dogs with IE but no abnormal MRI findings. Concentrations of GABA in CSF were higher in group 3 than in group 2 and in group 2 than in group 1.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—No significant difference was evident between glutamate concentrations in CSF of dogs with IE and with and without hyperintense areas detected by means of T2W MRI. However, glutamate concentrations typically were higher in CSF of dogs with IE and MRI hyperintense areas. Future studies with larger sample sizes should be conducted to confirm this finding and to determine the clinical importance of high glutamate concentrations in CSF of dogs with IE.
Objective—To characterize systemic immune responses in Cytauxzoon felis-infected cats.
Sample—Blood and lung samples obtained from 27 cats.
Procedures—Cats were allocated into 4 groups: cats that died of cytauxzoonosis, acutely ill C felis-infected cats, healthy survivors of C felis infection, and healthy uninfected cats. Serum concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1 β were measured and serum proteins characterized. Blood smears were stained immunocytochemically and used to assess immunoglobulin deposition. Immunohistochemical expression of CD18 and tumor necrosis factor-α were compared in lung tissues obtained from cats that died and healthy uninfected cats. A real-time reverse-transcription PCR assay for CD18 expression was performed on selected blood samples from all groups.
Results—Concentrations of both cytokines were greater and serum albumin concentrations were significantly lower in cats that died of cytauxzoonosis, compared with results for all other groups. Erythrocytes from acutely ill cats and survivors of C felis infection had staining for plasmalemmal IgM, whereas erythrocytes from the other groups did not. Increased staining of C felis-infected monocytes and interstitial neutrophils for CD18 was detected. The real-time reverse-transcription PCR assay confirmed a relative increase in CD18 expression in cats that died of cytauxzoonosis and acutely ill cats, compared with expression in other groups. Immunostaining for TNF-α in lung samples confirmed a local proinflammatory response.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated immunopathologic responses were greater in cats that died of C felis infection than in cats that survived C felis infection.