Personality differences between cat people and dog people

Andrea Guastello and others, University of Florida

A better understanding of the links between personality type and preferences for particular pet species may have implications for improving human-animal relationships, protecting animal welfare and enhancing the value of animals in therapy Researchers have attempted to classify people as dog or cat ‘types' according to five general personality traits (neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness). But the power of that system to predict group membership has been shown to be low. The authors try to define humans as cat or dog types using 16 more narrowly-defined traits. Tests on 352 people who categorised themselves as dog-enthusiasts and 66 cat-lovers did identify some key differences. Dog people scored higher on warmth, liveliness, rule consciousness and social boldness. Cat people scored higher on general intelligence, abstractedness (withdrawn or preoccupied) and self-reliance. There were also significant gender-based differences. Rule- consciousness and emotional sensitivity were good indicators of which group men would belong to, while reasoning, self-reliance, extroversion, and tough-mindedness were predictive in women.

Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin 45(1), 41-57 (Open Access)

Identifying those newborn puppies at risk of premature death

Hanna Mila and others, University of Toulouse, France

The mortality rate in newborn puppies can be extremely high with up 20% of pups dying before they are weaned at seven to eight weeks old. The great majority of those deaths will occur within the first three weeks. The authors assessed the risk of premature death in 347 pedigree pups kept under identical conditions. All pups were evaluated using the Apgar test (a composite scoring system adapted from human paediatric practice) along with bodyweight, rectal temperature, urine specific gravity and various blood biochemistry parameters. Their findings suggest that a low Apgar score in the first eight hours and a low blood glucose level at one day old were reliable indicators of an increased risk of neonatal mortality

Preventive Veterinary Medicine 143(1), 11-20 (Open Access)

Comparison of sodium carbonate and apomorphine to induce vomiting in dogs

Elodie Yam and others, Murdoch University Perth, Western Australian

Ingestion of a harmful substance is common reason for dogs to be presented at emergency clinics and, in many cases, treatment will involve administering an emetic. Apomorphine given by a range of possible routes and sodium carbonate (washing soda) administered orally have both been used for this purpose. The authors examined the records from 787 dogs receiving one of other treatment to induce vomiting. Their findings suggest that slightly fewer dogs could be encouraged to vomit through the administration of sodium carbonate. But the low costs and ease of access to this material make it a viable choice for use in an emergency situation.

Australian Veterinary Journal 94(12), 474-477

Veterinary surgeons’ attitudes towards convenience euthanasia for their patients

Many healthy animals are euthanased in veterinary practices according to the wishes of clients who are no longer willing or able to look after pets. This so-called convenience euthanasia is a sensitive issue within the veterinary profession and is considered a stressful experience for many clinicians. The authors investigated the attitudes of veterinary practitioners in Canada as reflected in the results of detailed interviews with a group of 14 clinicians. They concluded that most veterinarians in the study view animals in an anthropocentric way in which that animal's needs are not necessarily taken into consideration during discussions with the client.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 58(3), 255-260

Bacterial colonisation and survival within a newly built hospital

Simon Lax and others, University of Chicago

Bacterial infections acquired by hospitalised patients can have a major impact on their recovery and survival. The authors carried out the first comprehensive study of the patterns of bacteria colonisation of a newly opened human hospital. They took 6,500 samples from the skin of patients and various environmental surfaces over a one year period. They reach some conclusions that may influence strategies for controlling nosocomial infections. Hospital staff were more likely to be the source of bacteria on the skin of patients than the other way round, but there were no universal patterns of transmission in different areas of the hospital. There was little evidence of any effects from intravenous or oral antibiotic treatment on the skin bacteria of patients.

Science Translational Medicine May 24, 2017

A pectin-honey hydrogel used in preventing postoperative adhesions

Gessica Giusto and others. University of Turin, Italy

Adhesions are a common postoperative complication in patients undergoing abdominal surgery. A pectin-honey based hydrogel has been developed for use as a physical barrier in preventing such adhesions. This was tested in an experimental model, involving the creation of abrasions to the peritoneum and caecum in laboratory rats. In the treatment group. 20.8% of subjects developed adhesions compared with 70.8% in the control group, and levels of inflammation and fibrosis were significantly lower with treatment. The gel therefore appears to be effective in preventing postoperative intra-abdominal adhesions forming in this experimental model.

BMC Veterinary Research 13:55 (Open Access)

Dietary management of hyperthyroidism in a dog

Andrea Looney and Joseph Wakshlag, Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital, Woburn

Thyroid tumours account for about 10-15% of all head and neck tumours in dogs but, unlike those in cats, they are usually not hypersecretory and do not produce signs of hyperthyroidism. The tumours are usually aggressive and surgical resection is the normal treatment method. The authors describe a case in an 8-year-old neutered female Golden retriever which did show elevated blood thyroxine levels. For economic reasons the patient was treated with methimazole and fed an iodine-restricted feline diet. This resulted in a reduction in serum T4 concentrations and an improvement in the other clinical signs including better sleep patterns, reduced anxiety and lower systolic blood pressure.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 53(2), 111-118

Evaluation of a hand-held point-of-care analyser for measuring feline blood creatinine

Jenny Reeve and others, University of Bristol

Measurements of blood creatinine levels are an important biomarker for the presence and progression of chronic kidney disease in cats. The authors compared the reliability of creatinine testing made using a hand-held analyser and a standard laboratory technology Results from 48 paired samples showed that the hand-held analyser generally had a high to very high correlation with the reference methodology but the two instruments cannot be used interchangeably Improvements in the performance of the portable device would be necessarily before it can be recommended for use in feline clinical practice.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 19(2), 207-215

Intravenous lipid emulsion therapy for bromethalin toxicity in a dog

Brittany Heggem-Perry and others, University of Illinois, Urbana

Bromethalin is a central nervous system toxin used in a number of rodenticide products, for which there is no known antidote. The agent tends to deposit in fat and so the authors investigated the efficacy of treatment with an intravenous lipid emulsion, a strategy that has been used in numerous systemic toxicity incidents in human patients, The patient was a four-year-old spayed Pit bull terrier which presented after being seen to consume a bromethalin-based rodenticide. Serum samples were taken before and one hour after beginning decontamination, during which time levels of the toxic metabolite desmethylbromethalin were reduced by 75%.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 52(4), 265-268

Selamectin and sarolaner in the control of feline ecto- and endoparasites

Domenico Otranto, University of Bari, Italy and Susan Little, Bytown Cat Hospital, Ottawa

Cats may be infected with a broad range of internal and external parasites and effective control may require a combination of agents to offer a broad spectrum of activity Selamectin is effective against a number of different classes of feline parasite but has minimal activity against ticks. In an editorial for a special edition of the journal, the authors assess the potential impact of combining selamectin with a novel isoxozaline acaricide, sarolaner They note that the development of a spot-on formulation that may be given on a monthly basis offers considerable advantages in the treat¬ment of cats, which are often reluctant to cooperate in treatment with an orally administered product.

Veterinary Parasitology 238 Supplement S1-S2

A nutraceutical diet as an adjuvant treatment in canine keratoconjunctivitis sicca

Simona Destefanis and others, Porta Venezia Veterinary Clinic, Milan, Italy

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is an inflammatory eye condition resulting from a deficiency in tear production. Current therapies mainly rely on immunosuppressive agents but the condition is multifactorial and the clinical response may vary The authors investigated the impact of adding an anti-inflammatory/antioxidant nutraceutical diet with potential immune modulating activity to conventional therapy The diet was given to half a cohort of 50 dogs with confirmed cases of keratoconjunctivitis sicca. There was a significant improvement in clinical signs such as conjunctival inflammation and corneal keratinisation in the treatment group, with no evidence of any food related adverse effects.

BMC Veterinary Research 12, 273 (Open Access)

Owners’ perceptions of body condition scores in Australian leisure ponies

Samantha Potter and others, University of Melbourne

In leisure horses in the US and UK, there is an estimated prevalence of obesity of up to 50%. The condition is linked to insulin dysregulation and laminitis and owner education is clearly vital to reducing the scale of health and welfare problems resulting from equine obesity. The authors surveyed members of local pony clubs in Victoria to assess their understanding of body condition scoring systems. They found that there was an overall prevalence of 23% of obese animals with a higher incidence in particular breeds such as Shetland ponies. The owners consistently perceived their animals to have a lower body condition score than those ratings given by the researchers.

Australian Veterinary Journal 94(11), 427-432 

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 32 • August 2017