Use of the Canine Brief Pain Inventory to assess response to analgesia in osteoarthritis patients

Owner evaluations of chronic pain conditions in their pets are always likely to be subjective but they have the advantage of allowing observations over an extended period as the dogs go about their normal routine activities. The authors investigated the Canine Brief Pain Inventory a publicly available owner-completed questionnaire, to assess the response of 150 dogs to Carprofen treatment to control chronic pain due to osteoarthritis. Treatment success was defined as a reduction of one in their pain severity score and of two in their pain interference scores compared with baseline measurements. Their results were compared with findings from placebo-controls and show that this scoring system has robust statistical power to evaluate the effects of analgesic therapy They suggest that the system can be used as an outcome measure in clinical trials to evaluate new pain treatments when it is desirable to assess the response in individual dogs rather than overall mean or median scores in a test population.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 74 (12): 1467-1473.

Dorothy Cimino Brown and others, University of Pennsylvania

Comparison of gravity versus suction collection of blood for transfusion purposes in dogs

Blood transfusions have become important procedures in veterinary emergency medicine. During the collection phase, there are a number of factors that should be assessed, including the welfare of the donor, the effectiveness of the collection process and the quality of the blood product. The authors investigated the effects of two different collection methods on blood quality Comparing clinical parameters such as heart and respiratory rate in 13 donation procedures, they found no significant differences between the gravity and suction-based collection methods. Similarly there were no differences in the index of haemolysis and haematocrit levels in the donated blood. Collection by suction was noisier but was associated with less frequent repositioning of the donor: 

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 49(5): 301-307.

Berenice Conversy and others University of Montreal, Quebec

Client perspectives on the outcome of limb amputation procedures in rabbits
Limb amputations are commonly carried out in dogs and cats for the treatment of neoplasia and irreparable traumatic conditions, and the procedures are generally considered to have a good prognosis. Amputations are also recommended for treating similar conditions in rabbits but there is little published data on their success. Clinical records and owner interviews were analysed for 34 cases and showed that the procedures were generally well tolerated by the animal and considered satisfactory by the owners. However; complications resulted in the deaths of 6 of the 34 patients and l9 developed chronic complications such as hygiene problems and cutaneous ulcers. JS

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 244(8): 950-955.

Nicole Northrup and others, University of Georgia, Athens

Characteristics of 24 cases of animal hoarding in Spain

Animal hoarding involves the keeping of large numbers of animals in conditions which do not meet the minimum standards for acceptable care. There have been few published studies on this behaviour outside North America. The authors analysed the medical and social features of 24 cases in Spain. Hoarders were typically elderly, socially isolated men or women who usually hoarded a single species, dogs or cats. The average number of animals per case was 50, and in 75 per cent of cases there was evidence of poor welfare, such as untreated wounds and heavy parasitic infections. Aggression and social anxiety were common features of the behaviour of the hoarded animals.

Animal Welfare 23(2): 199-208.

Paula Calvo and others, Autonomous University of Barcelona

Comparison of four perioperative analgesia protocols in dogs undergoing orthopaedic surgery
Canine stifle joint surgery is a common procedure in small animal practice and one that is associated with considerable post-operative pain. The authors assessed the efficacy of four analgesic protocols in 48 client-owned dogs undergoing tibial plateau levelling osteotomy The protocols tested were: a constant rate infusion of morphine, lidocaine and ketamine; a lumbosacral epidural with morphine and ropivacaine; a combination of both strategies; simple intramuscular premedication with morphine. Each method provided acceptable analgesia for 24 hours post-operatively, as pain scores were similar in all four groups and they each had similar rescue analgesia requirements.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 244(9): l041-1048.

Kerrie Lewis and others, Ohio State University, Columbus

Antinociceptive and sedative effects of tramadol hydrochloride in American kestrels

Raptors are frequently brought into veterinary practices and wildlife rehabilitation centres with traumatic injuries requiring analgesic treatment. There is little published information on appropriate therapy options and dosing regimens in wild birds, and decisions are usually based on extrapolating from the responses in domestic species.
The authors examined the thermal nociception threshholds in American kestrels (Falco sparverius) receiving oral doses of 5, l5 and 30 mg tramadol per kg body weight. Their findings suggest that the lowest dose provides a significant reduction in response to a painful thermal stimulus.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 75(2): 1l7-123.

David Sanchez-Migallon Guzman and others, University of California, Davis

Effects of environmental enrichment on the behaviour of dogs in municipal shelters

Most dogs kept in municipal shelters are housed alone in small individual units. Such conditions may predispose them to stereotypical behaviours such as circling, digging and floor licking. The authors investigated the effects of environmental enrichment, such as cage-behaviour training and providing food-filled toys. Compared with control dogs, the experimental group had a significantly greater percentage of dogs showing an increase in desirable behaviours of sitting or lying down and remaining quiet, along with a reduction in negative behaviours such as jumping. However, there was no significant difference observable in the adoption rates between the two groups.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 244(6): 687-692.

Meghan Herron and others, Ohio State University, Columbus

Influence of needle gauge used in venepuncture on the quality of the blood sample

In human studies, the use of small- diameter needles for blood sampling has been shown to generate higher sheer stress in blood cells which can activate platelets and cause coagulation. The authors investigated the effects of different diameter needles on the properties of blood collected from dogs. Samples were collected using 2IG, 23G and 25G needles and analysed using automated platelet count and an automated coagulation time measurement.They found no differences in either parameter with the size of the needle or the order in which samples were taken from an individual animal. 

Australian Veterinary Journal 92(3): 71-74. 

Chris Greenwell and others, Small Animal Specialist Hospital, North Ryde, New South Wales

Use of a novel dipstick device for the identification of urinary tract infections in cats and dogs

Bacterial cystitis is a common condition in dogs and particularly in older
cats, usually involving a mixed population of bacterial species. Diagnosis is normally carried out using cytocentesis and quantitative aerobic bacterial culture, but such procedures are costly and many clinicians make a presumptive diagnosis based on clinical signs. The authors evaluated the performance of a novel test method, a veterinary urine dipstick paddle, for both the diagnosis and identification of bacterial infections. They concluded that the method was a sensitive test for screening patients for bacterial UTIs but that its accuracy in identifying specific pathogens was not particularly reliable. 

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 244(7): 814-819.

Winnie Ybarra and others, University of California, Davis

Effect of body position on electrocardiographic recordings in dogs

Electrocardiogram recordings were first made in dogs in I888 and they have been obtained in dogs held in various postures: standing, recumbent and restrained in a sling.
The Academy of Veterinary Cardiology recommends placing the dogs in right lateral recumbency but there is marked variability in the methods used at different centres. The authors investigated the effects of body position on the quality of electrocardiogram recordings in 65 sled dogs. Their findings show that right lateral recumbency improves the quality of ECG recording in dogs by decreasing muscle tremor artefacts and altering the amplitude of P R and S waves compared with standing recordings.

Australian Veterinary Journal 91 (7): 281-286.

Joshua Stern and others, Ohio State University, Columbus

Evaluating tissue oxygen saturation with near-infrared spectroscopy

Traditional non-invasive methods for indirectly monitoring oxygen delivery have focused on indices of end-organ function, such as blood pressure or urine output. These methods are useful in identifying states of profound hypoperfusion but less so at detecting occult hypoperfusion, leading to poorer clinical outcomes. The authors investigated the use of near-infrared spectroscopy to assess tissue oxygen saturation in dogs with experimental acute haemorrhagic shock. They found that, under the conditions of this study, there was a strong correlation between the tissue oxygen saturation recordings and oxygen delivery. 

American Journal of Veterinary Research 75 (1): 48-53.

Noah Pavlisko and others, Virginia- Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg

To cite this article use either
DOI: 10.1111/vnj.12168 or Veterinary Nursing Journal VOL 29 pp 280-281

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 29 • August 2014 •