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  • Author or Editor: Patricia A. Brown x
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Objective—To determine whether a novel optimized plasmid carrying the porcine growth hormone–releasing hormone (GHRH) wild-type cDNA administered at a lower dose was as effective at eliciting physiologic responses as a commercial GHRH plasmid approved for use in Australia.

Animals—134 gilts.

Procedures—Estrus was synchronized and gilts were bred. Pregnant gilts were assigned to 2 treatment groups (40 gilts/group) or 1 untreated control group (24 gilts). Gilts in one of the treatment groups received the commercial GHRH plasmid, whereas gilts in the other treatment group received a novel optimized GHRH plasmid; both plasmids were administered IM in the right hind limb, which was followed by electroporation. Sow and litter performance were monitored for the 3 gestations after treatment.

Results—A significant increase in insulin-like growth factor-I concentrations, decrease in perinatal mortality rate, increase in the number of pigs born alive, and increase in the weight and number of pigs weaned were detected for both groups receiving the GHRH-expressing plasmids, compared with values for the control group. Additionally, there was a significant decrease in sow attrition in GHRH-treated females, compared with attrition in the control group, during the 3 gestations after treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Both of the GHRH plasmids provided significant benefits for sow performance and baby pig survivability for pregnant and lactating sows and their offspring during the 3 gestations after treatment, compared with results for untreated control gilts. Use of a novel optimized plasmid reduced the effective plasmid dose in these large mammals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

  • Management of urolithiasis in horses varies depending on the size and number of calculi, their location in the urinary tract, sex of the patient, and availability of surgical facilities.

  • The recommended method for removal of cystic calculi in stallions and geldings is surgery; however, medical treatment consisting of lavaging the bladder and administering antibiotics and antiinflammatory drugs may be successful if the calculi are small.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


In a prospective study, 141 cats with hematuria, dysuria, urethral obstruction, or combinations of these signs were evaluated by contemporary diagnostic methods and compared with 26 clinically normal cats (controls). Specific diagnosis was established in 45% (64/141) of cats affected with lower urinary tract disease (lutd). Crystalline matrix plug-induced urethral obstruction was diagnosed in 21% (30/141) of affected cats, uroliths were identified in 21% (30/141) of affected cats, uroliths with concomitant bacterial urinary tract infection (uti) were identified in < 2% (2/141) of affected cats, and bacterial uti alone was identified in < 2% (2/141) of cats with lutd. Viruses, mycoplasmas, and ureaplasmas were not isolated from urine samples collected from affected or control cats.

Bovine herpesvirus 4 (bhv-4)-neutralizing antibodies were not detected in any serum sample obtained from cats with lutd or from control cats. In contrast, bhv-4 antibodies were detected by an indirect immunofluorescent antibody (ifa) test in sera obtained from 31% (44/141) of cats with lutd and 23% (6/26) of control cats. The prevalence of positive bhv-4 ifa test results in affected cats was not significantly different from that observed in control cats. Significant association was not apparent between positive bhv-4 ifa test results and clinical diagnosis, abnormal laboratory findings, or cat age. However, the number of male cats with bhv-4 ifa titer was significantly (P < 0.02, χ2 test) greater than that of female cats. Detection of bhv-4 antibodies in approximately 30% of affected and control cats indicates prior virus exposure. Further investigations are warranted to clarify the specific role of bhv-4 in cats with naturally acquired lutd.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association