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Case Description—A 4-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog was examined because of shifting hind limb lameness and lethargy of 2 weeks' duration.

Clinical Findings—The lameness was attributed to hypertrophic osteodystrophy. Portosystemic shunting was suspected on the basis of low serum albumin concentration and high serum bile acids concentration, and an intrahepatic shunt was identified ultrasono-graphically. Celiotomy was performed, and the shunt was partially closed with a cellophane band. During follow-up ultrasonography 7 months later, dilation of the left renal pelvis and proximal portion of the left ureter was identified. During exploratory celiotomy, the left ureter was found to pass dorsal to the caudal vena cava, and circumcaval ureter was diagnosed.

Treatment and Outcome—The ureter was transected, repositioned ventral to the vena cava, and anastomosed. Follow-up ultrasonographic examinations revealed gradual resolution of the hydronephrosis and hydroureter.

Clinical Relevance—Findings suggest that circumcaval ureter should be considered in the differential diagnosis for hydronephrosis and hydroureter in dogs. Partial obstruction of the middle segment of the ureter on ultrasonograms or contrast radiographs should increase the index of suspicion for this condition.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objectives—To determine whether telomerase activity was present in lymph nodes, buffy coat, and serum samples from dogs with malignant lymphoma (ML) and in liver, lymph node, buffy coat, and serum samples from clinically normal dogs

Sample Population—Tissue specimens and blood samples were obtained from 11 clinically normal adult dogs (age range, 1 to 4 years) and 14 client-owned dogs with ML.

Procedure—The telomere repeat amplification protocol assay was used to quantify telomerase activity in the tissues from clinically normal dogs and dogs with ML.

Results—Of 11 clinically normal dogs, 8 had lymph node samples, 5 had liver samples, and 1 had buffy coat samples with detectable telomerase activity. None of the serum samples from the clinically normal dogs had detectable telomerase activity. Of 14 dogs with ML, 9 had lymph node samples, 3 had buffy coat samples, and 1 had serum samples with measurable telomerase activity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Telomerase activity was not specific to tumor cells and overlapped with that found in cells from clinically normal dogs. Telomerase activity in neoplastic lymph nodes was not substantially different from that found in lymph nodes from clinically normal dogs. The determination of telomerase activity cannot be used as a sole diagnostic test for cancer. Therapeutic modalities directed toward the telomerase enzyme may not be feasible in dogs, because somatic tissues from clinically normal dogs possess variable amounts of telomerase activity. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1442–1446)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether anti-inflammatory doses of cyclosporine activate Toxoplasma gondii in chronically infected cats or potentiate infection in cats exposed for the first time.

ANIMALS 30 T gondii–negative cats.

PROCEDURES Cats were assigned to 1 of 3 groups (10 cats/group). Group 1 (control) cats were administered a placebo for 126 days; group 2 cats were administered a placebo for 84 days, followed by cyclosporine at 7.5 mg/kg/d, PO, for 42 days; and group 3 cats were administered cyclosporine at 7.5 mg/kg/d, PO, for 126 days. Cats were orally inoculated with T gondii on day 42. Results for fecal flotations, PCR assays, and histologic examinations and IgM and IgG titers were analyzed. Cyclosporine concentrations were measured on selected days.

RESULTS All cats were infected by T gondii and developed signs of self-limiting gastrointestinal tract infection. Group 3 had the highest incidence and severity of CNS and pulmonary histopathologic findings typical of toxoplasmosis. One cat in group 3 died of systemic toxoplasmosis; that cat had a cyclosporine concentration of 1,690 ng/mL. Group 2 cats infected with T gondii before cyclosporine administration did not have repeated oocyst shedding. Group 3 cats shed fewer oocysts for a shorter time than did control cats of group 1.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Oral administration of cyclosporine in accordance with the protocol for this study did not potentiate the enteroepithelial phase of T gondii infection. Cats with high cyclosporine blood concentrations at the time of primary T gondii infection may be at risk of developing systemic toxoplasmosis.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research