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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To determine whether 9 problem behaviors in adult male dogs were affected by castration and to examine the influence of age and duration of problem behavior on behavioral effects of castration.


Cohort study.


57 male dogs > 2 years old at the time of castration that had ≥ 1 of the targeted problem behaviors.


Data were collected by telephone contact with owners to identify dogs that had ≥ 1 problem behavior before castration and to estimate the improvement (ie, decrease) in the objectionable behaviors after castration. Problem behaviors of interest included urine marking in the house, mounting, roaming, fear of inanimate stimuli, aggression toward human family members, aggression toward unfamiliar people, aggression toward other dogs in the household, aggression toward unfamiliar dogs, and aggression toward human territorial intruders.


Effects of castration on fear of inanimate stimuli or aggression toward unfamiliar people were not significant, For urine marking, mounting, and roaming, castration resulted in an improvement of ≥ 50% in ≥ 60% of dogs and an improvement of ≥ 90% in 25 to 40% of dogs. For remaining behaviors, castration resulted in an improvement of ≥ 50% in < 35% of dogs. Significant correlations were not found between the percentage of improvement and age of the dog or duration of the problem behavior at the time of castration.

Clinical Implications—

Castration was most effective in altering objectionable urine marking, mounting, and roaming. With various types of aggressive behavior, including aggression toward human family members, castration may be effective in decreasing aggression in some dogs, but fewer than a third can be expected to have marked improvement. Age of the dog or duration of the problem behavior does not have value in predicting whether castration will have a beneficial effect. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:180–182)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


The most frequent type of behavior problem in cats for which veterinary consultation is sought is problem urination. Urine spraying and urine marking have been treated by use of long-acting progestins and diazepam, a benzodiazepine antianxiety drug. Effectiveness of the nonbenzodiazepine antianxiety drug, buspirone, in suppressing urine spraying and marking in 47 male and 15 female cats was evaluated. The effect of the drug in correcting inappropriate urination in 9 cats also was evaluated. Buspirone resulted in a favorable response (> 75% reduction) in 55% of cats treated for urine spraying or marking. There was no sex difference in effectiveness of the treatment, but cats from single-cat households responded favorably significantly (P < 0.001) less frequently than those from multiple-cat households. The 55% response rate was within the range of treatment effectiveness that has been reported for diazepam, and was greater than that reported for progestin. In contrast to diazepam, with which over 90% of treated cats resumed spraying or marking when the drug was gradually discontinued, only half of the cats treated with buspirone resumed spraying when the drug was discontinued after 2 months of treatment (P < 0.001). This difference between diazepam and buspirone in resumption of urine spraying was attributed to diazepam's induction of physiologic and behavioral dependency, not found with buspirone. Cats that resumed spraying were placed on long-term treatment ranging from 6 to 18 months. Buspirone also did not cause the adverse effects of sedation and ataxia, which commonly are seen with diazepam treatment. In cats treated for inappropriate urination, 56% returned to normal litter box usage. Buspirone appeared to be the drug of choice for treating urine spraying and urine marking, and when combined with appropriate behavioral measures, buspirone is indicated for inappropriate urination as well.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate effects of intra-articular and extracapsular reconstruction of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) on metabolism of articular cartilage as reflected by concentrations of chondroitin sulfate epitopes 3B3 and 7D4 in synovial fluid.

Animals—13 adult dogs.

Procedure—Each dog underwent unilateral CCL transection (CCLT). One month after CCLT, sham CCL reconstruction (3 dogs), intra-articular CCL reconstruction (5), or extracapsular CCL reconstruction (5) was performed. Synovial fluid was collected by direct arthrocentesis from CCLT and contralateral stifle joints immediately before (time 0) and 1, 3, and 5 months after CCLT. Fluid was examined for concentrations of 3B3 and 7D4 epitopes and total sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content.

Results—Concentrations of 3B3, 7D4, and GAG, 3B3:GAG, or 7D4:GAG in CCLT joints did not differ significantly among treatment groups nor in the ratios of these variables in CCLT joints to contralateral joints at 3 months. In a longitudinal analysis, concentrations of 3B3 and 7D4, 3B3:GAG, and 7D4:GAG in CCLT joints in all groups changed significantly with time, but we did not detect time X group interactions.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Transection of CCL resulted in significant perturbation in articular cartilage metabolism as reflected by alterations in concentrations of 3B3 and 7D4 in synovial fluid. These changes over time were not significantly influenced by method of CCL reconstruction. We did not find evidence that surgical stabilization of CCL-deficient joints by intra-articular or extracapsular techniques had any effect on preventing alterations in composition of synovial fluid that have been associated with secondary osteoarthritis. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:581–587)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether glutamine (GLN), tryptophan (TRP), and tryptophan metabolite concentrations are higher in cerebralspinal fluid (CSF) dogs with naturally occurring portosystemic shunts (PSS), compared with control dogs.

Animals—11 dogs with confirmed PSS and 12 control dogs fed low- and high-protein diets.

Procedure—Cerebrospinal fluid and blood samples were collected from all dogs. Serum and CSF concentrations of GLN, alanine, serine, TRP, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and quinolinic acid (QUIN) were measured.

Results—Cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of GLN, TRP, and 5-HIAA were significantly higher in PSS dogs, compared with control dogs fed high- or lowprotein diets. Cerebrospinal fluid QUIN concentration was significantly higher in PSS dogs, compared with control dogs fed the low-protein diet. Serum QUIN concentration was significantly lower in PSS dogs, compared with control dogs fed either high- or lowprotein diets.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An increase in CNS GLN concentration is associated with high CSF concentrations of TRP and TRP metabolites in dogs with PSS. High CSF 5-HIAA concentrations indicate an increased flux of TRP through the CNS serotonin metabolic pathway, whereas high CSF QUIN concentrations indicate an increased metabolism of TRP through the indolamine-2,3-dioxygenase pathway. The high CSF QUIN concentrations in the face of low serum QUIN concentrations in dogs with PSS indicates that QUIN production from TRP is occurring in the CNS. High concentrations of QUIN and other TRP metabolites in the CNS may contribute to neurologic abnormalities found in dogs with PSS and hepatic encephalopathy. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1167–1171)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


CASE DESCRIPTION A 14-week-old 7.7-kg (16.9-lb) sexually intact female Golden Retriever was evaluated because of urine dripping from the caudoventral aspect of the abdomen.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Ultrasonography, radiography, excretory CT urography, and vaginocystourethroscopy were performed. Results indicated eversion of the bladder through the ventral abdominal wall with exposure of the ureterovesicular junctions, pubic diastasis, and an open vulva and clitoral fossa. Clinical findings were suggestive of bladder exstrophy, a rare congenital anomaly.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME The dog was anesthetized and bilateral ileal osteotomies were performed. Two ureteral catheters were passed retrograde into the renal pelves under fluoroscopic guidance. The lateral margins of the bladder, bladder neck, and urethra were surgically separated from the abdominal wall, and the bladder was closed, forming a hollow viscus. The symphysis pubis was closed on midline with horizontal mattress sutures. The defects in the vestibule and clitoral fossa were closed. Lastly, the iliac osteotomies were stabilized. The dog was initially incontinent with right hind limb sciatic neuropraxia and developed pyelonephritis. Over time, the dog became continent with full return to orthopedic and neurologic function, but had recurrent urinary tract infections, developed renal azotemia likely associated with chronic pyelonephritis, and ultimately was euthanized 3.5 years after surgery because of end-stage kidney disease.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Bladder exstrophy and epispadias is a treatable but rare congenital abnormality. The procedure described could be considered for treatment of this condition, but care should be taken to monitor for urinary tract infections and ascending pyelonephritis.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association