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  • Author or Editor: M. Kevin Keel x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To describe the prevalence, histologic characteristics, concomitant abnormalities, and outcomes for various types of mammary gland tumors in companion rats (Rattus norvegicus).

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 100 client-owned rats.

PROCEDURES Medical records of companion rats that had an SC mass and were examined at a veterinary teaching hospital between 1990 and 2015 were reviewed. Information regarding the signalment, age at mass detection, reproductive sterilization status, histologic diagnosis of the SC mass, location of the initial and all subsequent SC masses, treatments administered, and clinical outcomes was extracted from each record and summarized.

RESULTS 105 SC masses were initially detected in 100 rats. The most prevalent SC mass identified was mammary gland fibroadenoma (56/105 [53%]), followed by mammary gland carcinoma (13/105 [12%]). Overall, 26 of 105 (25%) masses were malignant. Sexually intact males were more likely to have nonmammary SC tumors than sexually intact females. In rats receiving no adjunctive treatment after excision of a mammary gland fibroadenoma (n = 16), a second fibroadenoma was detected 1 to 8 months after initial excision, at a median of 4.5 months after surgery. A concomitant pituitary gland tumor was identified in most rats with mammary gland fibroadenoma (21/28 [75%]) and other types of mammary gland tumors (10/17 [59%]). Fourteen of 35 (40%) rats with mammary gland fibroadenoma had concomitant reproductive tract abnormalities.

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that, like other species, companion rats with SC masses should undergo a thorough diagnostic workup that includes histologic examination of the excised mass.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To compare intraosseous pentobarbital treatment (IPT) and thoracic compression (TC) on time to circulatory arrest and an isoelectric electroencephalogram (EEG) in anesthetized passerine birds.

ANIMALS 30 wild-caught adult birds (17 house sparrows [Passer domesticus] and 13 European starlings [Sturnus vulgaris]).

PROCEDURES Birds were assigned to receive IPT or TC (n = 6/species/group). Birds were anesthetized, and carotid arterial pulses were monitored by Doppler methodology. Five subdermal braided-wire electrodes were used for EEG. Anesthetic depth was adjusted until a continuous EEG pattern was maintained, then euthanasia was performed. Times from initiation of euthanasia to cessation of carotid pulse and irreversible isoelectric EEG (indicators of death) were measured. Data (medians and first to third quartiles) were summarized and compared between groups within species. Necropsies were performed for all birds included in experiments and for another 6 birds euthanized under anesthesia by TC (4 sparrows and 1 starling) or IPT (1 sparrow).

RESULTS Median time to isoelectric EEG did not differ significantly between treatment groups for sparrows (19.0 and 6.0 seconds for TC and IPT, respectively) or starlings (88.5 and 77.5 seconds for TC and IPT, respectively). Median times to cessation of pulse were significantly shorter for TC than for IPT in sparrows (0.0 vs 18.5 seconds) and starlings (9.5 vs 151.0 seconds). On necropsy, most (14/17) birds that underwent TC had grossly visible coelomic, pericardial, or perihepatic hemorrhage.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that TC might be an efficient euthanasia method for small birds. Digital pressure directly over the heart during TC obstructed venous return, causing rapid circulatory arrest, with rupture of the atria or vena cava in several birds. The authors propose that cardiac compression is a more accurate description than TC for this procedure.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research