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Objective—To determine complications associated with anal sacculectomy in dogs with non-neoplastic anal sac disease and compare complication rates for open versus closed techniques.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—95 dogs.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for information on signalment, history, physical examination findings, type of anal sac disease, surgical technique (closed, standard open [surgery performed prior to 1980], or modified open [surgery performed after 1980]), and postoperative complications.

Results—In 57 dogs, a closed technique was used, and in 38, an open technique was used. Only 3 dogs developed short-term complications (excessive drainage, scooting and inflammation, and seroma formation), and 14 developed long-term complications (continued licking of the surgery site, fecal incontinence, fistulation, and stricture formation). Development of postoperative complications was significantly associated with surgical technique. Dogs that underwent standard open sacculectomy prior to 1980 were 13.67 times as likely to have a long-term complication as were dogs that underwent closed sacculectomy. Weight of the dog, type of anal sac disease, age at the time of surgery, and whether the wound was closed surgically were not significantly associated with whether dogs developed postoperative complications.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that anal sacculectomy is a safe and effective treatment for non-neoplastic anal sac disease in dogs and is associated with a low rate of complications. The standard open technique was associated with the greatest number of complications, whereas complication rates for the closed and modified open techniques were similar to each other. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:662–665)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the effect of preadoption counseling for owners on house-training success among dogs acquired from shelters.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—113 dog owners.

Procedures—Participants were randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 54) or a control (59) group. Dog owners in the treatment group received counseling (5 minutes' duration) regarding house-training. Owners in the control group did not receive counseling, but all other adoption procedures were otherwise identical to those applied to the treatment group. All participants were contacted by telephone 1 month after adoption of a dog for assessment of house-training status and related issues by use of a standardized survey method; data were compared between groups.

Results—Most shelter dogs were considered successfully house-trained by their owners 1 month after adoption. Furthermore, dogs were considered house-trained by significantly more owners who received preadoption counseling than control group owners (98.1% vs 86.4%). Owners who received counseling used verbal punishment on their dogs during house-training less frequently and applied enzymatic cleaners to urine- or feces-soiled areas more frequently than owners in the control group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results have suggested that brief preadoption counseling for owners enhances successful house-training of dogs adopted from shelters. Counseling owners at the time of pet acquisition may thus have beneficial effects in the prevention of inappropriate elimination behaviors. Veterinarians and animal care staff should be encouraged to devote time to counsel new pet owners on successful house-training, as well as other healthcare and behavioral needs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To identify a list of core surgical skills and determine the frequency of use and proficiency in performance of these skills expected of entry-level veterinarians by general practitioners.

Design—Mail-based survey.

Sample—750 general practitioners randomly chosen from the AVMA membership database.

Procedures—Survey respondents rated the proficiency and frequency of use expected of entry-level veterinarians in regard to 26 surgical skills. Demographic information (gender; graduation year; practice type, geographic location, and setting; number of veterinarians in practice; number of surgical procedures performed per week; and number of new graduates mentored in the past 5 years) of respondents was obtained.

Results—387 (52%) general practitioners responded to the survey. Greater than 60% of respondents expected new graduates to have high proficiency and require minimal supervision for 21 of 26 skills. Greater than 60% of respondents assigned 6 of the skills a low expected frequency of use rating. Orthopedic skills, creation of square knots by use of a 1-handed tie technique, and use of electrosurgical and laser instruments received some of the lowest ratings.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Core surgical skills were identified. Results indicated a broad consensus among general practitioners independent of demographic characteristics. Results may aid veterinary colleges in identification of the surgical skills that are most important to include in surgical curricula and for which new graduates should attain proficiency according to general practitioners.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine intra- and interobserver variability of 2 veterinary radiologists and 2 veterinary general practitioners for detection of pulmonary nodules in standard and inverted (reversed grayscale) displays of digital thoracic radiographs of dogs.

Design—Evaluation study.

Sample—114 sets of 3-view (right lateral, left lateral, and ventrodorsal or dorsoventral views) digital thoracic radiographs from 114 dogs.

Procedures—2 experienced board-certified veterinary radiologists and 2 experienced veterinary general practitioners individually evaluated 114 randomized sets of radiographs. Pulmonary nodules were present in radiographs of 60 of 114 dogs. Each reviewer examined all images in standard or inverted display mode and scored nodule detection on a confidence scale of 1 to 5. After ≥ 2 months, the same individuals evaluated the same images in the remaining display mode. Intraobserver agreement for each display mode was determined via a κ statistic; results between the 2 groups of reviewers were compared via receiver operator curve analysis.

Results—There was no significant intraobserver variability in pulmonary nodule detection between the 2 display modes. Detection accuracy for board-certified radiologists was significantly greater than that of veterinary general practitioners for both display modes. Near-perfect intraobserver agreement was detected between the 2 display modes for board-certified radiologists, whereas moderate to slight intraobserver agreement was detected for the veterinary general practitioners.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Detection of pulmonary nodules in digital thoracic radiographs was comparable, whether a standard or inverted mode was used for evaluations. However, the board-certified radiologists had greater detection accuracy than did veterinary general practitioners.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association