Prognostic value in client-owned rabbits of rectal temperature on admission

Nicola Di Girolamo and others, University of Bologna, Italy

Hypothermia may sometimes be deliberately induced for medical reasons in human patients suffering from conditions, such as strokes. But the naturally occurring condition has been shown to be associated with increased mortality risk in several patient groups, such as babies and non-cranial trauma victims. The authors investigated whether hypothermia has value as a prognostic indica-tor in rabbits presenting at a specialist exotic animal clinical. Rectal temperatures were taken from a consecutive series of 316 healthy and sick rabbits. Rabbits with hypothermia on admission were found to have a three times higher death rate before or within one week of discharge from the unit, compared with patients with a normal body temperature. With each 1 degree C decrease in rectal temperature on admission, the odds of the patient dying doubled. Rectal temperature is easily measured in rabbits and appears to be a major predictor of premature death in this group of diseased and otherwise healthy animals. Further research will be necessary to determine whether warming those patients found to be hypothermic on arrival results in improved survival rates in this species.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 248(3), 288-297

Behavioural therapy in dogs with separation anxiety

John Ciribassi, Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants, Carol Stream, Illinois

Separation anxiety in dogs will manifest itself as barking, whining, inappropriate toileting and destructive behaviour when the owner leaves the animal at home alone. Treatment for such behaviour is designed to reduce the dog's dependency on its owners. The author describes the therapeutic techniques used at his clinic. Owners are encouraged to ignore attention-seeking activity like barking, to prevent inadvertent reinforcement of the behaviour But verbal or physical punishment should never be part of the treatment plan. Judicious use of anxiolytics such as clomipramine may be helpful in some cases, by reducing the dog's overall anxiety level.

Veterinary Medicine 110(5), 124-129

Food-associated factors in the aetiology of feline hyperthyroidism

Ingrid van Hoek and others, Royal Canin research centre, Aimargues, France

Feline hyperthyroidism was first reported in 1979 and the subse-quent growth in the number of cases has prompted many investi-gations into the cause. Some researchers have suggested a possible association with diet, and particularly the feeding of tinned food. The authors carried out a critical review of the contribution of diet-related factors to the development of feline hyperthyroidism. They conclude that the disease resembles the human condition, toxic nodular goitre and that it appears to have a multifactorial aetiology Therefore, the possible role of diet as a causative factor in this disease is unproven and will remain controversial.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 17(10), 837-847

Incidence of owner-reported adverse events following Leptospira vaccination

Peng Ju Yao and others, University of California, Davis

Leptospira is a bacterial parasite that can cause severe disease in both dogs and their owners. Regular vaccination is recommended for at-risk dogs but many small animal practitioners have reported adverse events ranging from focal injection-site reactions to fatal anaphylactic shock. The authors investigate the incidence of owner-reported adverse events following vaccination treatment in more than 130,000 dogs that did or did not include a leptospira component. The incident rate was 53 per 10,000 dogs with leptospira and 26.3/10,000 without. Although inoculation against leptospira did increase the risk of owner-reported adverse events the overall effect was small, particularly in view of the risks of non-treatment.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 247(10), 1139-1145

Negative effects of oral sulphur compounds on the health of pet animals

Lisa Milella, Veterinary Dental Surgery Parvis Road, Byfleet, Surrey

Halitosis in dogs is a result of microbial metabolism leading to the production of malodorous compounds, particularly volatile sulphur compounds such as hydrogen sulphide and methyl mercaptan. Although most clients perceive oral malodour in their pets as a cosmetic problem there is increasing evidence that such compounds are toxic, even at relatively low concentrations, and play a role in the pathogenesis of periodontitis. The author reviews the findings of studies in the human dentistry literature and suggests that products that detect or help to lower the concentration of sulphur compounds in the mouth may have a role in the management of dental disease in pets.

Journal ofVeterinary Dentistry 32(2), 99-102

Comparison of ocular infrared and rectal thermometer measurements

Hannah Kreissl and Reto Neiger University of Giessen, Germany

Measurement of body temperature is an important part of the physical assessment of canine and feline patients. The standard method for obtaining body temperature measurements in companion animals is a digital rectal thermometer but this may not be suitable in very aggressive dogs or those with rectal injuries. The authors compare readings from a novel non-contact infrared thermometer on the cornea with the standard technique. There was poor agreement between the results of the two methods, as the infrared device tended to underestimate conditions of abnormally high or low body temperatures.

Journal ofVeterinary Emergency and Critical Care 25(3), 372-378

VOL 31 • May 2016 • Veterinary Nursing Journal