In This Issue—June 1, 2015

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President's Column

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Under new US Department of Education guidelines, for-profit educational institutions will need to show that graduation will lead to gainful employment for students to continue receiving federal financial aid. In other news, an Asian canine influenza strain has caused dog deaths and hundreds of infections in and near Chicago.

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Letters to the Editor

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What Is Your Diagnosis?

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Pathology in Practice

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timely topics in nutrition

An overview of fatty acids in companion animal medicine

Veterinarians should have a basic understanding of fatty acids and their impact on health and disease in companion animals. Importantly, although animals of all life stages require fatty acids in their diet, different sources and types of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids do not have the same functions.

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Effect of question design on dietary information solicited during veterinarian-client interactions in companion animal practice in Ontario, Canada

Analysis of videotapes of 98 appointments featuring 15 veterinarians illustrated the important role question design plays in determining the accuracy and completeness of nutritional history information elicited from owners of dogs and cats. The predominant question format for veterinarian-initiated question-answer sequences about patient nutritional history (99 sequences in total) was a what-prefaced question asking about the current diet (75/99). Dietary information in client responses was typically restricted to the brand name, the subtype (eg, kitten), or both of a single food item. When additional diet questions were subsequently posed, they typically sought only clarification about the food item previously mentioned by the client.

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Influence of leash side and handlers on pressure mat analysis of gait characteristics in small-breed dogs

Pressure walkway systems have recently become available to measure gait characteristics, and several studies have validated their use to study gait changes caused by orthopedic and neurologic conditions. In a study of 5 healthy adult small-breed dogs weighing < 11.4 kg (25 lb) walked on a pressure walkway by each of 5 handlers with the leash on the left and right sides of each dog for each handler, symmetry indices varied less than stance time and total pressure index of individual limbs. Changing handlers did not impact symmetry indices. Changing leash sides influenced symmetry indices of the dogs’ forelimbs (with dogs shifting their weight toward the forelimb opposite the leash) but did not alter symmetry indices of their hind limbs.

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Results of magnetic resonance imaging performed within 48 hours after head trauma in dogs

Cross-sectional neuroimaging such as MRI could potentially be of benefit in certain dogs that have sustained head trauma, but little information is available on which MRI sequences provide the greatest diagnostic information or whether MRI findings are associated with outcome. In a review of medical records for 18 dogs that underwent MRI within 48 hours after known head trauma, T2-weighted and fluid attenuation inversion recovery images were found to provide the most diagnostic information. The most common MRI abnormalities were intra-axial changes (n = 13) and extra-axial hemorrhage (13). Dogs with injuries affecting the caudal fossa or affecting both the rostral and caudal fossae typically had poorer outcomes.

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Clinical effects of vinorelbine administration in the management of various malignant tumor types in dogs

Evidence exists to support the use of vinorelbine in the management of a wide spectrum of cancers in humans, and results of a review of medical records of 58 dogs with malignant tumors (including pulmonary carcinoma, histiocytic sarcoma, mast cell tumor, lymphoma, and melanoma) suggest that it may also be effective in dogs. Vinorelbine was administered palliatively to 44 of the dogs, of which 1 had a complete response for 162 days, 5 had a partial response (median duration, 91 days), 19 had stable disease (median duration, 68 days), and 19 developed progressive disease after a median duration of 21 days. Clinical benefit was more difficult to assess in the remaining 14 dogs that received vinorelbine as an adjuvant treatment.

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Retinopathy associated with ivermectin toxicosis in five cats

Five cats from the same household were examined because of a sudden onset of tremors, obtundation, blindness, and dilated pupils. Approximately 12 hours earlier, the owner had attempted to treat the cats for suspected ear mite (Otodectes cynotis) infestation by aural administration of an ivermectin paste intended for oral administration to horses (approx 22 mg/cat; half of the dose was administered into each ear canal). None of the cats had a menace response; all cats had dilated pupils and decreased pupillary light reflexes. All 5 cats made a complete recovery. Neurologic abnormalities resolved, electroretinographic responses improved, and vision was restored with no residual pathological changes detected during fundic examination.

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Community rabies knowledge and pet vaccination practices after a skunk rabies outbreak in Eddy County, New Mexico

In 2011 and 2012, Eddy County, NM, experienced an unprecedented skunk rabies outbreak during which at least 85 cats and 49 dogs were euthanized after exposure to animals suspected to be rabid because the exposed cats and dogs did not have current rabies vaccination status and the owners elected not to have them subjected to a 6-month quarantine. Also during the outbreak, 29 county residents received postexposure prophylaxis, the direct costs of which exceeded $100,000. In a door-to-door survey conducted in 2013, rabies vaccination prevalence among pet dogs and cats was found to still be low, and substantial percentages of respondents did not have correct knowledge of rabies or rabies exposure.

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