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Objective—To compare the degree of mRNA expression for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), tissue inhibitors (TIMPs), and lysyl oxidase in myocardial samples from dogs with cardiac and systemic diseases and from healthy control dogs.

Sample—Myocardial samples from the atria, ventricles, and septum of 8 control dogs, 6 dogs with systemic diseases, 4 dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and 5 dogs with other cardiac diseases.

Procedures—Degrees of mRNA expression for MMP-1, -2, -3, -9, and -13; TIMP-1, -2, -3, and -4; and lysyl oxidase were measured via quantitative real-time PCR assay. Histologic examination of the hearts was performed to identify pathological changes.

Results—In myocardial samples from control dogs, only TIMP-3 and TIMP-4 mRNA expression was detected, with a significantly higher degree in male versus female dogs. In dogs with systemic and cardiac diseases, all investigated markers were expressed, with a significantly higher degree of mRNA expression than in control dogs. Furthermore, the degree of expression for MMP-2, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 was significantly higher in dogs with DCM than in dogs with systemic diseases and cardiac diseases other than DCM. Expression was generally greater in atrial than in ventricular tissue for MMP-2, MMP-13, and lysyl oxidase in samples from dogs with atrial fibrillation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Degrees of myocardial MMP, TIMP, and lysyl oxidase mRNA expression were higher in dogs with cardiac and systemic diseases than in healthy dogs, suggesting that expression of these markers is a nonspecific consequence of end-stage diseases. Selective differences in the expression of some markers may reflect specific pathogenic mechanisms and may play a role in disease progression, morbidity and mortality rates, and treatment response.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare myocardial cytokine expression in dogs with naturally occurring cardiac or systemic diseases and dogs without cardiac or systemic diseases (control dogs)

Sample—Myocardial tissue samples from 7 systemic disease-affected dogs (SDDs), 7 cardiac disease-affected dogs (CDDs), and 8 control dogs.

Procedures—mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interferon (IFN)-γ, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2, TGF-β3, and growth differentiation factor-15 in myocardial tissue samples obtained from CDDs, SDDs, and control dogs were analyzed via quantitative PCR assays.

Results—In control dogs, only mRNA for TNF-α, TGF-β1, and TGF-β3 was detected; concentrations were significantly higher in male than in female dogs. In SDDs and CDDs, all cytokines, growth factors, and growth differentiation factor-15 were expressed. Compared with findings in SDDs, IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α, and IFN-γ expression was significantly increased in CDDs; specifically, IL-1, IL-8, TNF-α, TGF-β1, and TGF-β3 expression was increased in the atria and IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α, and IFN-γ expression was increased in the ventricles of CDDs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Data suggested that the alterations in cytokine expression in SDDs and CDDs, compared with control dog findings, were a result of inflammatory system activation. The differences in cytokine expression in atria and ventricles between SDDs and CDDs were suggestive of different remodeling processes. A better knowledge of myocardial involvement in SDDs and of immune regulation in CDDs might beneficially affect morbidity and mortality rates and provide new treatment approaches.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare treatment protocols for chronic enteropathy and concurrent protein-losing enteropathy that used prednisolone in conjunction with either azathioprine or chlorambucil in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—27 dogs.

Procedures—All dogs had hypoalbuminemia (serum albumin concentration, < 18.0 g/L) and chronic enteropathy as diagnosed via complete gastrointestinal tract investigations including intestinal biopsy. Dogs received either an azathioprine-prednisolone combination (group A; n = 13) or a chlorambucil-prednisolone combination (group C; 14). Response to treatment was assessed by evaluation of body weight gain, serum albumin concentration, and duration of primary treatment.

Results—No significant pretreatment differences were detected between groups for any baseline variable (signalment and weight), clinicopathologic variable (albumin, cobalamin, and folate concentrations), or histopathologic findings. After treatment, serum albumin concentration and weight gain were significantly greater in group C. Median survival time for group A dogs was 30 days (95% confidence interval, 15 to 45 days) and was not reached for group C dogs. Duration of primary treatment was positively associated with the histopathologic presence of mild lacteal dilatation and use of a chlorambucil-prednisolone combination.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that a chlorambucil-prednisolone protocol is more efficacious for treatment of chronic enteropathy and concurrent protein-losing enteropathy, compared with an azathioprine-prednisolone combination. Given these findings, a prospective randomized clinical trial is warranted.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate effects of imaging plane, flexion and extension, patient weight, and observer on computed tomographic (CT) image measurements of the area of the lumbosacral (L7-S1) intervertebral foramen (LSIF) in dogs.

Sample—12 dog cadavers (2 were excluded because of foraminal stenosis).

Procedures—In each cadaver, sagittal, sagittal oblique, transverse oblique, and double oblique CT images were obtained at 3 zones (entrance, middle, and exit zones) of the region of the lateral lumbar spinal canal that comprises the LSIF while the lumbosacral junction (LSJ) was positioned in flexion or extension. Barium-impregnated polymethylmethacrylate was used to fill the intervertebral foramina to aid boundary detection. Measurements of interest were obtained.

Results—Among the dog cadavers, there was large variability in LSIF cross-sectional areas (range, 0.12 to 0.44 cm2; SD, 0.1 cm2) and in foraminal angles required to obtain a double oblique plane in LSJ extension (SD, 8° to 9°). For LSIF area measurements in standard sagittal CT images, interobserver variability was 23% to 44% and intraobserver variability was 4% to 5%. Sagittal oblique images obtained during LSJ extension yielded smaller mean LSIF areas (0.30 cm2), compared with findings in sagittal images (0.37 to 0.52 cm2). The exit and middle zone areas were smaller than the entrance zone area in sagittal images obtained during LSJ extension.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Repeated measurements of the LSIF area in images obtained during LSJ extension may be unreliable as a result of interobserver variability and the effects of dog positioning and CT slice orientation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research