In This Issue—September 15, 2011

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JAVMA News

Of the hundreds of dogs used to search the destruction following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, only a few are still alive. In addition to their search-and-rescue work, the dogs gave some comfort to those searching the debris. Since the attacks, government and other emergency agencies have learned to improve protections for animals.

See page 704

What Is Your Diagnosis?

See pages 747, 749

ECG of the Month

See page 751

Pathology in Practice

See page 757

perspectives in professional education

Changes in teaching of nontechnical skills, knowledge, aptitudes, and attitudes at US schools of veterinary medicine

Results of a survey of the 28 schools of veterinary medicine in the United States demonstrated an increased commitment to the teaching of nontechnical skills, knowledge, aptitudes, and attitudes between 1999 and 2009. How effective these initiatives will be in enhancing the economic success of graduates is still unknown.

See page 762

facts & figures

Impact of internship on veterinarian salaries, 2009

Analysis of data from the 2010 AVMA Biennial Economic Survey suggested that for private practitioners, completion of an internship alone (ie, without going on to complete a residency) did not lead to a significantly lower or higher salary.

See page 768

public veterinary medicine: public health

Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2010

During 2010, 48 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,154 rabid animals and 2 human rabies cases to the CDC, representing an 8% decrease from the 6,690 rabid animals and 4 human cases reported in 2009.

See page 773

Book Reviews: For Your Library

See page 787

Book Reviews: For Your Client's Library

See page 793

Agonistic behavior and environmental enrichment of cats communally housed in a shelter

In an observational study of a stable group of 27 neutered cats in a shelter, the addition of a puzzle feeder as an enrichment device was not associated with an increase in aggression resulting from competition for access to the feeder. In fact, analysis of 4 days of videotapes revealed 44 agonistic encounters that were related to resources and 99 that were not. Importantly, there were an insufficient number of agonistic interactions to determine a dominance rank. Results suggested that for cats housed in a shelter, overt aggression as a strategy to cope with environmental challenges and other individuals is a consequence of stress and emotional state, rather than a normal social behavior to maintain social position or obtain priority access to resources.

See page 796

Effects of intracardiac administration of propofol for induction of anesthesia in ball pythons

Results of a new study suggest that intracardiac injection of propofol is a safe method for providing a rapid induction of anesthesia in pythons, but leads to prolonged recovery times, compared with times following induction with isoflurane. In the study, anesthesia was induced in hatchling ball pythons (Python regius) by means of intracardiac administration of propofol (n = 18) or with 5% isoflurane in oxygen (12). Induction time was significantly shorter with propofol than with isoflurane, but recovery following intracardiac administration of propofol was significantly longer than recovery following induction of anesthesia with isoflurane. Histologic lesions in heart tissues following intracardiac injection of propofol were mild and resolved after 14 days.

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Cervical arthroplasty in two dogs with disk-associated cervical spondylomyelopathy

A 4-year-old Doberman Pinscher with signs of recurrent cervical pain and ataxia and a 12-year-old mixed-breed dog with a 4-month history of ataxia and tetraparesis both underwent cervical arthroplasty consisting of a ventral slot procedure followed by insertion of a titanium cervical disk prosthesis at the affected intervertebral site. Evaluation of radiographs indicated that distraction of the vertebral bodies decreased moderately over time in both dogs. Intervertebral mobility, determined by means of radiographic assessment of the prosthetic disk, was lost over time in the first dog and was not achieved in the second. Nevertheless, results suggest that studies of cervical arthroplasty in dogs with disk-associated cervical spondylomyelopathy are warranted.

See page 808

Dysuria caused by a partially obstructing urethral membrane in a female dog

Urogenital examination of a 3.5-year-old spayed female Labrador Retriever with a history of dysuria revealed a recessed vulva and persistent hymen. The hymen was broken down digitally, but clinical signs persisted. During uroendoscopic examination, a translucent membranous structure was detected that partially obstructed the urethral lumen near the junction of the urethra and bladder. Passage of the endoscope into the urinary bladder ruptured the membranous structure, and the dog was treated with colchicine postoperatively. One month later, the owner reported resolution of clinical signs, but 14 months later, the dysuria recurred, and uroendoscopic examination revealed a membranous structure similar to that originally detected.

See page 818

Evaluation of epidemiological, clinical, and pathological features of neuroaxonal dystrophy in Quarter Horses

Neuroaxonal dystrophy is a neurodegenerative disorder of young horses characterized by ataxia and proprioceptive positioning deficits. In a study of a single Quarter Horse farm, 88 of 148 horses were affected. Most (50/88 [56.8%]) affected horses were 1 to 2 years old, and neurologic deficits included obtundation (n = 53), decreased to absent menace response (33), mild or moderate ataxia (88), and dysmetria (88). Dietary vitamin E supplementation did not improve neurologic deficits in affected horses, and vitamin E administration in pregnant mares appeared to decrease disease severity but did not prevent disease development in their offspring. Lesions detected at necropsy included bilaterally symmetric neuroaxonal degeneration with axonal spheroids.

See page 823

Validation of a low-dose ACTH stimulation test in healthy adult horses

Results of a new study suggest that lower ACTH doses than currently recommended can be used for ACTH stimulation testing in horses. In the study, 8 healthy adult horses received saline solution or 1 of 4 doses (0.02, 0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 μg/kg [0.009, 0.045, 0.114, and 0.227 μg/lb]) of cosyntropin, and serum Cortisol concentrations were measured. For all 4 doses, serum Cortisol concentration was significantly increased by 30 minutes after administration of cosyntropin. No significant differences were detected among maximum serum Cortisol concentrations obtained in response to administration of doses of 0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 μg/kg, indicating that a cosyntropin dose as low as 0.1 μg/kg resulted in maximum adrenal stimulation.

See page 834

Clenbuterol toxicosis in three Quarter Horse racehorses after administration of a compounded product

Three Quarter Horse racehorses were examined because of a suspected clenbuterol overdose 12 to 24 hours after oral administration a compounded clenbuterol product. All horses had sinus tachycardia, muscle tremors, hyperhidrosis, and colic. Serum biochemical abnormalities included hyperglycemia, azotemia, and high creatine kinase activity. Propranolol (0.01 mg/kg [0.005 mg/lb], IV) was administered to all 3 horses for antagonism of β-adrenergic effects. All horses also received crystalloid fluids IV and other supportive treatments. Two horses were euthanatized because of complications. One horse recovered and was discharged. In the 2 nonsurviving horses, skeletal and cardiac muscle necrosis was evident at necropsy.

See page 842

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