Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) is a common, highly infectious pathogen associated with a high mortality rate. Modified live vaccination is highly protective against this condition. However, vaccination can lead to shedding of the modified virus in the faeces.
Jacobsen et al1 collected faeces from 37 shelter cats that were considered to be clinically free from panleukopenia 3, 7, 15 and 21 days after vaccination. A quantitative PCR faecal pathogen panel and a point of care canine parvovirus antigen test were performed.
The quantity of DNA copy numbers were compared to 39 cats with panleukopenia; 8 out of 37 of the shelter cats had positive results without clinical signs, although the DNA copy numbers were lower following vaccination compared to cats that did have clinical signs.
The authors noted that positive results can be seen in healthy cats due to both subclinical infections and vaccinations.
The authors recommended that to avoid unnecessary euthanasias, testing for FPV should be confined to those animals with clinical signs, and that timing of vaccination should be taken into account when interpreting results.
Prognostic factors relating to mortality
Understanding prognostic factors relating to mortality may help clinicians with choosing treatments and predicting outcomes. Hickey et al2 performed a study to investigate mortality rates and patterns in cats using a large database on trauma.
The overall post-trauma mortality rate for cats was 17.2%, with the vast majority being euthanised rather than dying unassisted. Most of the mortalities occurred within the first day after trauma.
Modified Glasgow Coma Scale (GSC) and animal trauma triage scores had prognostic value to predict which animals would survive for more than one day, as did use of blood products, performing surgery and spinal trauma. Cats with higher modified GSC scores were more like to have a delayed death than an early death.
YT humeral fractures in dogs
YT humeral fractures are articular fractures of the humeral condyle in which the condyle has separated from the diaphysis. Motta et al3 performed a retrospective study to report the short-term, medium-term and long-term outcomes of fixation of this type of fracture in dogs with a titanium polyaxial locking plate (T-PLP).
Seventeen cases were included in the study. Medium to long-term follow-up information was obtained using the Liverpool Osteoarthritis in Dogs (LOAD) questionnaire. One case was reported to have a catastrophic complication and two cases had minor complications.
Radiographic bone union was observed in 7 out of 12 cases by four to six weeks. LOAD scores obtained between 6 and 29 months after surgery suggested no or mild impairment of function in 15 out of 16 cases, and moderate impairment in one case. T-PLP treatment gave adequate stabilization and medium to long-term outcomes comparable to previous studies.
Congenital portosystemic shunt complication
One of the complications of surgical treatment of congenital portosystemic shunts (PSS) is post-attenuation neurologic signs (PANS) such as seizures.
Escribano Carrera et al4 performed a retrospective study to document the survival time and quality of life of dogs that develop PANS after surgical treatment of a single congenital PSS, and to report whether neurological signs present at the time of discharge would resolve. A total of 50 dogs were included in the study.
Follow-up data was obtained by asking the owners to complete questionnaires. In total, 60% of dogs had seizures after surgery with or without other neurological signs. In around half of these cases, neurological signs had resolved by the time of discharge. In 18 of the remaining 26 dogs, non-seizure neurological signs eventually resolved. However, seizures recurred in 50% of the dogs that had had post-surgery seizures.
A total of 82% of owners thought their dog’s long-term quality of life was high; 90% of dogs survived more than six months.
The authors concluded that this procedure has high long-term survival and high quality of life in most cases, and that most non-seizure neurological signs resolve with one month. However, half of the cases that experience seizures will experience a recurrence.
Bandaging to improve carpal flexural deformities in puppies
Carpal flexural deformities can severely affect mobility in young puppies, but the condition often improves with conservative management.
Petazonni et al5 performed a retrospective study to assess whether bandaging improved the outcome. A total of 47 dogs with 75 affected joints were included in the study.
The dogs were grouped according to the severity of the deformity, graded one to three and by treatment group – rest only or rest with a modified Robert-Jones bandage. All dogs were re-examined weekly until they had recovered.
All dogs regained full extension of the antebrachiocarpal joint and normal ambulation by the time of their last visit. The median time to recover was two weeks with a range of one to nine weeks.
For dogs with grade one or two severity, no difference occurred in time to recovery, but for dogs with grade three severity, mean time to recovery was significantly shorter in dogs treated with bandaging and rest compared to those that had only rest.
The authors concluded that conservative management is a good treatment option and that bandaging reduces recovery time in more severely affected dogs.
Acute haemorrhagic diarrhea
Acute haemorrhagic diarrhea (AHD) is a common disorder in dogs, but it is known that acute enteropathies can trigger chronic gastrointestinal disease in humans.
Skotnitzki et al6 performed a retrospective longitudinal study to describe the prevalence and possible risk factors for dogs with chronic enteropathy following an episode of AHD. A total of 80 dogs with a historical diagnosis of AHD and 71 controls were included in the study.
Chronic gastrointestinal disease was seen in 28% of dogs that had an episode of AHD compared to 13% of controls – an odds ratio of 2.57.
Although this does not prove causation, the authors speculated that severe intestinal mucosal damage and the dysfunction of the barrier associated with this damage may be a trigger for chronic gastrointestinal disease later in life.
Some serum metabolites and hormones are known to vary in a seasonal pattern in humans. How much this occurs in dogs remains uncertain. Walker et al7 reported a prospective cohort study aimed at assessing the seasonal variation of serum metabolites in healthy dogs. Eighteen healthy client-owned dogs were included in the study, and metabolic profiling was performed monthly for 12 months using a canine-specific magnetic resonance spectroscopy platform, which assessed 98 metabolites.
In total, 93 of the 98 metabolites showed no evidence of seasonal variation. Cholesterol varied with a peak in June and a trough in December. Lactate by contrast had a lower concentration in the summer than the winter.
The authors noted this study does not suggest the need for seasonal reference ranges for serum metabolites in dogs.