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Objective—To determine whether clinical and clinicopathologic data could assist differentiation of congenital portosystemic shunts (CPSSs) from acquired portosystemic shunts (APSSs) in young dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—Dogs < 30 months of age with CPSSs (n = 62) or APSSs (31).

Procedures—Medical records from 3 referral centers identified 31 dogs with APSSs and 62 dogs with CPSSs diagnosed from July 2003 to July 2008. Signalment, clinical signs, physical examination, and clinicopathological data were recorded, and statistical analyses were performed to determine differences between groups.

Results—Univariable analysis showed APSS patients were older, heavier, and in poorer body condition, compared with CPSS patients. In CPSS patients, diarrhea was less prevalent, and neurologic signs were more prevalent. Ascites was more prevalent in APSS (Fisher exact test; OR, 50.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.2 to 409.7), with no significant difference in albumin concentration between groups. The logistic regression model used to assess clinicopathological parameters showed lower Hct (OR, 1.42 × 10−12; 95% CI, 1.42 × 10−17 to 4.0 × 10−6), higher mean corpuscular volume (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.50), and higher alanine aminotransferase concentrations (OR, 1.005; 95% CI, 1.001 to 1.009) were more likely in APSS patients.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Several clinicopathologic differences between dogs with congenital and acquired shunts were identified; however, assessed alone, these would be unlikely to enable differentiation between the 2 conditions. Awareness of the rarity of ascites in CPSS cases should prompt recognition of a likely diagnosis of APSS, allowing the veterinarian to target further diagnostics and counsel the owner appropriately.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To identify the most frequent underlying diseases in dogs examined because of dyspnea and determine whether signalment, clinical signs, and duration of clinical signs might help guide assessment of the underlying condition and prognosis.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—229 dogs with dyspnea.

Procedures—Case records of dogs referred for dyspnea were reviewed and grouped according to location or etiology (upper airway, lower respiratory tract, pleural space, cardiac diseases, or obesity and stress). Signalment, clinical signs at initial examination, treatment, and survival time were analyzed.

Results—Upper airway (n = 74 [32%]) and lower respiratory tract (76 [33%]) disease were the most common diagnoses, followed by pleural space (44 [19%]) and cardiac (27 [12%]) diseases. Dogs with upper airway and pleural space disease were significantly younger than dogs with lower respiratory tract and cardiac diseases. Dogs with lower respiratory tract and associated systemic diseases were significantly less likely to be discharged from the hospital. Dogs with diseases that were treated surgically had a significantly better outcome than did medically treated patients, which were significantly more likely to be examined on an emergency basis with short duration of clinical signs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs examined because of dyspnea, young dogs may be examined more frequently with breed-associated upper respiratory tract obstruction or pleural space disease after trauma, whereas older dogs may be seen more commonly with progressive lower respiratory tract or acquired cardiac diseases. Nontraumatic acute onset dyspnea is often associated with a poor prognosis, but stabilization, especially in patients with cardiac disease, is possible. Obesity can be an important contributing or exacerbating factor in dyspneic dogs.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To evaluate ultrasound-guided placement of an anchor wire (AW) or injection of methylene blue (MB) to aid in the intraoperative localization of peripheral lymph nodes in dogs and cats.


125 dogs and 10 cats with a total of 171 lymphadenectomies.


Medical records of dogs and cats that underwent peripheral lymphadenectomies with or without (N) the AW or MB localization technique were reviewed. Data retrieved included clinical, surgical, and histologic findings. The proportions of successful lymphadenectomies, lymph node characteristics, and complications among the 3 groups were analyzed.


143 (84%) lymph nodes were successfully excised. Lymphadenectomy success was significantly affected by the localization technique, with 94% for group AW, 87% for group MB, and 72% for group N. Lymph node size was smaller in groups AW and MB, compared with group N. Duration of lymphadenectomy was shorter in group AW, compared with groups MB and N, and in group MB, compared with group N. Intra- (7%) and postoperative (10%) complications and final diagnosis did not significantly differ among groups.


Both lymph node localization techniques were highly successful and reduced surgery time, compared with unassisted lymphadenectomy. Specifically, these techniques were effective for localization of normal-sized and nonpalpable lymph nodes and were efficient and practical options for peripheral lymphadenectomies, particularly for those that were small or nonpalpable.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association