Ovarian carcinomas are a relatively common neoplasm in the entire bitch. Borzacchiello et al looked at the expression of cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2) in 11 of these tumours, and 2 normal samples. They found that in 9 out of 11 tumours, COX-2 was expressed. This may have an implication for the treatment of these tumours with COX-2 inhibiting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Previously COX-2 inhibitors have been shown to have an anti-tumour effect in transitional cell carcinomas. The authors suggest that further research is performed into the efficacy of COX-2 inhibitors in the treatment of ovarian tumours.
The partial pressure of arterial CO2 (PaCO2) is a useful measure of the ventilatory status of a patient, and is important in the diagnosis of acid-base disorders. This is usually measured in an arterial blood sample, and repeated samples necessitate an arterial catheter placement. Pang et al looked at the clinical usefulness of measuring end tidal CO2 with a nasal catheter, and correlated this with arterial CO2 measurements, in 6 healthy, sedated dogs. The authors found that there was a good level of correlation between the two measurements, and concluded that this was a clinically useful and acceptable way of measuring CO2, whether or not oxygen supplementation was provided.
Treatment of acute renal failure (ARF) is a challenge because of the rapid build up of uraemic toxins, especially where oliguria or anuria is present. Current treatments include intravenous fluids, diuretics, dopamine and dialysis (peritoneal or haemodialysis). Diltiazem has been used in humans to prevent ARF in transplanted kidneys. It is thought to increase glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and urine production by reducing renal vasocontriction, and increasing natriuresis independent of GFR. In this paper, Mathews et al evaluated the use of diltiazem in dogs with ARF caused by leptospirosis. Dogs were treated with intravenous fluids +/- furosemide, and antibiotics, and 11 out of 18 dogs received diltiazem. Those dogs receiving diltiazem had an increased rate of reduction of creatinine compared to those receiving standard treatment alone, but statistical significance was not achieved. The study was not randomized or blinded, and the sample size was small, but further investigation of the use of diltiazem in ARF is warranted on the basis of these results.
In this paper, Rousseau et al performed a retrospective study of oesophagitis seen as a sequel to oesophageal foreign bodies. The records of 60 days that fitted the inclusion criteria were analysed, and the degree of oesophagitis was grouped into two categories, mild, or moderate to severe, based on such factors as number and type of erosions, stenosis and perforation. Dogs with more severe oesophagitis tended to present with lethargy, vomiting or regurgitation, and tended to have a more prolonged recovery. The more severe group was also more likely to present with complications of oesophagitis such as stricture formation, aspiration pneumonia, tracheal compression and pneumothorax. Dogs with mild oesophagitis tended to present with gagging. The duration of clinical signs prior to clinical presentation correlated with the severity of the oesophagitis.
Maropitant is a new anti-emetic drug which is now available for the control of vomiting in dogs. This paper describes the pharmacokinetics of this drug. Although it makes heavy reading for those of us who didn’t breeze through pharmacology at university, some useful information on the drug can be readily gleaned. First pass metabolism makes the drug much less bioavailable by the oral route than by the parenteral route. There was little urinary excretion of the drug and its main metabolite, confirming that metabolism is largely hepatic. Feeding status had no effect on the oral bioavailability. Half lives and differences in oral bioavailabilities at different doses are discussed.
Although frequently skipped over when reading a paper, the statistics are necessary to decide whether the results of a study are likely to be due to random chance, or are truly of significance. If the statistical methods used are inappropriate, this can have implications for the validity of a study. Plant et al looked at the use of statistics in ordered categorical data in the veterinary dermatology literature. 62 articles, published between 2003 and 2006 in 16 different journals were analysed. The authors found that inappropriate analytical methods were used in 22.5% of the articles, including inappropriate use of ANOVA and t-tests. Over 50% of articles used inappropriate methods of presenting ordered categorical data. These levels of inappropriate statistics are similar to those seen in the human literature. The authors conclude that failure to follow established guidelines for presentation and analysis of ordered categorical data may lead to inappropriate conclusions being drawn.
Two papers in Veterinary Surgery discuss techniques for the management of chiari-like malformation with syringomyelia (CM/SM). Syringomyelia is an inherited disease seen particularly in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and is being diagnosed more frequently as MRI becomes more widely available. The paper by Rusbridge describes a cranial cervical decompression with durotomy. 80% of dogs clinically improved, but 47% subsequently deteriorated. The procedure was associated with a low morbidity and mortality. Dewey et al described a cranioplasty procedure used in conjunction with foramen magnum decompression for the treatment of caudal occipital malformation syndrome (COMS – note this is the same condition as CM/SM, but there has been some confusion of nomenclature in the literature). 81% of dogs showed clinical improvement after surgery. The authors report that there were no intra-operative and minor post-operative complications, that most dogs improved, and that further surgery at the site of foramen magnum decompression was not necessary.