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  • Author or Editor: M. Lynne O'Sullivan x
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Objective—To identify a causative mutation for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Doberman Pinschers by sequencing the coding regions of 10 cardiac genes known to be associated with familial DCM in humans.

Animals—5 Doberman Pinschers with DCM and congestive heart failure and 5 control mixed-breed dogs that were euthanized or died.

Procedures—RNA was extracted from frozen ventricular myocardial samples from each dog, and first-strand cDNA was synthesized via reverse transcription, followed by PCR amplification with gene-specific primers. Ten cardiac genes were analyzed: cardiac actin, α-actinin, α-tropomyosin, β-myosin heavy chain, metavinculin, muscle LIM protein, myosinbinding protein C, tafazzin, titin-cap (telethonin), and troponin T. Sequences for DCM-affected and control dogs and the published canine genome were compared.

Results—None of the coding sequences yielded a common causative mutation among all Doberman Pinscher samples. However, 3 variants were identified in the α-actinin gene in the DCM-affected Doberman Pinschers. One of these variants, identified in 2 of the 5 Doberman Pinschers, resulted in an amino acid change in the rod-forming triple coiled-coil domain.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mutations in the coding regions of several genes associated with DCM in humans did not appear to consistently account for DCM in Doberman Pinschers. However, an α-actinin variant was detected in some Doberman Pinschers that may contribute to the development of DCM given its potential effect on the structure of this protein. Investigation of additional candidate gene coding and noncoding regions and further evaluation of the role of α-actinin in development of DCM in Doberman Pinschers are warranted.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare potassium concentrations in feline plasma and serum samples analyzed promptly after collection or after 20 to 28 hours of refrigerated storage.


41 cats.


A venous blood sample was obtained from each cat. Aliquots were placed in 2 tubes without anticoagulant (blood was allowed to clot to derive serum) and 2 tubes with heparin (to derive plasma). One serum and 1 plasma sample were kept at room temperature and analyzed within 60 minutes after collection (baseline); the other serum and plasma samples were analyzed after 20 to 28 hours of refrigerated storage. At both time points, serum and plasma potassium concentrations were measured.


Median baseline serum potassium concentration (4.3 mmol/L) was significantly higher than median baseline plasma potassium concentration (4.1 mmol/L). The median difference between those values was 0.4 mmol/L (95% CI, 0.2 to 0.5 mmol/L). Compared with their respective baseline measurements, the median serum plasma concentration (4.8 mmol/L) and median plasma potassium concentration (4.6 mmol/L) were higher after 20 to 28 hours of refrigeration.


Results indicated that with regard to potassium concentration in feline blood samples, clotting or refrigerated storage for 20 to 28 hours results in a significant artifactual increase. Detection of an unexpectedly high potassium concentration in a cat may represent pseudohyperkalemia, especially if the blood sample was placed in a no-additive tube, was stored for 20 to 28 hours prior to analysis, or both.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate the effects of administration of a peripheral α2-adrenergic receptor antagonist (L-659,066), with and without concurrent administration of glycopyrrolate, on cardiopulmonary effects of medetomidine administration in dogs.

Animals—6 healthy adult dogs.

Procedures—Dogs received saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (saline group), L-659,066 (group L), or L-659,066 with glycopyrrolate (group LG). These pretreatments were followed 10 minutes later by administration of medetomidine in a randomized crossover study. Hemodynamic measurements and arterial and mixed-venous blood samples for blood gas analysis were obtained prior to pretreatment, 5 minutes after pretreatment, and after medetomidine administration at intervals up to 60 minutes.

Results—After pretreatment in the L and LG groups, heart rate, cardiac index, and partial pressure of oxygen in mixed-venous blood (PvO2) values were higher than those in the saline group. After medetomidine administration, heart rate, cardiac index, and PvO2 were higher and systemic vascular resistance, mean arterial blood pressure, and central venous pressure were lower in the L and LG groups than in the saline group. When the L and LG groups were compared, heart rate was greater at 5 minutes after medetomidine administration, mean arterial blood pressure was greater at 5 and 15 minutes after medetomidine administration, and central venous pressure was lower during the 60-minute period after medetomidine administration in the LG group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of L-659,066 prior to administration of medetomidine reduced medetomidine-induced cardiovascular changes in healthy dogs. No advantage was detected with concurrent administration of L-659,066 and glycopyrrolate.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To develop and determine the feasibility of a novel minimally invasive technique for percutaneous catheterization and embolization of the thoracic duct (PCETD) in dogs and to determine thoricic duct TD pressure at rest and during short-term balloon occlusion of the cranial vena cava (CrVC).

Animals—Fifteen 7- to 11-month-old healthy mixed-breed dogs.

Procedures—Efferent intestinal lymphangiography was performed, and the cisterna chyli was punctured with a trochar needle percutaneously under fluoroscopic guidance. When access was successful, a guide wire was directed into the TD through the needle and a vascular access sheath was advanced over the guide wire. Thoracic duct pressure was measured at rest and during acute balloon occlusion of the CrVC. The TD was then embolized cranial to the diaphragm with a combination of microcoils and cyanoacrylate or ethylene vinyl alcohol.

Results—Successful puncture of the cisterna chyli with advancement of a wire into the TD was possible in 9 of 15 dogs, but successful catheterization was possible in only 5 of 9 dogs. Acute balloon occlusion of the CrVC led to a substantial TD pressure increase in 4 of 4 dogs, and embolization of the TD was successful in 4 of 4 dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—PCETD can successfully be performed in healthy dogs; however, this minimally invasive technique cannot currently be recommended for routine treatment of chylothorax, in part because of the technically demanding nature of the procedure. An increase in jugular venous pressure led to an increase in TD pressure, potentially predisposing some dogs to developing chylothorax.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To describe the relative importance of pets' quality versus quantity of life among owners of dogs with heart disease.

Design—Prospective questionnaire-based clinical study.

Sample Population—Owners of 201 dogs with heart disease.

Procedures—Owners each completed a questionnaire that was designed to ascertain the relative importance of quality versus quantity of life for their pet and to assess the owners' willingness to trade survival time for quality of life, if that were possible. Analyses were performed to evaluate factors associated with owner willingness to trade time for quality of life.

Results—Most owners (170/197 [86%]) were willing to trade survival time for quality of life for their heart disease–affected dogs; of those owners, 88 (52%) were willing to trade 6 months. Owners were highly concerned with detection of perceived pet suffering and their pet's ability to interact with them. Owners whose pets had respiratory difficulty or fainting episodes and were treated on an outpatient basis had a greater willingness to trade survival time than owners of dogs that were treated on an emergency basis. Among owners willing to trade time for quality of life, younger owners and those whose pets had fainting episodes were willing to trade the most amount of time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that quality of life is highly important to owners of dogs with heart disease. Owners' priorities partly depend on owner age and the pet's clinical circumstances; ongoing client-veterinarian communication is important to optimize treatment success as perceived by owners.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association