Case Description—2 castrated male Labrador Retrievers (dogs 1 and 2) were evaluated 3 to 4 years after placement of a permanent pacemaker. Dog 1 was evaluated because of a large volume of chylous pleural effusion. Dog 2 was admitted for elective replacement of a pacemaker.
Clinical Findings—Dog 1 had mild facial swelling and a rapidly recurring pleural effusion. Previously detected third-degree atrioventricular block had resolved. Cranial vena cava (CVC) syndrome secondary to pacemaker-induced thrombosis and stricture of the CVC was diagnosed on the basis of results of ultrasonography, computed tomography, and venous angiography. Dog 2 had persistent third-degree atrioventricular block. Intraluminal caval stricture and thrombosis were diagnosed at the time of pacemaker replacement. Radiographic evidence of pleural effusion consistent with CVC syndrome also was detected at that time.
Treatment and Outcome—Dog 1 improved after treatment with unfractionated heparin and a local infusion of recombinant tissue-plasminogen activator. Balloon venoplasty was performed subsequently to relieve the persistent caval stricture. In dog 2, balloon dilatation of the caval stricture was necessary to allow for placement of a new pacing lead. Long-term anticoagulant treatment was initiated in both dogs. Long-term (> 6 months) resolution of clinical signs was achieved in both dogs.
Clinical Relevance—Thrombosis and stricture of the CVC are possible complications of a permanent pacemaker in dogs. Findings suggested that balloon venoplasty and anticoagulation administration with or without thrombolytic treatment can be effective in the treatment of dogs with pacemaker-induced CVC syndrome.
Objective—To develop, validate, and evaluate a questionnaire (Cats’ Assessment Tool for Cardiac Health [CATCH] questionnaire) for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease.
Animals—275 cats with cardiac disease.
Procedures—The questionnaire was developed on the basis of clinical signs of cardiac disease in cats. A CATCH score was calculated by summing responses to questionnaire items; possible scores ranged from 0 to 80. For questionnaire validation, owners of 75 cats were asked to complete the questionnaire (10 owners completed the questionnaire twice). Disease severity was assessed with the International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) classification for cardiac disease. Following validation, the final questionnaire was administered to owners of the remaining 200 cats.
Results—Internal consistency of the questionnaire was good, and the CATCH score was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification. For owners that completed the questionnaire twice, scores were significantly correlated. During the second phase of the study, the CATCH score ranged from 0 to 74 (median, 7) and was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the CATCH questionnaire is a valid and reliable method for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease. Further research is warranted to test the tool's sensitivity to changes in medical treatment and its potential role as a clinical and research tool.