In This Issue—February 1, 2010

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Equine practitioners provide needed help for developing communities by caring for animals that provide labor and transportation. And researchers are working to preserve large African felines and canines threatened by human encroachment and predation.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

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Pathology in Practice

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ECG of the Month

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Criteria used to diagnose hypothyroidism in sighthounds and serum thyroid hormone concentrations in healthy Salukis

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Low serum thyroid hormone concentrations have been reported in several sighthound breeds. Despite this, in a retrospective case series involving 398 sighthounds in which hypothyroidism had been diagnosed, a review of medical records revealed that the diagnosis had been made on the basis of low serum thyroid concentrations alone in 303 (76.1%) dogs. Only 65 (16.3%) dogs had high serum thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration or positive results for thyroglobulin autoantibody testing. In a cross-sectional study involving 283 healthy Salukis, low serum thyroid hormone concentrations were common. Findings suggested that breed-specific reference limits should be used when interpreting results of thyroid hormone testing in sighthounds.

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Effects of general anesthesia on plasma colloid oncotic pressure in dogs

Plasma colloid oncotic pressure is defined as the net osmotic pressure across the capillary epithelial barrier and is the pressure that serves to retain fluid in the vascular space. Albumin, globulin, and fibrinogen are the major determinants of plasma COP. When plasma COP was measured before and after general anesthesia in 50 dogs undergoing various elective procedures, postanesthetic COP (mean ± SD, 19.4 ± 3.6 mm Hg) was significantly lower than the preanesthetic value (24.4 ± 4.2 mm Hg). However, the decrease in COP could not be reliably predicted on the basis of volume of fluids administered IV during anesthesia or the concurrent documented decrease in plasma total solids concentration.

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Efficacy of leflunomide for treatment of immune-mediated polyarthritis in dogs

Corticosteroids are the most widely used treatment for idiopathic immune-mediated polyarthritis in dogs, but adverse effects are common. Leflunomide is an immunomodulating drug that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other immune-mediated diseases in people. A review of medical records of 14 dogs with cytologically confirmed IMPA treated with leflunomide revealed that 8 had complete resolution of clinical signs initially, 5 had a partial response to treatment, and 1 had no response to treatment. Adverse effects were not observed during the treatment period. Mean ± SD initial dosage of leflunomide was 3.0 ± 0.5 mg/kg (1.4 ± 0.2 mg/lb), PO, every 24 hours.

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Computed tomographic features of oral squamous cell carcinoma in cats

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Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common tumor of the oral cavity in humans, and computed tomography is routinely used in these patients for diagnosis and tumor staging. In contrast, CT characteristics of oral SCCs in cats have not been reported. When CT images from 18 cats with oral SCC were reviewed, the tumor was found to be centered in the sublingual or lingual region (n = 7), maxilla (5), buccal mucosa (4), mandible (4), pharyngeal mucosa (2), soft palate mucosa (1), and lip (1). Extension of maxillary masses most often affected the orbit, and heterogeneous contrast enhancement was most common. Although CT was useful in determining mass extension and lymph node enlargement, findings were not associated with survival time.

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Management of mastitis and mammary gland abscess formation secondary to fibroadenomatous hyperplasia in a cat

A 1-year-old female cat was examined because of a 5-day history of gross enlargement of the mammary glands and anorexia. The cat had given birth to 3 kittens 7 days earlier. Enlargement of the mammary glands suggestive of fibroadenomatous hyperplasia had been noticed during the first weeks of the cat's pregnancy and had likely predisposed the cat to mastitis and abscess formation. Drainage of the abscessed mammary glands and debridement of necrotic skin resulted in rapid clinical improvement. The cat was treated with antimicrobials, and the mastitis and fibroadenomatous hyperplasia resolved rapidly. The treatment approach was less invasive than mastectomy and avoided potential complications associated with progesterone-receptor antagonist administration.

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Fecal egg counts after anthelmintic administration to aged horses and horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction

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The effect of advanced age or concurrent disease on immune resistance to parasites has not been adequately studied. In a cross-sectional study involving 29 healthy horses and 13 horses with PPID, horses with PPID had higher fecal egg counts before and 8, 10, and 12 weeks after ivermectin treatment than did site-matched healthy horses, suggesting that horses with PPID may need to have a more aggressive parasite prevention program than do healthy horses. In contrast, age was not significantly associated with fecal egg count or time to egg reappearance after anthelmintic treatment, indicating that age alone does not require special consideration when designing parasite control programs for adult horses.

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