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Objective—To evaluate prognostic factors, survival, and treatment protocols for immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) in dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—151 dogs with IMHA not associated with underlying infectious or neoplastic disease.

Procedure—Information recorded from review of medical records included signalment at the time of initial evaluation; vaccination history; 30-, 60-, and 365-day follow-up outcomes; laboratory data; results of imaging studies; and necropsy findings. Dogs were grouped according to the presence of spherocytes, autoagglutination, a regenerative erythrocyte response, and treatments received (azathioprine, azathioprine plus ultralowdose aspirin, azathioprine plus mixed–molecular-weight heparin [mHEP], or azathioprine plus ultralow-dose aspirin plus mHEP) for comparisons. All dogs received glucocorticoids.

Results—Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers, neutered dogs, and female dogs were overrepresented. Alterations in certain clinicopathologic variables were associated with increased mortality rate. Rates of survival following treatment with azathioprine, azathioprine plus ultralow-dose aspirin, azathioprine plus mHEP, and azathioprine plus ultralow-dose aspirin plus mHEP were 74%, 88%, 23%, and 70%, respectively, at hospital discharge; 57%, 82%, 17%, and 67%, respectively, at 30 days; and 45%, 69%, 17%, and 64%, respectively, at 1 year. In comparison, mean survival rates at discharge and at 30 days and 1 year after evaluation collated from 7 published reviews of canine IMHA were 57%, 58%, and 34%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with a combination of glucocorticoids, azathioprine, and ultralow-dose aspirin significantly improved short-and long-term survival in dogs with IMHA. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1869–1880)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate factors associated with response to treatment, remission duration, and survival in cats with low-grade lymphoma affecting various organ systems.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Sample Population—41 cats with histologically confirmed low-grade lymphocytic lymphoma.

Procedures—Medical records and biopsy specimens of cats with histologically confirmed low-grade lymphocytic lymphoma of various organ systems treated with prednisone and chlorambucil between 1995 and 2005 were reviewed. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate remission duration and survival. Factors potentially associated with prognosis were compared.

Results—Common clinical signs were weight loss (83%), vomiting (73%), anorexia (66%), and diarrhea (58%). Seventy-eight percent of cats tested had low serum cobalamin concentrations. Lymphoma was confined to the gastrointestinal tract in 68% of cats. Fifty-six percent of cats achieved a complete response to treatment, and 39% achieved a partial response. Five percent of cats had no response. No association was found between any risk factors (including anatomic site) and response to treatment. Partial response was associated with shorter remission duration, compared with complete response; median remission duration was 428 days for cats achieving a partial response, compared with 897 days for cats achieving a complete response. No other factors were associated with remission duration. Overall median survival time was 704 days. No factors were significantly associated with survival time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most cats with lymphocytic lymphoma responded to treatment with prednisone and chlorambucil, and most factors evaluated were not associated with outcome.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To characterize findings in Shih Tzus with progressive superficial necrolytic dermatitis and degenerative vacuolar hepatopathy consistent with hepatocutaneous syndrome.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 31 Shih Tzus.

PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed to obtain information on signalment, history, treatment, outcome, and results of clinicopathologic testing, abdominal ultrasonography, and histologic examination of skin and liver specimens. A pedigree analysis was performed.

RESULTS There were 16 males and 15 females. Median age at the time of diagnosis was 8 years (range, 5 to 14 years). Common clinical signs included lethargy, inappetence, weight loss, and lameness. Twenty-five dogs had cutaneous lesions consistent with hepatocutaneous syndrome; the remaining 6 initially only had hepatic abnormalities, but 3 of the 6 subsequently developed cutaneous lesions. Common clinicopathologic abnormalities included microcytosis (15/24 [63%] dogs) and high serum alkaline phosphatase activity (24/24 [100%] dogs). Hepatic ultrasonographic findings included a hyperechoic or heteroechoic appearance to the parenchyma with innumerable hypoechoic nodules. Histologic hepatic lesions consisted of degenerative vacuolar (glycogen and lipid) hepatopathy associated with minimally fibrotic to nonfibrotic, noninflammatory, proliferative nodules. Pedigree analysis confirmed a common ancestry in 12 of 18 dogs. Median survival time was 3 months (range, 1 to 36 months).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that HCS may have a heritable component in Shih Tzus, although the condition may also be identified in Shih Tzus without affected relatives. Clinical, clinicopathologic, ultrasonographic, and histologic abnormalities in affected Shih Tzus were similar to those previously reported for dogs of other breeds with HCS. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2016;248:802–813)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association