In This Issue—November 15, 2012


Public health departments are trying to adapt to deep budget cuts over the past several years. Hundreds of veterinary practices are participating in a program intended to elevate feline veterinary care and increase routine veterinary visits for cats.

See page 1256

Letters to the Editor

See page 1275

What Is Your Diagnosis?

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See page 1279

Diagnostic Imaging in Veterinary Dental Practice

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See page 1283

ECG of the Month

See page 1288

Animal Behavior Case of the Month

See page 1293

Pathology in Practice

See pages 1297, 1301

Ketamine-propofol with or without dexmedetomidine for IV anesthesia in cats undergoing ovariectomy

Total IV anesthesia with a ketamine-propofol combination, with or without dexmedetomidine, appears to be an effective anesthetic combination for healthy cats undergoing ovariectomy, according to results of a new study involving 15 female cats. Anesthesia was induced with a ketamine (2.0 mg/kg [0.91 mg/lb])-propofol (2.0 mg/kg) combination with (n = 7) or without (8) dexmedetomidine (0.003 mg/kg [0.0014 mg/lb]) and was maintained via continuous IV infusion of a 1:1 ketamine-propofol combination (administration rate for each drug, 10.0 mg/kg/h [4.54 mg/lb/h]). Recovery was smooth, and anesthesia and postoperative analgesia were deemed adequate for all cats.

See page 1307

Caregiver placebo effect for dogs with lameness from osteoarthritis

The caregiver placebo effect, defined as a belief among pet caregivers (owners and veterinarians) that a sham medication given to a pet has resulted in a positive treatment effect, is an important consideration in veterinary medicine, and a new study has set out to document the extent of the caregiver placebo effect among owners and veterinarians of dogs with lameness attributable to osteoarthritis. In the study, 58 dogs enrolled in the placebo arm of an FDA-approved study were evaluated. A caregiver placebo effect was identified between 25.9% and 56.9% of the time when owners and veterinarians were asked to evaluate the dogs with regard to severity of lameness.

See page 1314

Prevalence of serum antibody titers against feline panleukopenia virus, feline herpesvirus 1, and feline calicivirus in cats entering a Florida animal shelter

Results of a new study support current recommendations that all cats admitted to animal shelters be immediately vaccinated against common viral diseases, regardless of source or physical condition of the cat. The study involved 347 cats admitted to a Florida animal shelter that were tested within 24 hours after admission for antibodies against feline panleukopenia virus, feline herpesvirus 1, and feline calicivirus. Of the 347 cats, only 138 (39.8%) were seropositive for antibodies against FPV, only 38 (11.0%) were seropositive for antibodies against FHV1, and only 127 (36.6%) were seropositive for antibodies against FCV.

See page 1320

Parathyroid hormone concentration in geriatric cats with various degrees of renal function

Renal secondary hyperparathyroidism can develop prior to azotemia in cats, even in the absence of hyperphosphatemia and hypocalcemia, according to results of a new prospective longitudinal study. The study involved 118 client-owned geriatric cats with various degrees of renal function that were followed up for 12 months. Plasma parathyroid hormone concentration was found to be significantly increased in cats that developed azotemia, compared with PTH concentration in cats that remained nonazotemic. Importantly, PTH concentration increased before changes in plasma calcium and phosphate concentrations were detected.

See page 1326

Hemostatic and fibrinolytic markers in dogs with ascites attributable to right-sided congestive heart failure

A new retrospective case-control study seeks to determine whether dogs with ascites secondary to right-sided congestive heart failure have bleeding disorders associated with hypofibrinogenemia or discordant results for assays of plasma fibrin-fibrinogen degradation products and D-dimer concentrations. In the study, 18 of 20 dogs with ascites secondary to right-sided CHF had discordant FDPs and D-dimer assay results, and 10 of these dogs had concurrent hypofibrinogenemia. By contrast, only 10 of 60 dogs without cardiac disease or with left-sided CHF had discordant FDPs and D-dimer assay results, and none of these dogs had hypofibrinogenemia.

See page 1336

Evaluation of heart murmurs in chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera)

Results of a retrospective study of medical records for 260 chinchillas examined at 3 university-based veterinary teaching hospitals suggest that heart murmurs are common in chinchillas and that chinchillas with heart murmurs often have echocardiographic abnormalities, with valvular disease being the most common. The authors conclude, on the basis of their results, that echocardiography should be recommended for chinchillas with heart murmurs, especially older chinchillas with murmurs of grade 3 or higher. However, they acknowledge that further prospective studies are needed to accurately evaluate the prevalence of cardiac disease in chinchillas with heart murmurs.

See page 1344

2,8-dihydroxyadenine uroliths in a dog

Radiography and ultrasonography of a 43-kg (95-lb) 4-year-old neutered male mixed-breed dog with a 2-day history of dysuria revealed hydronephrosis, hydroureter, and radiolucent, hyperechoic uroliths in the right kidney and ureter and the urinary bladder. The uroliths in the bladder and right ureter were surgically removed and submitted for analysis, and they were initially identified as urate uroliths. However, further analysis indicated that the uroliths were composed of 2,8-dihydroxyadenine, and 2,8-DHA was identified in a urine sample from the dog. Allopurinol was prescribed for the dog, and a purine-restricted diet was recommended.

See page 1348

Injection of the navicular bursa with corticosteroid and hyaluronan following high-field magnetic resonance imaging in horses with signs of navicular syndrome

Injection of corticosteroid and hyaluronan into the navicular bursa is a common treatment for horses with navicular syndrome, but results of a new study suggest that the response to this treatment depends not only on the duration of lameness prior to treatment but also on the specific disease processes detected during MRI of the foot. Horses that had been lame for < 6 months were significantly more likely to have a positive response, and horses with primary deep digital flexor tendonitis, navicular bursitis, or DDF tendonitis and adhesions to the collateral sesamoidean ligament responded better than horses with scar tissue, adhesions to the DDF tendon, or multiple abnormalities.

See page 1353