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isolated mixed flora that was considered clinically irrelevant. Morphologic Diagnosis and Case Summary Morphologic Diagnosis: Necrohemorrhagic myocarditis, acute, multifocal to coalescing, severe. Case summary: Clostridium chauvoei myocardial

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe cardiac lesions and identify risk factors associated with myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in beach-cast southern sea otters.

Animals—Free-ranging southern sea otters.

Procedure—Sea otters were necropsied at the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center from 1998 through 2001. Microscopic and gross necropsy findings were used to classify sea otters as myocarditis or DCM case otters or control otters. Univariate, multivariate, and spatial analytical techniques were used to evaluate associations among myocarditis; DCM; common sea otter pathogens; and potential infectious, toxic, and nutritional causes.

Results—Clusters of sea otters with myocarditis and DCM were identified in the southern aspect of the sea otter range from May to November 2000. Risk factors for myocarditis included age, good body condition, and exposure to domoic acid and Sarcocystis neurona. Myocarditis associated with domoic acid occurred predominantly in the southern part of the range, whereas myocarditis associated with S neurona occurred in the northern part of the range. Age and suspected previous exposure to domoic acid were identified as major risk factors for DCM. A sample of otters with DCM had significantly lower concentrations of myocardial L-carnitine than control and myocarditis case otters.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cardiac disease is an important cause of death in southern sea otters. Domoic acid toxicosis and infection with S neurona are likely to be 2 important causes of myocarditis in sea otters. Domoic acid–induced myocarditis appears to progress to DCM, and depletion of myocardial L-carnitine may play a key role in this pathogenesis. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:289–299)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis on paraffin-embedded myocardium from dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and dogs with myocarditis to screen for canine parvovirus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, and herpesvirus.

Sample Population—Myocardial specimens from 18 dogs with an antemortem diagnosis of DCM and 9 dogs with a histopathologic diagnosis of myocarditis were evaluated.

Procedure—Paraffin-embedded myocardial specimens were screened for viral genome by PCR analysis. Positive-control specimens were developed from cell cultures as well as paraffin-embedded tissue specimens from dogs with clinical and histopathologic diagnoses of viral infection with canine parvovirus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, and herpesvirus. The histologic characteristics of all myocardial specimens were classified regarding extent, location, and type of inflammation and fibrosis.

Results—Canine adenovirus type 1 was amplified from 1 specimen from a dog with DCM. Canine parvovirus, adenovirus type 2, and herpesvirus were not amplified from any myocardial specimens. Histologic analysis of specimens from dogs with DCM revealed variable amounts of fibrosis; myocardial inflammation was observed in 1 affected dog. Histopathologic analysis of specimens from dogs with myocarditis disclosed variable degrees of inflammation and fibrosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Viral agents canine parvovirus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, and herpesvirus are not commonly associated with DCM or active myocarditis in dogs. Additional studies evaluating for nucleic acid from viruses that less commonly affect dogs or different types of infectious agents may be warranted to gain insight into the cause of DCM and myocarditis in dogs. ( Am J Vet Res 2001;62: 130–135)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To characterize the pathogenic potential of a unique Borrelia isolate obtained from a dog from Florida (FCB isolate).

Design

Prospective experimental infection.

Animals

32 preweanling Swiss Webster mice and 12 adult male Hartley guinea pigs were injected intraperitoneally with 105 spirochetes.

Procedure

Mice were used as controls and blood recipients, and at 3- to 4-day intervals, 1 control mouse and 2 infected mice were necropsied, tissues were cultured, and a recipient mouse was inoculated with blood. Guinea pigs were randomized to 4 groups and inoculated intradermally with 100, 102, 103, or 104 spirochetes. For 48 days, clinical, hematologic, serologic, and microbiologic tests were performed on them, after which they were necropsied.

Results

In mice, spirochetemia was detectable between postinoculation days (PID) 3 and 13, and seroreactivity to homologous antigen was detectable during PID 10 through 31. Compared with control mice, infected mouse spleens were 2 to 3 times larger. Histologic lesions included lymphoid hyperplasia, neutrophilic panniculitis, epicarditis, and myocarditis, with intralesional spirochetes detected from PID 3 through 6. During PID 10 through 31, nonsuppurative epicarditis developed. Signs of illness and hematologic abnormalities were not observed in guinea pigs, despite isolating spirochetes from blood during PID 7 to 27. When necropsied on PID 48, histologic lesions included lymphoid hyperplasia and lymphocytic plasmacytic epicarditis.

Conclusions

The FCB isolate causes spirochetemia, lymphoid hyperplasia, dermatitis, and myocardial injury in Swiss Webster mice and can be transmitted by blood inoculation. In Hartley guinea pigs, the isolate causes spirochetemia, lymphoid hyperplasia, and epicarditis. Documentation of disease in mice, guinea pigs, and, presumably, dogs raises the level of concern that the FCB isolate might be pathogenic for man and other animal species. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:505–511)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

cardiovascular disease was selected based on a combination of antemortem and postmortem diagnostic findings and included myocarditis, epicarditis, aneurysms, pericardial effusion, atherosclerosis, myocardial degeneration and necrosis, neoplasia, vasculitis

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

considered less likely. Differential diagnoses for the heart murmurs that were considered included congenital defects, endocarditis, myocarditis, rupture of the mitral valve chordae tendineae, and functional murmurs. Initial diagnostic testing included a

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

, cardiomegaly, myocardial, arrhythmia, myocarditis, pericardial, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, stenosis, valvular, mitral, tricuspid, aortic, pleural effusion, edema, ascites, congestive, and heart failure. Rabbits were included in the study if a cardiac

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

During a 3½-year period, cardiac arrhythmias were identified in 6 of 67 horses diagnosed with duodenitis/proximal jejunitis (dpj). Arrhythmias were detected by auscultation of irregular cardiac rhythm and subsequently were characterized by electrocardiographic evaluation. Arrhythmias included frequent second-degree atrioventricular block, ventricular ectopic depolarizations, and atrioventricular conduction disturbance. In 4 horses, arrhythmias resolved with recovery from the primary problem. One horse died suddenly 66 hours after admission, and another was euthanatized at 72 hours after admission.

Clinical and laboratory data from horses with dpj and cardiac arrhythmias (group l) were compared with findings for horses with dpj and without arrhythmias (group 2). Group-1 horses had significantly (P <0.05) higher serum bicarbonate concentration and serum creatine kinase activity.

Normal sinus rhythm returned in all 4 group-1 horses that recovered from dpj, suggesting a causal relationship between dpj and the arrhythmias. Two group-1 horses were necropsied, and both had myocarditis. The cause of these lesions was not determined.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine the prevalence of attenuated wavy fibers in the myocardium of dogs with and without dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Design

Prevalence survey.

Animals

70 dogs clinically suspected to have DCM (ie, fractional shortening < 25%, absence of echocardiographic lesions other than chamber dilatation, and radiographic or postmortem evidence of congestive heart failure) and 147 dogs with chronic valvular disease (n = 60), congenital heart disease (49), myocardial infarcts (23), myocarditis (8), or endocarditis (7).

Procedure

Echocardiography and electrocardiography were performed, and thoracic radiographs were obtained with dogs in left lateral recumbency. Necropsy specimens were examined for attenuated wavy fibers (ie, myocardial cells < 6 μm in diameter with a wavy appearance).

Results

65 of 70 dogs clinically suspected to have DCM were confirmed to have the disease on postmortem examination, and 64 of 65 had attenuated wavy fibers. The remaining 5 dogs were found during postmortem examination to have heart disease other than DCM, and none had attenuated wavy fibers. Only 1 of 147 dogs with heart disease other than DCM had attenuated wavy fibers.

Clinical Implications

Findings suggest that histologic examination for attenuated wavy fibers may be a useful postmortem test for DCM in dogs. The diagnosis was confirmed in 65 of 70 dogs suspected to have DCM on the basis of standard clinical criteria. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212: 1732–1734)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association