Comparison of injuries resulting from organised and spontaneous dog fights

Nida Intarapanich and others, Tufts University North Grafton, Massachusetts

Organised dog fights are a criminal offence both in the UK and all 50 US states but there is evidence that these activities take place regularly in both countries. Veterinary staff could be asked to treat dogs with suspicious-looking wounds but may find there is sufficient doubt to accept a more innocent explanation for the injuries. The authors examined the type and location of injuries seen in dogs seized at organised dog fights with those resulting from spontaneous fights. They report some similarities in the pattern of injuries occurring as a result of organised dogfighting and those that might result from a spontaneous fight between two medium-sized dogs of the same sex and similar weight. But there were also key differences, as dogs hurt in organised fights usually had injuries to multiple locations on the thoracic limbs, head, neck and thorax. Evidence on the patterns of injury in these cases will help clinicians to identify dogs harmed in this manner and aid in the prosecution of the organisers.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 251(12), 1424-1431

Discrepancies between ingredients and label data in commercial pet foods

Thierry Olivry and Ralf Mueller North Carolina State University Raleigh

Diagnosis of a food allergy in a canine or feline patient may require a lengthy period of dietary restriction followed by sequential food challenges to identify the allergen responsible. However; there are concerns that commercial pet foods may contain unlisted ingredients that could negate the usefulness of performing food trials. The authors reviewed data from studies published or reported over a six-month period and found that mislabelling appears common, even in those products with ‘novel. or ‘limited. ingredients proposed for use in elimination diets. There was insufficient information to assess whether a contaminating compound would lead to a clinical reaction in potentially allergic patients.

BMC Veterinary Research 14:24 (Open access)

Response to acupuncture treatment in horses with chronic laminitis

Babak Faramarzi and others, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California

Laminitis is a complex inflammatory condition affecting the lamellar tissues of the equine hoof. While conventional therapies have had limited success in treating this condition, there is some evidence that acupuncture may reduce the patient's discomfort. The authors assessed the effectiveness of two acupuncture treatments one week apart in 12 horses with chronic laminitis. They report a significant reduction in the severity of lameness in the treated horses, suggesting that acupuncture is a useful treatment option in chronic laminitis.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 58(8), 823-827

Laboratory method for the detection of sepsis in dogs

Roberta Troia and others, University of Bologna, Italy

Sepsis is a condition with high morbidity and mortality in intensive care unit patients in human and veterinary hospitals. Immature granulocyte cells in the blood are an early indicator of sepsis and increasing levels may be a useful prognostic measure. The authors describe a method, the delta neutrophil index (DNI), for estimating circulating immature granulocytes which can be conducted automatically with a haematological analyser Their results showed that the DNI was significantly higher in dogs with septic shock than healthy dogs or those with other blood abnormalities. The method may also be an indicator of the severity of the sepsis.

The Veterinary Journal 230(1), 13-19

Owners assessments of pain signs in Cavalier King Charles spaniels

Courtney Sparks and others, North Carolina State University Raleigh

Chiari-like malformations and syringomyelia form a common syndrome in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, resulting from a mismatch between the dogs' brain and skull anatomy However clinical signs are inconsistent and it may be difficult to interpret signs of pain from the dog's behaviour The authors developed a questionnaire for owners on these behavioural signs, for comparison with the results of clinical examinations and magnetic resonance imaging. The most common pain sign was ‘phantom scratching' (movements that do not make contact with the skin) followed by crying when the dog was lifted up. However neither the scratching behaviour nor the owner's pain assessment could be correlated with the presence and severity of the syringomyelia.

Journal ofVeterinary Internal Medicine 32(1), 331-339

Prevalence and risk factors for hyperthyroidism in Irish cats

Laura Bree and others, University College Dublin

Hyperthyroidism is a condition of older cats resulting from abnormalities in thyroid function which produces excess thyroxine. The condition is the most common feline endocrine disorder in most studies internationally but there are anecdotal claims that it has a low prevalence in Ireland. The authors took blood samples from 507 older cats in the Dublin area. More than 21% of those samples were hyperthyroid with increasing age the only identified risk factor The high proportion of affected cats without palpable goitre (more than 60%) may account for the perceived low incidence of this condition in Ireland.

Irish Veterinary Journal 71:2 (Open access)

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 33 • May 2018