In This Issue—March 15, 2009

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JAVMA News
The Department of Agriculture suspended 19 employees accused of using veterinary credentials to buy discounted human medications for personal use.
The revised AVMA policy on Ear Cropping and Tail Docking of Dogs approved in November has drawn praise and criticism, but the AVMA says the policy is consistent with previous stances on the practices. 
Letters to the Editor
See PAGE 731
What Is Your Diagnosis?
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See PAGE 739
What Is Your Neurologic Diagnosis?
See PAGE 743
Anesthesia Case of the Month
See PAGE 746
Theriogenology Question of the Month
See PAGE 751
COMMENTARY
The veterinarian's responsibility to recognize and report animal abuse
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare and mental healthcare providers are required to override confidentiality to report suspected abuse or neglect of individuals who are minors, dependent adults, or elders. The authors argue that veterinarians should recognize, document, and report animal abuse and neglect and work closely with investigators, prosecutors, humane societies, and human service agencies to protect animals and people from harm.
FACTS & FIGURES
Income of US veterinarians, 2007
Median professional income for veterinarians in full-time private practice in the United States was $91,000 in 2007, compared with $79,000 in 2005, representing a yearly compound growth rate of 7.3%. Median professional income of US veterinarians employed in the public or corporate sector increased from $97,000 in 2005 to $103,000 in 2007, representing a yearly compound growth rate of 3.0%. 
Evaluation of serum cardiac troponin I concentration in dogs with renal failure
Although measurement of serum cTnI concentration is considered standard for detection of cardiac myocyte damage in humans, there is a potential for human patients with renal failure to have high serum cTnI concentrations without primary cardiac disease. In a study involving 31 dogs with renal failure but without any evidence of cardiovascular or other nonrenal disease and 51 healthy dogs, serum cTnI concentration was significantly higher in the dogs with renal failure than in the healthy dogs. The cause of high serum cTnI concentrations in dogs with renal failure but without overt cardiovascular disease was not determined and requires further investigation.
Signalment, history, and outcome of cats with gastrointestinal tract intussusception
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Little information is available regarding intussusception in cats. A review of medical records of 20 cats with intussusception revealed a bimodal age distribution, with 10 cats < 1 year old and 9 cats ≥ 6 years old. Dehydration, poor body condition, signs of abdominal pain, and an abdominal mass were the most common physical examination findings. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed intussusception in all 7 cats in which it was performed. Histologic examination revealed intestinal lymphoma or inflammatory bowel disease in 7 of 8 cats ≥ 6 years old and idiopathic intussusception in 7 of 8 cats < 1 year old. Ten of 13 cats that underwent surgical treatment for intussusception survived to hospital discharge.
Clinical, microbiologic, and clinicopathologic findings in horses positive and negative for Clostridium difficile infection
Detection of toxin in feces is generally considered diagnostic of Clostridium difficile disease. However, there is controversy regarding the definition of C difficile–associated diarrhea, and there currently is no consensus regarding how discordant test results should be interpreted, particularly when results of microbial culture of fecal samples are positive but results of assays for C difficile toxin in feces are negative. In a study involving 292 horses and foals with diarrhea, there was evidence that horses positive for toxin A had more severe clinical disease than did horses with evidence of C difficile infection that were negative for toxin A and horses with diarrhea without evidence of C difficile infection.
Evaluation of factors affecting serum IgG concentrations in bottle-fed calves
Questions remain as to what management factors affect the likelihood of failure of passive transfer in dairy calves. One hundred four calves were enrolled in a study to determine the effects of time interval to first colostrum feeding on voluntary colostrum intake and subsequent serum IgG concentration, determine whether calf age and volume of colostrum ingested at the first feeding affected voluntary colostrum intake at 12 hours of age, and determine the effects of colostrum intake and IgG concentration on probability of FPT. Allowing calves to ingest by bottle feeding as much colostrum as they could within 4 hours after birth and at 12 hours of age substantially reduced the probability of FPT.
Prepartum serum cholesterol and fatty acids concentrations as predictors of postpartum retention of the placenta in dairy cows
Identifying prepartum factors that could help predict which cows would develop postpartum retention of the placenta would assist in dairy cow management. In a retrospective cohort study involving 1,038 cows in 20 dairy herds, high serum concentrations of cholesterol and fatty acids in the week prior to parturition were associated with an increased odds of placenta retention, with a 5% relative increase in the odds of placenta retention for each 0.1 mmol/L increase in prepartum serum cholesterol or fatty acids concentration. Season of parturition and twinning were also identified as risk factors. Findings suggested that prepartum energy metabolism may contribute to the development of placenta retention.
Degenerative disease of the distal interphalangeal joint and sesamoid bone in calves
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Diseases of the digits are the most frequent cause of lameness in adult cattle, but are less common in calves. A review of medical records of 9 calves with degenerative disease of the distal interphalangeal joint revealed that all 9 had forelimb lameness (4 bilaterally), with the medial digit affected in 12 limbs and the lateral digit affected in 9 limbs. Radiography revealed bridging osteoproliferation in affected joints, subchondral cyst-like lucencies, and sclerosis. Although the etiology was not determined, results of radiography, computed tomography, and histologic examination were suggestive of an underlying developmental anomaly, such as osteochondrosis.
An endoscopic method for identifying sex of hatchling Chinese box turtles
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Endoscopy has been recommended for determining the sex of turtles, but previous studies have focused on larger animals and have not incorporated insufflation, resulting in poor visualization. Coelioscopy was performed with a rigid 1.9- or 2.7-mm telescope following insufflation with sterile lactated Ringer's solution in 58 hatchling Chinese box turtles (Cuora flavomarginata) that underwent general anesthesia with a ketamine-medetomidine-morphine mixture (n = 29) or received local anesthesia with lidocaine alone (29). Gonads were easily visualized and sex was easily identified in all 58 turtles without complications. However, anesthesia scores were significantly worse for animals that did not undergo general anesthesia.

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