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To characterize prevalence and type of cardiac disease evident in psittacine birds during postmortem examination.


Retrospective study.


26 psittacine birds with gross and histologic evidence of cardiac disease.


Records of postmortem examinations of psittacine birds necropsied during a 4-year period were reviewed. Data on gross and histologic evidence of cardiac disease were analyzed. Birds identified included those in which congestive heart failure (CHF) was considered the primary cause of death and those in which substantial cardiac disease was evident, despite a lack of postmortem findings supportive of CHF.


Of 269 psittacine birds necropsied, 26 (9.7%) had evidence of cardiac disease. In 15 (58%) birds with cardiac disease, changes consistent with CHF were evident and were sufficiently severe as to be considered the cause of death. The remaining 11 birds had cardiac lesions secondary to other systemic diseases; cardiac lesions were considered to be an incidental finding in these birds, and CHF was not evident. Of the 15 birds with CHF, 10 had evidence of right ventricular or biventricular failure, whereas only 5 had evidence of left ventricular failure.

Clinical Implications

Prevalence of cardiac disease in the psittacine birds reported here was similar to that seen clinically in other companion animals. The high incidence of right ventricular or biventricular heart failure in psittacine birds was similar to that for poultry in which lesions of right-sided heart failure predominate. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212:1737–1742)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine analgesic effects of intraneural injection of ethyl alcohol or formaldehyde in the palmar digital nerves of horses.

Animals—6 horses.

Procedures—Ethyl alcohol was injected in the medial palmar digital nerve of 1 forelimb, and formaldehyde was injected in the contralateral nerve. The lateral palmar digital nerve in 1 forelimb was surgically exposed, but not injected, and the contralateral lateral palmar digital nerve was not treated. For each heel, severity of lameness in response to experimentally induced heel pain (lameness score and peak vertical force), thermal reaction time, and heel skin sensitivity scores were recorded. Heel pain was experimentally induced by advancing a threaded bolt through a custom-made horseshoe to apply pressure to the palmar horned aspect of the hoof. Horses were followed up for 112 days, when a subset of nerves was sampled for histologic analysis.

Results—Alcohol and formaldehyde significantly reduced all measures of heel pain, and analgesia was evident over the 112 days of the study. Pastern circumference was significantly greater for formaldehyde-treated than for alcohol-treated limbs. Histologic evaluation showed preservation of nerve fiber alignment with an intact epineurium, loss of axons, axon degeneration, fibrosis, and inflammation in alcohol-treated and formaldehyde-treated nerves.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that intraneural injection of either ethyl alcohol or formaldehyde in the palmar digital nerves of horses resulted in substantial, but partial, heel analgesia that persisted for at least 112 days. No advantage of formaldehyde over alcohol was found, and formaldehyde resulted in greater soft tissue inflammation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—A 2-year-old Thoroughbred filly was evaluated because of hemorrhage from the vulva and suspected hematuria of 5 days' duration.

Clinical Findings—A primary coagulopathy was ruled out on the basis of results of hematologic testing. Vaginoscopy and cystoscopy revealed a large bleeding mass in the bladder that extended into the vagina, causing marked obliteration of normal urogenital structures and difficulty in urination. Histologic examination of endoscopic and surgical biopsy speci-mens revealed a poorly differentiated neoplasia likely of mesenchymal origin. Chronic suppurative cystitis caused by Streptococcus zooepidemicus was also diagnosed.

Treatment and Outcome—The tumor continued to grow despite treatment with doxorubicin and, within 45 days, was causing substantial discomfort and stranguria. Given the grave prognosis, the horse was euthanized. At necropsy, the tumor was found to have caused widespread destruction of the urinary bladder and to have invaded the broad ligament of the uterus. The mass was identified as a poorly differentiated leiomyosarcoma on the basis of results of histologic examination and immunohistochemical staining for α-actin.

Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that leiomyosarcoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis when examining horses with urogenital bleeding.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association