Comparison of methods used in veterinary practices to prevent pressure sores

Johan Caraty and others, Vet Team, Grivegnee, Belgium

Pressure sores are regions of skin necrosis that may occur in immobilised human or veterinary patients due to disruption of the local blood supply The authors investigated the most likely locations of pressure sores in laterally recumbent dogs and the efficacy of the different support methods used to try to relieve pressure on superficial tissues. They compare the effects of using blankets, a standard mattress, a veterinary memory foam mattress and a human memory foam mattress. They found that regardless of the patient's body condition score and the type of support used, the skin overlying the scapula-humeral articulation, the greater trochanter and the thirteenth rib were recurrent risk zones. They conclude that while it is important to use a pressure-relieving mat to reduce the risk of pressure sores, frequent changes of position are recommended, particularly in thin patients.

Journal of Small Animal Practice 60(7), 623-630

Effect of storage mites on adverse food reactions in companion animals

Thierry Olivry* and Ralf Mueller North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Dogs with year-round atopic dermatitis are often sensitised to Dermatophagoides house dust mites. Clinical signs of allergy may also be exacerbated by exposure to Tyrophagus storage mites. Hence, atopic dogs with mite-specific IgE responses may show flare-ups on exposure to food contaminated with storage mites, leading to false positive diagnoses of food allergy The authors investigated the growth of storage mites on commercial dry pet foods. Their data shows that while storage mites cannot colonise sealed food bags, they may be present in bags with defective seals. Commercial dried food should be sealed and kept indoors. It is important to use newly purchased bags of food when carrying out elimination tests for the diagnosis of food allergies.

BMC Veterinary Research 15:385

Clinical features and outcomes in rabbits with gastrointestinal tract dysfunction

Kimberly Oparil and others, Tufts University Massachusetts

Rabbit gastrointestinal syndrome is the term used to describe intestinal stasis resulting from a range of aetiologies, associated with many different dietary infectious, environmental and behavioural factors. The authors examined the clinical records from 117 cases at a university clinic over a two-year period. Fifteen patients died, 18 were euthanased and 84 were successfully discharged. They conclude that the prognosis for rabbits with this condition was generally good except in cases where the patient was hypothermic at the time of the initial examination.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 255(7), 837-845

Antioxidant supplementation during illness in dogs

Danielle Hagen and others, VCA Bay Area Veterinary Specialists, San Leandro, California

Oxidative stress has been implicated in the origin and progression of many different disease states, such as sepsis, pulmonary disease and diabetes. Antioxidant supplementation has therefore been suggested as a potential treatment option in various groups of veterinary patients. The authors administered N-acetylcysteine/S-adenosylmethionine, sily bin and vitamin E or a placebo for 30 days to 40 dogs hospitalised with systemic diseases. However in this population they found that combination antioxidant supplementation did not alter their redox state or clinical outcomes.

Journal of Small Animal Practice 60(9), 543-550

Evaluation of a quality-of-life tool for dogs with Cushing’s syndrome

Imogen Schofield and others, Royal Veterinary College, Potters Bar

Assessing the quality-of-life of veterinary patients is a vital part of the decision-making process on treatment or euthanasia. The authors developed a health-related quality-of-life questionnaire to optimise the management of dogs with Cushing's disease. Owners of 210 dogs with Cushing's and 617 unaffected dogs answered 19 questions on their pet's behaviour and physical state and the responses were analysed. The findings suggest that this tool does help to qualify the effects of the disease on the patient's quality-of-life and could be useful in their clinical assessment.

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 33: 2595-2604

Collection of cerebrospinal fluid into EDTA or plain tubes

Bodil Cathrine Koch and others, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid samples may provide valuable information in the diagnostic work-up of patients with central nervous system signs. Fluid may be drawn into either plain or EDTA (ethylene- diaminetetraacetic acid) treated tubes. Use of the latter may contribute to better cell preservation but this option is reported to cause a false elevation of total protein concentration measures and will also dilute the sample. The authors compared the results from 32 paired samples stored in the two different tube types. They found that using EDTA tubes did not influence the results of a standard CSF analysis.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 61:23

Successful management and recovery of a dog with severe, prolonged starvation

Alison Wui Sing Khoo and others, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Refeeding syndrome describes the dangerous metabolic and physio-logical changes that occur when patients are given food following long periods of starvation. The authors report on the care of a seven-year-old intact male Labrador which presented with profound weakness and loss of 50% of its bodyweight after being trapped in a well for 27 days. Electrolyte concentrations were controlled with intensive intravenous supplementation during treatment. Over a three-month period, the dog's body condition score normalised and it regained muscle mass.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 29:542-548

Clinical findings and outcome in dogs with organophosphate or carbamate toxicity

Sigal Klainbart and others, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Organophosphate and carbamates are widely-used insecticides which are a common cause of accidental intoxication in humans and animals. However there is little published information on their clinical effects in dogs. The authors examined the clinical records in 102 cases and describe the presenting signs, laboratory findings, treatment and clinical outcomes. The overall mortality was 17%. Affected dogs received a range of medical treatments but those that were also treated by gastric lavage had a higher survival rate. The development of respiratory failure and a need for mechanical ventilation indicated a poor prognosis.

The Veterinary Journal 251:105349

Assessing brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in French bulldogs and pugs

Mimma Aromaa and others, University of Helsinki, Finland

BOAS is a major welfare problem in short-nosed dog breeds like the French bulldog and pug. Exercise intolerance is a useful indicator of these problems and could provide a tool for the selection of appropriate stock to improve breed health. The authors examined the use of both exercise tests and owner questionnaires in differentiating between young dogs with
significant BOAS problems and potentially more healthy stock. Their results support the use of exercise tests as an important part of the process for selecting breeding stock in affected breeds and improving the breed standards set by national breed clubs.

Animal Welfare 28:287-298

Heart to spine measurements to detect left atrial enlargement in dogs

Xavier Sanchez Salguero and others, University of Lleida, Spain

Radiography may provide an alternative to echocardiographic methods in the diagnosis of some cardiac conditions, when the standard techniques are unavailable. In particular radiographic left atrial dimension (RLAD) measures have been shown to be useful in detecting left atrial enlargement. The authors assess the clinical value of two further measurements, bronchus-to-spine and RLAD- to-spine. Their results indicate that the two new parameters are less sensitive radiographic measurements than RLAD in detecting left atrial enlargement.

Irish Veterinary Journal 72:14

Thromboelastography-guided transfusion in dogs with hypocoagulability disorders

Rebecca Langhorn and others, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Thromboelastography (TEG) is a whole blood haemostasis assay which includes plasma as well as cellular components of haemostasis in the analysis. It provides information on the quality and dynamics of clot development, stabilisation and lysis. The authors describe a case series in which TEG was used as a diagnostic tool in deciding whether when and how to use fresh frozen plasma in the treatment of dogs with a range of hypocoagulability disorders. They conclude that the method is useful in tailoring transfusion therapy to the needs of the individual canine patient.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 61:35

Comparison of tests for the detection of insulin dysregulation in horses

Rosanne Olley and others, University of Liverpool

Equine laminitis is painful and difficult to treat so it is important to detect at-risk individuals before the development of clinical disease. The authors compared the results of the combined glucose-insulin test (CGIT) with basal serum insulin concentrations in fasting horses (FI), measured using a chemoluminescent assay The study showed that the sensitivity of the FI test was poor when using conventional cut-off values but the results correlated well with those from the CGIT test if lower cut-off values are applied.

The Veterinary Journal 252, 105351

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 35 • February 2020