What’s new in veterinary emergency and critical care? - Veterinary Practice
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What’s new in veterinary emergency and critical care?

Our monthly summary of the latest academic and scientific veterinary publications on this month’s featured topic: emergency and critical care

Effects of enterectomy to remove an intestinal foreign body on gut microvascular health

Kaitlyn Mullen and others, University of Florida, Gainesville

Obstruction of the small intestine with a foreign body is a common cause of intestinal trauma which often requires an intestinal enterectomy. Despite how frequently this procedure is performed, there is a high reported incidence of enterectomy dehiscence. The authors used the novel sidestream dark field (SDF) videomicroscopy technique to investigate the effects of surgery on canine intestinal microvasculature. Their results indicate that SDF videomicroscopy can be valuable in identifying obstructed intestines and can help quantify the severity of microvascular compromise. The study also showed that hand-sewn and stapled enterectomies were equally effective in maintaining perfusion in the intestinal tissue.

Veterinary Surgery, 52, 554-563

Surgical retrieval of a migrated vascular access port catheter in a dog

Sheena Wong and others, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

The implantation of vascular access ports often helps when dealing with oncology patients by minimising the need for repeated venepuncture to deliver anaesthetic or chemotherapeutic agents. Catheter disconnection and embolisation have been reported in human patients but not previously in veterinary cases. The authors describe the case of a four-year-old female Boston Terrier being treated for suspected meningioma in which a port was placed in the left medial saphenous vein to facilitate anaesthesia during radiotherapy. Five days after placement, the port was non-functional and computed tomography showed that the silicone catheter had migrated into the right pulmonary artery. The object was recovered using a hybrid surgical approach involving median sternotomy and an endovascular retrieval forceps technique.

Canadian Veterinary Journal, 64, 351-355

Radiological and clinical findings in spontaneous pneumothorax cases in pet rabbits

Faustine Guillerit and others, Fregis Veterinary Hospital, Arcueil, France

The volume of the thoracic cavity in rabbits is small, and any condition that restricts normal lung expansion can have serious consequences in this species. The authors carried out a retrospective study of the findings in four cases of spontaneous pneumothorax in pet rabbits. Three patients had conventional radiography before arrival at the referral centre where they all underwent computed tomography examinations. Three patients had moderate unilateral pneumothorax, and one had bilateral pneumothorax. An infectious component was suspected in each case, and they began treatment with a combination of antibiotics. Three patients died shortly after being scanned, while the fourth died a few weeks later and was not re-examined.

Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, 45, 30-37

Influences on owner decision making in cases of non-traumatic haemoabdomen in dogs

Jena Menard and others, Cornell University, New York State

Non-traumatic haemoabdomen (or haemoperitoneum) is a common life-threatening emergency in dogs. In such cases, the owners may face an emotionally and financially demanding decision on whether to pursue urgent treatment when the underlying cause is unknown and the prognosis is likely to be guarded. The authors surveyed the owners of 436 dogs that presented with this condition to investigate the factors that had influenced their decisions on treatment and the outcomes for their pet. Quality of life, the risk of cancer and the potential time remaining with their pet were the most important considerations in shaping the owners’ decisions. The owners who chose surgery showed greater satisfaction with their choice than those who opted for palliative care or euthanasia.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 261, 980-988

Clinical features of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome in cats

Aya Matsuu and others, Kagashima University, Japan

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome is an emerging tick-borne zoonosis first identified in China in 2011. It has since been found to be endemic in several Asian countries. The disease is caused by the Dabie bandavirus virus, which is part of the Phenuiviridae family, and the fatality rate in human patients can be up to 30 percent. The authors describe the clinical and pathological features of four fatal cases in Japanese cats. Affected cats had an acute onset fever, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and increased serum amyloid A and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. The virus was detectable in blood, oral samples, rectal and conjunctival swabs, and urine. Necrotising lymphadenitis, splenitis with lymphoblastoid cell proliferation and haemophagocytosis were noted in all four cases.

Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 52, 100756

Suspected severe gastroenteritis associated with ingestion of caterpillar setae fragments

Kristy Stone and others, Veterinary Specialist Services, Springwood, Queensland

Many caterpillar species are covered with hair-like setae which can penetrate the skin of an animal, causing severe dermatitis. The authors report the first recorded case of these structures being implicated in the severe gastroenteritis of a cat. The six-month-old female domestic shorthair presented with a 24-hour history of anorexia, lethargy, depression, mild abdominal pain and persistent bradycardia. Ultrasound revealed marked thickening of the gastric wall, and a biopsy showed the presence of chitinous structures, suggesting caterpillar setae. These were likely to have belonged to a processionary caterpillar (Ochrogaster lunifer). Despite supportive care the patient deteriorated and was subsequently euthanised.

Australian Veterinary Journal, 101, 296-301

Platelet additive solution for prolonging storage time of canine platelets

Avin Arjoonsingh and others, Washington State University, Pullman

Thrombocytopenia is a common finding in veterinary patients treated at emergency clinics. The condition may be associated with various infections or inflammatory, oncological or immune-mediated diseases. It can result in severe haemorrhage and lead to anaemia and a range of further clinical abnormalities. The authors assessed the effectiveness of a platelet additive solution in maintaining cell function and preventing bacterial growth in stored canine platelet concentrates. Their results show that cold storage in both platelet additive solution and plasma allowed the platelet cells to be kept for up to 21 days with minimal storage lesion development while maintaining platelet function and preventing bacterial contamination.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care [early view]

Emesis in the successful recovery of gastric foreign bodies in cats

Christiana Fischer and Nolan Chalifoux, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Inducing emesis in cats that have swallowed a foreign body can avoid the need for more invasive procedures, such as endoscopy or surgery. There are many papers in the veterinary literature describing options for emetic agents, but there is little information on their relative efficacy. The authors describe the findings of 22 cases in which cats had swallowed objects such as string, rubber bands or parts of a toy. Each patient was induced to vomit with dexmedetomidine or hydromorphone. In 50 percent of these patients, emesis induction caused the ejection of some or all of the foreign object. There was no apparent correlation between the size and type of object and whether emesis resulted in successful recovery of the foreign body.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 261, 1363-1367

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