In This Issue—December 15, 2012


Veterinary emergency response teams, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies treated, rescued, and sheltered animals as well as tried to reunite them with owners following Hurricane Sandy. In January, the AVMA could take a position on the use of homeopathy for animal treatment.

See page 1542

Letters to the Editor

See page 1560

What Is Your Diagnosis?

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See page 1563

Diagnostic Imaging in Veterinary Dental Practice

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See pages 1567, 1573

Anesthesia Case of the Month

See page 1577

Theriogenology Question of the Month

See page 1583

Pathology in Practice

See pages 1587, 1591

Book Reviews: For Your Library

See page 1595

Book Reviews: For Your Client's Library

See page 1602

Epidural anesthesia versus femoral and sciatic nerve blockade in dogs undergoing stifle joint surgery

In dogs undergoing stifle joint surgery, femoral and sciatic nerve blocks provide intraoperative antinociception and postoperative analgesia comparable to that obtained with epidural anesthesia, according to results of a new study involving 22 dogs. According to the authors, the findings suggest that peripheral nerve blockade may be an alternative to epidural analgesia in dogs undergoing hind limb surgery. However, they caution that additional studies are needed to evaluate the safety of and adverse effects associated with femoral and sciatic nerve blocks.

See page 1605

Effects of storage in formalin on composition of canine and feline uroliths

Authors of a new study caution that to avoid misdiagnosis of mineral composition, uroliths should not be immersed in formalin prior to analysis. In the study, paired uroliths submitted to the Minnesota Urolith Center from 34 dogs and 27 cats were analyzed immediately and after immersion in 10% formalin for 48 hours. After exposure to formalin, a portion of every struvite urolith was transformed into newberyite. Quantitative mineral analysis of nonstruvite uroliths revealed no detectable change in mineral composition. However, 3 of 10 ammonium urate uroliths dissolved when placed in formalin.

See page 1613

Outcome of hemilaminectomy and disk fenestration for treatment of dogs with thoracolumbar intervertebral disk herniation

Although thoracolumbar intervertebral disk herniation is a common problem in dogs, information regarding long-term outcome is still needed. A new review of medical records of dogs with thoracolumbar IVDH treated by hemilaminectomy and concomitant disk fenestration has found that the prognosis for dogs that retained deep nociception in at least 1 of the pelvic limbs or tail before surgery was good. In the study, 606 of 620 (97.7%) dogs with intact deep nociception before surgery were ambulatory after surgery whereas 110 of 211 (52.1%) paraplegic dogs that had lost deep nociception became ambulatory after surgery.

See page 1617

Urethral stent placement for management of urethral obstruction secondary to transitional cell carcinoma in dogs

Placement of self-expanding nitinol stents may be a useful palliative treatment in dogs with urethral obstruction secondary to transitional cell carcinoma, according to results of a new review of medical records. In the study, information was obtained for 19 dogs with TCC in which urethral stent placement was attempted. Stents were successfully placed in 17 of the 19 dogs, and median survival time following stent placement for these 17 dogs was 78 days (range, 2 to 366 days). Complications included incontinence, reobstruction, and stent migration. Sixteen of the 17 owners were satisfied with the outcome.

See page 1627

Outcome of surgical endodontic treatment in dogs

Surgical endodontic treatment may be a viable option for salvaging endodontically diseased but periodontally healthy teeth of dogs in which orthograde treatment has been unsuccessful and nonsurgical treatment is considered unlikely to succeed, according to a review of medical records for 15 dogs that underwent apicoectomy and retrograde filling following a failed or complicated orthograde root canal treatment. On radiographic evaluation, 10 of the 15 dogs had successful resolution of periapical disease, whereas the remaining 5 dogs had no radiographic evidence of failure of endodontic treatment.

See page 1633

Use of surgery and mitoxantrone chemotherapy in a dog with disseminated lymphangiosarcoma

Disseminated lymphangiosarcoma was diagnosed in a 5-year-old dog evaluated because of difficulty breathing and left pelvic limb swelling. Results of thoracic radiography and thoracocentesis were consistent with chylothorax, and CT imaging of the thorax and abdomen revealed a mass involving the left sublumbar area. Pleural omentalization and pericardectomy were performed, and mitoxantrone was administered following recovery from surgery. As of 10 months after surgery, the dog was clinically normal except for mild pelvic limb edema.

See page 1639

Effects of proparacaine and tetracaine topical ophthalmic formulations on corneal sensitivity in horses

Topical ophthalmic formulations are frequently used to facilitate ocular examination and minor surgical procedures in horses. Proparacaine preparations have been used for this purpose, but results of a new study suggest that a viscous tetracaine topical formulation may have a greater effect on corneal sensitivity and longer duration of action. In the study, eyes of 8 healthy adult horses were treated with 0.5% aqueous proparacaine ophthalmic solution, 0.5% aqueous tetracaine ophthalmic solution, 0.5% viscous tetracaine ophthalmic solution, and saline (0.9% NaCl) solution and corneal touch threshold was measured for the next 60 minutes.

See page 1645

Clinical use of antimicrobial regional limb perfusion in horses

Regional limb perfusion with antimicrobials has become a common practice for horses with infections involving the distal aspect of the limbs. Now, a new review of medical records of 174 horses has found that this is generally a safe technique with minimal adverse effects. The IV route of administration presented fewer complications than did the intraosseous route. Horses with infection of synovial structures had a lower survival rate than did those with acute, minimally contaminated intrasynovial lacerations. The latter had a prognosis similar to that for horses with extrasynovial lacerations.

See page 1650

Abdominal abscesses in adult horses

Authors of a new study report that adult horses with abdominal abscesses have a guarded prognosis for survival. In the study, medical records of 61 adult horses with abdominal abscesses treated at the Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital were reviewed. Clinical signs included colic, fever, anorexia, signs of depression, tachycardia, and weight loss. The diagnosis was made on the basis of abdominal ultrasonography, exploratory celiotomy, palpation per rectum, and necropsy. Only 15 (24.6%) horses survived to discharge. Multiple bacterial isolates were identified from aspirates of the abscesses.

See page 1659

Dysgalactia associated with Mycoplasma suis infection in a sow herd

A sudden onset of extreme dysgalactia was observed among sows in a 1,000-head farrow-to-wean herd. Signs of dysgalactia were identified beginning 1 day after parturition and lasting 4 to 6 days. The mean preweaning piglet mortality rate was 18%. Sows were not off feed or febrile; udders were not inflamed or congested. However, blood samples from sows with affected litters were positive for Mycoplasma suis (formerly Eperythrozoon suis). Herd treatment with chlortetracycline for 2 weeks resulted in a near complete absence of dysgalactia in sows farrowing within 5 weeks after the start of treatment.

See page 1666