In This Issue—January 1, 2011

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Claude Bourgelat was an expert horseman who studied animal anatomy, physiology, and pathology well before he was tasked with starting the world's first veterinary school, which was intended to protect the animals and aid the people connected with animal agriculture. And the Veterinarian's Oath now states that a veterinarian's duties extend to protecting animal welfare.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

See pages 37, 39

Anesthesia Case of the Month

See page 43

Pathology in Practice

See pages 47, 51


The veterinarian's role in animal cruelty cases

Veterinarians should be cognizant of the issues surrounding animal cruelty cases and should be capable of and confident in managing animal abuse cases they encounter in practice.

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Designing studies that answer questions

Veterinarians who understand the basic principles of experimental design can avoid errors when designing their own studies and detect errors in published reports of research by others.

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Decision analysis to evaluate the delivery method of veterinary health care on dairy farms

Decision analysis is a useful tool for evaluating mutually exclusive treatment options in veterinary health care.

See page 60

Sickness behaviors in response to unusual external events in healthy cats and cats with feline interstitial cystitis

Nonspecific sickness behaviors (eg, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, fever, lethargy, decreased activity, and decreased grooming) are common in cats and frequently cause owners to seek veterinary care. Results of a new study suggest that these sickness behaviors, including some of the most commonly observed abnormalities in client-owned cats, may be a result not of an internal disorder but of exposure to unusual external events (ie, events that activate the stress response system). In the study, 12 healthy cats and 20 cats with FIC housed in a well-maintained vivarium were monitored for 77 weeks. In both groups, exposure to unusual external events was associated with a significant increase in the total number of sickness behaviors.

See page 67

Intraobserver and interobserver agreement for results of low-field MRI in dogs with and without clinical signs of disk-associated wobbler syndrome

In the past decade, there has been an increase in the use of magnetic resonance imaging to diagnose DAWS in dogs. Excellent sensitivity (ie, a low percentage of false-negative results) has been reported, but specificity (ie, the percentage of false-positive results) of MRI has been less extensively evaluated. In a study involving 21 dogs with and 23 dogs without clinical signs of DAWS in which magnetic resonance images of the cervical vertebral column were examined by 4 board-certified radiologists blinded to clinical status, 2 of the 21 clinically affected dogs were erroneously categorized as clinically normal, and 4 of the 23 clinically normal dogs were erroneously categorized as clinically affected.

See page 74

Transcranial magnetic stimulation in Doberman Pinschers with spinal cord compression on magnetic resonance images

Previous studies have shown that cervical spinal cord compression can be seen on magnetic resonance images from some clinically normal dogs, making it difficult to determine the clinical importance of this finding. Results of a new study, however, suggest that transcranial magnetic stimulation may be a useful diagnostic tool to differentiate between clinically relevant and clinically irrelevant spinal cord compression on MRI. In the study, transcranial magnetic motor evoked potentials were recorded in clinically normal Doberman Pinschers with (n = 6) or without (11) spinal cord compression and 16 Doberman Pinschers with disk-associated wobbler syndrome. Significant differences were identified between the dogs with DAWS and the 2 groups of clinically normal dogs.

See page 81

Outcomes of cats undergoing surgical attenuation of congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts through cellophane banding

Long-term medical treatment of cats with CEPSSs has been associated with a poor outcome, leading to a search for surgical treatments. Results of a review of medical records of 9 cats with a CEPSS that underwent cellophane banding without intraoperative attenuation suggested that this may be an acceptable technique for gradual occlusion of a CEPSS in cats. Two cats developed refractory seizures and were euthanized within 3 days after surgery, but the other 7 survived the immediate postoperative period. Four cats did not have any clinical signs of shunting at the time of long-term follow up, but 1 cat had persistent ptyalism, 1 cat had biurate ammonium stones removed > 2 years after surgery, and 1 cat was euthanized 105 days after surgery because of uncontrolled seizures.

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Association between fecal excretion of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis and detection in colostrum and on teat skin surfaces of dairy cows

A cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the association between fecal excretion of MAP by dairy cows in the periparturient period and detection of MAP DNA in colostrum specimens and on teat skin surfaces. In this study, the odds of detecting MAP DNA in colostrum or teat swab specimens in cows with MAP-positive (vs negative) fecal specimens were 2.02 and 1.87, respectively. Examination of estimated population attributable fractions revealed that discarding colostrum from MAP-positive cows could reduce the odds of exposing calves to MAP in colostrum by 18%. Not permitting nursing by calves could reduce the odds of exposing calves to MAP on the teat surfaces of MAP-positive cows by 20%.

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