In This Issue—January 15, 2011

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A new set of shelter standards focuses on the needs of dogs and cats, but its provisions could be used to help all animals in U.S. shelters. The AVMA Executive Board approved policy changes intended to improve animal welfare, retain drug availability, and clarify veterinarians' roles and duties. See page 130

Letters to the Editor

See page 147

What Is Your Diagnosis?

See pages 153, 157

Theriogenology Question of the Month

See page 161

Pathology in Practice

See pages 167, 171


Elements of and factors important in veterinary hospice

Because more clients may be inquiring about hospice for terminally ill pets, veterinarians and support staff—especially front desk personnel and staff who may field initial telephone inquiries—should be familiar with the term and with methods to meet these clients needs.

See page 148

Cortisol and aldosterone responses to various doses of cosyntropin in healthy cats

Traditionally, a standard dose of cosyntropin (125 μg/cat, IV) has been used for ACTH stimulation testing in cats, but results of a new study suggest that lower doses may be equally effective. In the study, 7 healthy cats were given saline solution and 5 doses of cosyntropin (125 μg/cat and 10, 5, 2.5, and 1 μg/kg), IV, in a randomized crossover fashion, with serum cortisol and aldosterone concentrations measured up to 90 minutes later. Intravenous administration of cosyntropin at a dose of 5 μg/kg followed by blood sample collection 60 to 75 minutes later resulted in concurrent peak serum cortisol and aldosterone concentrations that were equivalent to those achieved following administration of cosyntropin at a dose of 12 5 μg/cat.

See page 176

Assessment of exposure to Leptospira serovars in veterinary staff and dogs owners in contact with infected dogs

Leptospirosis is an important zoonotic disease worldwide, with millions of human cases of leptospirosis occurring annually. Occupation is reported to be a substantial risk factor for infection; however, according to a new study, seroreactivity to Leptospira serovars among veterinary staff and pet owners exposed to dogs with acute leptospirosis appears to be uncommon. In the study, 60 veterinarians, 19 technical staff, 9 administrative personnel, and 13 dog owners exposed to 52 dogs with naturally occurring leptospirosis were tested with a complement fixation test, and all 91 were seronegative for antibodies against regionally prevalent Leptospira serovars.

See page 183

Comparison of surgical variables and postoperative complications in healthy dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy versus ovariectomy

Ovariectomy has been recommended as the preferred method for neutering female dogs on the basis of an assumption that ovariohysterectomy would generally require more surgical time and be associated with more complications than OVE. In a randomized clinical trial, 40 healthy dogs were randomly assigned to undergo OVH or OVE. Standardized anesthetic and surgical protocols were used, and all surgical procedures were performed by an experienced surgeon. Skin and fascia incision lengths were longer for dogs that underwent OVH, but no significant differences in total surgical time, pain scores, or wound scores were observed between groups, suggesting outcomes for OVH and OVE were equivalent.

See page 189

Predictors of outcome in dogs treated with adjuvant carboplatin for appendicular osteosarcoma

The optimal treatment protocol for dogs with osteosarcoma has not been established, and most dogs die of metastatic disease despite undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. A review of medical records for 65 dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma (without gross evidence of metastasis at the time of diagnosis) that underwent curative-intent surgery and adjuvant carboplatin treatment revealed that median disease-free interval was 137 days and median survival time was 277 days. The 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates were 36%, 22%, and 19%, respectively. Histologic features associated with a poor outcome were intravascular invasion, mitotic index > 5 in 3 hpfs, and grade III classification.

See page 195

Clinical progression of X-linked muscular dystrophy in two German Shorthaired Pointers

Two full-sibling male German Shorthaired Pointer puppies with X-linked muscular dystrophy and deletion of the dystrophin gene were examined. Initial examination revealed stunted growth, brachygnathism, trismus, and diffuse neuromuscular abnormalities, with one dog more severely affected than the other. During the next 3 years, the dogs developed hyperinflation of the lungs, hypertrophy of the cervical musculature, and hypertrophy of the lateral head of the triceps brachii muscle. Neuromuscular signs in both dogs were stable after 3 years of age, although multiple episodes of aspiration pneumonia were documented. The dogs were euthanized at 84 and 93 months of age.

See page 207

Retroperitoneal pyogranulomatous and fibrosing inflammation secondary to fungal infections in two dogs

A 4-year-old Golden Retriever was examined because of an inguinal mass and acute edema and erythema involving the left hind limb, and a 5-year-old Jack Russell Terrier was examined because of a recurring retroperitoneal mass. In both dogs, surgery resulted in incomplete removal of the mass, and histologic examination revealed fibrosing pyogranulomatous inflammation. Yeast cells consistent with Histoplasma capsulatumwere identified in one dog, and cells consistent with Blastomyces dermatitidis were identified in the other. Both dogs had temporary improvement after surgery, but clinical resolution required extended treatment for fungal disease.

See page 213

Evaluation of the analgesic effects of oral and subcutaneous tramadol administration in red-eared slider turtles

In reptile medicine, there is a need for efficacious analgesics that cause minimal or no respiratory depression. In a crossover study, 11 red-eared slider turtles were given tramadol PO or SC at various doses or a control treatment, and hind limb thermal withdrawal latencies were evaluated as a measure of analgesic efficacy. Nineteen other freely swimming turtles received tramadol PO, and ventilation, breath frequency, tidal volume, and expiratory breath duration were measured. Results suggested that administration of tramadol PO at 5 to 10 mg/kg provided thermal analgesia with less respiratory depression than that reported in previous studies following administration of morphine.

See page 220

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