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Objective—To determine the prevalence of nonneoplastic middle ear disease among cats undergoing necropsy and the prevalence of clinical abnormalities in cats in which nonneoplastic middle ear disease was identified.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—59 cats that underwent necropsy between January 1991 and August 2007.

Procedures—Medical records were searched to identify cats in which nonneoplastic middle ear disease was identified at necropsy. For cats included in the study, data that were recorded included signalment, initial complaint, whether the cat had any clinical signs of middle or external ear disease, whether the cat had upper respiratory tract disease, necropsy diagnosis, gross appearance of the bullae, and reason for euthanasia. Signs of middle ear disease that were considered included unilateral peripheral vestibular disease without motor deficits, Horner syndrome, and facial nerve paralysis.

Results—Of the 3,442 cats that underwent necropsy during the study period, 59 (1.7%) had nonneoplastic middle ear disease. Six of the 59 (10%) cats, including 1 cat that was affected bilaterally, had clinical signs of middle ear disease. Of these, 5 had signs of unilateral peripheral vestibular disease, and 1 had Horner syndrome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that most cats with nonneoplastic middle ear disease did not have associated clinical signs. Findings may be of clinical relevance for cats in which middle ear disease is identified as an incidental finding during computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging for unrelated diseases.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To identify risk factors associated with the spread of low pathogenicity H7N2 avian influenza (AI) virus among commercial poultry farms in western Virginia during an outbreak in 2002.

Design—Case-control study.

Procedure—Questionnaires were used to collect information about farm characteristics, biosecurity measures, and husbandry practices on 151 infected premises (128 turkey and 23 chicken farms) and 199 noninfected premises (167 turkey and 32 chicken farms).

Results—The most significant risk factor for AI infection was disposal of dead birds by rendering (odds ratio [OR], 7.3). In addition, age ≥ 10 weeks (OR for birds aged 10 to 19 weeks, 4.9; OR for birds aged ≥ 20 weeks, 4.3) was a significant risk factor regardless of poultry species involved. Other significant risk factors included use of nonfamily caretakers and the presence of mammalian wildlife on the farm. Factors that were not significantly associated with infection included use of various routine biosecurity measures, food and litter sources, types of domestic animals on the premises, and presence of wild birds on the premises.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that an important factor contributing to rapid early spread of AI virus infection among commercial poultry farms during this outbreak was disposal of dead birds via rendering off-farm. Because of the highly infectious nature of AI virus and the devastating economic impact of outbreaks, poultry farmers should consider carcass disposal techniques that do not require offfarm movement, such as burial, composting, or incineration. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:767–772)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association