In This Issue—June 1, 2010

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JAVMA News

The AVMA is rebuilding its reserve fund and working to improve animal welfare, influence legislation, and develop policies to help current and future veterinarians. Federal authorities will help pay student debts for some veterinarians working in underserved areas. And three articles describe some effects of recent health care legislation.

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Letters to the Editor

See page 1169

What Is Your Diagnosis?

See pages 1177, 1179

Pathology in Practice

See page 1181

commentary

The time has come…

During the past quarter century, at least seven major national studies on the future of veterinary medicine have been conducted. Too often, however, such planning exercises became an end in themselves, seemingly more important than the activities they were meant to improve. With time running out, this could be our last realistic opportunity to craft a new, unified, workable plan for the future benefit of veterinary medical education, the veterinary profession, and the public good.

See page 1173

reference point

Guidelines for diagnosis and clinical classification of leishmaniasis in dogs

With the increased incidence of leishmaniasis in endemic zones, the northward spread of infection to nonendemic areas of Europe, and the emergence of the disease in North America, the Canine Leishmaniasis Working Group has developed guidelines to assist veterinarians in the diagnosis of this disease.

See page 1184

Guidelines for treatment of leishmaniasis in dogs

The objectives of anti-Leishmania treatment in dogs are reducing the parasite load, treating organ damage caused by the parasite, restoring immune responses, stabilizing clinical signs, and treating clinical relapses.

See page 1192

Guidelines for prevention of leishmaniasis in dogs

Guidelines have been developed by the Canine Leishmaniasis Working Group for prevention of phlebotomine sand fly bites in areas where leishmaniasis is spread through sand flies.

See page 1200

Serum 17α-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations during the reproductive cycle in dogs with and without hyperadrenocorticism

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High serum 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17OHP) concentrations have been identified in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism; however, it is not known whether 17OHP contributes to clinical signs in affected dogs. In a study involving 15 healthy, sexually intact bitches and 28 spayed bitches with hyperadrenocorticism, serum 17OHP concentrations were higher in the healthy, sexually intact bitches during estrus and diestrus than during anestrus and higher during pregnancy than after ovariohysterectomy. Concentrations in the dogs with hyperadrenocorticism were not significantly different from concentrations in the healthy dogs during anestrus or after ovariohysterectomy. Findings suggested that 17OHP was not associated with clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism.

See page 1208

Outcome following surgical versus medical treatment in dogs with a congenital portosystemic shunt

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There is a widely held belief that surgery is preferable to medical treatment in dogs with a single congenital portosystemic shunt. In a prospective cohort study involving 126 dogs with a single CPSS treated surgically (n = 99) or medically (27), the probability for survival was significantly higher for dogs treated surgically versus medically. However, age at the time CPSS was diagnosed was not associated with survival time, suggesting that early surgical intervention was not essential and that medical management may be an acceptable first-line treatment option. Also, the study population consisted of dogs treated at referral clinics; therefore, the efficacy of medical treatment may have been underestimated.

See page 1215

Urine protein-to-creatinine ratio in urine samples collected by cystocentesis versus free catch in dogs

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The urine protein-to-creatinine ratio has generally been considered reliable only if the urine sample is collected by cystocentesis, limiting the widespread use of this test in clinical practice. New findings, however, suggest that free-catch urine samples may be acceptable for measurement of the UPC ratio. In the study, the UPC ratio was measured in paired urine samples (one obtained by cystocentesis and the other by free catch) from 115 dogs. Of the 81 dogs with no indication of active inflammation, as determined by sediment analysis, 75 (92.6%) had UPC ratios for the paired urine samples that resulted in classification in the same proteinuria category (ie, nonproteinuric, borderline proteinuric, or proteinuric).

See page 1221

Decompressive surgery versus electroacupuncture for treatment of dogs with IVDD and long-standing severe neurologic deficits

Studies are lacking comparing the efficacy of acupuncture with standard decompressive surgery in dogs with intervertebral disk disease. In a non-blinded clinical trial involving historical control animals, results were compared for 40 adult dogs with severe (grade 4 or 5 on a scale from 1 to 5), long-standing (> 48 hours) neurologic deficits secondary to IVDD that were treated by means of electroacupuncture (n = 19), decompressive surgery (10), or decompressive surgery followed by electroacupuncture (11). The proportion of dogs with a successful outcome was higher for dogs that underwent electroacupuncture (15/19) than for dogs that underwent decompressive surgery (4/10), but not for dogs that underwent decompressive surgery followed by electroacupuncture (8/11).

See page 1225

Effect of a plasma-derived colostrum replacement feeding program on adult performance and longevity in Holstein cows

Although plasma-derived colostrum replacement programs have the potential to prevent failure of passive transfer of immunity and play a role in paratuberculosis control programs, their effect on longevity, milk yield, and breeding performance in adult lactating cows has not been described. Results of a randomized controlled clinical trial involving 497 heifer calves born in 12 commercial dairies suggested that there was no difference in the overall risk of death or culling, milk production, or reproductive performance (ie, time to first calving, time to conception, and number of times inseminated per conception) between cows fed a commercial plasma-derived colostrum replacer within 30 to 60 minutes after birth and those fed maternal colostrum after birth.

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