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.
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.