In This Issue—July 15, 2013

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In 1863, a small group of men from the Northeast founded the United States VMA, which became the AVMA and today has more than 84,000 members, most in companion animal practice. In another story, nobody knows how many captive wild animals live in Ohio, where a new law is starting to restrict wildlife possession.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

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Diagnostic Imaging in Veterinary Dental Practice

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ECG of the Month

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Animal Behavior Case of the Month

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Pathology in Practice

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Analgesic efficacy of perioperative firocoxib and tramadol administration in dogs undergoing tibial plateau leveling osteotomy

Tramadol is commonly used as an oral analgesic in dogs, but there is limited published evidence supporting its use as a perioperative analgesic. Now, results of a new study suggest that tramadol may not provide sufficient analgesic efficacy in dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery. In the study, 30 dogs undergoing tibial plateau leveling osteotomy for treatment of unilateral cranial cruciate ligament disease were randomly assigned to treatment with tramadol, firocoxib, or a combination of tramadol and firocoxib. Dogs that received firocoxib orally, alone or in combination with tramadol, had lower pain scores than did dogs that received only tramadol.

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Thoracic radiographic findings for dogs with cardiac tamponade attributable to pericardial effusion

The characteristic radiographic sign of pericardial effusion in dogs is reported to be an enlarged cardiac silhouette with a globoid shape, but in a study of 50 dogs with cardiac tamponade attributable to pericardial effusion and 23 control dogs, thoracic radiography was not found to be a reliable method for identifying affected dogs. Sensitivity and specificity of enlargement of the cardiac silhouette (vertebral heart score, ≥ 10.7) for identification of dogs with cardiac tamponade attributable to pericardial effusion were 77.6% and 47.8%, respectively, and sensitivity and specificity of a globoid appearance of the cardiac silhouette were 41.9% and 40.0%, respectively.

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Effect of age at gonadectomy on the probability of dogs becoming overweight

Reported percentages of adult dogs in the United States that are overweight or obese range from 34% to 53%, and reproductive status is one of many factors reportedly associated with obesity. However, definitive information is lacking on the relationship between weight gain and gonadectomy or between weight gain and age at the time of gonadectomy. In a retrospective cohort study involving 1,930 dogs gonadectomized between 1998 and 2001 and 1,669 sexually intact dogs, gonadectomized dogs had a greater risk of being identified as overweight than did sexually intact dogs, but this risk was not significantly influenced by age at gonadectomy.

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Sensitivity, positive predictive value, and interobserver variability of computed tomography in the diagnosis of bullae associated with spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs

The most common cause of spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs is rupture of subpleural bullae. Knowledge of lesion location prior to surgery could help in surgical planning, and in humans with spontaneous pneumothorax, sensitivity of CT for bulla detection is reportedly as high as 91.8%. In a review of medical records for 19 dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax caused by ruptured bullae, however, sensitivity and positive predictive value of CT for bulla detection were low, suggesting that CT is potentially an ineffective preoperative diagnostic technique in dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax caused by bulla rupture because lesions can be missed or incorrectly diagnosed.

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Distribution and outcome of ocular lesions in snakes examined at a veterinary teaching hospital

The eyes of snakes have several functional and anatomic differences that make them distinct from the eyes of other reptiles. Thus, information on the prevalence, type, and outcome of ocular lesions in snakes specifically is needed. In a review of medical records for 508 snakes examined at a veterinary teaching hospital between 1985 and 2010, 67 (13%) were found to have ocular lesions. The distribution of ocular lesions did not vary by taxonomic family, age, or sex; however, snakes of the genus Epicrates were overrepresented. The most common ocular lesions were retained spectacle (n = 41), pseudobuphthalmos or subspectacular abscess (13), trauma (8), and cataracts (4).

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Fractures of the third trochanter in horses

Reports of fractures of the third trochanter in horses are uncommon. In a review of medical records of 8 horses with a third trochanter fracture, all 8 had a history of an acute onset of severe lameness, but no specific gait characteristics were identified. Ultrasonographically, there was a single cranially displaced bony fragment in 7 of the horses and multiple bony fragments in 1. In 3 horses, a craniolateral-caudomedial 25° oblique radiographic view revealed a simple complete longitudinal fracture between the midlevel and base of the third trochanter. In all horses, lameness resolved after an appropriate period of rest and restricted exercise.

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Effects of tulathromycin on incidence of various diseases and growth of young heifers

Prophylactic administration of antimicrobials at the time of weaning or movement to group housing has been used to reduce the risk of infectious disease among diary replacement heifers, but little is known about the efficacy of this procedure. In a study involving 788 dairy heifer calves (median age, 3 days) that received a single dose of tulathromycin or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution at the time of arrival at a heifer-raising facility, tulathromycin-treated calves had a significantly lower odds of developing otitis media than did control calves, and control calves had a significantly higher odds of developing diarrhea than did tulathromycin-treated calves.

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Efficacy of feeding a lacteal-derived colostrum replacer or pooled maternal colostrum with a low IgG concentration for prevention of failure of passive transfer in dairy calves

The efficacy of various commercially available colostrum replacers in preventing failure of passive transfer of immunity in calves is mixed. Thus, other alternatives are needed. In a field trial involving 568 heifer calves on a single California dairy randomly assigned to be fed 2 doses (200 g of IgG) of a lacteal-derived colostrum replacer or 3.8 L of pooled maternal colostrum, calves fed the replacer were significantly less likely to develop FPT than were calves fed maternal colostrum. However, mean IgG concentration in the pooled maternal colostrum was substantially lower than concentration for pooled maternal colostrum from other southwestern US dairies.

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