A look through the latest literature - Veterinary Practice
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A look through the latest literature

The latest academic publications providing further insight into this month’s spotlight InFocus topic: cardiology

A look through the latest literature: 32 of 37

Iatrogenic injuries resulting from cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dogs

Jovanny Queseda and others, University of Florida, Gainesville

In human patients undergoing cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving procedure, but iatrogenic injuries may often occur, particularly rib and sternal fractures. Although similar procedures are frequently performed in veterinary clinics, there is little data on the incidence of significant complications. The authors carried out post-mortem examinations on 180 dogs which died after receiving closed chest CPR. Pulmonary haemorrhage was the most commonly recorded complication, seen in 49.7 percent of cases, but was generally of minor significance. Ruptures to the liver occurred in 8.9 percent of patients and major bleeds into the thorax or abdomen in 7.2 percent. Significant haemorrhage secondary to CPR may reduce the chances of spontaneous circulation and cause damage to other internal organs. 

Journal of Small Animal Practice, 62, 750-755

Effect of pimobendan treatment in dogs with preclinical mitral valve disease

Stephanie Klein and others, University of Hannover, Germany

Pimobendan has been shown to be beneficial in dogs with congestive heart failure due to degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD), and in those with preclinical DMVD and cardiomegaly. But there is little information on the effects of this drug in dogs with preclinical disease without cardiomegaly. The authors carried out a placebo-controlled double-blind crossover study involving 15 dogs in this category. Their findings show that pimobendan had positive effects in reducing pre- and post-exercise cardiac biomarkers and in reducing the size of the left ventricle in these patients.

BMC Veterinary Research, 17, 310

Age of puppies when referred to cardiology specialists for heart murmur evaluations

Lynn Bernadette Rovroy and Viktor Szatmári, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Most puppies with a congenital heart condition are likely to have an audible murmur when examined by the breeder’s veterinarian at six to eight weeks old. However, it is difficult to distinguish between pathological and non-pathological murmurs on auscultation alone. The authors examined the records of 271 dogs with an audible anomaly to identify when they were referred for specialist evaluation. They found that only 10 percent of these pups were referred before being sold to new owners. They point out that a specialist examination before sale would have been feasible if the murmur had been detected and documented by the breeder’s veterinarian, and if referral was offered by the vet and accepted by the breeder.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 63, 354

Clinical and pathological findings in rabbits with cardiac disease

Sarah Ozawa and others, University of California, Davis

Cardiac disease has generally been regarded as a rare finding in pet rabbits as there are few studies in the veterinary literature and these mainly consist of case reports. The authors investigated the prevalence and clinical features of cardiac disease in rabbits presenting to a university teaching hospital between 2001 and 2018. There were 59 patients with cardiac signs among 2,249 rabbits examined, a prevalence of 2.6 percent. These included heart murmurs (25 cases), arrhythmia (22), tachypnoea or dyspnoea (13), hyporexia or anorexia (13) and muscle wasting (9). Survival times tended to be lower than those reported in other species.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 259, 764-776

Baseline characteristics of myxomatous mitral valve disease in dogs

Alessandra Franchini and others, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) is the most frequently reported cardiac condition in dogs. However, there is limited information on the natural history of this condition, or on potential prognostic indicators from prospective studies involving large numbers of dogs. The authors describe the baseline data from a multicentre study involving more than 6,000 dogs with MMVD. Their initial findings provide new insights on the presence of systolic dysfunction in some small-breed dogs and on the association between the intensity of a murmur and the severity of disease, regardless of body size.

Journal of Veterinary Cardiology, 36, 32-47

Use of implantable loop recorders to detect paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in horses

Rikke Buhl and others, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in racehorses and will have a substantial impact on the animal’s performance. In cases where the irregularity is intermittent or paroxysmal, the condition can be difficult to identify. The authors investigated the use of an implantable loop recorder to automatically and continuously monitor heart rhythm in 12 Standardbred trotters with intermittent poor performance. Their findings show that these devices, when implanted subcutaneously above the ribs, can be used to detect episodes of AF and could be a valuable tool in horses presenting with poor performance.

Equine Veterinary Journal, 53, 955-963

Endocarditis in a cat associated with Streptococcus suis infection

James Wood and others, University of California, Davis

A three-year-old neutered male cat presented with a four-month history of fever, weight loss, hyporexia and vomiting. On clinical examination, it was found to have a grade III-VI left parasternal systolic murmur with no arrhythmia. An echocardiographic exam was suggestive of endocarditis and blood culture yielded a growth of Streptococcus species, identified as S. suis. Despite treatment, its condition deteriorated and it was euthanised 23 days after diagnosis. This appears to be the first report of endocarditis in a cat associated with this organism.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Open Reports, 7  

Cardiac rhythm disturbances linked to lidocaine administration in dogs

Joonbum Seo and others, Animal Referral Centre, Auckland, New Zealand

Supraventricular tachyarrhythmias occur frequently in dogs and can cause reduced cardiac output and potentially lead to hypotension. Lidocaine is a drug which can be useful in preventing or controlling these irregularities. However, the authors describe four cases in dogs with supraventricular tachyarrhythmias in which lidocaine administration produced unexpected changes in cardiac rhythm. Two dogs experienced paroxysmal atrial flutter which was self-limiting. The other two developed ventricular arrhythmias, which in one case degenerated into ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

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