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Journal: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective-To estimate the seroprevalence of antibodies against H3N8 canine influenza virus (CIV) in a population of US dogs with influenza-like illness (ILI) and to identify factors associated with seropositivity. Design-Cross-sectional study. Animals-1,268 pet and shelter dogs with ILI in 42 states. Procedures-Serum samples collected from dogs from 2005 through June 2009 were tested for H3N8 CIV antibodies with a hemagglutination inhibition assay. Intrinsic factors (age, breed, and sex), extrinsic factors (dogs housed in a shelter facility, boarding kennel, or other setting), and geographic region (southwest, west, Midwest, southeast, and northeast) were compared between seropositive and seronegative dogs to identify variables associated with seropositivity. Results-Most (750/1,268 [59%]) dogs in the study were from Colorado, Florida, or New York. The overall seroprevalence of antibodies against H3N8 CIV was 49% (618/1,268 dogs; 95% confidence interval, 46% to 51%). The annual prevalence of H3N8 CIV seropositivity increased from 2005 (44%) to 2006 (53%) and 2007 (62%), then decreased in 2008 (38%) and 2009 (15%). The likelihood of H3N8 CIV seropositivity was associated with geographic region (southeast during 2005, west and northeast during 2006 and 2007, and northeast during 2008) and exposure setting (dogs housed in a shelter facility or boarding kennel during 2005 and 2006). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results of this study suggested there is a need for continued surveillance for H3N8 CIV infection in dogs in the United States and that personnel in communal dog-housing facilities should formulate, implement, and evaluate biosecurity protocols to reduce the risk of CIV transmission among dogs.

Concepts: Influenza, 1913, 1918, 1921, 1922, 1916, 1925, 1917


Objective-To determine the proportion of cats entering a Florida animal shelter with serum antibody titers against feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1), and feline calicivirus (FCV) and to identify factors associated with seropositivity. Design-Cross-sectional study. Animals-347 cats admitted to a Florida animal shelter. Procedures-Within 24 hours after admission to the animal shelter, blood samples were collected from all cats ≥ 8 weeks of age. Serum antibody titers against FPV were determined via a hemagglutination inhibition assay, and those against FHV1 and FCV were determined via virus neutralization assays. Age, sex, environment (urban or rural), source (stray or previously owned), evidence of previous caregiving, health status (healthy or not healthy), and outcome (adoption, transfer, return to owner, or euthanasia) were evaluated as potential factors associated with antibody seropositivity. Results-Of 347 cats, 138 (39.8%), 38 (11.0%), and 127 (36.6%) had antibody titers ≥ 40, ≥ 8, and ≥ 32 (ie, seropositive) against FPV, FHV1, and FCV, respectively. Factors associated with seropositivity included being neutered, age ≥ 6 months, and being relinquished by an owner. On multivariable analysis, health status at shelter admission, environment, vaccination at shelter admission, and outcome were not associated with seropositivity. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Most cats were seronegative for antibodies against FPV, FHV1, and FCV at the time of admission to an animal shelter. These findings supported current guidelines that recommend vaccination of all cats immediately after admission to animal shelters, regardless of the source or physical condition.

Concepts: Immunology, Herpesviridae, Animal virology, Feline panleukopenia, Feline calicivirus, Cat diseases, Feline vaccination, Feline viral rhinotracheitis


Objective-To determine the characteristics of, prevalence of, and risk factors for corneal pigmentation (CP) in Pugs. Design-Prospective cross-sectional study. Animals-295 Pugs > 16 weeks old. Procedures-Ophthalmic examination of the anterior segment of each eye was performed, including determination of tear film characteristics (Schirmer tear test and tear film breakup time) and corneal sensitivity. Digital photographs of the head and each eye were obtained. Corneal pigmentation of eyes was graded as absent, very mild, mild, moderate, or severe. Signalment and medical history information and American Kennel Club registration status were recorded. Results-CP was detected in at least 1 eye of 243 of the 295 (82.4%) Pugs; CP was typically very mild or mild. Detection of CP was not significantly associated with coat color, age, eyelid conformation, or tear film characteristics but was significantly associated with sex of dogs. The severity of CP was not significantly associated with American Kennel Club registration status or age, but was significantly associated with sex, tear film characteristics, and coat color. Iris hypoplasia was detected in 72.1% of the Pugs. Iris-to-iris persistent pupillary membranes were detected in 85.3% of the Pugs. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Prevalence of CP in Pugs in this study was high. Unexpectedly high prevalences of iris hypoplasia and persistent pupillary membranes were also identified. The condition identified in these Pugs was a pigmentary keratopathy, rather than pigmentary keratitis or corneal melanosis. This condition may have a genetic basis, and further studies are warranted to determine etiology.

Concepts: Eye, Cornea, Iris, Tears, Pupil, Schirmer's test, Kennel club, Conformation show


Case Description-A 13-year-old female Timneh African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus timneh) was evaluated because of the presence of a bald patch of skin caudal to the sternum and increased territorial and nesting behavior of 2 weeks' duration. Clinical Findings-Whole-body radiography revealed a mineralized egg of normal size and shape. However, no oviposition occurred, and the bird had no signs consistent with dystocia. After 7 days, repeated radiography revealed that the egg had rotated by approximately 180° along its short axis, leading to a diagnosis of ectopic egg retention, which was supported by the results of ultrasonography. Treatment and Outcome-Surgical removal of the ectopic egg was performed by means of a ventral midline approach 14 days after administration of leuprolide acetate (800 μg/kg [364 μg/lb], IM). No intracoelomic abnormalities, such as coelomitis or oviductal disease, were diagnosed, and the bird recovered without complications. Physical examination and whole-body radiography at 8 months and a follow-up phone call with the owner at 16 months after surgical treatment revealed no evidence of ectopic egg recurrence or reproductive behavior. Clinical Relevance-Clinical management of ectopic egg retention differs considerably from treatment of intraoviductal egg binding. Therefore, careful evaluation of avian patients with radiographic evidence of egg binding should be performed to avoid possible iatrogenic deterioration of the patient’s condition, secondary to inappropriate treatment attempts such as hormonal induction of oviposition or attempts to remove the retained egg via the cloaca. Repeated radiography and ultrasonography and close monitoring of the patient’s general condition as well as the lack of clinical signs consistent with dystocia will facilitate the diagnosis of ectopic egg retention.

Concepts: Parrot, African Grey Parrot, Psittacini, Irene Pepperberg


Objective-To test the usefulness of measuring pH and refractometry index, compared with measuring calcium carbonate concentration, of preparturient mammary gland secretions for predicting parturition in mares. Design-Evaluation study. Animals-27 pregnant Thoroughbred mares. Procedures-Preparturient mammary gland secretion samples were obtained once or twice daily 10 days prior to foaling until parturition. The samples were analyzed for calcium carbonate concentration with a water hardness kit (151 samples), pH with pH test paper (222 samples), and refractometry index with a Brix refractometer (214 samples). The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for each test were calculated for evaluation of predicting parturition. Results-The PPV within 72 hours and the NPV within 24 hours for calcium carbonate concentration determination (standard value set to 400 μg/g) were 93.8% and 98.3%, respectively. The PPV within 72 hours and the NPV within 24 hours for the pH test (standard value set at 6.4) were 97.9% and 99.4%, respectively. The PPV within 72 hours and the NPV within 24 hours for the Brix test (standard value set to 20%) were 73.2% and 96.5%, respectively. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results suggested that the pH test with the standard value set at a pH of 6.4 would be useful in the management of preparturient mares by predicting when mares are not ready to foal. This was accomplished with equal effectiveness of measuring calcium carbonate concentration with a water hardness kit.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Negative predictive value, Secretion, Calcium, Calcium carbonate, Gland, Exocrine gland, Hard water


Case Description-3 Geoffroy’s tamarins (Saguinus geoffroyi) in a zoo in east central Alabama developed neurologic signs shortly after a tamarin kept in the same enclosure was found dead. Clinical Findings-Neurologic abnormalities varied among animals and were progressive. One female tamarin with a head tilt, nystagmus, mild ataxia, and paresis of a thoracic limb had gram-positive cocci present in an ear canal with otitis media and interna suspected. Another female with mild ataxia attributed to previous tail amputation developed seizures, and a male tamarin with tail tip trauma also developed ataxia. Treatment and Outcome-The tamarin with suspected otitis received cephalexin and prednisolone, but neurologic signs worsened, and the patient died. Preliminary examination of necropsy samples revealed severe meningoencephalitis in both deceased tamarins. Prednisolone and phenobarbital treatment was initiated for the tamarin with seizures, but rapid neurologic deterioration led to euthanasia. Further histologic examination of the 3 deceased tamarins revealed meningitis and acute perivascular hemorrhage in the meninges. Parasites morphologically consistent with Angiostrongylus (Parastrongylus) cantonensis were present in the lungs of 1 animal and in the meninges of 2. The surviving tamarin received cephalexin for tail tip trauma and prednisolone and albendazole for presumed meningoencephalitis and parasitic infection but had permanent neurologic deficits. Clinical Relevance-To our knowledge, these represent the first cases of A cantonensis infection in Geoffroy’s tamarins and the first report of its presence in the United States not associated with a major shipping port. The presence of a mature worm in the lungs of 1 tamarin suggested completion of the parasite life cycle, previously reported only in rats.

Concepts: Bacteria, Death, Parasitism, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, Callitrichidae, Tamarin, Tamarins and marmosets, Geoffroy's Tamarin


Objective-To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a combination of dexmedetomidine, butorphanol, and midazolam administered IM for anesthesia in captive Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinereus) and to compare this combination with a combination of ketamine and midazolam. Design-Prospective crossover study. Animals-10 captive Asian small-clawed otters. Procedures-A combination of either dexmedetomidine (0.03 mg/kg [0.014 mg/lb]), butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg [0.091 mg/lb]), and midazolam (0.15 mg/kg [0.068 mg/lb]) or ketamine (10.1 mg/kg [4.59 mg/lb]) and midazolam (0.3 mg/kg [0.14 mg/lb]) was administered IM to otters for immobilization to allow scheduled wellness examinations. Otters were intubated and administered 100% oxygen during the examination. Anesthesia was supplemented with isoflurane in oxygen if necessary. Routine medical procedures, including blood collection, radiography, echocardiography, dental scaling, vaccinations, and contraception administration, were performed as indicated during the immobilization. Physiologic, clinicopathologic, and anesthetic variables were recorded and compared. Otters given dexmedetomidine-butorphanol-midazolam were administered atipamezole (0.2 mg/kg [0.091 mg/lb]), naltrexone (0.6 mg/kg [0.27 mg/lb]), and flumazenil (0.05 mg/kg [0.023 mg/lb]) IM at the completion of the examination. Results-The need for and duration of isoflurane administration were greater for ketamine-midazolam anesthesia, compared with dexmedetomidine-butorphanol-midazolam anesthesia. Recoveries were shorter and subjectively smoother with dexmedetomidine-butorphanol-midazolam. Heart rates were significantly higher during ketamine-midazolam anesthesia. Regardless of protocol, all otters developed hypothermia and hypercapnia during anesthesia. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Both protocols were safe and effective for this species, but the reversible nature of dexmedetomidine-butorphanol-midazolam resulted in more rapid recoveries than did ketamine-midazolam. Otters anesthetized with ketamine-midazolam may require additional anesthetic medications for routine examinations, and assisted ventilation and thermal support may be of benefit with either protocol.

Concepts: Anesthesia, Opioid, Otters, Anesthetic, Mammals of Asia, Aonyx, Oriental Small-clawed Otter


Objective-To determine direct and indirect costs associated with raccoon rabies incidents involving cattle herds in Hampshire County, WV, in 2008 and Guernsey County, Ohio, in 2010. Design-Ex post cost analysis. Animals-1 cattle herd in Hampshire County, WV, in 2008 and 1 cattle herd in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 2010. Procedures-Data were collected for each incident through telephone and email interviews with 16 federal, state, and county agency personnel involved in the case investigations and coordinated responses for rabies in the cattle herds. To characterize the economic impact associated with rabies in the 2 cattle herds, cost analysis was conducted with 7 cost variables (salary and benefits for personnel involved in the response, human postexposure prophylaxis, indirect patient costs, rabies diagnostic testing, cattle carcass disposal, market value of euthanized cattle, and enhanced rabies surveillance). Estimates of direct costs were determined on the basis of agency records and other relevant data obtained from notes and reports made by agency staff at the time of the incident and from a review of the literature. Results-Primary costs included the market value of euthanized cattle ($51,461 in West Virginia; $12,561 in Ohio), human postexposure prophylaxis ($17,959 in West Virginia; $11,297 in Ohio), and salary and benefits for personnel involved in the response ($19,792 in West Virginia; $14,496 in Ohio). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-These results should provide a basis for better characterization of the economic impact of wildlife rabies in cattle in the United States.

Concepts: United States, U.S. state, Rabies, Post-exposure prophylaxis, Virginia, Humid continental climate, West Virginia, Romney, West Virginia


Objective-To determine efficacy of a single intra-articular injection of an autologous platelet concentrate for treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs. Design-Randomized, controlled, 2-center clinical trial. Animals-20 client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis involving a single joint. Procedures-Dogs were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. In all dogs, severity of lameness and pain was scored by owners with the Hudson visual analog scale and the University of Pennsylvania Canine Brief Pain Inventory, respectively, and peak vertical force (PVF) was determined with a force platform. Dogs in the treatment group were then sedated, and a blood sample (55 mL) was obtained. Platelets were recovered by means of a point-of-use filter and injected intra-articularly within 30 minutes. Control dogs were sedated and given an intra-articular injection of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Assessments were repeated 12 weeks after injection of platelets or saline solution. Results-Dogs weighed between 18.3 and 63.9 kg (40.3 and 140.6 lb) and ranged from 1.5 to 8 years old. For control dogs, lameness scores, pain scores, and PVF at week 12 were not significantly different from pretreatment values. In contrast, for dogs that received platelet injections, lameness scores (55% decrease in median score), pain scores (53% decrease in median score), and PVF (12% increase in mean PVF) were significantly improved after 12 weeks, compared with pretreatment values. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results suggested that a single intra-articular injection of autologous platelets resulted in significant improvements at 12 weeks in dogs with osteoarthritis involving a single joint.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Platelet, Joint, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Scores


OBJECTIVE To use noninvasive approaches to assess stress in New York City (NYC) carriage horses during the course of their daily routine to determine whether use of these horses affected their well-being. DESIGN Prospective case control study. ANIMALS 13 (5 mares and 8 geldings) stabled working NYC carriage horses and 5 pastured (nonworking) NYC carriage horses (1 mare and 4 geldings). PROCEDURES Samples for determination of fecal glucocorticoid and salivary cortisol concentrations were collected on 3 successive days from 10, 8, and 9 working carriage horses during rest (time 1), preparation for work (time 2), and return to the stable (time 3) and at 1 hour after work (time 4). Infrared thermography (IRT) measurements were made to determine maximum temperature of the medial canthus at each time point. Fecal samples were also collected from 5 pastured carriage horses for determination of glucocorticoid concentrations. RESULTS No difference was found in mean ± SE fecal glucocorticoid concentrations between pastured (22.1 ± 9.8 ng/g) and working (19.5 ± 4.2 ng/g) carriage horses. A significant difference was found in salivary cortisol concentrations of working carriage horses between time 3 (0.96 ± 0.06 ng/mL) and time 4 (0.77 ± 0.07 ng/mL). The IRT measurement at time 2 (35.5 ± 0.64°C [95.9 ± 1.2°F]) was significantly lower than that at time 3 (36.2 ± 0.64°C [97.1 ± 1.2°F]). No other differences in IRT measurements were found. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE These working NYC carriage horses did not have physiologic responses indicative of a negative welfare status.

Concepts: Measurement, Horse, Case-control study, New York City, Infrared, New York, Mare, New York City Subway