Risk of anaesthesia-related complications in brachycephalic dogs

Michaela Gruenheid and others, Ohio State University Columbus

Brachycephalic dog breeds such as pugs and French bulldogs have undergone various conformational changes that result in breathing problems, known as brachycephalic airway syndrome. Affected animals will experience airway blockage and impaired oxygen absorption and may also be predisposed to vomiting and regurgitation. The authors carried out what appears to be the first published study on the effects of brachycephalic airway syndrome on the prevalence of perianaesthetic complications. They compared the clinical records of 223 brachycephalic dogs with the same number of non-brachycephalic dogs which underwent surgical procedures. Their results show that brachycephalic dogs were 1.57 times more likely to experience complications during general anaesthesia and 4.33 times more likely to have problems after recovery There was also a higher rate of complications in intact bitches than in neutered females or males. The authors note that careful monitoring is required when managing brachycephalic dogs during and after anaesthesia.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 253 (3), 301-306

Factors associated with retained surgical sponges in veterinary patients

Fernando Rodriguez and others, Animal Bluecare Hospital, Malaga, Spain

Gossypiboma is the term used to describe a foreign object, often a surgical sponge, left inside the body following surgery Such mistakes can have serious adverse consequences for both the patient and the surgical team. The authors investigated the factors associated with incidents of retained surgical sponges in veterinary practice. A survey was completed by 64 veterinary surgeons of whom 27% were aware of at least one such incident in their practice. Factors considered to have contributed to these incidents included the absence of specifically scheduled time for surgery at the clinic, lack of available theatre staff and the failure to introduce procedures for counting and documenting the sponges used.

Journal of Small Animal Practice 59(9), 570-577

Faecal microbiota transplantation in puppies with parvovirus infection

Giorgio Pereira and others, State University of Londrina, Brazil

Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment for puppies with acute gastrointestinal signs of canine parvovirus but recovery is prolonged and the mortality rate is high. Modifications to the intestinal bacteria population have produced encouraging results in human patients with diseases causing similar symptoms of haemorrhagic diarrhoea. The authors investigate the safety and efficacy of transplanting faecal material from healthy puppies in treating parvovirus cases. In those pups in the transplantation group, the resolution of diarrhoea signs was significantly faster than in the supportive care only group and mortality was reduced from 36.4% to 21.2%.

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 32(2), 707-711

Acceptance of home blood glucose monitoring by owners of diabetic cats

Katarina Hazuchova and others, Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire

Feline diabetes mellitus is a complex disease and its management is partly dependent on the owner's understanding of, and participation in, the treatment. The authors investigated the willingness of the owners of 38 newly diagnosed diabetic cats to use a home blood glucose monitoring kit and its impact on the pet's quality of life. After six months, they found that the monitoring equipment was being used successfully by most of these owners. Positive changes in quality of life parameters were recorded in the home monitoring group but not in the control group owners.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 20(8), 711-720

Identification of active periodontal disease using the oral fluid thiol detection test

Katherine Queck and others, Carolinas Animal Hospital, Charlotte, North Carolina

Periodontal disease involves infections of the gingiva which may ultimately lead to tooth loss. As the tissues involved are hidden from view in an awake animal, the condition will normally be diagnosed using periodontal probing and dental radiography in an anaesthetised patient. The authors assessed the efficacy of the thiol detection test in identifying periodontal disease in fully conscious dogs. Their findings show that this test was effective in demonstrating active disease at an early stage, before any visual cues are detectable. The test can also be used to monitor oral health following treatment.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 54(3), 132-137

Tissue pressures resulting from different bandaging techniques on the equine limb

Nathan Canada and others, Texas Equine Hospital, Bryan, Texas

Compression bandages are used on an equine limb injury to protect the wound and prevent fluid accumulation. The authors measured the pressure applied to tissues below the bandage using different bandaging techniques on the distal limb, carpus and tarsus. Their findings suggest that variations to the standard distal limb compression bandage offered no additional benefits in terms of increasing sub-bandage pressures. Carpal elastic bandages maintain sub-bandage pressures when walking and may be more appropriate for long term use in ambulating horses.

Veterinary Surgery 47(5), 640-647

Undesirable behaviour as a cause of mortality for young dogs in UK veterinary practice

Caitlin Boyd and others, University of Edinburgh

Many dogs behave in ways that their owners find unwelcome, such as aggression, excessive vocalisation, inappropriate elimination or chewing objects. In extreme cases this may lead to the pet being relinquished or even euthanased. The authors examine the records of primary care veterinary practices in England from 2009-2014 to assess the contribution of unwanted behaviours to overall mortality in dogs under three years old. They found that behaviour was a factor in 33.7% of deaths in this group. Males dogs were particularly at risk and aggression was the main form of unacceptable behaviour; particularly in certain breeds such as Rottweilers, bulldogs and Border collies.

Animal Welfare 27(3), 251-262

Effects of transdermal fentanyl solution on inhalant anaesthetic requirements in dogs

Steffania Grasso and others, Purdue University, Indiana

Inhalant anaesthetics may induce hypotension in dogs and so opioids may be administered concurrently to reduce the amount of gas needed to maintain adequate anaesthesia. The authors investigated the effect of fentanyl given as a transdermal solution, followed by the opioid-blocking agent naloxone hydrochloride, on the minimum alveolar concentration of isoflurane needed by healthy dogs. Their results show that fentanyl produced consistent and sustained reductions in isoflurane requirements between four and 24 hours after application.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 253 (4), 431-436

Implantable devices and their contribution to the future of precision medicine

M. Gray and others, University of Edinburgh

Precision, or personalised, medicine involves taking individual variability into account in the prevention, in
vestigation and treatment of disease. One of the factors driving an interest in this area is the opportunity to develop implantable devices, resulting from advances in electronics and microfabrication techniques. These technologies should allow clinicians to continuously monitor physiological trends and changes in analyte levels in their patients. The authors review the scope for developing these technologies in veterinary practice and the challenges to be overcome in achieving their full potential, notably through the actions of the host immune system on such devices.

The Veterinary Journal 239(1), 21-29

Impact of low-level laser therapy on bone healing and signs of pain in dogs

Katie Kennedy and others, Washington State University Pullman

Low-level laser therapy has been investigated extensively in human medicine and appears to have useful effects in reducing inflammation and helping to manage pain. The authors investigated the effects this treatment on bone healing and signs of pain in canine orthopaedic cases. They found no evidence to support its use in dogs undergoing a tibial plateau levelling osteotomy procedure. Mean ground reaction forces were greater and the owner's pain assessments were actually lower in the control group than in those dogs receiving laser therapy

American Journal of Veterinary Research 79(8), 893-904

Nutritional management of chronic enteropathies in dogs and cats

Adam Rudinsky and others and Ohio State University Columbus

Chronic enteropathies are a diverse range of gastrointestinal disorders in which the clinical signs persist for at least two weeks. The authors review the use of nutritional strategies in managing these conditions. They note that the first step in dealing with such cases is to rule out any systemic causes of the observed signs, or the presence of primary gastrointestinal diseases that may be less responsive to nutritional management. They suggest that in appropriate cases, nutritional changes may be more effective than the alternative therapy options, such as antimicrobial administration or the use of immunomodulatory medications.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 253(5), 570-578

Historical prevalence of radiological appendicular osteoarthritis in cats

David Godfrey & Rosie Godfrey Veterinary Services, Hockley Heath, Solihull

‘Osteoarthritis is now recognised as a significant cause of pain and disability in cats but appears to have been diagnosed very rarely in the past. The author examined the clinical records and radiographs taken of the limbs of cats euthanased at the Royal Veterinary College in 1972-73 to assess whether osteoarthritis was present in that population. Evidence of the condition was found in 74% of those cats and so feline osteoarthritis is certainly not a novel disease, rather it is one that is receiving more attention as a result of greater concerns about feline health and welfare.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 54(4), 209-212

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 33 • December 2018