Femoral artery occlusion in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

James W. Buchanan From the Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.

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Andrew W. Beardow From the Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.

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Carl D. Sammarco From the Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.

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Objective

To investigate development of femoral artery occlusion in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

954 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Procedure

1,750 cardiovascular examinations consisting of visual inspection of mucous membranes, thoracic auscultation in areas associated with the heart valves, thoracic palpation, and palpation of the femoral arteries were made at 10 dog shows on 954 dogs. Findings of clinically normal, weak, or undetectable femoral pulses were recorded. Pathologic changes in occluded femoral arteries of 2 dogs were examined histologically.

Results

Of the 954 dogs, 22 (2.3%) had an undetectable right or left femoral pulse on 1 or more examinations. Forty (4.2%) additional dogs had weak unilateral or bilateral femoral pulses. Only 1 dog had exercise intolerance, and it had coexistent congestive heart failure. Histologic examination of serial sections of an occluded femoral artery from 1 dog revealed intimai thickening with breaks in the internal elastic lamina proximal to the occluded segment. The occluded segment of the femoral artery was contracted and filled with an organizing, recanalizing thrombus. Similar histopathologic changes were found in sections of a femoral artery from another dog.

Clinical Implications

Femoral artery occlusion is rare in other breeds and is not clinically important in dogs because of adequate collateral circulation; however, its rather common development in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels indicates a genetic predisposition and probable weakness in the femoral artery wall. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:872–874)

Objective

To investigate development of femoral artery occlusion in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

954 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Procedure

1,750 cardiovascular examinations consisting of visual inspection of mucous membranes, thoracic auscultation in areas associated with the heart valves, thoracic palpation, and palpation of the femoral arteries were made at 10 dog shows on 954 dogs. Findings of clinically normal, weak, or undetectable femoral pulses were recorded. Pathologic changes in occluded femoral arteries of 2 dogs were examined histologically.

Results

Of the 954 dogs, 22 (2.3%) had an undetectable right or left femoral pulse on 1 or more examinations. Forty (4.2%) additional dogs had weak unilateral or bilateral femoral pulses. Only 1 dog had exercise intolerance, and it had coexistent congestive heart failure. Histologic examination of serial sections of an occluded femoral artery from 1 dog revealed intimai thickening with breaks in the internal elastic lamina proximal to the occluded segment. The occluded segment of the femoral artery was contracted and filled with an organizing, recanalizing thrombus. Similar histopathologic changes were found in sections of a femoral artery from another dog.

Clinical Implications

Femoral artery occlusion is rare in other breeds and is not clinically important in dogs because of adequate collateral circulation; however, its rather common development in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels indicates a genetic predisposition and probable weakness in the femoral artery wall. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:872–874)

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