In This Issue—August 1, 2009

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Leaders of the newly incorporated One Health Commission talk about gaining momentum and how the commission will help improve human and animal health. Dozens of experts on animal health and related fields are convening to create a practical and thorough AVMA guidance document on providing animals with humane deaths.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

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Diagnostic Imaging in Veterinary Dental Practice

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Evaluation of six portable meters for measuring blood glucose concentration in dogs

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Portable blood glucose meters are commonly used to measure venous and capillary blood glucose concentrations in dogs, but information on accuracy of currently available meters is lacking. In a study of 6 PBGMs, results for 158 blood samples from 49 dogs were compared with results of a reference analyzer. For all 6 PBGMs, results differed from reference results, with the difference increasing as glucose concentration increased. Significant differences in bias were found among meters. For 142 samples classified as hypoglycemic, euglycemic, or hyperglycemic on the basis of results of the reference analyzer, the percentage of samples that were misclassified on the basis of results of the PBGMs ranged from 2.1% to 38.7%.

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Postoperative pneumonia in dogs anesthetized for diagnosis or treatment of intervertebral disk disease

Surgical complications associated with treatment of IVDD in dogs are well known, but little information is available about other postoperative complications. In a retrospective case-control study involving 707 dogs that underwent general anesthesia for the diagnosis or treatment of IVDD between 1992 and 1996 or between 2002 and 2006 at the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, there was a significant difference in the percentage of dogs that developed postoperative pneumonia in the later (4.6%) versus the earlier (0.6%) years. Risk factors for postoperative pneumonia included preanesthetic tetraparesis, cervical lesions, magnetic resonance imaging, > 1 anesthetic procedure, longer duration of anesthesia, and postanesthetic vomiting or regurgitation.

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Management of iatrogenic aortic laceration associated with cystocentesis in a dog

A 4-year-old dog was examined on an emergency basis because of hemorrhagic shock following cystocentesis for investigation of suspected urinary tract infection. Immediate surgical exploration was performed, and 2 small lacerations in the ventral aspect of the abdominal aorta just dorsal to the bladder were identified and repaired. Multiple transfusions of packed RBCs (5 units) and fresh frozen plasma (3 units) were administered, and autotransfusion of blood (1.2 L) from the abdomen was performed. The dog recovered well from surgery, although transient hind limb swelling attributed to reperfusion injury following aortic occlusion during surgery developed. Findings illustrate the possibility of damage to intra-abdominal structures during cystocentesis in dogs.

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Pregnancy diagnosis in dairy cattle by use of an ELISA and palpation per rectum

Reproductive efficiency of dairy herds is improved by early identification of cattle that have been bred but are not pregnant. Palpation per rectum is the oldest and most common method of pregnancy detection, with experienced veterinarians able to accurately diagnose pregnancy status by 35 days after insemination, but a commercial ELISA has become available that the manufacturer claims can determine pregnancy status earlier after breeding than palpation. In a study involving 1,483 cattle, there was good agreement between results of the ELISA and results of palpation per rectum, especially at longer intervals after insemination. Discrepant results appeared to be attributable to the presence of a nonviable fetus, embryonic loss, or fetal loss.

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Pharmacoepidemiology of tetracycline administration via drinking water in swine finishing farms

Mass treatment of pigs in conventional swine production systems often requires the administration of medications through waterlines; however, several potential problems are associated with this treatment strategy. In cross-sectional (phase 1) and cohort (phase 2) studies involving 13 swine finishing farms, results indicated that drinking-water flow rates varied among farms, barns within farms, and pens within barns and also varied according to type of drinker and whether tetracycline was added to the water. Flow rates of individual drinkers were inconsistent, irrespective of the overall flow rate within a barn. This lack of uniformity was evident in the variation in plasma tetracycline concentrations detected in pigs in phase 2 of the study.

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Oleander intoxication in New World camelids

Oleander is an evergreen shrub or small tree that is highly toxic to most mammalian species. The toxic effects of oleander have been described in many species, but little information is available on the clinical course or appropriate treatment of oleander toxicosis in New World camelids. A review of medical records of 11 llamas and 1 alpaca with detectable amounts of oleandrin in serum, urine, or gastrointestinal tract fluid samples revealed that 1 was dead at the time of admission and 1 was euthanized because of financial concerns. Of the 10 treated camelids, 9 had evidence of acute renal failure, 7 had gastrointestinal signs, and 4 had cardiac arrhythmias on initial examination. Nine of the 10 treated animals survived.

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