In This Issue—December 1, 2006

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JAVMA News

1703

Industry professionals, including several veterinarians, gathered at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in October to develop an action plan to improve the well-being and safety of racehorses.

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Letters to the Editor

1718

Veterinary Medicine Today

What Is Your Diagnosis?

A 6-year-old dog evaluated because of a nonproductive cough and dyspnea of 10 days' duration

1725

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A 10-month-old horse evaluated because of a mandibular mass

1727

Timely Topics in Nutrition

Metabolic basis for the essential nature of fatty acids and the unique dietary fatty acid requirements of cats

1729

Cats are unique among mammals with respect to metabolism of fatty acids.

Veterinary Medicine and the Law

The keeping of animals

1734

Three legal standards apply in veterinary practice: the general rules of tort law that apply to any business, the rules of professional liability and veterinary mal-practice, and the law of bailment. In broad terms, a bailment is the lawful possession of an animal by someone other than the owner.

Special Report

Analysis of reports of human exposure to Micotil 300 (tilmicosin injection)

1737

A review of pharmacovigilance data related to human exposure to Micotil 300 suggests that the overall risk of accidental human exposure resulting in serious adverse effects is low. Nevertheless, safe handling and proper use should be emphasized.

Scientific Reports

SMALL ANIMALS/EXOTIC

Effects of melatonin on the clinical course of adrenocortical disease in domestic ferrets

1743

Options for the medical treatment of domestic ferrets with adrenocortical disease are limited. In a clinical trial, oral administration of melatonin (0.5 mg/d, PO) for up to a year to 10 ferrets with adrenocortical disease increased hair growth, decreased pruritus, increased activity and appetite, and decreased vulva or prostate size. However, clinical signs recurred in 6 ferrets after 8 months, and oral administration of melatonin did not stop the progression of the disorder or inhibit the continued growth of the affected adrenal glands. Nevertheless, findings suggest that melatonin may be a useful palliative treatment in ferrets with adrenocortical disease.

Use of a percutaneously controlled hydraulic occluder in dogs with intrahepatic portosystemic shunts

1749

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A variety of surgical techniques have been proposed to achieve progressive attenuation of intrahepatic portosystemic shunts, but none safely and reliably result in occlusion after a single surgical intervention. Silicone hydraulic occluders were implanted in 10 dogs with intrahepatic portosystemic shunts, allowing staged occlusion of the shunt over a period of several weeks after surgery. Implant revision was required in 3 dogs, but the 8 dogs for which long-term follow-up information was available were alive with no recurrence of clinical signs a median of 22 months after surgery.

Caloric restriction and physiotherapy for treatment of overweight dogs with osteoarthritis

1756

In humans, a combination of weight loss and physiotherapy has been found to reduce the severity of clinical signs of osteoarthritis. Although weight reduction alone has been found to improve signs of osteoarthritis in dogs, the role of physiotherapy is not known. In a study of 29 obese dogs with osteoarthritis enrolled in a weight loss program and assigned to undergo a home-based physiotherapy program or an intense physiotherapy program that included transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, greater weight loss and a better improvement in clinical signs were attained with the intense physiotherapy program.

Protein C for detection of hepatobiliary disease and portosystemic shunting in dogs

1761

Plasma activity of protein C has been used to assess hepatic function in human patients with hepatic disorders. In a prospective study, plasma protein C activity was measured in 31 dogs without and 207 dogs with hepatobiliary disease (105 with and 102 without portosystemic shunting). When a cutoff of < 70% activity was used, plasma protein C activity had high sensitivity in dogs with portosystemic shunting or hepatic failure, could be used to help differentiate dogs with congenital portosystemic shunting from dogs with microvascular dysplasia, and reflected improved hepatoportal perfusion after ligation of a congenital portosystemic shunt.

Echocardiographic evidence of pulmonary arterial hypertension in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease

1772

Pulmonary arterial hypertension may lead to right ventricular hypertrophy, right atrial enlargement, and right-sided heart failure. In dogs, PAH has been suggested to be a late complication of mitral valve dysplasia, but the true prevalence of PAH in dogs with mitral valve dysplasia is unknown. A review of the medical records of 617 dogs with mitral valve dysplasia revealed that 86 (13.9%) had Doppler echocardiographic evidence of PAH. Severity and prevalence of PAH increased with severity of heart failure. Changes associated with PAH were detected in dogs with earlystage disease, but only in those dogs with severe mitral valve regurgitation.

EQUINE

Pain responses following injection of lidocaine in horses undergoing laparoscopic cryptorchidectomy

1779

In horses undergoing laparoscopic cryptorchidectomy, local infiltration of lidocaine is frequently used to decrease the degree of discomfort associated with manipulation and transection of the spermatic cord. In mares undergoing laparoscopic ovariectomy, deposition of lidocaine in the mesovarium was associated with decreased pain responses, compared with deposition in the ovary itself. In a study of 20 stallions undergoing cryptorchidectomy, however, pain responses and serum cortisol concentrations were not significantly different after intratesticular versus mesorchial deposition of lidocaine. Both procedures provided adequate analgesia when combined with administration of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and caudal epidural administration of detomidine.

Management of bilateral choanal atresia in a foal

1784

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Bilateral choanal atresia was diagnosed in a 1-dayold foal with respiratory distress consistent with upper airway obstruction. Transendoscopic laser fenestration of the buccopharyngeal membranes was performed. Recurrent stenosis necessitated multiple follow-up surgeries involving a combination of laser ablation followed by radial incision of stenotic tissues and bougienage. At 1 year of age, the horse was an appropriate size for its age, had choanae that were almost maximally open, and had entered race training. Mild stenosis was still evident the following year, but there was no evidence of exercise intolerance or respiratory compromise.

Incomplete rupture of the gastrocnemius and superficial digital flexor muscles in a horse

1790

Examination of a 16-year-old Quarter Horse with acute, severe left hind limb lameness revealed failure of the caudal component of the reciprocal apparatus. Results of palpation were consistent with rupture of the gastrocnemius and superficial digital flexor muscles. Treatment consisted of application of a full-limb splint for 30 days and placement of the horse in a sling for the subsequent 5 weeks. Eleven weeks after the initial injury, the horse was walking comfortably, although a 1-cm block was required under the heel of the left hind foot because of contracture of the deep digital flexor tendon.

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