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A round-up of the latest literature on canine medicine and surgery

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01 September 2016, at 1:00am

Novel surgical technique for the treatment of portosystemic shunts 

Mandy Wallace and others, University of Florida, Gainesville 

Portosystemic shunts are congenital vascular abnormalities that allow blood returning from the gastrointestinal tract to bypass the liver and enter the systemic circulation. This causes neurotoxins to accumulate in the blood and leads to hepatic encephalopathy. Surgical treatment may involve gradual venous occlusion devices (ameroid constrictors and cellophane bands), which close the vessel primarily through inflammation and thrombosis rather than physical occlusion.

The authors describe a study examining the potential value of a device involving an outer ring of polyether ether ketone and an inner lining of polyacrylic acid and inorganic salt within silicone tubing. The device has the potential advantage of allowing better post-operative images to determine whether there is a persistent shunt. This prototype device was found to induce gradual attenuation of an intra- abdominal vessel over a six-week period and provides another option for the surgical occlusion of extrahepatic portosystemic shunts. 

American Journal of Veterinary Research 77 (6): 653-657. 

Impact of collaborative care in the management of canine cardiac disease 

Bonnie Lefbom and Neal Peckens, CVCA Cardiac Center for Pets, Leesburg, Virginia 

The emergence of specialist referral centres is presumed to have resulted in significant improvements in the quality of diagnosis and treatment of companion animal disease. Yet there is little objective evidence to assess the effects of specialist care on treatment outcomes. 

The authors examined the impact of collaborations between first opinion and specialist centres in the management of dogs with congestive heart failure. Their findings show that dogs receiving collaborative care had a longer median survival time than those treated by the primary care veterinarian alone. Moreover, there was a significant positive correlation between survival time and the revenue generated for the first opinion practice. 

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249 (1): 72-76. 

Constant rate cytosine arabinoside infusion in canine meningoencephalitis 

Mark Lowrie and others, Dovecote Veterinary Hospital, Castle Donington, Derbyshire 

Meningoencephalitis of unknown origin is a challenging condition to diagnose and treat in canine patients.

The mainstay therapy for this condition is prednisolone, often with an adjunctive immunosuppressive drug, such as cytosine arabinoside. The authors examined the effects of giving the latter drug as a constant rate infusion (CRI) rather than by subcutaneous injection. In 41 dogs receiving the CRI, 37 survived compared with 22 of 39 dogs receiving the standard therapy. After three months, the resolution of abnormalities detected with magnetic resonance imaging and cerebrospinal fluid analysis was also significantly higher in the CRI group. 

The Veterinary Journal 213 (1): 1-5. 

Epiduroscopy in the detection of vertebral canal and spinal cord lesions 

Fernando Garcia-Pereira and others, University of Florida, Gainesville

Epiduroscopy has developed as a useful technique in the detection and treatment of chronic back pain in human patients. An endoscope introduced into the spinal canal may allow the removal of adhesions, help flush away inflammatory mediators and allow injections of corticosteroid drugs. 

The authors investigated the potential value of this method in dogs, through the use of a 2.8mm videoscope into the lumbosacral space of canine cadavers. The technology showed good manoeuvrability and produced reasonable quality images with no evidence of it causing tissue damage on subsequent examination of spinal structures.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 77 (7): 766-770. 

Eficacy of treatment with the anti brinolytic drug aminocaproic acid 

Megan Davis and Kiko Bracker, Angell Animal Medical Center, Boston Massachusetts

Both trauma and surgery will often cause haemorrhage severe enough to require a transfusion of red blood cells. However, transfusions may produce significant immunological effects, resulting in inflammation, infection and lung injury. Aminocaproic acid has been used in patients with haemorrhage in an effort to reduce the need for blood products. 

The authors carried out a retrospective study of 122 dogs receiving this agent. Those cases fell into three different groups: neoplastic conditions, non-neoplastic and unidentified conditions. Treatment had no significant effects on the need for blood transfusions in any of those groups. 

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 52 (3): 144-148. 

Outcomes following surgical correction of grade IV medial patellar luxation 

Anna Dunlap and others, University of Florida, Gainesville

Medial patellar luxation is one of the most common orthopaedic conditions affecting dogs, producing clinical signs of pain and lameness. Surgical correction is often recommended and there is a reported association between the risk of post- operative complications and the severity of the initial condition. 

The authors examined the outcome in 29 procedures involving 24 dogs with the most severe grade IV medial patellar luxations. In seven out of the 29 procedures there were major complications and six of those joints required surgical revision. The overall success rate was good but owners should be counselled about the high rate of surgical complications. 

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249 (2): 208-213. 

Urinary incontinence in juvenile female soft-coated wheaten terriers 

Jason Callard and others, Ohio State University, Columbus

Urinary incontinence is a common problem in juvenile female dogs but there is little information on the prevalence in different breeds. The authors examined the incidence of this condition in soft-coated wheaten terriers and characterised its cause in 12 affected animals. 

Their findings suggest that there is a higher prevalence of the condition in SCWTs than in other affected breeds. The condition was variously found to be caused by ectopic ureters, shortened urethras, paramesonephric elements and bifid vaginas.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 52 (1): 27-35. 

Safety of rivaroxaban in dogs with immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia 

Alice Morassi and others, Washington State University, Pullman

Thrombosis is an indicator for a poor prognosis in dogs with primary immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia. The orally administered Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban is known to be effective in preventing venous thromboembolism in human patients after major surgery but there is little published data on its pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics pro le in other species. 

The authors examined the safety and tolerability of this agent in dogs with presumed IMHA. At a median dose of 0.89mg/kg orally, once daily, rivaroxaban was shown to be safe and well-tolerated and further studies are merited on its clinical efficacy. 

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 26 (4): 488-494. 

Complication rates with different gastrointestinal biopsy methods 

Laura Mitter man and others, VCA Animal Specialty Center, New York

Laparoscopy is becoming more commonly used as a minimally invasive method for taking abdominal biopsy samples but there is little information on the complication rates for such procedures. The authors compared the incidence of perioperative and short- term post-operative complications in gastrointestinal biopsies obtained via 

laparoscopy and laparotomy. Their findings suggest that there were no statistically significant differences in the rate of complications between the two groups.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 57 (4): 395- 400. 

Prognostic factors in canine tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma cases 

Jessica Grant and Susan North, Rutland House Referrals, St Helens

Canine tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma is usually regarded as an aggressive neoplasm with a poor long- term prognosis. The authors looked for factors that may determine survival prospects through a retrospective analysis of the records from 15 cases of this relatively uncommon disease. 

The overall median survival time was 243 days and the one- and two-year survival rates were 40% and 20%, respectively. Prolonged survival times were reported in those dogs receiving surgery and adjunctive chemotherapy. 

Australian Veterinary Journal 94 (6): 197-202. 

Echocardiographic technique for assessing the canine pulmonary artery 

Jorge Prieto-Rametos and others, University of Glasgow 

Echocardiography is a valuable technique for the evaluation of structural and functional heart disease. A number of standard views have been described for studies of the pulmonary artery in dogs. 

The authors investigated the quality of information derived from a novel left cranial oblique view, compared with two standard protocols, the right parasternal short axis and the left cranial long axis. They found that the pulmonary annulus diameter was consistently smaller measured from one standard view compared to both the novel and alternative standard methods.

Journal of Veterinary Cardiology 18 (2): 125-136. 

Clinical and pathological features of a conjunctival myxoma in a dog 

Giovanni Barsotti and others, University of Pisa, Italy 

Tumours involving the conjunctiva are considered rare in dogs although sporadic case reports have been published over the past decade. The authors describe one such case in a nine-year-old male bull terrier, with a three-month history of a progressive, non-painful mass on its right eye. 

This was exophytic and located in the temporal bulbar conjunctiva. It was surgically removed and a double freeze-thaw cycle of cryotherapy performed. Immunohistochemistry analysis confirmed a diagnosis of conjunctival myxoma. There was no evidence of recurrence or distant metastases during a follow-up period of 24 months.

Australian Veterinary Journal 94 (7): 223-226.