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Case Description—A 4-year-old spayed female Mastiff was evaluated for treatment of chronic nonhealing pressure wounds over both elbow regions resulting from attempts at hypertrophic callus excision.

Clinical Findings—The wound bed granulation tissue was mottled red and yellow with hyperemic, rolled epithelial edges. The right wound communicated with a large fluid pocket along the thoracic wall. The dog had an inflammatory leukogram with a left shift.

Treatment and Outcome—The wounds were debrided, and tissue specimens were collected for histologic evaluation, microbial culture, and bacterial identification by means of molecular diagnostic techniques. The left wound was closed immediately. Calcium alginate rope with silver was packed into the right wound. Vacuum-assisted closure was applied for 6 days. Debridement was repeated, and a thoracodorsal axial pattern flap was used to cover the wound. Systemic treatment with antimicrobials was initiated, and pressure over the elbow regions was relieved. Bacterial biofilms were identified histologically in tissue specimens from both wounds. Staphylococcus intermedius, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Streptococcus canis were cultured and identified by 16S rRNA fragment sequencing. Pyrosequencing identified multiple bacterial species and no fungal organisms. Both wounds healed successfully.

Clinical Relevance—Biofilms are implicated in infected orthopedic implants in veterinary patients; however, this is the first report of a bacterial biofilm in chronic wounds in a dog. In human wound care, extensive debridement is performed to disrupt the biofilm; a multimodal treatment approach is recommended to delay reformation and help clear the infection. In this case, biofilm reformation was prevented by systemic treatment with antimicrobials, by reducing local pressure on the wounds, and by wound closure.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—A 2-year-old spayed female domestic shorthair cat was examined because of bilateral thoracic limb weakness of acute onset.

Clinical Findings—Clinical signs included muscle atrophy, paresis, depressed spinal reflexes, hyperesthesia of the thoracic limbs, and reduced jaw muscle tone. Pelvic limb reflexes were normal. Results of a neurologic examination were suggestive of multifocal lesions involving both brachial plexuses and the trigeminal nerves. Abnormal nerve conduction across the brachial plexus and delayed late potentials were found on electrodiagnostic testing, and diffuse subclinical involvement of other regions of the peripheral nervous system was confirmed on the basis of abnormal electromyographic findings for the masticatory muscles and conduction block of the peroneal nerve.

Treatment and Outcome—No specific treatments were given, and neurologic signs resolved within a month. A relapse occurred 2 months after the first episode, with clinical signs affecting both the pelvic and the thoracic limbs on this occasion. Again, the condition resolved without specific treatment, and 13 months after the initial episode, the cat reportedly was normal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that brachial plexus neuropathy can be a multifocal disease in cats, even if clinically apparent neurologic deficits are initially subtle or absent, and that electrodiagnostic techniques can be used to identify subclinical involvement of the peripheral nerves.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To compare spinal cord-to-vertebral canal area ratios measured with CT between the cervical and thoracolumbar regions in French Bulldogs.


37 French Bulldogs presented to a referral hospital between 2016 and 2019.


The study was conducted as a retrospective observational study. Exclusion criteria were evidence of vertebral malformations or spinal cord compression at the sites where measurements were obtained and the presence of cervicothoracic or thoracolumbar transitional vertebrae or neurologic deficits. CT images were reviewed, and measurements were performed by 2 investigators. Measurements of the spinal cord and vertebral canal were made at the level of or immediately cranial to the midbodies of C5 and L1.


A 2-tailed, paired t test indicated that the mean spinal cord-to-vertebral canal area ratio differed significantly (P < .01) between C5 (0.726) and L1 (0.605). The ratio was lower in the thoracolumbar region, suggesting that the vertebral canal was relatively larger in this region.


The epidural space did not appear to be larger in the cervical than in the thoracolumbar region in this population of French Bulldogs, contrary to previous reports. The reason for the more severe deficits observed with thoracolumbar disk extrusion in this breed remains to be characterized.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the dietary patterns and intake of nutrients of concern in dogs with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—82 dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or chronic valvular disease.

Procedure—Owners of dogs were contacted and given a standardized telephone questionnaire regarding diet and a 24-hour food recall to determine daily intake of calories, protein, fat, sodium, potassium, and magnesium.

Results—Among the 82 dogs, 71% had no congestive heart failure (CHF), and 29% had CHF or a history of CHF. Sixty-one percent of dogs had concurrent diseases. Anorexia was or had been evident in 34% of dogs and was significantly more common in the CHF group and in dogs with DCM. Most dogs (92%) received some treats and table food, with a median percentage of daily calories from treats of 19% (range, 0% to 100%). Most owners (57%) that administered pills used human or pet foods for pill administration. Most dogs ate more than the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimum values for fat and protein. Daily sodium intake varied from 14 to 384 mg/100 kcal, compared with the AAFCO minimum of 17 mg/100 kcal. A median of 25% of total daily sodium came from treats and table food (range, 0% to 100%). Dogs with CHF ate significantly more sodium, compared with dogs with no CHF.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary intake for dogs with cardiac disease is highly variable and often not optimal. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223: 1301–1305)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


CASE DESCRIPTION 5 dogs were examined because of clinical signs of myelopathy, including signs of pain associated with the spinal region and rapidly progressive neurologic deficits.

CLINICAL FINDINGS In all dogs, results of MRI were consistent with spinal epidural empyema. Concurrent infectious processes were identified at adjacent or distant sites in all dogs, including diskospondylitis, prostatitis, dermatitis, paraspinal infection following a penetrating injury, urinary tract infection, and pyothorax. Bacteria were isolated from 3 dogs; Escherichia coli was isolated from blood, urine, and prostatic wash samples from 1 dog; a Pasteurella sp was isolated from a percutaneous aspirate from an adjacent infected wound in a second dog; and a Corynebacterium sp was isolated from a thoracic fluid sample from a third dog. For the remaining 2 dogs, results of bacterial culture were negative.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME All dogs showed clinical improvement within 2 weeks after initiation of antimicrobial treatment, and all had an excellent long-term outcome.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE In dogs, spinal epidural empyema has previously been regarded as a surgical emergency. Findings for dogs in the present report suggested that, as is the case for humans, selected dogs with spinal epidural empyema may be successfully managed with medical treatment alone.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association