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A look through the latest literature

The latest academic publications providing further insight into this month’s In Focus topic: emergency and critical care (ECC)

Prophylactic antibiotics in the management of moderate severity dog bite wounds

Nicole Kalnins and others, University of Queensland, Gatton, Australia

Dog-to-dog bite wounds are a common cause of presentations to emergency care centres, accounting for up to 15 percent of trauma cases. Infection is a likely consequence of these injuries but there is little guidance available to veterinary staff on when and how to administer prophylactic antibiosis. The authors investigate the effectiveness of amoxycillin-clavulanic acid, administered with or without enrofloxacin. They conclude that the former is an appropriate empiric antimicrobial choice for treating dog bite wounds. Enrofloxacin should only be added on the basis of culture and susceptibility testing results. Reducing empirical use of this agent is recommended to reduce the risks of encouraging antibiotic resistance.

Australian Veterinary Journal, 99, 369-377

Spontaneous abdominal effusion in dogs with presumed anaphylaxis

April Summers and others, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Spontaneous abdominal effusion has been noted in dogs with anaphylactic reactions but has not been described previously in any detail. The authors examined records from 16 canine cases referred to a university clinic with presumed anaphylactic reactions. On presentation, clinical signs included vomiting, diarrhoea and collapse. Eight patients had abdominocentesis performed and the median PCV of the effusion was 0.29L/L, while total plasma protein was 38g/L. Abdominal effusion therefore should be considered a potential sequela of anaphylaxis.

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, 31, 483-489

Diagnostic value of abdominal ultrasound in dogs with acute pancreatitis

Eleonora Gori and others, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Acute pancreatitis is a condition that is recognised with increasing frequency in dogs but still presents a significant diagnostic and prognostic challenge. Abdominal ultrasonography has become the most widely used non-invasive diagnostic procedure in such cases. The authors report the ultrasonography findings in dogs in the first two days of hospitalisation with acute pancreatitis and compare those results with subsequent disease severity and mortality. They state that these findings underline the value of repeated abdominal ultrasound examinations in monitoring changes in the dog’s condition.

Journal of the American Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 259, 631-636

Effect of short-term peripheral parenteral nutrition on survival of critically ill puppies

Cesar Duenas and others, Autonomous University of Sinaloa, Culiacán, Mexico

Peripheral parenteral nutrition (PPN) is increasingly used as an alternative to central catheter placement due to its lower cost and reduced likelihood of clinical complications. The authors assess the risks and benefits of PPN providing up to 50 percent of resting energy requirements in critically ill paediatric canine patients. Their findings suggest that PPN did not reduce the length of hospital stays but it was associated with lower mortality and reduced weight loss compared with puppies receiving no supplements. There was also a lower incidence of complications such as phlebitis compared with centrally administered supplementation.

Irish Veterinary Journal, 74, 15

Prevalence of portal vein thrombosis in dogs detected by CT angiography

Lauren von Stade and others, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA

Thrombi can completely or partially block the portal vein in dogs, resulting in ascites and/or acquired portosystemic shunts due to portal hypertension. These thrombi may develop due to a wide range of different disease processes. The authors investigated the prevalence of thrombosis resulting from the various conditions using computed tomography angiography. They found that pancreatitis was responsible for 8 out of 19 cases in which thrombi were identified. Ultrasonography was less effective as an imaging modality, correctly identifying only 4 of the 21 cases.

Journal of Small Animal Practice, 62, 562-569

Sudden cardiac failure in humans, dogs and cats

Celine Brugada-Terradellas and others, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium

Sudden death as a result of cardiac failure is one of the most common causes of mortality in humans and similar structural, electrical and ischaemic pathologies are commonly reported in companion animals. The authors review the evidence on the clinical features and prevalence of different forms of disease causing sudden cardiac failure in the three species. They note that information from human medicine can help direct future veterinary research while dogs and cats may serve as models for studies on human disease.

The Veterinary Journal, 274, 105696

Spontaneous pneumothorax secondary to pulmonary sarcomas in two rabbits

Sina Feyer and others, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany

The only descriptions of pneumothoraxes in rabbits have been related to iatrogenic events occurring during a research project. The authors report two cases in male neutered rabbits of spontaneous pneumothoraxes caused by pulmonary neoplasia. They presented with acute onset of severe respiratory distress and inappetence and both died soon after arriving at the clinic. Post-mortem examination revealed pulmonary histiocytic sarcoma which should therefore be considered among the differential diagnoses for rabbits presenting with a spontaneous pneumothorax.

Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, 38, 48-49

Bromide toxicosis following reduced chloride intake in a dog with idiopathic epilepsy

Marco Fantinati and others, University of Toulouse, Toulouse, France

Bromide is a halide ion administered as the potassium salt in the treatment of epilepsy in dogs. It is excreted unchanged in the urine and undergoes tubular resorption in competition with chloride. The authors describe an incident in a dog with idiopathic epilepsy receiving bromide therapy. After the owners started giving the dog a new diet, it developed signs of lethargy, ataxia and behavioural changes. Following a physical, neurological and dietary investigation, this was attributed to an increase in serum bromide levels due to the reduced chloride content of the new diet.

BMC Veterinary Research, 17, 253

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