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Compendium July 2004 (Vol 26, No 7)

Abstract Thoughts (July 2004)

by Joseph Harari, MS, DVM, DACVS

    New Treatment for Hip Luxation

    Shani J, Johnston DE, Shahar R: Stabilization of traumatic coxofemoral luxation with an extra-capsular suture from the greater trochanter to the origin of the rectus femoris. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 17:12-16, 2004.

    Abstract: In this clinical paper from Israel, the authors describe a new and simple extracapsular suturing technique for stabilizing the coxofemoral joint following traumatic luxation (cranial or ventral). Nineteen dogs and one cat, ranging in size from 3 to 32 kg and lacking preexisting hip joint disease, were treated via open reduction of the luxated joint. A craniolateral approach was used and soft tissue debris removed from the acetabulum. To stabilize the joint, a bone tunnel was drilled in the greater trochanter and monofilament nylon sutures were passed in a figure-of-eight pattern between the bone and thick fibrous tissue origin of the rectus femoris muscle at the iliopubic eminence. Sutures were tied under tension as the femur was internally rotated and abducted. After surgery, no external coaptation was needed, and the animals were limited to restricted ambulatory activity for 1 month. The patients were evaluated at intervals ranging from 10 days to 3 years, and all were judged to have good or excellent limb function. Although some dogs had temporary internal rotation of the limb, none was lame or suffered reluxation. The authors recommend this technique for use in normal, traumatized joints because of the efficacy and simplicity of the procedure.

    Commentary: Traumatic hip luxation is a common injury in small animals. Open reduction and stabilization are recommended following failed closed attempts, and numerous extra- and intracapsular techniques have been described. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages. Treatments should be selected based on patient signalment, the nature of the injury, surgeon experience, and owner finances. The novel and apparently simple technique described in this article is appealing based on its technical ease and successful results; it provides specialists and practitioners with another option in managing this injury. It will be interesting to note whether other clinicians confirm or refute the merits of this technique in future publications.

    Cognitive Funstion in Aged Beagles

    Ikeda-Douglas CJ, Zicker SC, Estrada J, et al: Prior experience, antioxidants and mitochondrial cofactors improve cognitive function in aged beagles. Vet Ther 5(1):5-16, 2004.

    The objective of this study was to determine whether antioxidant and mitochondrial supplementation in foods improves performance on a series of three landmark discrimination tasks (L0, L1, L2) in cognitively naive and experienced beagles and whether the cognitive response is associated with changes in vitamin E concentration in serum, previous cognitive experience, or other factors related to the food.

    The study involved 30 beagles from 9 to 13 years of age. Eighteen of the dogs had substantial cognitive test experience before enrollment in the study, and 12 were naive to any cognitive testing procedures before the study. The dogs were placed in one of three groups based on diet: a low antioxidant food, a food with moderate antioxidant supplementation, and a food with high antioxidant supplementation plus mitochondrial cofactors. Cognitive function status was assessed with a series of three landmark discrimination learning tasks following a standardized pretraining protocol. Vitamin E concentration in serum was determined before and 3 months after supplementation.

    Performance on L0 was not improved by any of the supplemented foods, which may have been attributable to the short time the dog had been on the tested food before assessment. Performance on L1 and L2 was improved in the two highest antioxidant food groups compared with the low antioxidant food. Vitamin E concentration in serum was correlated to performance on L1 and L2 discrimination tasks. However, when the vitamin E concentration in serum was controlled for, there were still differences between the food groups that could not be accounted for by vitamin E alone. Cognitively experienced aged beagles performed significantly better on L0 than did cognitively naive dogs.

    Vitamin E, as an increasing component of supplemental antioxidants in food, increased serum vitamin E concentration and was beneficial in counteracting age-related canine cognitive decline as assessed by performance on landmark discrimination tasks. Factors other than vitamin E also contributed to the response but remain undefined. In addition, prior cognitive enrichment improves test performance on certain aspects of landmark discrimination.

    Risk Factors for Oral Squamos Cell Carcinoma in Cats

    Bertone ER, Snyder LA, Moore AS: Environmental and lifestyle risk factors for oral squamous cell carcinoma in domestic cats. J Vet Intern Med 17:5570-562, 2003.

    Cats with oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a common feline tumor, have a poor prognosis: The chance of surviving 1 year is less than 10%. This case-control study assessed, via multivariate relative risks, whether exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and flea control products as well as diet increase the risk of oral SCC. Questionnaires were mailed to owners of 36 cats with biopsy-confirmed diagnoses of oral SCC and 112 control cats with renal disease (which is not known to be etiologically associated with ETS) that presented to a veterinary hospital from 1994 to 2000. Questionnaires addressed demographic characteristics, home care and living environment, flea control product use, and diet for 1 year 2 years before diagnosis.

    Several factors may be associated with oral SCC development, with significant relationships found for flea collar use (fivefold increased risk), consumption of canned cat food (3.6-fold increased risk) and tuna fish (nearly fivefold increased risk), and exposure to ETS (twofold increased risk for cats that have lived with smokers; marginally significant). Flea shampoo use was associated with considerably reduced risk.

    Results suggest that exposure to flea control products and ETS as well as diet may be associated with the risk of oral SCC; additional study of these relationships is justified.

    NEXT: Glucocorticoids and Laminitis in Horses

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