Effects of an intensive trap-neuter-return programme on numbers of unowned cats

Julie Levy and others, University of Florida, Gainesville

Around half of the 2 to 3 million cats taken into animal shelters each year in the United States are eventually euthanased due to overcrowding, disease or feral behaviour Trap-neuter-return programmes have been developed as a means of reducing the numbers of unowned ‘community' cats but it is not clear whether this approach is sustainable over a long period or across a large geographical area. The authors describe a two-year project aimed at trapping and neutering, followed by return or adoption, for about 50% of the estimated community cat population in an area of 11.9 km2. A further element to their work involved an education programme aimed at encouraging those residents who had been feeding the unowned cats to support the project. A total of 2366 cats were trapped over the two year period, representing approximately 54% of the community cat population. In the target area where about 60 cats per 1000 human residents were trapped, the numbers of cats taken into shelters decreased by 66% over that time, compared with 12% in a neighbouring area where only 12 cats per 1000 residents were neutered annually

The Veterinary Journal 201 (3), 269-274

Safe sedation and immobilisation of unusual exotic species in veterinary practice

Angela Lennox, Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic, Indianapolis, Indiana

Many species formerly regarded as ‘exotics', such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and rodents have been domesticated for a long period and so safe handling techniques have been developed for dealing with them. But other less familiar wild species are becoming popular pets and veterinary staff need to be able to handle such cases without risk of injury to themselves or the patient. The author recommends sedation when handling exotic felines or canines, primates, squirrels, racoons, skunks, etc. and describes the sedation and immobilisation procedures to be followed on such occasions. She suggests that sedatives should be administered to these animals with the aid of a squeeze cage.

Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine 23(4), 363-368

Prevalence of behavioural problems in stabled leisure horses

Jo Hockenhull and Emma Creighton, University of Bristol

Most studies on the relationship between husbandry methods and the development of behavioural issues in horses have focussed on performance animals. The authors examined the prevalence of stable-related behaviour problems in leisure horses, as reported by their owners. In an online survey owners were asked to record their routine management practices over the previous week and the frequency of 20 different behaviours in their horses. Stereotypies, such as crib-biting, and other stable-related problems were noted in 82% of 1850 horses. It is suggested that the trend towards year-round stabling may have influenced these results, which are a cause for concern.

Animal Welfare 24(1), 29-36

Scoring system for the assessment of heatstroke in dogs

Gilad Segev and others, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Heatstroke is a potentially fatal condition in dogs characterised by increased core body temperature and nervous system depression or seizures. The authors recorded the clinical findings in 126 client-owned dogs presenting with heatstroke signs. From this, they developed a statistical model based on a range of variables, including azotaemia and peripheral nucleated red blood cell concentrations, for use in predicting the likely clinical outcome. The overall mortality rate was 53% and the results were significantly correlated with patient survival. So the model was a valid tool for assessing the severity and prognosis in dogs with heatstroke.

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 25(2), 240-247

Association between diet and the recurrence of calcium oxalate stones in the canine bladder

Calcium oxalate- based bladder stones are the second most common form of calculi in dogs. The high prevalence in certain breeds, such as miniature schnauzers, suggests a genetic component to the aetiology of this condition. The authors compared the rate of recurrence of calculi in group of dogs treated previously for this condition when given either their normal food or one of two formula diets developed for its management. They found that miniature schnauzers were more likely than other breeds to need further treatment for bladder stones, irrespective of the diet used. But overall the results did suggest that these two formula diets reduced the rate of recurrence.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246 (10), 1098-1103

Star gazing as a manifestation of upper gastrointestinal disease in a Yorkshire terrier

Marie-Pier Poirier-Guay and others, University of Montreal, Quebec

Star-gazing in dogs is a rare abnormal behaviour involving an upward movement of the head, neck extension and fixed staring at the ceiling or sky It is normally considered to be a hallucinatory behaviour and is likely to be treated with antidepressant or anticonvulsant drugs. However the authors describe a case in a four-year-old male neutered Yorkshire terrier which on examination was found to have erosive gastritis with reflux oesophagitis. Treatment with omeprazole, a proton-pump inhibitor used to treat dyspepsia in humans, successfully eliminated the behaviour suggesting a causal link with gastrointestinal discomfort.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 55(11), 1079-1082

DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2015.1074529 

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 30 • October 2015 •