In This Issue—August 15, 2015

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Memories of Hurricane Katrina remain vivid for veterinarians and other New Orleans residents, as do the lessons about evacuation and response. In other news, at least 75 dogs in and near Georgia have been infected with the H3N2 canine influenza virus following a larger outbreak this spring near Chicago.

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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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Is it time to retire the use of intrauterine glass balls for estrus suppression in mares?

In light of recent reports of potential deleterious consequences associated with the use of intrauterine glass balls for estrus suppression in mares, rethinking the use of these devices seems prudent, particularly because they are intended to address a behavioral issue rather than a disease condition.

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Effect of feeding a weight loss food beyond a caloric restriction period on body composition and resistance to weight gain in cats

Compared with maintenance foods, weight loss foods contain less energy and fat and higher concentrations of essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber so that adequate nutrition is provided despite caloric restriction. In a study involving 50 overweight cats, feeding a restricted amount of a reduced-calorie, high-fiber dry cat food that contained coconut oil and supplemental l-carnitine, lysine, and leucine resulted in losses in body weight and body fat mass while lean body mass was generally maintained. Interestingly, cats generally gained lean body mass and continued to lose body fat during the weight maintenance phase of the study despite an increase in caloric consumption and intake to maintain body weight.

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Effect of feeding a weight loss food beyond a caloric restriction period on body composition and resistance to weight gain in dogs

Obesity is an increasingly common health concern in pet dogs. In a study involving 50 overweight dogs, dogs fed a weight loss food containing coconut oil and supplemental l-carnitine, lipoic acid, lysine, leucine, and fiber lost significantly more weight than did dogs fed a dry maintenance dog food to maintain body weight. Dogs lost a significant amount of body weight and fat mass but retained lean body mass when fed the test food at a caloric intake adjusted to maintain a weight loss rate of 1% to 2%/wk. Interestingly, when dogs were then fed the test food in an amount calculated to maintain body weight, they continued to lose body fat but gained lean body mass, possibly because the food composition improved energy metabolism.

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Protein and amino acid concentrations and labeling adequacy of commercial vegetarian diets formulated for dogs and cats

The popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets for humans has influenced pet food choices for some families. Because vegetarian protein sources are often poor sources of specific essential vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals, vegetarian diets must be appropriately formulated and balanced. In a cross-sectional study of 13 dry and 11 canned vegetarian diets for dogs and cats, 18 of the diets were found to contain all amino acids in concentrations that met or exceeded minimum Association of American Feed Control Officials recommendations. However, 6 diets did not meet all amino acid minimums, compared with the AAFCO nutrient profiles. Only 3 diets were compliant with all pet food label regulations established by the AAFCO.

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Survival time of dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma treated by splenectomy with or without adjuvant chemotherapy

In a review of medical records for 208 dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma (154 treated with surgery alone and 54 treated with surgery and chemotherapy), clinical stage was the only prognostic factor significantly associated with survival time. When the entire follow-up period was considered, there was no significant difference in survival time between dogs treated with surgery alone and dogs treated with surgery and chemotherapy. However, during the first 4 months of follow-up, after adjusting for the effects of clinical stage, survival time was significantly prolonged among dogs receiving any type of chemotherapy (hazard ratio, 0.6) and among dogs receiving both conventional and metronomic chemotherapy (hazard ratio, 0.4).

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Venous blood gas analytes during isoflurane anesthesia in black-tailed prairie dogs

General anesthesia is frequently required for examination and diagnostic testing of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), with inhalant anesthetics commonly used. In a study of 16 black-tailed prairie dogs in which venous blood samples were obtained immediately after induction of anesthesia with isoflurane and at the end of the anesthetic period (median duration, 90 minutes; range, 60 to 111 minutes), significant increases were observed in Pco2 and blood chloride ion, BUN, and creatinine concentrations and significant decreases were observed in Po2, blood pH, and anion gap. No complications occurred during or after anesthesia for any animal.

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