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  • Author or Editor: P. Jane Armstrong x
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Objective—To determine demographic characteristics of dogs from the upper Midwest infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum and identify clinical and clinicopathologic abnormalities and response to treatment.

Design—Retrospective case series and owner telephone survey.

Animals—34 dogs with granulocytic anaplasmosis.

Procedures—Records were reviewed for information on signalment, history, physical examination findings, clinicopathologic and serologic findings, and treatment. Owners were contacted by telephone within 4 months after dogs were discharged.

Results—Median age was 8 years. Distribution of month of diagnosis was bimodal, with 15 dogs examined during May or June and 11 others examined during October or November. Camping and hiking were the most frequently reported tick exposure activities. Lethargy (25/34) and anorexia (21/34) were the most common initial complaints, fever was the most common clinical sign (27/32), and thrombocytopenia was the most common clinicopathologic abnormality (21/22). Fifteen of 20 dogs were seropositive for antibodies against A phagocytophilum. Doxycycline was prescribed for 31 dogs, and clinical signs and fever resolved within 3 to 5 days. Median time for platelet count to return to reference limits was 7 days. No owners reported clinical sequelae when contacted after dogs were discharged.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that granulocytic anaplasmosis should be suspected in dogs in endemic areas examined because of fever, lethargy, or thrombocytopenia, especially in dogs examined during the late spring or early fall. Treatment with doxycycline was successful in resolving clinical signs and thrombocytopenia.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine clinical characteristics and mode of inheritance of idiopathic epilepsy (IE) in English Springer Spaniels.

Design—Original study.

Animals—45 dogs with IE and 74 siblings and their respective parents.

Procedure—IE was diagnosed on the basis of age at the time of seizure onset and results of laboratory testing and neurologic examinations. Simple segregation analysis was performed with the Davie method.

Results—Median age at the onset of seizures was 3 years; however, 9 (20%) dogs were between 5 and 6 years old at the time of the onset of seizures. Twentyone dogs (47%) had generalized seizures, and 24 (53%) had focal onset seizures. Results of segregation analysis were consistent with partially penetrant autosomal recessive or polygenic inheritance. Simulated linkage indicated that there was a 58% chance of obtaining suggestive linkage with the available pedigrees.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of the present study suggest that in English Springer Spaniels, IE segregates in a manner that is consistent with partially penetrant autosomal recessive inheritance (ie, a single major locus with modifying genes) or polygenic inheritance. Given enough families with accurate phenotypic information and available DNA, it should be possible to use genetic linkage analysis to identify chromosomal segments containing the causative gene or genes. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:54–58)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate and compare circulating concentrations of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), insulin, and glucose in nondiabetic cats classified by body condition score (BCS) and in cats with naturally occurring diabetes mellitus.

Animals—109 (82 nondiabetic, 21 nonketoacidotic diabetic, and 6 ketoacidotic diabetic) cats.

Procedures—Cats were examined and BCSs were assessed on a scale of 1 to 9. After food was withheld for 12 hours, blood was collected and plasma concentrations of IAPP and serum concentrations of insulin and glucose were measured. Differences in these values were evaluated among nondiabetic cats grouped according to BCS and in diabetic cats grouped as ketoacidotic or nonketoacidotic on the basis of clinicopathologic findings. Correlations were determined among variables.

Results—In nondiabetic cats, BCS was significantly and positively correlated with circulating IAPP and insulin concentrations. Mean plasma IAPP concentrations were significantly different between cats with BCSs of 5 and 7, and mean serum insulin concentrations were significantly different between cats with BCSs of 5 and 8. Serum glucose concentrations were not significantly different among nondiabetic cats. Mean IAPP concentrations were similar between nonketoacidotic diabetic cats and nondiabetic cats with BCSs of 8 or 9. Mean IAPP concentrations were significantly reduced in ketoacidotic diabetic cats, compared with those of nondiabetic cats with BCSs of 6 through 8 and of nonketoacidotic diabetic cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that increased BCS (a measure of obesity) is associated with increased circulating concentrations of IAPP and insulin in nondiabetic cats.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare results of body condition scoring by use of a 9-point scale with body composition determined by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) in indoor-confined neutered domestic shorthair (DSH) pet cats.

Animals—72 indoor-confined, adult neutered DSH pet cats (38 females and 34 males).

Procedures—All cats underwent a physical examination including assessment of body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS; 1 = emaciated, 5 = ideal, and 9 = grossly obese), and girth. Urinalysis, CBC, and serum biochemical analysis were also performed. After the cats were confirmed healthy, they were anesthetized for body composition measurement via DEXA. Lean body mass, fat mass, and percentage body fat (%BF) were then evaluated.

Results—The correlation between %BF and BCS (r = 0.87) was superior to the correlations between %BFand BW (r = 0.74) and between %BF and girth (r = 0.78). Values for %BF differed significantly between all pairs of BCSs except BCSs 8 and 9. Within a BCS, the %BF was similar for male and female cats. The mean %BF for cats with a BCS of 5 was 32, which exceeded the upper reference limit of %BF generally considered ideal (30).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The 9-point BCS scale appears useful for assessing %BF in DSH pet cats. Nevertheless, study findings could indicate a need for redefining the ideal BCS for inactive neutered cats to include a BCS of 4.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To establish a reference interval for a feline-specific pancreatic lipase assay (Spec fPL test; Idexx Laboratories Inc) in healthy cats and determine the sensitivity and specificity of the Spec fPL test in a large group of ill cats with and without pancreatitis.


41 healthy cats, 141 cats with clinical signs consistent with pancreatitis, and 786 stored sera with known feline pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (fPLI) concentrations.


This was a prospective, cross-sectional, nonrandomized study. Based on a detailed review of the medical history and results of physical examination, CBC, serum biochemical profile, urinalysis, abdominal ultrasonography, and clinical outcome, each cat was categorized by 2 board-certified internists masked to the fPLI test results into 1 of 6 categories from definitely pancreatitis to definitely not pancreatitis.


The reference interval for the Spec fPL test, determined from the central 95th percentile of results from healthy cats, was fPLI of 0.7 to 3.5 µg/L. An fPLI concentration of ≥ 5.4 µg/L was determined to be consistent with pancreatitis. With an fPLI of 5.4 µg/L as the diagnostic cutoff, the sensitivity of the Spec fPL test for feline pancreatitis (definitely pancreatitis and probably pancreatitis) was 79.4%, the specificity for cats characterized as probably not pancreatitis and definitely not pancreatitis was 79.7%, and positive and negative predictive values were 69% and 87%, respectively.


These findings support the use of the Spec fPL test as a valuable diagnostic test for feline pancreatitis.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association