In This Issue—September 15, 2013


Pet bird ownership has declined by a fifth since 2006, and a minority of pet birds see veterinarians. Nevertheless, veterinarians are in a better position than ever to protect pet bird health. In other news, the AVMA Group Health & Life Insurance Trust has created an exchange to help AVMA members find insurance coverage.

See page 734

Letters to the Editor

See page 771

What Is Your Diagnosis?

See page 775

What Is Your Neurologic Diagnosis?

See page 779

Diagnostic Imaging in Veterinary Dental Practice

See page 783

ECG of the Month

See page 787

Theriogenology Question of the Month

See page 791

Pathology in Practice

See pages 795, 801

public veterinary medicine: public health

Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2012

During 2012, 49 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,162 rabid animals and 1 human rabies case to the CDC, representing a 2.1% increase from the 6,031 rabid animals and 6 human cases reported in 2011.

See page 805

reference point

Understanding methicillin resistance in staphylococci isolated from dogs with pyoderma

It is important that veterinarians understand the difference between methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and know how to interpret positive culture results for these organisms in samples from dogs.

See page 817

special report

Progress by veterinary medical colleges in implementing the NAVMEC recommendations

Results of a survey of baseline progress by veterinary medical colleges in implementing recommendations from the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium revealed only isolated progress toward implementation of system-wide recommendations requiring coordination among multiple colleges.

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Book Reviews

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Sleeping and resting respiratory rates in dogs with subclinical heart disease

Many veterinary cardiologists recommend that owners of dogs with subclinical cardiac disease monitor the respiratory rate of their dogs to help identify the onset of left-sided congestive heart failure or monitor the effectiveness of treatment. However, data on an optimal threshold value for respiratory rate are lacking. Results of a study involving 190 dogs with subclinical left-sided heart disease suggest that sleeping and resting respiratory rates are easily obtained by most clients in the home environment and that mean sleeping respiratory rate was generally < 25 breaths/min. The authors suggest that sleeping respiratory rates consistently > 30 breaths/min warrant additional investigation.

See page 839

Perioperative analgesic efficacy of methadone versus butorphanol in cats

Butorphanol has been approved by the FDA for the relief of pain associated with surgical procedures in cats. However, it has a short duration of antinociception, requiring repeated administration to be effective. In a randomized controlled trial involving 22 healthy cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy and premedicated with butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg [0.18 mg/lb], SC) or methadone (0.6 mg/kg [0.27 mg/lb], SC), pain scores 20 minutes after surgery were significantly lower in the methadone group. Six of 10 cats in the butorphanol group had received rescue analgesia by 20 minutes after surgery. After 6 hours, only 3 of 12 cats in the methadone group had received rescue analgesia.

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An oral electrolyte solution for treatment of mild to moderate dehydration in dogs with hemorrhagic diarrhea

In human medicine, oral rehydration therapy has been used as a substitute for IV fluid administration in adults and children with mild to moderate dehydration. Results of a new study suggest that oral rehydration therapy with an electrolyte solution formulated for oral administration is also effective and safe in dogs with mild to moderate dehydration associated with hemorrhagic diarrhea. In the study, 20 dogs with hemorrhagic diarrhea that had had < 3 episodes of vomiting were given maropitant citrate to control emesis and offered an oral electrolyte solution. Thirteen dogs voluntarily consumed the OES, although 7 refused it and were given IV fluid therapy.

See page 851

Red blood cell distribution width in dogs with chronic degenerative valvular disease

Red blood cell distribution width reflects variability in the size of circulating erythrocytes, and changes in RDW have been associated with a variety of diseases. However, in a study involving 27 healthy dogs and 135 dogs with chronic degenerative valvular disease and compensated (n = 87) or decompensated (48) heart failure, RDW was not found to be associated with CDVD or heart failure. Mean ± SD RDW in dogs with CDVD (13.1% ± 1.0%) was not significantly different from that of healthy dogs (12.8% ± 0.8%), and mean RDW of dogs with CDVD and compensated heart failure (13.0% ± 1.0%) was not significantly different from that of dogs with CDVD and decompensated heart failure (13.2% ± 1.1%).

See page 858

Vacuum-assisted closure to maintain viability of a skin flap in a dog

A 4-year-old dog was referred for treatment of a 20-cm-long wound over the left side of the thorax. The wound had been debrided and closed by the referring veterinarian, but the skin flap had become necrotic. The wound was debrided, and vacuum-assisted closure was performed for 3 days until healthy granulation tissue developed. A reconstructive procedure was performed with a rotation flap 3 days after VAC dressing removal; VAC was reinitiated 2 days after reconstruction because of poor skin flap viability. After 5 days of VAC, the flap had markedly improved in color and consistency and VAC was discontinued. Successful healing of the flap occurred without the need for debridement or additional intervention.

See page 863

Basilar and axial sesamoidean approaches for digital flexor tendon sheath synoviocentesis and injection in horses

Historically, aspiration from or injection into the digital flexor tendon sheath has been difficult if little or no effusion is present. However, results of a new study suggest that a basilar sesamoidean approach may be a useful method for DFTS synoviocentesis in sedated horses and may be superior to the axial sesamoidean approach. The study involved 12 adult mares without evidence of lower limb abnormalities. Median time for injection and median number of times the needle was redirected were significantly shorter for the BSA, compared with the ASA. Odds of obtaining synovial fluid were 5.7 times as great with the BSA as with the ASA (95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 27.8).

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Intravenous administration of polymyxin B in neonatal foals with experimental endotoxemia

Polymyxin B binds the lipid A portion of lipopolysaccharide, preventing LPS from interacting with cellular receptors that result in inflammation. It may, therefore, be useful in foals with endotoxemia. In a study in which 14 healthy neonatal foals were given a single dose of lipopolysaccharide IV and treated with polymyxin B or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, foals treated with polymyxin B had significantly lower blood lactate, serum tumor necrosis factor-α, and plasma thromboxane B2 concentrations and higher blood glucose concentrations and better attitude scores. No other significant differences between groups were identified, and none of the foals developed evidence of overt nephrotoxicosis.

See page 874

Analgesic efficacy of morphine sulfate and butorphanol tartrate in koi undergoing unilateral gonadectomy

Butorphanol is one of the most commonly used analgesics in fish, but information showing that butorphanol is effective at currently recommended dosages is lacking. In an attempt to identify pain-related behaviors in fish and assess the effects of butorphanol and morphine in koi undergoing unilateral gonadectomy, 90 adult koi were given an injection of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution IM, butorphanol (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], IM), or morphine (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], IM); an injection with anesthesia and surgery; or an injection with anesthesia but without surgery. Butorphanol and morphine both appeared to have an analgesic effect, but morphine caused fewer adverse effects. Food consumption appeared to be a reliable indicator of pain.

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