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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether therapeutic riding resulted in higher levels of stress or frustration for horses than did recreational riding and whether therapeutic riding with at-risk individuals was more stressful for the horses than was therapeutic riding with individuals with physical or emotional handicaps.

Design—Observational study.

Animals—14 horses in a therapeutic riding program.

Procedure—An ethogram of equine behaviors was created, and horses were observed while ridden by 5 groups of riders (recreational riders, physically handicapped riders, psychologically handicapped riders, atrisk children, and special education children). Number of stress-related behaviors (ears pinned back, head raised, head turned, head tossed, head shaken, head down, and defecation) was compared among groups.

Results—No significant differences in mean number of stress-related behaviors were found when horses were ridden by recreational riders, physically handicapped riders, psychologically handicapped riders, or special education children. However, mean number of stress-related behaviors was significantly higher when horses were ridden by the at-risk children.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that for horses in a therapeutic riding program, being ridden by physically or psychologically handicapped individuals is no more stressful for the horses than is being ridden in the same setting by recreational riders. However, at-risk children caused more stress to the horses, suggesting that the time horses are ridden by at-risk children should be limited both daily and weekly.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of heartworm infection among healthy, client-owned cats in the lower peninsula of Michigan.

Design—Cross-sectional prevalence study.

Animals—1,348 healthy cats examined at private veterinary practices throughout the lower peninsula of Michigan.

Procedure—Sera were tested by use of an ELISAbased antigen test kit to determine infection and 2 commercially available antibody detection kits to determine exposure. A questionnaire was used to collect data to assess risk factors associated with infection.

Results—25 cats had positive results for heartworm antigen, yielding an observed prevalence of 1.9%. Neither antibody test was reliable or provided reproducible results, and neither yielded positive results for more than 20% of the antigen-positive heartworminfected cats. Multivariate regression indicated that cats from southeastern Michigan and cats ≥ 2 years old had a higher risk of infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that most (80%) heartworm-infected cats in the lower peninsula of Michigan were from the southeastern part of the state, a pattern that closely paralleled the prevalence of heartworm infection in dogs. Therefore, knowledge of the regional prevalence of heartworm infection in dogs may be useful in assessing the risk of infection in cats. Results also suggested that currently available in-clinic heartworm antibody detection kits have limited utility in the diagnosis of heartworm infection in cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:857–861)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of a therapeutic riding program on psychosocial measurements among children considered at risk for poor performance or failure in school or life and among children in special education programs.

Design—Observational study.

Population—17 at-risk children (6 boys and 11 girls) and 14 special education children (7 boys and 7 girls).

Procedure—For the at-risk children, anger, anxiety, perceived self-competence, and physical coordination were assessed. For the special education children, anger and cheerfulness were measured, and the children's and their mothers' perceptions of the children's behavior were assessed. Measurements were made before and after an 8-session therapeutic riding program.

Results—For boys enrolled in the special education program, anger was significantly decreased after completion of the riding program. The boys' mothers also perceived significant improvements in their children's behavior after completion of the program.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that an 8-session therapeutic riding program can significantly decrease anger in adolescent boys in a special education program and positively affect their mothers' perception of the boys' behavior.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To develop a direct assay to measure platelet surface-associated immunoglobulins (PSAIg) in dogs and to determine whether the assay is useful in the diagnosis of immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT).

Animals—20 healthy dogs were used to develop reference intervals, and 23 dogs with IMT and 17 with non-IMT were used to evaluate the clinical use of this assay.

Procedure—After optimization of platelet collection and assay conditions, concentrations of PSAIg were measured, using radiolabeled staphylococcal protein A (SpA) and polyclonal antibodies against canine IgG (anti-γ) and IgM (anti-µ). Concentrations of PSAIg were expressed as the percentage of radiolabeled immunoglobulin detector bound.

Results—Cut-off values (mean + 3 SD) were as follows: SpA, 1.1%; anti-γ, 1.3%; and anti-µ, 3.5%. Values greater than these cut-off values were considered positive. Values determined by use of radiolabeled SpA for all dogs with IMT were greater than the cut-off value; values were considered high positives (> 5 times cut-off value) for 22 of these 23 dogs. Although 9 of 17 dogs with non-IMT also had PSAIg concentrations greater than the cut-off value, values were considered high positives for only 3 of these 9 dogs.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—The immunoradiometric assay developed is a reliable and sensitive method to detect PSAIg in dogs. However, to obtain accurate results, optimum temperature, time, and storage conditions must be used. Detection of increased concentrations of PSAIg in dogs presumed to have non-IMT should alert clinicians to reconsider an immune-mediated basis for the thrombocytopenia. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:124–136)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with interest in or choosing a career in rural veterinary practice (RVP).

Design—Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Sample Population—Veterinarians and veterinary students in the United States.

Procedures—Veterinary students and veterinarians in any area of practice were solicited to participate in an online survey through invitation letters sent to various veterinary associations. Proportions of respondents assigning high importance to various factors were analyzed for differences among gender, age, and background groups.

Results—1,216 responses were received. In general, survey respondents indicated that RVP could be characterized as the practice of veterinary medicine in any community where agriculture represented a significant part of the local economy. Responses also indicated that RVP should not be confused with large animal or food animal exclusive practice. Most respondents (38.9%) developed an interest in RVP early in life (before 8th grade), with 13.0% reportedly developing their interest in RVP during veterinary school. The most highly ranked factors with regard to influence on developing an interest in RVP were having relatives with a farm background, having a veterinarian in RVP as a mentor, and exposure to RVP during veterinary school. Gender, generational category, background (rural vs urban), and livestock experience were significantly associated with when respondents developed an interest in RVP and with factors important in developing that interest.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of the present study suggested that various factors are associated with interest in and choosing a career in RVP. These factors should be considered when strategies for increasing interest and encouraging careers in RVP are planned.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with veterinarians leaving a career in rural veterinary practice (RVP).

Design—Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Sample Population—Veterinarians from the United States who no longer worked in RVP.

Procedures—Veterinarians in any area of practice were solicited to participate in an online survey through invitation letters sent to various veterinary associations. Those who indicated that they had left RVP were asked to rank the importance of various potential factors in their decision to leave RVP.

Results—805 responses were obtained from veterinarians who had worked in RVP, of which 246 (30.6%) had left RVP. Most (231/246 [93.9%]) of those who reported leaving RVP had been in practice > 5 years, and 75.2% (185/246) had been in practice > 12 years. Eighty-three (33.7%) who left RVP pursued careers in urban areas, 72 (29.3%) entered academia, and 7 (2.8%) retired. Reasons for leaving RVP ranked by the highest proportions of respondents as being of high importance were emergency duty, time off, salary, practice atmosphere, and family concerns. Women ranked factors such as time off, mentorship, practice atmosphere, conflict with staff, and gender issues as being of high importance more often than men did.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the perceived shortage of veterinarians in RVP may be in part influenced by a lack of retention, particularly among experienced veterinarians. Targeted efforts to tackle issues related to emergency duty, time off, salary, practice atmosphere, and family issues could help alleviate the efflux from RVP.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether cattle persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) that lack virus detectable in serum by use of the immunoperoxidase microtiter assay (IPMA) can transmit the virus to susceptible herdmates and determine prevalence of these cattle.

Design—Clinical trial and serologic survey.

Sample Population—2 cattle and 1,952 blood samples.

Procedure—A persistently infected cow in which virus could not be detected in serum was housed with a BVDV-seronegative steer. Blood and nasal swab specimens were tested via virus isolation and serum virus neutralization. Parallel WBC preparations and sera from blood samples of 1,952 adult cows were screened for BVDV by use of IPMA.

Results—The steer seroconverted to BVDV within 4 weeks of contact with the cow. Virus was detected in sera and WBC of 5 adult cows that were verified as persistently infected by retest 3 weeks later. Cattle persistently infected with BVDV in which virus could not be detected in both serum and WBC by use of IPMA were not found.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Cattle persistently infected with BVDV in which virus cannot be detected in serum by use of IPMA may serve as virus reservoirs for infecting susceptible cattle. Persistent infection was detected at a prevalence of 0.26%. Screening adult cattle by use of IPMA on serum samples appears to be a reliable means of detecting persistent infection with BVDV. Prevalence of cattle persistently infected with BVDV that have negative results of IPMA on serum is extremely low. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:629–631)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of antibodies against 6 Leptospira serovars and determine risk factors associated with positive Leptospira titers in healthy client-owned dogs in Michigan.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—1,241 healthy dogs at least 4 months of age.

Procedures—Dogs were examined by veterinarians at private practices. Vaccinated and unvaccinated dogs were enrolled in the study, which occurred prior to the availability of a 4-serovar (Canicola, Grippotyphosa, Icterohaemorrhagiae, and Pomona) Leptospira vaccine. Sera were tested by use of the microscopic agglutination test to determine antibody titers against Leptospira serovars Bratislava, Canicola, Grippotyphosa, Hardjo, Icterohaemorrhagiae, and Pomona. A questionnaire was used to collect demographic information about each dog to identify risk factors associated with seropositive status.

Results—309 of 1,241 (24.9%) dogs had antibody titers against at least 1 of the 6 Leptospira serovars, which suggested exposure to Leptospira spp. Prevalence of antibodies was highest to serovar Grippotyphosa, followed by Bratislava, Canicola, Icterohaemorrhagiae, and Pomona. Age, travel outside Michigan, exercise outside fenced yards, and exposure to livestock and wildlife were significant risk factors for positive titers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Among healthy dogs from the lower peninsula of Michigan, > 20% have antibodies against leptospiral serovars historically considered uncommon but more recently incriminated as causing clinical canine leptospirosis. Wildlife and livestock may be of increasing importance as reservoirs for canine leptospirosis as urbanization continues to occur. Expanded vaccination strategies may partially mitigate these trends.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether viral involvement with platelets obtained from cattle persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is associated with altered platelet function or decreased platelet counts.

Sample Population—Platelets obtained from 8 cattle PI with BVDV and 6 age-, sex-, and breed-matched uninfected control cattle.

Procedure—Manual platelet counts were determined, and platelet function was assessed through optical aggregometry by use of the aggregation agonists ADP and platelet-activating factor. Identification of BVDV in serum and preparations of purified platelets was determined by use of virus isolation tests.

Results—No significant difference in platelet counts was detected between cattle PI with BVDV and control cattle. In response to the aggregation agonists, maximum aggregation percentage and slope of the aggregation curve were not significantly different between cattle PI with BVDV and control cattle. We isolated BVDV from serum of all PI cattle and from purified platelets of 6 of 8 PI cattle, but BVDV was not isolated from serum or platelets of control cattle.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Isolation of BVDV from platelets in the peripheral circulation of cattle immunotolerant to BVDV does not result in altered platelet function or decreases in platelet counts. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1738–1742)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare degree of viremia and disease manifestations in calves with type-I and -II bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection.

Animals—16 calves.

Procedure—Colostrum-deprived calves obtained immediately after birth were assigned to 1 control and 3 treatment groups (4 calves/group). Calves in treatment groups were inoculated (day 0) by intranasal instillation of 107 median tissue culture infective dose BVDV 890 (type II), BVDV 7937 (type II), or BVDV TGAN (type I). Blood cell counts and virus isolation from serum and leukocytes were performed daily, whereas degree of viremia was determined immediately before and 4, 6, 8, and 12 days after inoculation. Calves were euthanatized on day 12, and pathologic, virologic, and immunohistochemical examinations were performed.

Results—Type-II BVDV 890 induced the highest degree of viremia, and type-I BVDV TGAN induced the lowest. Virus was isolated more frequently and for a longer duration in calves inoculated with BVDV 890. A parallel relationship between degree of viremia and rectal temperature and an inverse relationship between degree of viremia and blood cell counts was observed. Pathologic and immunohistochemical examinations revealed more pronounced lesions and more extensive distribution of viral antigen in calves inoculated with type-II BVDV.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Degree of viremia induced during BVDV infection is associated with severity of clinical disease. Isolates of BVDV that induce a high degree of viremia may be more capable of inducing clinical signs of disease. Strategies (eg, vaccination) that reduce viremia may control clinical signs of acute infection with BVDV. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1095–1103)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research