In This Issue—April 15, 2007


As veterinarians working in a diverse range of fields helped address the nation's pet food safety concerns, the AVMA announced its upcoming new executive vice president, a veterinarian with a special interest in the intersection of animal health, public health, and food supply veterinary medicine.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

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See PAGES 1147, 1149


Outcomes assessment of an alternative career choice program

Shortages of veterinarians in academia, public health, and other nonpractice areas of the profession have been a concern for many years, and various strategies have been developed to address these shortages. One strategy adopted by the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences was development of an alternative career choice program for fourth-year veterinary students.

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What veterinary practitioners should know about scrapie

Scrapie is the longest known and most widely spread of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and remains the model for much of the research regarding these diseases. Because scrapie is a reportable disease and the subject of an active eradication program in the United States, veterinary practitioners should have a basic understanding of the disease.

See PAGE 1158


Association of microalbuminuria with systemic disease in cats

Microalbuminuria is defined as the presence of albumin in the urine in quantities higher than normal but lower than the limits of detection for standard urine dipsticks. Microalbuminuria is an indicator of glomerular disease and has been associated with endothelial protein leakage and systemic inflammation. Analysis of urine samples from 40 healthy cats and 401 cats with at least 1 disease indicated that microalbuminuria was associated with underlying disease. Results suggest that testing for microalbuminuria, in conjunction with other screening procedures, may increase identification of occult disease in cats, although prospective studies are needed to determine the predictive value of screening for microalbuminuria.

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Chemical ablation of eyelid apocrine hidrocystomas in a cat

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A 7-year-old Persian cat was evaluated for recurrence of multiple cystic periocular masses. A number of cyst-like lesions had been resected from the left eyelids 18 months earlier, with lesions recurring within 6 months after surgery. Previous histologic examination of the cysts had revealed apocrine hidrocystomas. The largest cyst on the upper eyelid was removed by means of a V-shaped full-thickness excision, and the remaining periocular cysts were surgically debrided and then treated topically with 20% trichloroacetic acid. All lesions healed rapidly without any signs of discomfort. During a recheck examination 12 months later, there was no evidence of recurrence.

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Zinc intoxication in dogs

Although zinc toxicosis in dogs has been described, few case series reporting outcome for a large number of affected dogs have been published. A review of the medical records of 19 dogs with zinc toxicosis revealed that the most common owner complaints were vomiting, pigmenturia, and lethargy. The most common clinicopathologic findings were anemia and hyperbilirubinemia; blood zinc concentration was high in all 8 dogs in which it was measured. Median age was 1.3 years, and median weight was 5.6 kg (12.3 lb). The prognosis was favorable, in that 17 of the 19 dogs survived. Median hospitalization time was 2 days.

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Serum ANA titers in dogs with and without SLE

Serum antinuclear antibody titers are frequently used to help establish a diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus, but titers are often measured in dogs with nonspecific clinical findings, making interpretation of assay results difficult. A review of the medical records of 120 dogs in which ANA titer was measured revealed that although immune-mediated disease was confirmed in 40 dogs, only 18 fulfilled the criteria for a definitive or probable diagnosis of SLE. Only 1 of 47 dogs with no major signs compatible with SLE had immune-mediated disease, compared with 26 of 57 dogs with 1 major sign and 13 of 16 dogs with ≥ 2 major signs.

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Outcome of tube cystostomy in dogs and cats

Although use of cystostomy tubes for urinary drainage in dogs and cats with urinary outflow obstruction or dysfunction has been described, little information on cystostomy tube use in animals has been published. In a review of medical records of 37 dogs and 39 cats in which a cystostomy tube was inserted, indications for cystostomy tube placement were bladder dysfunction, urinary tract rupture, obstructive urinary tract neoplasia, urinary diversion following urogenital surgery, obstructive urolithiasis, and feline lower urinary tract disease. Nearly half the animals developed complications related to the cystostomy tube, suggesting that potential complications should be discussed with owners prior to tube placement. However, most complications were easily resolved.

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Comparison of classic and glucocorticoid-deficient hypoadrenocorticism in dogs

Glucocorticoid-deficient hypoadrenocorticism is a rare form of hypoadrenocorticism in dogs that has been described only infrequently in the literature. A comparison of the medical records for 35 dogs with classic mineralocorticoid- and glucocorticoiddeficient hypoadrenocorticism and 11 dogs with GDH revealed that dogs with GDH were older at the time of diagnosis and had had clinical signs for a longer time prior to diagnosis. Dogs with GDH were more likely to be anemic, hypoalbuminemic, and hypocholesterolemic than were dogs with MGDH. Results suggest that the absence of a stress leukogram in dogs with signs of illness, especially signs relating to the gastrointestinal tract, warrants further investigation.

See PAGE 1190


Outcome following treatment of horses with septic tenosynovitis

Septic tenosynovitis in horses may result in euthanasia, and horses that do survive may not be able to return to their previous level of function. However, specific factors associated with outcome in horses treated for septic tenosynovitis are not well understood. A review of medical records of 51 horses with septic tenosynovitis indicated that horses with tendon rupture or sepsis of an adjacent joint were significantly less likely to survive and that horses with tendon injury or pannus were significantly less likely to return to their intended use. Surgical treatment, however, was not significantly associated with outcome.

See PAGE 1195


Internal fixation of a femur fracture in an American bullfrog

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Presently, there are no widely accepted methods for fracture fixation in amphibians. Previous recommendations for repair of fractures in amphibians generally involved use of coaptation devices, such as splints or Robert-Jones bandages, but these devices can be difficult to use in amphibians because of their aquatic environment and the sensitive nature of their skin. Amputation should be considered for open or infected fractures. However, internal fixation methods may be successfully used, as illustrated in this report of the successful treatment of a femoral fracture in an American bullfrog.

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