Agreement between different observers when assessing pain and sedation in cats

Javier Benito and others, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Accurate assessment of pain in veterinary patients is vital for ensuring adequate treatment and various scoring systems have been developed to try to achieve this goal.The authors investigated the levels of agreement between an experienced and inexperienced observer when using the DIVAS (dynamic and interactive visual analogue scale) to measure sedation and the MCPS (multidimensional composite pain scale) to assess pain in 45 cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy Agreement between the two observers was generally good for the pain scoring and fair for the sedation assessments. However; the experienced observer was better at identifying those cats in the untreated control group that required rescue analgesia. Overall. there was a disagreement between the two observers on the need for rescue analgesia in 22 of 360 (6.1%) paired observations.The authors note that any pain assessment in postsurgical feline patients should include the opinion of an experienced observer and that this issue should be considered when critically evaluating the published literature on this subject.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 251(5), 544–541

Responses to three different diets in lean cats and cats predisposed to weight gain

Claudia Keller and others, University of Zurich, Switzerland

A genetic predisposition to becoming obese has been identified in humans, rats and, more recently in cats. The authors investigated the effect of dietary composition on plasma levels of glucose, insulin, free fatty acids and triglycerides in lean cats and those predisposed to weight gain. Cats from each group received three different diets, high in carbohydrate, fat or protein. There were no significant differences in metabolic responses between the two groups. But the authors note that as a carbohydrate-rich diet led to higher blood insulin levels, such diets should be avoided in those cats that are more likely to become overweight.

BMC Veterinary Research 13:184 (Open Access)

Prevalence of different disorders in 192 Kennel Club registered breeds

Bonnie Wiles and others, The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London

It is commonly assumed that pedigree dogs have a high prevalence of diseases due to inbreeding and the selection of exaggerated features. Most studies to date have concentrated on specific breeds or conditions and there is very little data comparing the prevalence of conditions across multiple breeds. The authors report a study of 192 Kennel Club registered breeds involving data on 43,005 live animals. There were no diseases reported by the owners in around two-thirds of these dogs. These findings will contribute to the forthcoming KC initiative which aims to develop breed health and conservation plans.

Canine Genetics and Epidemiology 4:8 (Open Access)

Effects of heart disease on anaesthetic complications in dogs undergoing dental surgery

Jennifer Carter and others, North Carolina State University Raleigh

Heart disease is a common finding in dogs and may be a source of anxiety for both pet owners and practitioners when pets require general anaesthesia for dental treatment. The authors investigated the effects of heart disease on the likelihood of anaesthetic complications in 100 cardiac patients and 100 healthy dogs undergoing routine dental procedures. There were no deaths or significant complications in either group despite the heart disease patients being significantly older on average. This study shows that when anaesthetised by trained staff and carefully monitored during surgery dogs with heart disease are not significantly at risk during dental operations.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 53(4), 206–213

Canine blood ammonia monitoring using a point-of-care meter

Desola Odunayo and others, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Raised blood ammonia levels can be an early indication of several different liver diseases and may lead to the serious neurological disorder hepatic encephalopathy The authors used a point-of-care ammonia meter to compare concentrations of this metabolite in plasma, whole blood and EDTA-anticoagulated whole blood. Results in 40 client-owned dogs showed that ammonia concentrations did not differ significantly between the whole blood and EDTA-coagulated blood or between plasma samples measured using the meter and the laboratory reference instrument. However, the median ammonia level was higher in plasma than in the two whole blood samples.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 78(11), 1239-1244

Clinical implications of bacteriuria in chronically paralysed dogs

Sepideh Rafatpanah-Baigi and others, North Carolina State University Raleigh

Spinal cord injuries increase the risk of urinary tract infections because they impair the patient's ability to store and void urine from the bladder The authors investigated the frequency associated clinical signs and consequences of bacteriuria in 47 client-owned dogs with permanent paralysis. Of these, 35 had a positive urine culture and 13 experienced recurrent infections. Five dogs had fever at the time of urine culture, but only two of those were bacteriuria-positive. Pyuria was significantly associated with a positive culture result. There was no correlation between bacteriuria and survival for the eight dogs that died.

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 31: 1790-1795 (Open Access)

Electrosurgery reduces blood loss and postoperative inflammation in dogs

Lee Meakin and others, University of Bristol

Electroincisional devices were first described in the 1920s and are widely used for abdominal operations in human patients but have been rarely applied in veterinary surgery. The authors investigated the use of these devices in comparison with traditional scalpels in 120 client-owned dogs undergoing midline coeliotomy incisions. There was a significant reduction in blood loss in the electrosurgery group and it was associated with significantly less redness and discharge. There were no differences in pain scores or incision healing rates between the two groups. No incisional hernias were reported and there was just one case of surgical site infection, which occurred in the cold incision group.

Veterinary Surgery 46(4), 515-519

Blood lactate levels in diabetic dogs

Poliana Claus and others, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Lactate is a product of the anaerobic metabolism of glucose and its presence in blood is considered to be a diagnostic and prognostic marker for shock. In human diabetic patients, lactate levels are known to be elevated but there is little published data on lactate levels in dogs with diabetes. The authors compared blood lactate levels in 75 diabetic dogs in three groups: 25 newly diagnosed cases, 25 under insulin treatment and 25 with diabetic ketoacidosis. There were no significant differences between the results in these three groups compared with a control group of 25 healthy dogs.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 58(8), 817-822

Ultrasound imaging of the rabbit abdomen after fasting and simethicone administration

Kassy Go
mes da Silva and others, Catholic University of Parana, Brazil

The presence of large quantities of intestinal gas can make ultrasound imaging of the abdomen problematic. In human patients, strategies such as fasting, laxative administration and anti-foaming agents are used to improve image quality The authors investigated the impact of fasting and the use of simethicone to degrade gas bubbles in rabbits undergoing abdominal ultrasonography Their results indicate that image quality scores for the gallbladder, right kidney and left kidney were similar in the treatment and control groups but there was a greater proportion of acceptable images of the jejunum in the fasted rabbits given simethicone.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 59:48 (Open Access)

Effects of storage conditions on the results of canine urine analysis

Marie-Laure Theron and others, Toulouse National Veterinary School, France

Abnormal protein levels in the urine are an indicator of progression in renal disease patients and so urinalysis is a key element in the management of patients with conditions such as canine familial progressive glomerular disease. The authors investigate the effects of storage conditions on the protein-to-creatinine ratio in canine urine from 20 proteinuric and 20 healthy patients. Their results show that urine may be stored for a year at -20o or -80°C without affecting clinical interpretation but storage at -20°C did impair visual analysis of SDS-agarose gel electrophoresis samples. If fresh or recently refrigerated samples are unavailable, then deep frozen samples may provide better results.

American Journal ofVeterinary Research 78(8), 990-999

Capacity for Care’ as an animal shelter management model

Cindy Karsten and others, University of California, Davis

Animal shelters may struggle to maintain an ideal population to achieve optimal outcomes due to seasonal fluctuations in the numbers of cats presented. Capacity for Care is a management system devised to balance health and welfare requirements of cats in a shelter while maximising attempts to rehome them. The strategy involves actions such as providing passageways between cages, which increases the individual living space while reducing the overall number of cage units. The authors tested this approach in three non-profit shelters and found that it was associated with lower disease morbidity and mortality and an increase in adoption rates.

The Veterinary Journal 227(1), 15-22

Prevalence of equine peripheral dental caries and risk factors for its development

Dewi Borkent and others, University of Edinburgh

Equine peripheral dental caries involves the destruction of calcified dental tissue on non-occlusal aspects of the cheek teeth. The condition is either becoming increasingly common in the UK or is being identified more effectively by veterinarians and dental technicians. The authors describe an investigation involving 706 horses from across the United Kingdom in which evidence of peripheral caries was present in 51.7% of cases. There was a limited association with moderate levels of concentrate feeding but links to other factors considered risk factors for this condition were unproven. However, there was a clear link to the presence of concurrent dental abnormalities.

Equine Veterinary Journal 49(4), 480-485

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 33 • February 2018