In This Issue—April 15, 2013

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A privately funded foundation is trying to preserve the genetic diversity found in rare breeds of livestock by creating the livestock equivalent of a seed bank. In other news, dozens of veterinary students advocated for members of Congress to address issues of student debt and horse soring.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

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Animal Behavior Case of the Month

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Pathology in Practice

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A short history of veterinary workforce analyses

The veterinary medical profession has a long history of attempting to ensure that sufficient numbers of veterinarians with sufficient amounts of training are provided to meet the needs of society. Common themes among workforce analyses from the past include concerns about excess capacity in small animal practice, insufficient capacity in public health and food animal medicine, low incomes for practitioners, and the need for greater financial literacy.

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Laboratory animals as veterinary patients

The history of organized laboratory animal medicine may be described in two major phases, with the first consisting of a focus on colony medicine and the second focusing on palliative medicine. As our understanding of animals continues to evolve, it is reasonable to expect that laboratory animal medicine will change, too, so that the next phase may involve managing individual laboratory animals both as research subjects and as veterinary patients.

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Facebook use among early-career veterinarians in Ontario, Canada (March to May, 2010)

In a study of Facebook profiles for 352 early-career veterinarians, nearly a quarter of the profiles provided publicly available content of a questionable nature that could pose a risk to the reputation of the individual, practice, or veterinary profession. The increased use of social media points to the need for increased awareness of how to manage one's personal and professional identities online to protect one's reputation and integrity.

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Spinosad chewable tablets for treatment of flea infestations in cats

Results of a new study indicate that oral administration of spinosad and topical administration of selamectin both reduce flea counts and severity of flea allergy dermatitis in cats, but suggest that spinosad may be more effective. In the study, 211 flea-infested, client-owned cats were treated with spinosad or selamectin once monthly, and flea comb counts and FAD scores were determined before treatment and after 1 and 3 months of treatment. At months 1 and 3, 70.6% and 92.6% of spinosad-treated cats and 29.4% and 64.7% of selamectin-treated cats were free of fleas. Weighted FAD scores for spinosad- and selamectin-treated cats decreased 94.2% and 80.0% during the study.

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Cystine urolithiasis in domestic ferrets

As the population of pet ferrets increases, uroliths are being recognized with increased frequency. In a review of medical records for 435 ferrets for which uroliths were submitted for analysis between 1992 and 2009, 70 (16%) were found to have cystine uroliths. Cystine uroliths were more common in male (n = 54) than in female (16) ferrets, and all cystine uroliths were retrieved from the lower portion of the urinary tract (n = 67) or were voided (3). Genetic factors associated with this disease have not yet been reported in ferrets, but a familial pattern of inheritance has been determined to be a major underlying factor in cystine urolithiasis in dogs and humans.

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Lymphoma in cats treated with a weekly cyclophosphamide-, vincristine-, and prednisone-based protocol

The most common chemotherapy protocols for cats with lymphoma involve combinations of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone, with or without doxorubicin. In a review of medical records for 114 cats with lymphoma that received a weekly COP-based chemotherapy protocol, clinical response rate after the first chemotherapy cycle was 47.4%, and response to treatment was significantly associated with progression-free survival time and overall survival time. Compared with nonresponders, responders had a significantly longer median progression-free survival time (364 vs 31 days) and median overall survival time (591 vs 73 days).

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Gastrointestinal tract decontamination and intravenous fluid diuresis in cats with known lily ingestion

Ingestion of plant material from lilies of the Lilium and Hemerocallis genera causes acute kidney injury in cats, with potentially fatal effects. In a review of medical records for 25 cats evaluated after ingestion of lily plants, the outcome was good, with a low incidence of acute kidney injury, for cats treated within 48 hours after lily ingestion by means of gastrointestinal tract decontamination, IV fluid diuresis, or both. Twenty-three cats were admitted to the hospital for treatment, and 17 of these 23 (74%) cats had normal BUN and creatinine concentrations throughout hospitalization. All 25 (100%) cats survived to discharge from the hospital.

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Treatment of traumatic penile urethral stricture in a dog with a self-expanding, covered nitinol stent

An 8-month-old dog was evaluated because of hematuria, stranguria, and dysuria that developed following elective castration. Results of physical examination, ultrasonography, retrograde double-contrast cystourethrography, and urethroscopy were consistent with a traumatic urethral stricture immediately proximal to the os penis. Clinical signs returned following balloon dilation of the urethral stricture and 2 bougienage procedures, and a self-expanding, covered nitinol stent was placed approximately 3 weeks later. Results of follow-up urethroscopy and contrast cystourethrography 1 year after stent placement revealed a statically positioned, patent urethral stent.

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Diagnosis and treatment of proventricular nematodiasis in an umbrella cockatoo

A 16-year-old umbrella cockatoo (Cacatua alba) was evaluated because of a 3-year seasonal history of lethargy and weight fluctuation. Results of a fecal flotation test with Sheather sugar solution revealed spirurid eggs. On radiographs, the proventriculus was increased in diameter, and coelomic ultrasonography revealed severe thickening and irregularity of the proventricular wall. Intralesional nematodes were identified endoscopically. Treatment with fenbendazole (15 mg/kg [6.8 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h; alternating between 5 days of treatment and 5 days of no treatment for 4 cycles) was effective, and the bird remained free of clinical signs 7 months later.

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Histopathologic findings in the sacrocaudalis dorsalis medialis muscle of horses with vitamin E–responsive muscle atrophy and weakness

A myopathy characterized histologically by a moth-eaten appearance of the mitochondria and anguloid myofiber atrophy in frozen sections of sacrocaudalis dorsalis medialis muscle biopsy specimens was found in 8 horses with clinical signs of equine motor neuron disease highly responsive to vitamin E treatment. Affected horses had low serum (6/8) or skeletal muscle (5/5) concentrations of α-tocopherol; these histopathologic changes were not found in muscle specimens of control horses with low or adequate muscle concentrations of α-tocopherol. This myopathy may be a specific syndrome or possibly precede the development of neurogenic muscle fiber atrophy typical of EMND.

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Inflammatory airway disease subtypes in horses examined because of poor performance

Inflammatory airway disease is a disease of adult horses defined by exercise intolerance, nonseptic airway inflammation, abnormal pulmonary function test results, and excessive tracheal mucus. It has been suggested that different subtypes of IAD may be characterized by differences in seasonality of signs or clinical features. However, in a review of medical records for 98 horses with IAD, no association between season and cytologic profile of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and no major effects of IAD subtype on pulmonary gas exchange at exercise were seen. Cytologic evidence of IAD was found in 81% (79/98) of the horses, and 30% (30/98) had erythrocytes in BAL fluid after exercise.

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Phenylephrine and exercise versus phenylephrine and rolling for correction of nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon in horses

Nonsurgical approaches for the treatment of nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon in horses have been described, including exercise and rolling under general anesthesia, but reported success rates vary widely. In a review of medical records for 88 horses with NSELC, 85% (75/88) responded to exercise or rolling under general anesthesia. The success rate of rolling under general anesthesia (42/50 [84%]) was significantly higher than the success rate of exercise after IV administration of phenylephrine (24/38 [63.2%]). Resolution of NSELC was achieved by rolling under general anesthesia in 8 of 14 horses in which entrapment initially failed to resolve with exercise.

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Enthesopathy and desmitis of the medial collateral ligament of the cubital joint in 4 horses

Four horses with enthesopathy and desmitis of the medial collateral ligament of the cubital joint were examined. All 4 had had an acute onset of severe, unilateral forelimb lameness and had signs of pain during manipulation of the affected forelimb. Radiography revealed enthesophyte formation on the radial tuberosity and linear mineralization of the medial collateral ligament in 2 horses and periosteal reaction on the humeral condyle in all 4 horses. Ultrasonography revealed an irregular boney contour and enthesopathy and desmitis of the short medial collateral ligament. All horses received phenylbutazone and rest and were free from lameness after a median of 3 months.

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