Effect of water content in canned food on energy intake in cats

Obesity in domestic cats is linked to a number of serious conditions, including diabetes, urinary tract disorders and skin disease. One common strategy for tackling obesity is to provide bulky, low energy diets containing high levels of indigestible fibre. However, the authors investigate the influence of water in canned food on the appetite of cats fed ad libitum. Compared with those given a freeze-dried form of the same ration, cats given a moist, canned food had a lower energy intake over a two-month period and there was a significant decrease in body weight in this group. Therefore, the impact of water content on energy density and food consumption may help to promote weight loss in obese cats. 

American Journal of Veterinary Research 72[7]: 918-923. Alfreda Wei and others, University of California, Davis.

Fluid therapy and nutritional support in rabbits with gastric stasis or gut blockage

Gastric stasis and gastrointestinal obstruction are two common clinical syndromes in rabbits arriving at emergency clinics. Hypovolaemic shock can develop rapidly in patients with either of these conditions. The author argues that current guidelines for rabbits presenting with shock are inadequate and outdated. Her paper describes a strategy for the initial assessment, stabilisation, medical or surgical treatment and subsequent management of such cases. She also discusses the importance of nutritional support in the anorexic rabbit.

Exotic DVM [2][4]: 13-17 Marla Lichtenberger, Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals.

Transmucosal administration of methadone to control postoperative pain in cats

Opioid analgesics are rarely used in cats because of the significant risk of unacceptable excitement. Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug with some properties that differ from other molecules in the class. The authors investigate the effects of methadone when given by both the intravenous (IV) and oral transmucosal (OTM) routes. Loss of sensitivity to a painful stimulus was apparent soon after administration and persisted for two hours in the IV and four hours in the OTM group. The longer duration of activity in cats given OTM analgesia was surprising, given that blood samples showed a lower peak plasma concentration in this group.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 72[6]: 764-771. Tatiana Ferreira and others. Sao Paulo State University. Brazil.

Effects of underwater treadmill exercise on weight management in obese dogs

Weight reduction in obese patients can reduce the risk of a range of diseases and improve their quality of life. But there are few published data on the contribution of physical exercise in weight control programmes in dogs. The authors assessed the effects of a three- month treatment regimen involving regular, and progressively longer, sessions on an underwater treadmill. In eight dogs the mean percentage of starting weight lost over the three-month period was 18.9%. These results clearly demonstrate the value of an organised exercise regimen, including treadmill work, in a canine weight management programme.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 52[5]: 491-496. Anne Chauvet and others, Veterinary Neuro Services, Sarasota, Florida.

Interpretation of automated haematology analyser data in practice

Automated haematology analysers are easier to use and more precise than traditional manual counting techniques and have become readily affordable in general veterinary practice. Most of the analysers currently available are reliable and user-friendly but the challenge lies in assessing the validity of the data and the interpretation of the results. The author provides an update on the methodologies used for examining blood and the potential pitfalls in interpretation of results. Particular attention is paid to the influence of anaemia and leukocytosis on the results of a complete blood count. 

European Journal of Companion Animal Practice 20[2]: 177-185.

Christine Piek, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Tooth resorption and vitamin D3 status in cats fed premium dry diets

There is a high prevalence of tooth resorption involving a progressive loss of dental material in the domestic cat. It has been suggested that this condition may be associated with high serum levels of vitamin D3. The authors investigated this possibility in 64 cats which had received similar premium dry foods throughout their lives. In the 13 cats that showed evidence of more than five examples of tooth resorption, the mean serum vitamin D3 levels was actually significantly lower than in those with completely healthy teeth. Therefore, claims of a link between high vitamin D3 levels and tooth loss are not supported by this study. 

Journal of Veterinary Dentistry 27[3]: 142-147. Nicolas Girard and others. Clinique Veterinaire, Paris, France.

Effects of increased doses of fish oil in the diet of osteoarthritic dogs

Osteoarthritis is acknowledged to be the leading cause of pain and lameness in dogs. There is some evidence for the benefits of supplementing the diet with fish oils in reducing levels of inflammatory mediators in arthritic patients. The authors investigated the effects of providing food with two or three times the normal baseline levels of fish oil in 177 dogs with chronic osteoarthritis of the hip or stifle. Additional supplementation at the higher dose produced raised serum levels of eicosopentanoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid and modest improvements in the clinical signs. including lameness, weight bearing and disease progression. 

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 24[5]: 1020-1026. Dale Fritsch and others. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Topeka, Kansas.

Application of impedance threshold devices during cardiac resuscitation

Cardiopulmonary arrest is still a significant cause of death in veterinary emergency centres and the response to cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation ICPCRI is often disappointing. However, results in human patients have shown that using one-way pressure actuated valves, known as impedance threshold devices, produces improvements in organ perfusion. The authors review the evidence on the use of these devices in humans and experimental animals and suggest that further studies evaluating their use in veterinary clinics would be justified.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 21[3]: 187-192. Megan Seekins and Adam Reiss, Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Centre. Medford.

Effects of cold compression therapy on recovery from orthopaedic surgery in dogs

Orthopaedic procedures in veterinary practice will normally require postoperative analgesic and multimodal therapy involving different drug and physical treatments may produce improved results. The authors investigate the use of cold compression therapy on postoperative pain, lameness and joint function in dogs undergoing tibial plateau levelling osteotomy to stabilise a stifle joint. Their findings suggest that cold compression therapy did decrease signs of pain, swelling and lameness, while increasing the range of stifle motion during the first 24 hours after the operation. □ Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 238[10]: 1284-1291.

Kevin Drygas and others. Affiliated Veterinary Specialists, Orange Park, Florida.

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 26 • December 2011 •