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Previous Issues: April 2013
Use of an Implanted Sacral Nerve Stimulator to Restore Urine Voiding in Chronically Paraplegic Dogs.
Granger, N., Chew, D., Fairhurst, P., Fawcett, J.W., Lacour, S.P., Craggs, M., Mosse, C.A., Donaldson, N. and Jeffery, N.D. (2013),
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 27: 99–105.
Neurological incontinence is a common and problematic sequel to severe thoracolumbar spinal cord injury, and can make medium and long term management of these cases very difficult. This study evaluated the use of an implanted sacral nerve stimulator which aimed to improve the ability of paralyzed dogs to void. Nine dogs which had had paraplegia due to severe thoracolumbar spinal cord injury, and which had been incontinent for at least 3 months, were recruited to the study. Surgically implantable electrodes were designed, and were implanted via laminectomy into the sacral nerves. They were then connected to a subcutaneously implanted, externally activated receiver. Voiding efficiency was greatly improved in eight out of the nine dogs, and no significant morbidity was noted. The authors conclude that implanting this device appears to be a simple and effective method of restoring the ability to void to incontinent, paraplegic dogs.
Bottom line: A surgically implantable device can be used to restore continence to paraplegic dogs.
Prospective Clinical Trial to Compare Vincristine and Vinblastine in a COP-Based Protocol for Lymphoma in Cats.
Krick, E.L., Cohen, R.B., Gregor, T.P., Salah (Griessmayr), P.C. and Sorenmo, K.U. (2013),
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 27: 134–140.
Vincristine is a chemotherapeutic drug used commonly in the treatment of lymphoma. This study investigated whether the related vinca alkaloid, vinblastine, would carry less gastrointestinal toxicity than vincristine while retaining the same efficacy in cats. Forty cats with lymphoma were recruited into the study and were treated with a COP protocol, randomised into two arms to receive either vincristine or vinblastine. If gastro-intestinal toxicity was noted, the patient switched arms. In both groups, progression free survival and lymphoma-specific survival times were similar. However, cats that received vincristine were significantly more likely to switch to vinblastine due to gastrointestinal side effects. The authors noted that baseline body weight was a significant prognostic factor.
Bottom line: This study suggests that vinblastine may be a good alternative to vincristine in the treatment of lymphoma in cats.
Cat admissions to RSPCA shelters in Queensland, Australia: description of cats and risk factors for euthanasia after entry.
Alberthsen, C., Rand, J., Bennett, P., Paterson, M., Lawrie, M. and Morton, J. (2013), Australian Veterinary Journal, 91: 35–42.
Animal shelters and rescue centres around the world admit large numbers of unwanted pets, for care and rehoming. This study from Australia aimed to ascertain the risk factors for euthanasia of cats in RSPCA shelters. Over 30,000 feline admissions were included in the study. 46% were adults and 54% were kittens less than three months. 54% were strays, and 44% were given up by their owners. 65% of these cases were euthanased, and 30% adopted. Euthanasia was less likely for kittens and for cats that had been neutered prior to admission to the shelter. Comparing like with like, strays were more likely to be adopted than cats surrendered by their owners. The authors note the importance of early neutering, given the high proportion of admissions that were kittens.
Bottom line: The authors of this study recommend strategies are produced to decrease the number of cats admitted to shelters, and the number that are euthanased.
Thymidine kinase assay in canine lymphoma.
Elliott, J. W., Cripps, P. and Blackwood, L. (2013),
Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 11: 1–13.
Although diagnosis of lymphoma is often straightforward with biopsy of affected tissue, it can be problematic in certain cases, for example if the affected organ is hard or risky to biopsy. There is therefore an interest in serum markers for lymphoma, both for diagnosis and monitoring. This study evaluated the use of thymidine kinase (TK) in dogs with lymphoma. Seventy three dogs with untreated lymphoma were enrolled, and TK was measured before and during treatment. 47% of cases had a TK level above the reference range, and dogs with B-cell lymphoma were found to have higher TK levels than dogs with T-cell lymphoma. TK levels prior to treatment were not associated with the duration of first remission or survival.
Bottom Line: The number of dogs with TK levels that were normal at initial diagnosis was higher than previously reported, and the authors recommend further studies to assess the utility of TK in dogs with lymphoma.
COX-2 and c-kit expression in canine gliomas.
Jankovsky, J. M., Newkirk, K. M., Ilha, M. R. and Newman, S. J. (2013),
Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 11: 63–69.
Gliomas a common form of primary brain tumour. In humans, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and c-kit overexpression have been found to be poor prognostic factors. This study examined 20 canine gliomas (11 oligodendrogliomas, 1 oligoastrocytoma and 4 astrocytomas). None of these tumours were found to express COX-2, and none were immunoreactive for c-kit. However, c-kit is associated with tumour proliferation and angiogenesis, and intramural vascular expression of c-kit was found in high grade tumours. The authors conclude that COX-2 inhibitors are unlikely to be helpful in the treatment of these cases, but c-kit inhibition may be helpful in high grade tumours.
Bottom Line: Gliomas in dogs seem to differ in certain respects from those in humans, and different therapeutic strategies may need to be developed.
VERTEBRAL HEART SCORES IN EIGHT DOG BREEDS.
Jepsen-Grant, K., Pollard, R.E. and Johnson, L.R. (2013),
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 54: 3–8.
The vertebral heart score (VHS) is a method of estimating the size of a heart from thoracic radiography. It has been shown that the measurement can vary significantly between normal dogs of different breeds. This study evaluated the VHS in eight breeds of dog: Pug, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshund, Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso and Boston Terrier. Pugs, Pomeranians, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers were found to have a VHS significantly greater than 9.7. Among Lhasa Apsos, body condition score was found to have a significant effect on VHS. Anomalous vertebrae affected scores in the Bulldog and Boston Terrier groups.
Bottom Line: This study gives further information on how vertebral heart score varies between breeds.
Assessment of two methods of gastric decompression for the initial management of gastric dilatation-volvulus.
Goodrich, Z. J., Powell, L. L. and Hulting, K. J. (2013),
Journal of Small Animal Practice, 54: 75–79.
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a frequently fatal emergency, and rapid gastric decompression is vital in the management. This retrospective review of 116 dogs with GDV aimed to compare gastric trocarization and orogastric tubing as methods of initial management of the condition. 31 dogs had orogastric tubing, 38 had gastric tocarization and 46 had a combination of both. Orogastric tubing was successful in 75% of cases. Trocarisation was successful in 86% of cases. Neither case was found to cause gastric perforation at surgery, although one case of trocarization was found to have a lacerated spleen at surgery. No difference between the two methods with respect to survival to discharge was noted.
Bottom Line: Orogastric tubing and gastric trocarization are both associated with low complication and high success rates in the initial management of GDV.
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials for prevention or treatment of atopic dermatitis in dogs: 2008–2011 update.
Olivry, T. and Bizikova, P. (2013),
Veterinary Dermatology, 24: 97–e26.
Atopic dermatitis is a common, and frequently frustrating to manage condition in dogs. Management is aimed at treatments to reduce pruritus and skin lesions. This systematic review aimed to assess the available evidence for safety and efficacy of treatments of atopic dermatitis. Twenty one randomised controlled clinical trials met the inclusion criteria. Moderate quality evidence was found for the efficacy and safety of oral glucocorticoids and ciclosporin, and there was some moderate-quality evidence for the efficacy of a topical glucocorticoid spray. Some low quality evidence was found for the safety and efficacy of interferons, topical budesonide, topical ciclosporin and oral fexofenadine. There was also low-quality evidence for the use of masitinib, although the authors note the need for monitoring for the development of protein-losing nephropathy. Low quality evidence for the glucocorticoid sparing effects of a commercial diet were also found. Other interventions were found to have only very low quality evidence.
Bottom Line: This systematic review found that oral and topical glucocorticoids and oral ciclosporin had the highest levels of evidence for safety and efficacy in the treatment of atopic dermatitis.
COMPARISON BETWEEN CLINICAL, ULTRASOUND, CT, MRI, AND PATHOLOGY FINDINGS IN DOGS PRESENTED FOR SUSPECTED THYROID CARCINOMA.
Taeymans, O., Penninck, D. G. and Peters, R. M. (2013),
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 54: 61–70.
Thyroid carcinomas can be imaged in several different ways. This study compared the ultrasonographic, CT and MRI findings in 16 cases of thyroid carcinoma which were prospectively recruited, and seven which were retrospectively recruited. 17 of these had confirmed thyroid carcinoma, while 6 were initially misdiagnosed, with the misdiagnosed masses comprising carotid body tumours, a squamous cell carcinoma and an abscess. Thyroid carcinomas were found to occur in older dogs and were usually unilateral. They were all found to be large, and moderately to strongly vascularised. MRI showed them to be hyperintense to the surrounding musculature in all sequences, while in CT they had a lower attentuation value than normal thyroid gland. Tumour capsule disruption was commonly detected with MRI, and this was confirmed histologically. CT had the highest specificity (100%) and MRI had the highest sensitivity (93%) for diagnosing thyroid carcinoma. Ultrasound was less useful, although the authors considered it adequate as a screening tool. Bottom Line: CT or MRI are the best imaging modalities for diagnosis and pre-operative staging of thyroid carcinomas in dogs.
Effect of a stent bandage on the likelihood of incisional infection following exploratory celiotomy for colic in horses: A comparative retrospective study. Tnibar A, Grubbe Lin K, Thurøe Nielson K, Christphersen MT, Lindegaard C, Martinussen T and Ekstrøm CT
Equine Veterinary Journal
This comparative retrospective study compared the effects on incisional infection of a stent bandage sutured over the ventral celiotomy incision in horses that had undergone exploratory celiotomy. As this was a retrospective study other variables were included (such as local application of antimicrobials or use of a belly band) but the only statistically significant effect on incisional infection was the use of a stent bandage. The incisional infection rate was 21.8% in the no stent group compared to 2.7% in the group in which a stent was used. This is an interesting finding as stent bandages are not in common use in many equine hospitals and incisional infection and dehiscence are frequent complications following celiotomy.
Bottom Line: A correctly applied stent bandage may reduce incisional infection and hence other complications in horses that have undergone exploratory celiotomy.
Serum amyloid A concentration in healthy periparturient mares and mares with ascending placentitis.
M.A.Countinho da Silva,I.F. Canisso, M.L Macpherson, A.E.M Johnson and T.J. Divers
Equine Veterinary Journal
Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an acute phase protein. Compared with other similar markers of inflammation its concentration rises rapidly and larger amplitude and as such is a useful measure of the progress of inflammatory processes. In this study the SAA concentrations in healthy mares in late pregnancy were measured and found to remain at baseline level until parturition, at which point they rise significantly until 36 hours post partum and then return to normal by 60 hours post partum. In a second experiment, the SAA concentrations in mares with experimentally-induced placentitis were monitored. Mares were inoculated intra-cervically with Streptococcus zooepidemicus and the SAA concentration was found to rise within 96 hours of this being undertaken, it then remained increased until abortion occurred in those mares which were untreated. A proportion of mares with placentitis underwent treatment and this was found to either prevent the SAA increase, or decrease an already increased concentration. Two of the three treated mares with placentitis went on to deliver a live foal.
Bottom Line: Serum amyloid A is a useful indicator of placentitis in late pregnancy and may be useful to monitor response to treatment in clinical cases.