​A look through the literature on emergency and critical care - Veterinary Practice
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​A look through the literature on emergency and critical care

A look through the latest literature: 22 of 37

Epidemiology of systemic inflammatory response syndrome and sepsis in cats

Jonathan Babyak and Claire Sharp, Tufts University, Massachusetts

Sepsis is the result of a systemic inflammatory response to infection and a cause of substantial morbidity and mortality in human and veterinary medicine. However, much less is known about the epidemiology of sepsis in veterinary patients compared with people. Most of the available information is derived from retrospective descriptions of specific populations, such as patients with pneumonia or pyothorax.

The authors conducted a study examining the epidemiology of systemic inflammatory response syndrome and sepsis in hospitalised cats. Among a population of 246 cats, the prevalence of sepsis at admission was 6.2 cases per 100 admissions and four cats developed sepsis while hospitalised. Four of 17 cats with sepsis at admission and three of four that developed sepsis while hospitalised either died or were euthanased, resulting in a mortality rate of 33.3%.

The peritoneal space and urogenital system were the most common septic foci and Gram-negative organisms were the most common pathogens identified. These results confirm that sepsis is an important clinical entity in cats associated with a high mortality rate.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249 (1): 65-71.

A review of 65 cases of air rifle pellet injuries in cats

Drazen Vnuk and others, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Injuries caused by air rifle pellets are not uncommon in rural and suburban areas. Despite their modest size, these projectiles can cause serious injuries, particularly to the head and torso. The authors compare the prevalence of injuries caused by different types of metal projectile in urban, suburban and rural cats. Reviewing the records at a university hospital diagnostic imaging centre, they found 65 cases with this type of injury and in 38.5% of them the projectile was an incidental finding. Two or more injuries were found in 29.2% of the cats. In those cats with only one injury, the pellets were most frequently lodged in the abdominal region, including the lumbosacral spine.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 18 (8): 626-631.

Comparison of sodium carbonate and apomorphine for inducing emesis in dogs

Elodie Yam and others, Murdoch University, Western Australia

Ingestion of a harmful substance is a frequent reason for dogs being admitted as emergency cases at veterinary clinics. Induction of emesis may be performed to limit exposure to ingested toxins. The authors examined the records from 787 admissions to assess the safety and efficacy of using either sodium carbonate (washing soda crystals) or apomorphine to induce emesis. They found that the occurrence of emesis with sodium carbonate was high but inferior to that achieved when using apomorphine. However, sodium carbonate is less costly and more readily available than the alternative, making it a viable choice in emergency medicine.

Australian Veterinary Journal 94 (12): 474-477.

Traumatic uterine rupture in three felids

Rebecca Davies and others, Tufts University, North Grafton, Massachusetts

Uterine rupture is a fairly uncommon finding in small animals with the majority of cases related to damage caused by endometritis, pyometra, foetal death, or uterine torsion/prolapse. Traumatic injuries are usually a feature of near full-term gravid animals. The authors describe three such cases in two domestic short-hair cats and one bobcat (Lynx rufus). In two cases the injuries were associated with road traffic accidents and one cat had been attacked by dogs. The two cats were treated by surgical exploration and ovariohysterectomy, and recovered uneventfully. The wild cat died shortly after hospitalisation and its injuries were identified on post-mortem examination.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 26 (6): 782-786.

Upper airway injuries in 10 dogs secondary to trauma

Eleni Basdani and others, University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Cervical injuries may occur in dogs as a result of various traumatic events, including bite injuries, road traffic accidents, choke chains and gunshot wounds. The authors describe the clinical features of 10 cases of upper airway rupture or stenosis. Seven cases involved tracheal rupture, laryngeal ruptures occurred in two dogs and tracheal stenosis in another. Reconstruction with simple interrupted sutures was performed in four dogs, tracheal resection and end-to-end anastomosis was performed in five dogs and one was euthanased intraoperatively. Aspiration pneumonia occurred subsequently in one dog and two showed vocal changes.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 52 (5): 291-296.

Perineal evisceration secondary to a bite injury in a dog

Daniel McCarthy and others, University of Tennessee

Perineal herniation is a result of muscular pelvic diaphragm weakness, permitting the misplacement of pelvic and abdominal tissue into the perineal region. The authors describe a case requiring emergency surgery in a sixyear-old male castrated Springer spaniel with evisceration of most of the small intestinal tract through the perineal region, secondary to a dog attack. The dog had been treated for a bilateral perineal hernia one year earlier but only the right defect had been corrected. The injury was successfully treated using both abdominal and perineal approaches. This case adds to the evidence in favour of prompt surgical intervention for perineal hernias.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 57 (10): 1,053- 1,056.

Retrospective evaluation of glucagon infusions as adjunctive therapy in hypoglycaemia

Kristen Datte and others, Ohio State University, Columbus

Hypoglycaemia in dogs occurs when blood glucose concentration falls below 60 mg/dl. This may be a result of various disease conditions and will produce clinical signs including altered mentation, weakness and ataxia. The authors describe the clinical features of nine cases of hypoglycaemia which received glucagon therapy as a constant rate infusion. The mean time period before blood glucose levels returned to normal was seven hours. They conclude that a glucagon constant rate infusion is a safe method for the treatment of hypoglycaemia and can be readily utilised in a practice setting.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 26 (6): 775-781.

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 that is used as an ingredient in several rodenticide products. The compound has no known antidote but as it tends to accumulate in fat, intravenous lipid emulsions have been used in attempts to treat toxicity cases. The authors describe a case in a four-yearold spayed female Pit Bull terrier which was seen to eat rodenticide. Samples of serum taken one hour before and one hour after completion of intravenous lipid emulsion therapy showed a 75% reduction in bromethalin levels. This appears to be the first reported case of successful treatment of bromethalin toxicity in a dog using this method.

Journal of the American Veterinary Hospital Association 52 (4): 265-268.

Review of exertional heat illness syndrome in thoroughbred racehorses

Margaret Brownlow and others, Barkers Lodge Road, Picton, New South Wales

Metabolic heat produced by racehorses during races can elevate core body temperatures by up to 1ºC. An exercise-induced heat stress syndrome in Australian racehorses has been described and labelled exertional heat illness (EHI). Its clinical signs include endotoxaemia and increasing central nervous system dysfuncion. The authors describe current knowledge of the aetiology and treatment of this condition. Standard treatment relies on rapid and effective cooling, sedation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to ameliorate the effects of endotoxaemia, and glucocorticoids to stabilise cell membranes and reduce the effects of inflammation on the central nervous system.

Australian Veterinary Journal 94 (7): 240-247.

Treatment of a perforating thoracic bite with negative pressure wound therapy

Mirja Noiff and others, Ludwig-Maximillians University, Munich, Germany

A four-year-old male Dachshund presented five days after being attacked and bitten by another dog. It had been treated with intravenous marbofloxacin but was anorectic and developed a fever two days after the incident. Surgical resection of the damaged portion of the thoracic wall was carried out and the defect stabilised with a polypropylene mesh implant inserted along with negative pressure wound therapy. Microbial culture revealed a multidrug resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius. The dressing was changed two, five and seven days after surgery and the dog made an uneventful recovery.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249 (7): 794-800.

Temporary rectal stenting in the management of severe perineal wounds

Owen Skinner and others, University of Florida, Gainsville

Perineal wounds in dogs are surgically challenging due to the limited availability of skin for closure and the risks of faecal contamination of the wound site. The authors describe a technique involving temporary rectal stenting in two dogs following severe perineal wounds. The wounds were managed with surgical debridement and wet-to-dry honey dressings prior to caudectomy and negative pressure wound therapy. The long-term outcome was deemed excellent and so temporary rectal stenting may be a useful technique for faecal diversion to facilitate resolution of complex perineal injuries involving rectal perforation.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 52 (6): 385-391.

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