Associations between body condition score and multiple diseases in obese cats

Kendy Teng and others, University of Sydney New South Wales

Overweight and obesity (O&O) is a well-recognised risk factor in a range of health problems in humans but there is rather less evidence available on similar associations in cats. The authors examined the clinical records for 679 cats visiting a feline-focussed primary care clinic in Sydney looking for associations between 21 different diseases and the animal's body condition score recorded on a nine-point scale. Fourteen of the 21 conditions had a significant association with increased BCS, particularly when graded 7 or higherThese were dermatological conditions, atopic dermatitis, musculoskeletal conditions, arthritis, hypertension, respiratory conditions, asthma, oral disease, diarrhoea, general and lower urinary tract disease, ophthalmic conditions, diabetes mellitus and allergic conditions. There was also an association between cats with BCS of 8 and 9 with increased risk of gastrointestinal and upper urinary tract conditions. This appears to be the first study reporting links between feline O&O and many of the conditions listed.

Journal of Small Animal Practice 59(10), 603-615

Demographic and dietary factors associated with excess body weight in cats

Malin Ohlund and others, Uppsala University Sweden

Increasing numbers of pet cats are reported as being overweight or obese and there is growing evidence of an association with various health problems. The authors investigated the prevalence of over-weight cats according to medical records and an owner questionnaire. The proportion of cats that were recognised as being overweight by their owners (22%) was less than half that recorded in the clinical records (45%). Cats consuming dried food were at increased risk, along with those judged by their owners to be ‘inactive' or to be ‘greedy eaters'. Birman, Persian and geriatric cats had a reduced risk of being overweight while male cats had a higher risk.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 60:5 (Open Access)

Treatment options for dogs with clinical anxiety in combination with idiopathic epilepsy

Fraje Watson and others, Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire

Human epilepsy patients will often experience concurrent psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety or cognitive dysfunction. Idiopathic epilepsy is a commonly diagnosed disorder in dogs but there is little published information on the existence of accompanying neurological or behavioural signs. The authors review the evidence from the human and veterinary literature on the existence and potential treatments for anxiety in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy They note the importance of assessing the patient's quality of life when it is receiving treatment with antiepileptic drugs and warn that epilepsy should never be considered as a condition that is solely defined by seizures.

The Veterinary Journal 238(1), 1-9

Use of skin stretchers in single stage bilateral mastectomies in a dog and a cat

Yuta Miyazaki and others, Aikawa Veterinary Medical Centre, Tokyo, Japan

Mammary gland tumours are common in intact female cats and dogs and are usually treated surgically through single-stage bilateral mastectomies. However due to the limited skin available, the resulting defect may be difficult to close, particularly over the costal arch and inguinal area. The authors describe the use of skin stretchers applied to the site adjacent to the mammary glands for two to four days before surgery Cable tension was adjusted every six to eight hours to elongate the skin and achieve primary closure of the wound site. In one feline and one canine patient the skin stretchers allowed primary closure without skin tension or major complications.

Veterinary Surgery 47(3), 454-458

Evaluation of the humoral immune response to canine distemper and parvovirus vaccines

Beatriz Vila Nova, and others, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Vaccination plays an essential role in managing major canine infectious diseases by reducing death rates, preventing further clinical cases and controlling the spread of the pathogen. However factors such as maternal antibodies and the vaccination protocol used may influence the efficacy of treatment. The authors investigated the antibody responses of puppies vaccinated against canine distemper and parvovirus and estimate the time to sero conversion in adult dogs untreated for at least three years. Their findings suggest that vaccine responses are specific to the individual and that factors such as environmental exposure, immunisation schedule and immune system activity influence the extent and duration of immunity

BMC Veterinary Research 14:348 (Open Access)

Risk factors for early recurrence of seizures in epileptic dogs admitted for evaluation

Milka Kwiatkowska and others, Warmia and Mazury University Olsztyn, Poland

Canine patients experiencing epileptic seizures are often admitted for evaluation in a veterinary hospital, but little is known about the risk factors for repeat seizures within the first 48 hours. The authors investigated the timing, frequency and risk factors for early seizure recurrence in 214 hospitalised patients. Their findings show that around 50% of patients had another seizure within a mean time of seven hours. They suggest that patients should be placed for observation in an intensive care unit if cluster seizures, status epilepticus or both occurred within 72 hours before admission and if the neurological examination was abnormal on presentation.

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 32:757-763

Attitudes to allowing owners to witness cardiopulmonary resuscitation of their pet

Lindsey Fejfar and others, Tufts University North Grafton, Massachusetts

There is a growing willingness among human healthcare providers to allow the patient's family to be present during cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other invasive procedures. The authors investigated the attitudes of veterinary staff to letting clients witness similar interventions performed on their pets. Among 356 respondents, the majority (77.8%) were reluctant to allow owners to enter the treatment area. However; those clinicians with more than 10 years' experience were more willing to consider this than their younger colleagues. Respondents from practices where owners were allowed to see what happens in the treatment room reported that this often provides emotional benefits for that client.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 253(8), 1032-1037

Sedation outcomes using medetomidine and either midazolam or butorphanol

Delphine Le Chevallier and others, University of Bristol;

Medetomidine is the most widely used agent given in small animal practice for sedating patients undergoing procedures such as diagnostic imaging. To minimise any unwanted cardiovascular effects, it is often administered in combination with an opioid such as butorphanol, or a benzodiazepine such as midazolam. The authors compare the effects of medetomidine combined with butorphanol or midazolam in 80 client-owned dogs. Their findings suggest that the medetomidine/midazolam combination provides less effective sedation than medetomidine/butorphanol.

The Veterinary Jo
urnal 239(1), 30-34

Accuracy of the anti-Mullerian hormone test to assess neutering status in prepubertal bitches

Jonathan Hill and others, University of Queensland, Gatton

In the absence of a clinical history or a visible laparotomy scar, it may be difficult to assess whether a female dog has undergone a neutering procedure. Currently tests for anti-Mullerian hormone are used to indicate the presence of active ovarian tissue in several species. The authors used the Gen II AMH ELISA to investigate whether 36 bitches at an animal shelter had undergone neutering. Their results indicate that the test has low sensitivity in puppies under six months old. Around 10% of intact bitches in this age group had undetectable AMH levels. These could be wrongly assumed to have been neutered and so later testing is recommended.

Australian Veterinary Journal 96(9), 356-359

Characteristics of clients and animals served by non-profit spay-neuter clinics

Sara White and others, Cornell University New York State

Nonprofit spay-neuter clinics have been established in many US cities and offer veterinary sterilisation procedures for animals that have not been treated in private practices or in welfare shelters before rehoming. The authors carried out a survey to identify the characteristics of the animals and their owners visiting 22 clinics. Their findings confirm that non-profit clinics predominantly serve low-income clients and animals lacking regular veterinary care. They conclude that these clinics increase access to services needed for animal population control and to safeguard public health.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 253(6), 737-745

Dogs as sentinels for human infectious disease threats

Bowser Natasha Bowser and Neil Anderson, University of Edinburgh

Climate change is just one of many factors that are changing the patterns of contact between humans and potential pathogens. The One Health approach is being promoted as a practical method for improving disease surveillance and control. The authors review the evidence on the use of domestic dogs as sentinels for human infectious disease, particularly in relation to Canada. They conclude that dogs could provide early warning of new disease threats. They recommend dogs as sentinels for the emergence of conditions such as California serogroup viruses, Chikungunya, West Nile, Lyme borreliosis, Rickettsia sp., Ehrlichia sp. and the heartworm Dirofilaria immitis.

Veterinary Sciences 2018:5:83

ACVIM position statement on the use of gastrointestinal protectants in dogs and cats

Stanley Marks and others University of California, Davis

Medications that decrease gastric acidity or promote mucosal protective mechanisms are widely used in human medicine for treating conditions such as dyspepsia, peptic ulceration and gastro-oesophageal reflux. Drugs such as proton pump inhibitors and histamine type-2 receptor antagonists have also been used to treat veterinary patients but there is limited published data on appropriate dosing regimens. The authors review the evidence for using gastrointestinal protectants in cats and dogs. They conclude that there is little justification for employing such agents in the routine management of gastritis, pancreatitis, hepatic or renal disease with no additional risk factors for ulceration or concerns over gastrointestinal bleeding.

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2018:1-18 (Open Access)

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 34 • February 2019