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  • Author or Editor: Leilani Alvarez x
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OBJECTIVE To identify patterns of referral to US small animal rehabilitation facilities, document referring veterinarians’ perceptions of rehabilitation services, and examine factors that encouraged and impeded referral of veterinary patients to rehabilitation facilities.

DESIGN Cross-sectional survey.

SAMPLE 461 completed surveys.

PROCEDURES Referral lists were obtained from 9 US rehabilitation facilities, and surveys were emailed or mailed to 2, 738 veterinarians whose names appeared on those lists. Data obtained from respondents were used to generate descriptive statistics and perform χ2 tests to determine patterns for referral of patients to rehabilitation facilities.

RESULTS 461 surveys were completed and returned, resulting in a response rate of 16.8%. The margin of error was < 5% for all responses. Most respondents (324/461 [70.3%]) had referred patients for postoperative rehabilitation therapy. Respondents ranked neurologic disorder as the condition they would most likely consider for referral for future rehabilitation therapy. The most frequently cited reason for not referring a patient for rehabilitation therapy was perceived cost (251/461 [54.4%]) followed by distance to a rehabilitation facility (135/461 [29.3%]). Specialists were more likely than general practitioners to refer patients for rehabilitation therapy. The majority (403/461 [87.4%]) of respondents felt that continuing education in the field of veterinary rehabilitation was lacking.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated a need for continuing education in small animal rehabilitation for veterinarians. Improved knowledge of rehabilitation therapy will enable veterinarians to better understand and more specifically communicate indications and benefits for pets receiving this treatment modality.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


CASE DESCRIPTION A 14-week-old 7.7-kg (16.9-lb) sexually intact female Golden Retriever was evaluated because of urine dripping from the caudoventral aspect of the abdomen.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Ultrasonography, radiography, excretory CT urography, and vaginocystourethroscopy were performed. Results indicated eversion of the bladder through the ventral abdominal wall with exposure of the ureterovesicular junctions, pubic diastasis, and an open vulva and clitoral fossa. Clinical findings were suggestive of bladder exstrophy, a rare congenital anomaly.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME The dog was anesthetized and bilateral ileal osteotomies were performed. Two ureteral catheters were passed retrograde into the renal pelves under fluoroscopic guidance. The lateral margins of the bladder, bladder neck, and urethra were surgically separated from the abdominal wall, and the bladder was closed, forming a hollow viscus. The symphysis pubis was closed on midline with horizontal mattress sutures. The defects in the vestibule and clitoral fossa were closed. Lastly, the iliac osteotomies were stabilized. The dog was initially incontinent with right hind limb sciatic neuropraxia and developed pyelonephritis. Over time, the dog became continent with full return to orthopedic and neurologic function, but had recurrent urinary tract infections, developed renal azotemia likely associated with chronic pyelonephritis, and ultimately was euthanized 3.5 years after surgery because of end-stage kidney disease.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Bladder exstrophy and epispadias is a treatable but rare congenital abnormality. The procedure described could be considered for treatment of this condition, but care should be taken to monitor for urinary tract infections and ascending pyelonephritis.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association