In This Issue—August 15, 2010

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Congressmen introduced a resolution intended to honor veterinarians for their accomplishments and contributions over the past 250 years.

At nearly the same time, a congressional subcommittee hearing continued examination of a bill that would restrict the use of some antimicrobials in food animals.

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

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See pages 359, 363

Pathology in Practice

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special report

Comparison of long-term financial implications for five veterinary career tracks

Specialty training and practice ownership may be the 2 career tracks with the best potential repayment options for veterinarians with a large educational debt. Type of practice, mean incomes in a particular field, personal lifestyle, and professional interests are important decisions when deciding among potential career tracks.

See page 369

Adjunctive tetracycline treatment of refractory corneal ulcers in dogs

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Results of a new study suggest that topical application of oxytetracycline ointment may be a safe, inexpensive, and effective adjunctive treatment for refractory corneal ulcers in dogs. In the study, 89 dogs with refractory corneal ulcers treated by means of debridement and grid keratotomy were randomly assigned to be treated with doxycycline PO and a triple antibiotic ointment topically, cephalexin PO and an oxytetracycline ointment topically, or cephalexin PO and a triple antibiotic ointment topically. Corneal ulcers were 50 times as likely to be healed after 2 weeks of treatment in dogs that received cephalexin and the oxytetracycline ointment as they were in dogs that received cephalexin and the triple antibiotic ointment.

See page 378

Evaluation of collars and microchips for permanent identification of pet cats

Less than 2% of cats entering shelters with an unknown ownership status are reunited with an owner, illustrating the importance of permanent identification. Many owners and veterinarians are concerned that cats cannot wear collars or will be injured by them, but a study of 538 client-owned cats assigned to wear 1 of 3 types of collars found that 391 (72.7%) of the cats wore their collars for the entire 6-month study period. Owners' initial expectations of the cats' tolerance of the collar and number of times the collar had to be reapplied were the most important factors predicting success. Microchips were inserted in all cats at the beginning of the study. Of 478 microchips scanned at the end of the study, 477 (99.8%) were functional.

See page 387

Effects of bupivacaine infiltration of the incision site on postoperative pain and incisional healing in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy

To determine whether infiltration of the incision site with bupivacaine, as part of a multimodal analgesia protocol, would have any effects on severity of postoperative pain or incisional healing, 92 dogs undergoing routine ovariohysterectomy were randomly assigned to receive no injection at the incision site, preincisional infiltration with saline solution, preincisional infiltration with bupivacaine, or postincisional infiltration with bupivacaine. There were no significant differences in pain scores or response to mechanical stimulation over time among treatments. Similarly, there were no significant differences in incisional edema or discharge among treatments.

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Agreement between directly measured blood pressure and pressures obtained with oscillometric units in cats

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Direct measurement of blood pressure can be technically challenging, uncomfortable for patients, and unsuitable for many clinical situations. Therefore, indirect methods for measuring blood pressure are frequently used. Recently, 3 veterinary-specific oscillometric units for indirectly measuring blood pressure in cats have been released to the market. However, in a study involving 21 cats undergoing routine spaying or neutering in which directly measured blood pressures were compared with values obtained by use of these units, there was poor agreement between directly and indirectly measured blood pressure values. None of the 3 oscillometric units could be recommended for indirect measurement of blood pressure in cats.

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Myelo-osteolytic plasmablastic lymphoma of the femur in a domestic ferret

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A 6-year-old spayed female domestic ferret evaluated because of a 1-month history of decreased activity was found on radiographs of the hind limbs to have extensive lysis of the right femur. Cytologic examination of a fine-needle aspirate of the bone lesion revealed a dominant plasma cell component. Radical right hind limb amputation with mid to caudal hemipelvectomy was performed. Histologic evaluation of the lesion revealed lymphoma with plasmablastic features. Adjunctive antineoplastic treatment with systemically administered multidrug chemotherapy was initiated, but was discontinued 6 months later when results of follow-up testing suggested no recurrence of the disease. The ferret appeared to cope well with radical hind limb amputation.

See page 407

Central diabetes insipidus in an African Grey parrot

A 5.5-year-old female African Grey parrot was evaluated because of a 1-year history of pronounced polyuria and polydipsia. Results of a physical examination, CBC, and screening radiography were unremarkable, other than thin body condition and bilateral incomplete mydriasis. Plasma biochemical analysis revealed mild hypernatremia. The bird had a 3.3% loss in body weight over 170 minutes during a water deprivation test, and urine osmolality remained low. After IM administration of desmopressin, the rate of weight loss decreased substantially and urine osmolality increased 300%. Administration of desmopressin IM every 12 hours yielded a noticeable reduction in water consumption and urine production long-term.

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Effect of colostral volume, interval between calving and first milking, and photoperiod on colostral IgG concentration in dairy cows

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New findings suggest that dairy producers should harvest colostrum as soon as possible after calving to optimize transfer of passive immunity in neonatal calves. In a study involving 81 multiparous dairy cows from a single herd, regression analysis was used to test whether colostral IgG concentration was associated with the interval between calving and first milking, colostral volume, photoperiod, length of the nonlactating period, or season of calving. The interval between calving and first milking and colostral volume were both negatively associated with colostral IgG concentration, with the former effect predominating. Colostral IgG concentration decreased by 3.7% for each hour after calving.

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Risk factors for cataracts and lens luxation in captive pinnipeds

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A cross-sectional study of 111 captive pinipeds (99 California sea lions, 10 harbor seals, and 2 walruses) was performed to identify possible risk factors for cataracts and lens luxation. Eyes of each pinniped were examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist, and information regarding husbandry practices, history, and facilities was obtained through a questionnaire. Of the 111 pinnipeds, 17 (15.3%) had both lens luxation and cataracts, 38 (34.2%) had cataracts alone, and 56 (50.5%) had no ophthalmic abnormalities. Risk factors for lens luxation, cataracts, or both included age ≥ 15 years, a history of fighting, a history of ocular disease, and insufficient access to shade.

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