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Persistent hypercalcemia attributable to parathyroid gland hyperplasia was identified in 6 dogs with primary hyperparathyroidism. Clinical signs included polydipsia (n = 4), polyuria (n = 4), and signs caused by cystic calculi (n = 3). Abnormal clinical pathologic findings included hypercalcemia (mean, 13.6 mg/dl; range, 12.6 to 14.7 mg/dl; n = 6), hypophosphatemia (mean, 2.2 mg/dl; range, 1.4 to 2.9 mg/dl; n = 6), high serum alkaline phosphatase activity (mean, 222 IU/L; range, 161 to 286 IU/L; n = 3), and isosthenuria (mean, 1.012; range, 1.006 to 1.017; n = 6). Serum parathyroid hormone concentration was within the reference range or high (mean, 23 pmol/L; range, 7 to 119 pmol/L; reference range, 1.5 to 13 pmol/L) in all dogs.

At surgery, the number of large parathyroid glands was variable, being limited to 1 gland in 3 dogs, 2 glands in 2 dogs, and 4 glands in 1 dog. All visibly large parathyroid glands were surgically removed from each dog. Serum calcium concentration decreased into or below the reference range within 72 hours of surgery in all dogs, confirming the diagnosis of primary parathyroid disease. Multiple nodules of adenomatous hyperplasia were identified in each dog. All 6 dogs were treated with vitamin D and calcium carbonate following surgery. The dog from which all 4 parathyroid glands were removed has remained eucalcemic for more than 1 year with vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D and calcium administration was discontinued within 4 to 12 weeks of surgery in the remaining 5 dogs. These dogs remained eucalcemic without vitamin D supplementation. Two dogs are still alive 12 and 35 months after surgery; 3 dogs died 3 to 4 years after surgery because of unrelated medical causes.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To compare a technique in which samples obtained from selected venous sites are analyzed for parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentration versus usefulness of cervical ultrasonography for localizing primary hyperparathyroidism (PHP) in dogs.


Prospective study.


12 dogs with PHP.


For each dog, blood samples were collected from the left and right jugular veins and 1 cephalic vein for determination of serum PTH concentration. Ultrasonography of the neck was performed in each dog. Each dog underwent exploratory surgery of the neck. Abnormal appearing parathyroid tissue was removed. Dogs were included in the study if serum calcium concentration decreased within 12 hours after surgery, hypercalcemia completely resolved within 96 hours after surgery, and serum calcium concentration was maintained within the reference range for at least 6 months after surgery.


Serum PTH concentrations from the 3 veins were similar in 11 of 12 dogs with PHP. In 1 dog, the serum PTH concentration from the jugular vein ipsilateral to a parathyroid adenoma was greater than that from the contralateral jugular or cephalic vein. Ultrasonography correctly identified a parathyroid mass and its location in 10 of 11 dogs with a solitary abnormal parathyroid gland and in 1 dog in which both parathyroid glands were enlarged.

Clinical Implications—

Surgeons may benefit from knowing the location of abnormal parathyroid tissue in dogs with PHP before surgical exploration. Ultrasonography has potential value for identifying and localizing abnormal parathyroid tissue, whereas sample collection from selected sites for PTH analysis is not likely to be helpful. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:54–56)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction is a slowly progressive disorder that afflicts most breeds of horses. Because it shares features with human Cushing disease, it has been referred to as equine Cushing disease. A variety of tests of pituitary-adrenocortical function were performed on horses with evidence of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, and results were compared with those in healthy control horses. Diurnal variations in plasma cortisol concentration were not statistically different between control horses and those with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. An ACTH stimulation (1 U of natural ACTH gel/kg of body weight, IM) test or a combined dexamethasone suppression test (10 mg, IM) and ACTH stimulation (100 mg of synthetic ACTH, IV) test also failed to distinguish horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction from control horses. A significant (P < 0.001) dose-related suppression of cortisol concentration in response to increasing doses (5, 10, 20, and 40 μg/kg) of dexamethasone was observed in control horses but not in those with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. On the basis of plasma cortisol concentration, the dexamethasone suppression test, using 40 μg/kg, whether initiated at 5 PM with sample collection at 15 (8 AM) and 19 (12 PM) hours after dexamethasone administration, or initiated at 12 AM with sample collection at 8 (8 AM), 12 (12 PM), 16 (4 PM), 20 (8 PM), and 24 (12 AM) hours after dexamethasone administration, reliably distinguished between control horses and those with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. Several horses did not have clinical evidence of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, but did have abnormal dexamethasone suppression test results. In these horses, adenomatous hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the pars intermedia of the pituitary gland was confirmed at necropsy.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Ejaculate, urine, urethral swab specimens, and ultrasonography-guided small-needle prostatic cyst aspiration and/or tissue core biopsy specimens were collected for bacteriologic culture from 25 dogs in which prostatic disease was suspected on the basis of history, clinical signs of disease, or results of physical examination. The prostate gland in each dog was examined ultrasonographically, and the tissue core biopsy specimens were examined histologically and bacteriologically.

Two methods were used to assess bacterial prostatitis. In 5 dogs (20%), bacteriologic culture results of paired urethral swab and ejaculate specimens differed from culture results of specimens obtained by needle aspiration of prostatic cyst fluid or tissue core biopsy.

The prostate gland in 17 dogs had 1 or more cystic, fluid-filled structures (0.5 to 4.0 cm in diameter). Ultrasonographic appearance of the prostate gland did not have obvious correlation with culture results from dogs of the study. Histologic results of prostatic tissue core biopsy specimens correlated well with culture results.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association