In This Issue—August 15, 2008

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Small animal practitioners worry about weathering the current economic climate, as some pet owners may have less discretionary income or may be less willing to spend on veterinary care.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

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ECG of the Month

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Issues regarding the use of vancomycin in companion animals

The emergence and dissemination of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens is an increasing problem in veterinary medicine, which may increase the pressure to use newer antimicrobials, such as vancomycin. If veterinarians decide to use drugs such as vancomycin, it is imperative that they take the time to adequately understand the properties of those drugs.

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Glanders is a highly contagious bacterial disease of horses, mules, and donkeys that is characterized by respiratory, cutaneous, and lymphatic nodular lesions. The disease is zoonotic, affecting persons in close contact with infected animals and those working with the organism in laboratory settings. Although eradicated from most countries, focal outbreaks of glanders still occur.

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Effects of ventral bulla osteotomy for removal of inflammatory polyps or nasopharyngeal masses in cats

Presently, ventral bulla osteotomy is considered the preferred technique for managing inflammatory nasopharyngeal polyps in cats. However, little information is available on whether VBO can affect hearing. In a series of 17 cats with nasopharyngeal polyps or masses, air-conducted BAER testing was performed before and after VBO and mass removal. Six of the 17 cats were deaf prior to surgery, and auditory ability did not change from presurgical status in any of the cats. Findings suggested that VBO for removal of nasopharyngeal polyps or masses was unlikely to affect hearing, as determined by air-conducted BAER testing, and that cats that were deaf prior to surgery did not regain hearing.

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Inciting causes, targets, and risk factors associated with redirected aggression in cats

Redirected aggression is suspected when a cat behaves aggressively toward an irrelevant but accessible target at least once and the primary inciting stimulus is inaccessible or no longer available. It is reportedly one of the most common forms of feline aggression toward people. In a case-control study of 19 cats with a history of redirected aggression and 64 cats with no such problems, loud noises or interactions with other cats were identified as the inciting cause for 21 of 22 (95%) incidents of redirected aggression. Case cats were more likely to have a sound phobia and less likely to live outdoors than were control cats.

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Ultrasonographic appearance of the coelomic cavity in healthy green iguanas

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Thorough descriptions of normal ultrasonographic anatomy are lacking for many reptile species, including the green iguana. In a cross-sectional study involving 26 healthy green iguanas, structures that could be visualized in all animals during coelomic ultrasonography included the heart and cardiac chambers, liver, caudal vena cava, hepatic veins, portal vein, gall bladder, pyloric portion of the stomach, and, when distended, urinary bladder. Visualization of the kidneys was poor. The spleen could be identified in 17 animals, and the gonads could be identified in 22, but were most easily identified in males evaluated during November (ie, during the breeding season). Anechoic, free coelomic fluid was identified in 3 animals.

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Failure to identify an association between Bartonella infection and idiopathic rhinitis in dogs

Investigators have suggested that Bartonella infection may play a role in dogs with chronic rhinitis. In a study of 44 dogs with idiopathic nasal discharge and 63 control dogs, however, none of the dogs with rhinitis were found to have serum antibodies against Bartonella henselae or Bartonella vinsonii subsp berkhoffii, and results of a PCR assay for Bartonella DNA in blood were negative. One control dog had antibodies against B henselae; a second control dog had positive PCR assay results. The failure to find any evidence of infection with Bartonella spp in dogs with idiopathic nasal discharge suggested that Bartonella infection was not a common cause of this condition.

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Clinical, radiographic, and pathologic abnormalities in dogs with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia

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Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia is a rare condition of dogs that has been reported infrequently. A review of medical records of 19 dogs with MED from 10 litters revealed that most dogs were examined because of lameness at 5 to 8 months of age. The most common radiographic abnormality was a deficiency in ossification of the epiphyses, apophyses, and cuboidal bones of the appendicular skeleton and the epiphyses of the vertebrae; ossification of the metaphyses and the diaphyses typically was normal. Disease severity was consistent among littermates, but varied among dogs from different litters. The condition most likely had an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance.

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Evaluation of the use of human albumin in critically ill dogs

Hypoalbuminemia and decreased colloid osmotic pressure are common in critically ill dogs, and human albumin has been used to increase plasma oncotic pressure in dogs. However, the safety and efficacy of this treatment is not known. In a review of medical records of 73 critically ill dogs, treatment with human albumin was associated with significant changes in serum albumin and total protein concentrations and colloid osmotic pressure. Serum albumin and total protein concentrations, colloid osmotic pressure, and change in serum albumin concentration were higher in survivors than in nonsurvivors. Seventeen (23%) dogs had at least 1 complication potentially associated with human albumin administration, and 3 (4%) dogs had severe delayed complications.

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Temperature readings from a percutaneous microchip and a digital rectal thermometer in equids

Quick, accurate, and easily obtained measurements of body temperature can assist in the early detection of contagious diseases and are an important part of equine biosecurity programs. In a study involving 52 Welsh pony foals that were 6 to 10 months old and 30 Quarter Horses that were 2 years old, temperature readings obtained with an implanted, percutaneous, thermal-sensing microchip were compared with readings obtained with a digital rectal thermometer. Microchip readings varied with ambient temperature and rectal temperature. However, the microchip appeared to have potential use for initial screening of body temperature in equids at ambient temperatures >15.6°C (60°F).

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Outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Newport in a beef cow-calf herd exposed to BVDV

A commercial cow-calf operation was evaluated because of severe disease and death among cows and calves in 1 of 3 separate groups at the facility. Clinical signs included severe watery and bloody diarrhea, dehydration, weakness, and death, and Salmonella Newport was recovered from tissues of affected cows and calves. Ear notch specimens from cattle in all 3 groups were tested for bovine viral diarrhea virus. The proportion of calves persistently infected with BVDV was significantly higher among the affected group of cattle than among cattle in the unaffected groups. It is possible that immunosuppression associated with persistent BVDV infection was associated with the Salmonella outbreak.

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