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  • Author or Editor: Sharon C. Kerwin x
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Abstract

Case Description—A 7-year-old domestic shorthair cat with a 2-month history of decreased appetite and weight loss was examined because of paraparesis of 1 week's duration that had progressed to paraplegia 3 days earlier.

Clinical Findings—Neurologic examination revealed normo- to hyperreflexia and absence of deep pain sensation in the hind limbs and thoracolumbar spinal hyperesthesia. Neuro-anatomically, the lesion was located within the T3 through L3 spinal cord segments. Biochemical analysis and cytologic examination of CSF revealed no abnormalities. Radiography revealed narrowing of the T11-12 intervertebral disk space and intervertebral foramen suggestive of intervertebral disk disease. Myelography revealed an extradural mass centered at the T12-13 intervertebral disk space with extension over the dorsal surfaces of T11-13 and L1 vertebral bodies.

Treatment and Outcome—A right-sided hemilaminectomy was performed over the T11-12, T12-13, and T13-L1 intervertebral disk spaces, and a space-occupying mass was revealed. Aerobic bacterial culture of samples of the mass yielded growth of a yeast organism after a 10-day incubation period; histologically, Histoplasma capsulatum was identified. Treatment with itraconazole was initiated. Nineteen days after surgery, superficial pain sensation and voluntary motor function were evident in both hind limbs. After approximately 3.5 months, the cat was ambulatory with sling assistance and had regained some ability to urinate voluntarily.

Clinical Relevance—In cats with myelopathies that have no overt evidence of fungal dissemination, differential diagnoses should include CNS histoplasmosis. Although prognosis associated with fungal infections of the CNS is generally guarded, treatment is warranted and may have a positive outcome.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the microchemical and surface composition of tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) plates before and after explantation.

Sample Population—7 TPLO plates surgically removed from host dogs 6 to 54 months after implantation; 2 raw unpolished-and-unpassivated 316L TPLO plates; and 2 heat-treated, polished-and-passivated, and cleaned 316L TPLO plates.

Procedures—Samples were removed by use of standard techniques to ensure the plate surface was not damaged. Sample pieces were dissolved and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to determine bulk elemental composition. Other sample pieces were investigated by use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for determination of sample morphology, near-surface elemental composition, and surface elemental composition, respectively. To investigate the possibility of corrosion in situ, some samples were chemically corroded and analyzed.

Results—ICP-MS confirmed that elemental composition of samples was consistent with 316L stainless steel. The SEM and EDS analyses revealed trace amounts of polishing materials and a nonuniform carbonaceous biofilm on < 1% of the surface area of samples removed from the host dogs. The XPS analysis indicated an increase in the chromium-to-iron ratio on passivated surfaces, with no difference between passivated samples before implantation and after explantation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Composition of the TPLO plates was consistent with 316L stainless steel. No chemical or topographic changes were detected in TPLO plates that had been implanted in dogs for up to 54 months. A small amount of biofilm was evident on the surface of 2 plates.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To develop a visual analogue scale (VAS) questionnaire that is repeatable and valid for use in assessing pain and lameness in dogs.

Sample Population—48 client-owned dogs with mild to moderate lameness.

Procedure—The dogs were from 3 studies conducted during a 3-year period. Of the 48 dogs, 19 were used in repeatability assessment, 48 were used in principal component analysis, and 44 were used in model selection procedures and validity testing. A test-retest measure of repeatability was conducted on dogs with a change of < 10% in vertical peak force. A force platform was used as the criterion-referenced standard for detecting lameness. Principal component analysis was used to describe dimensionality of the data. Repeatable questions were used as explanatory variables in multiple regression models to predict force plate measurements. Peak vertical, craniocaudal, and associated impulses were the forces used to quantify lameness. The regression models were used to test the criterion validity of the questionnaire.

Results—19 of 39 questions were found to be repeatable on the basis of a Spearman rank-correlation cut point of > 0.6. Model selection procedures resulted in 3 overlapping subsets of questions that were considered valid representations of the forces measured (vertical peak, vertical impulse, and propulsion peak). Each reduced model fit the data as well as the full model.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The VAS questionnaire was repeatable and valid for use in assessing the degree of mild to moderate lameness in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1634–1643)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine signalment, clinical features of the disease, and treatment in dogs with diskospondylitis.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—513 dogs with diskospondylitis (cases) and 236,109 canine hospital accessions (controls) from 12 veterinary teaching hospitals.

Procedure—Information retrieved from the medical records of 123 dogs with diskospondylitis at the Louisiana State University veterinary teaching hospital between 1980 and 2001 included sex, age, breed, primary complaint, neurologic status, location of lesions, causative organism, treatment, and outcome. The signalment of 390 additional cases from 11 other veterinary teaching hospitals was accessed from the Veterinary Medical Database. Comparisons were made with controls from the same time periods.

Results—Male dogs were twice as likely as female dogs to be affected (odds ratio [OR], 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7 to 2.4). Dogs were significantly more likely to be affected as age increased. Purebred dogs, especially Great Danes, were more likely than mixed-breed dogs to be affected (OR, 7.3; CI, 4.3 to 12.6). For dogs from Louisiana State University, Staphylococcus spp, Brucella spp, Streptococcus spp, and Escherichia coli were isolated most often; multiple organisms were detected via microbial culture in 11 dogs. The mean duration of treatment was 53.7 weeks.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Male dogs, older dogs, and Great Danes appeared more likely to be affected with diskospondylitis than female dogs, dogs < 1 year of age, and mixed-breed dogs, respectively. Long-term administration of antimicrobial drugs for treatment of diskospondylitis may be expected. Identification of the causative organism and early treatment are recommended. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:268–275)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether body weight, body condition score, or various body dimensions were associated with acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disk extrusion or protrusion and whether any of these factors were associated with severity of clinical signs in Dachshunds.

Design—Cross-sectional clinical study.

Animals—75 Dachshunds with (n = 39) or without (36) acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disk extrusion or protrusion.

Procedures—Signalment, various body measurements, body weight, body condition score, and spinal cord injury grade were recorded at the time of initial examination.

Results—Mean T1-S1 distance and median tuber calcaneus–to–patellar tendon (TC-PT) distance were significantly shorter in affected than in unaffected dogs. A 1-cm decrease in T1-S1 distance was associated with a 2.1-times greater odds of being affected, and a 1-cm decrease in TC-PT distance was associated with an 11.1-times greater odds of being affected. Results of multivariable logistic regression also indicated that affected dogs were taller at the withers and had a larger pelvic circumference than unaffected dogs, after adjusting for other body measurements. Results of ordinal logistic regression indicated that longer T1-S1 distance, taller height at the withers, and smaller pelvic circumference were associated with more severe spinal cord injury.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that certain body dimensions may be associated with acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disk extrusion or protrusion in Dachshunds and, in affected dogs, with severity of neurologic dysfunction.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) would affect incorporation of an autogenous cancellous bone graft in diaphyseal ulnar defects in cats.

Animals—12 mature cats.

Procedure—Bilateral nonunion diaphyseal ulnar defects were created in each cat. An autogenous cancellous bone graft was implanted in 1 ulnar defect in each cat, with the contralateral ulnar defect serving as a nongrafted specimen. Six cats were treated by use of hyperbaric oxygen at 2 atmospheres absolute for 90 minutes once daily for 14 days, and 6 cats were not treated (control group). Bone labeling was performed, using fluorochrome markers. Cats were euthanatized 5 weeks after implanting, and barium sulfate was infused to evaluate vascularization of grafts. Ulnas were evaluated by use of radiography, microangiography, histologic examination, and histomorphometric examination.

Results—Radiographic scores did not differ between treatment groups. Microangiographic appearance of grafted defects was similar between groups, with all having adequate vascularization. Differences were not observed between treated and nontreated groups in the overall histologic appearance of decalcified samples of tissue in grafted defects. Mean distance between fluorescent labels was significantly greater in cats given HBOT than in nontreated cats. Median percentage of bone formation in grafted defects was significantly greater in cats given HBOT.

Conclusions—Hyperbaric oxygen treatment increased the distance between fluorescent labels and percentage of bone formation when incorporating autogenous cancellous bone grafts in induced nonunion diaphyseal ulnar defects in cats, but HBOT did not affect revascularization, radiographic appearance, or qualitative histologic appearance of the grafts. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:691–698)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of femur positioning on radiographic assessment of completeness of excision after femoral head and neck excision (FHNE) in medium to large breed dogs.

Sample Population—10 femurs from canine cadavers (body weight > 20 kg).

Procedure—Complete FHNE was performed on 5 canine femurs. Excision consisting of inadequate removal of the medial distal aspect of the femoral neck was performed on the remaining 5 femurs. Each femur was positioned with predetermined amounts of internal and external rotation about the long axis and radiographed. Investigators evaluated a set of 8 radiographic views of each femur. Sensitivity (SE), specificity (SP), positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and completeness of excision assessment accuracy were estimated for each of the femur positions.

Results—Craniocaudal radiographic views of the femur positioned with external rotation of 15°, 30°, and 45° as a group had the highest SE, SP, and completeness of excision assessment accuracy relative to other radiographic views. The SE, SP, and accuracy of assessment were higher when the degree of external rotation was increased from 15° to 30° or 45°.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Craniocaudal radiographic views of the femur positioned in external rotation (15°, 30°, and 45°) improved the ability to detect adequacy of excision relative to standard craniocaudal and lateromedial radiographic views. Evaluation of craniocaudal radiographic views of the femur positioned in external rotation may increase the ability to assess FHNE adequacy in medium- to large- breed dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research