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Case Description—A 4-year-old 26-kg (57.2-lb) spayed female Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix was evaluated because of a 24-hour history of cluster seizures.

Clinical Findings—Neurologic examination revealed altered mentation and multifocal intracranial signs; MRI was performed. The MRI findings included multifocal, asymmetric forebrain lesions affecting both the gray and white matter, an area suggestive of focal necrosis, and loss of corticomedullary distinction. A midline shift and caudal transtentorial herniation were noted, suggestive of greater than normal intracranial pressure.

Treatment and Outcome—Because the dog's clinical signs worsened despite medical treatment and additional evidence of increased intracranial pressure, bilateral craniectomy and durectomy were performed. Histologic evaluation of a brain biopsy specimen revealed bilateral and asymmetric areas of necrosis in the subcortical white matter and adjacent gray matter. At the periphery of the necrotic areas, there was increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein and Virchow-Robin spaces were expanded by CD3+ lymphocytes. Results of immunohistochemical analysis of brain tissue were negative for canine distemper virus, Neospora canis, and Toxoplasma gondii. These clinical, imaging, and histopathologic findings were compatible with necrotizing meningoencephalitis. The dog's neurologic status continued to worsen following surgery. Repeated MRI revealed ongoing signs of increased intracranial pressure, despite the bilateral craniectomy. The owners elected euthanasia.

Clinical Relevance—To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of necrotizing meningoencephalitis in a large mixed-breed dog. Necrotizing meningoencephalitis should be considered as a differential diagnosis in dogs other than small or toy breeds that have signs suggestive of inflammatory disease.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To estimate the prevalence of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis infection among cows on beef operations in the United States.

Design—Cross-sectional seroprevalence study.

Sample Population—A convenience sample of 380 herds in 21 states.

Procedure—Serum samples were obtained from 10,371 cows and tested for antibodies to M avium subsp paratuberculosis with a commercial ELISA . Producers were interviewed to collect data on herd management practices.

Results—30 (7.9%) herds had 1 or more animals for which results of the ELISA were positive; 40 (0.4%) of the individual cow samples yielded positive results. None of the herd management practices studied were found to be associated with whether any animals in the herd would be positive for antibodies to M avium subsp paratuberculosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the prevalence of antibodies to M avium subsp paratuberculosis among beef cows in the United States is low. Herds with seropositive animals were widely distributed geographically. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:497–501)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate retention of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in houseflies for various time frames and temperatures.

Sample Population—Fifteen 2-week-old pigs, two 10-week-old pigs, and laboratory-cultivated houseflies.

Procedure—In an initial experiment, houseflies were exposed to PRRSV; housed at 15°, 20°, 25°, and 30°C; and tested at various time points. In a second experiment to determine dynamics of virus retention, houseflies were exposed to PRRSV and housed under controlled field conditions for 48 hours. Changes in the percentage of PRRSV-positive flies and virus load per fly were assessed over time, and detection of infective virus at 48 hours after exposure was measured. Finally, in a third experiment, virus loads were measured in houseflies allowed to feed on blood, oropharyngeal washings, and nasal washings obtained from experimentally infected pigs.

Results—In experiment 1, PRRSV retention in houseflies was proportional to temperature. In the second experiment, the percentage of PRRSV-positive houseflies and virus load per fly decreased over time; however, infective PRRSV was found in houseflies 48 hours after exposure. In experiment 3, PRRSV was detected in houseflies allowed to feed on all 3 porcine body fluids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—For the conditions of this study, houseflies did not support PRRSV replication. Therefore, retention of PRRSV in houseflies appears to be a function of initial virus load after ingestion and environmental temperature. These factors may impact the risk of insect-borne spread of PRRSV among farms. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1517–1525)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate use of crotalid antivenom, frequency of hypersensitivity reactions, and risk factors for hypersensitivity reactions and death in envenomed cats.

Design—Retrospective multicenter case series.

Animals—115 envenomed cats treated with antivenom and 177 envenomed cats treated without antivenom.

Procedures—Medical records from 5 institutions were searched by means of a multiple-choice survey with standardized answers for patient data including signalment, diagnosis, antivenom administration criteria, premedication, product, dose, administration rate, hypersensitivity reactions, and mortality rate.

Results—95 of 115 (82.6%) cats received whole IgG antivenom, 11 (9.57%) received F(ab′)2 antivenom, and 4 (3.48%) received Fab antivenom. The majority (101/115 [878%]) of cats received 1 vial of antivenom. In all cats, the median dilution of antivenom was 1:60 (range, 1:10 to 1:250) administered over a median period of 2.0 hours (range, 0.3 to 9.0 hours). There was no mortality rate difference between cats that did (6.67%) or did not (5.08%) receive antivenom. A type I hypersensitivity reaction was diagnosed in 26 of 115 (22.6%) cats. The use of premedications did not decrease type I hypersensitivity or improve mortality rate. Cats that had a type I hypersensitivity reaction were 10 times as likely to die as were those that did not have such a reaction.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The mortality rate of cats treated with antivenom was low. The administration of premedications did not improve mortality rate or prevent hypersensitivity reactions. The only variable associated with mortality rate was development of a type I hypersensitivity reaction. The rate of antivenom administration should be further evaluated as a possible risk factor for type I hypersensitivity reactions.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine risk factors for lens luxation and cataracts in captive pinnipeds in the United States and the Bahamas.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—111 pinnipeds (99 California sea lions [Zalophus californianus], 10 harbor seals [Phoca vitulina], and 2 walruses [Odobenus rosmarus]) from 9 facilities.

Procedures—Eyes of each pinniped were examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist for the presence of cataracts or lens luxations and photographed. Information detailing husbandry practices, history, and facilities was collected with a questionnaire, and descriptive statistical analyses were performed for continuous and categorical variables. Odds ratios and associated 95% confidence intervals were estimated from the final model.

Results—Risk factors for lens luxation, cataracts, or both included age ≥ 15 years, history of fighting, history of ocular disease, and insufficient access to shade.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diseases of the lens commonly affect captive pinnipeds. Access to UV-protective shade, early identification and medical management of ocular diseases, and prevention of fighting can limit the frequency or severity of lens-related disease in this population. An extended life span may result from captivity, but this also allows development of pathological changes associated with aging, including cataracts.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To describe use of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and evaluate the apparent sensitivity and specificity of antemortem tuberculosis tests during investigation of an unusual outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis infection in a Michigan dairy herd.

DESIGN Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) outbreak investigation.

ANIMALS Cattle, cats, dog, and wildlife.

PROCEDURES All cattle in the index dairy herd were screened for bTB with the caudal fold test (CFT), and cattle ≥ 6 months old were also screened with a γ-interferon (γIFN) assay. The index herd was depopulated along with all barn cats and a dog that were fed unpasteurized milk from the herd. Select isolates from M bovis–infected animals from the index herd and other bTB-affected herds underwent WGS. Wildlife around all affected premises was examined for bTB.

RESULTS No evidence of bTB was found in any wildlife examined. Within the index herd, 53 of 451 (11.8%) cattle and 12 of 21 (57%) cats were confirmed to be infected with M bovis. Prevalence of M bovis–infected cattle was greatest among 4- to 7-month-old calves (16/49 [33%]) followed by adult cows (36/203 [18%]). The apparent sensitivity and specificity were 86.8% and 92.7% for the CFT and 80.4% and 96.5% for the γIFN assay when results for those tests were interpreted separately and 96.1% and 91.7% when results were interpreted in parallel. Results of WGS revealed that M bovis–infected barn cats and cattle from the index herd and 6 beef operations were infected with the same strain of M bovis. Of the 6 bTB-affected beef operations identified during the investigation, 3 were linked to the index herd only by WGS results; there was no record of movement of livestock or waste milk from the index herd to those operations.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Whole-genome sequencing enhanced the epidemiological investigation and should be used in all disease investigations. Performing the CFT and γIFN assay in parallel improved the antemortem ability to detect M bovis–infected animals. Contact with M bovis–infected cattle and contaminated milk were major risk factors for transmission of bTB within and between herds of this outbreak.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association