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Objective—To compare the location and severity of injuries in pregnant sows housed in individual gestation stalls with that in pregnant sows housed in dynamic groups in pens with electronic sow feeders.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—100 pregnant sows of parity 1 to 3 and various body weights.

Procedure—Fifty sows each were randomly allotted to gestation stalls or group pens with electronic sow feeders. Injuries were scored on the basis of location, number, and depth of wounds. Injury scores for sows in both housing systems were compared during a period of 90 days. The influence of factors such as duration of stay in the housing system, parity, and body weight on sow injuries was also examined.

Results—Injury scores were higher in group pens with electronic sow feeders. As body weight increased, injury scores decreased for sows housed in group pens with electronic sow feeders and increased for sows housed in gestation stalls. There was a significant negative association between second parity and total injury scores.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Modifications in housing system design and management procedures are needed to reduce injuries in pregnant sows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1334–1338)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate a technique for minimally invasive excisional brain biopsy and intracranial brachytherapy catheter placement in dogs.

Animals—5 healthy adult female dogs.

Procedures—Computed tomographic guidance was used to plan a biopsy trajectory to a selected area of brain with reference to a localizer grid. The procedure was performed through a 1-cm skin incision and 6-mm burr hole by use of a 9-gauge biopsy device. Five cylindrical samples (3 to 4 mm in diameter and 7 to 12 mm in length) were removed over 5 cycles of the vacuum-assisted tissue excision system, leaving approximately a 2-cm3 resection cavity. A balloon-tipped intracranial brachytherapy catheter was placed through the burr hole into the resection cavity, expanded with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, and explanted 7 days later.

Results—4 of 5 dogs survived the procedure. The fifth died because of iatrogenic brain damage. Neurologic deficits were unilateral and focal. Twenty-four hours after surgery, all surviving dogs were ambulatory, 2 dogs exhibited ipsiversive circling, 4 had contralateral proprioceptive deficits, 3 had contralateral menace response deficits, 2 had a reduced contralateral response to noxious nasal stimulation, and 1 had dull mentation with intermittent horizontal nystagmus and ventrolateral strabismus. Neurologic status improved throughout the study period. Histologic quality of biopsy specimens was excellent.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This technique enabled histologic diagnosis from high-quality biopsy specimens obtained through a minimally invasive technique and has potential applications for multimodal treatment of deep brain tumors in dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research