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Bicavitary effusion in cats: retrospective analysis of signalment, clinical investigations, diagnosis and outcome.

The aim of this study was to describe the clinical and diagnostic findings and outcome of cats with bicavitary effusion presenting to a referral centre. Medical records of cats presenting with bicavitary effusion were identified and their history, physical examination findings, clinicopathological data, diagnostic imaging findings, aetiology of bicavitary effusions (cardiac disease, neoplasia, infectious disease, sterile inflammatory disease, severe hypoalbuminaemia, trauma, coagulopathy or 'open' if no definitive diagnosis was reached) and outcome were recorded. Cox regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of death in cats with bicavitary effusion. Kaplan-Meier curves were generated for survival analysis. In total, 103 cats with bicavitary effusion were included. Neoplasia and cardiac disease were the most common aetiologies of bicavitary effusion, in 21 (20.4%) and 20 (19.4%) cats, respectively, followed by infectious disease (n = 11, 10.7%), trauma (n = 13, 12.6%), hypoalbuminaemia (n = 6, 5.8%), sterile inflammatory disease (n = 4, 3.9%) and coagulopathy (n = 1, 1.0%). The median survival time for all cats with bicavitary effusion was 3 days. Cats with a neoplastic aetiology had a 2.03 times greater risk of death compared with cats in which no diagnosis was achieved. Neoplasia (P = 0.030) and pedigree breed status (P = 0.016) were independent predictors of death in the multivariable Cox regression model. This study highlights that bicavitary effusions in cats generally carry a guarded to poor prognosis, particularly if neoplasia is the underlying aetiology or if the cat is a pedigree breed. Cardiac disease appeared to be associated with a better prognosis, suggesting that assessment for congestive heart failure should be considered early when evaluating cats with bicavitary effusion. The prognosis for cats with feline infectious peritonitis is likely to be markedly improved by the advent of novel antiviral drugs, compared with the historical cohort of cats presented here.

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Evaluation of the analgesic efficacy of grapiprant compared with robenacoxib in cats undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy in a prospective, randomized, masked, non-inferiority clinical trial.

The main objective of this study was to compare the postoperative analgesic effects of grapiprant with those of robenacoxib in cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy (OVH). In total, 37 female cats (age range 4 months-10 years, weighing ⩾2.5 kg) were enrolled in a prospective, randomized, masked, non-inferiority (NI) clinical trial. Cats received oral robenacoxib (1 mg/kg) or grapiprant (2 mg/kg) 2 h before OVH. Analgesia was assessed via the Feline Grimace Scale (FGS), the Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale-Feline (CMPS-F), von Frey monofilaments (vFFs) and pressure algometry (ALG) 2 h before treatment administration, at extubation, and 2, 4, 6, 8, 18 and 24 hours after extubation. Hydromorphone (<8 h postoperatively) or buprenorphine (>18 h postoperatively) were administered to cats with scores of ⩾5/20 on CMPS-F and/or ⩾4/10 on FGS. NI margins for CMPS-F and vFFs were set at 3 and -0.2, respectively. A mixed-effect ANOVA was used for FGS scores (P <0.05). Data are reported as mean ± SEM. The data from 33 cats were analyzed. The upper limit of the 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.35) was less than the NI margin of 3 for CMPS-F, and the lower limit of the 95% CI (0.055) was greater than the NI margin of -0.2 for vFFs, indicating NI of grapiprant. The FGS scores were greater than baseline at extubation for both treatments (1.65 ± 0.63; P = 0.001); however, there was no difference between treatments. There was no difference between treatments, nor treatment by time interaction, for vFFs (P <0.001). The CMPS-F scores for both treatments were higher at extubation but returned to baseline after 4 h (P <0.001). For ALG, there was no difference in treatment or treatment by time interaction. The robenacoxib group had lower pressure readings at extubation and 6 h compared with baseline. These results indicate that grapiprant was non-inferior to robenacoxib for mitigating postsurgical pain in cats after OVH performed via ventral celiotomy. The impact of grapiprant for analgesia in OVH via the flank is unknown.

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Impact of stress on the tear production of healthy cats.

This study aimed to determine the impact of acute stress on tear production in companion cats to provide a basis for minimizing stress-inducing stimuli during ophthalmic evaluations. A total of 24 healthy owned cats (12 males, 12 females) of mixed breed, aged 8 months to 7 years, with no history of ocular diseases, were selected for the study. The cats were housed in individual cages under controlled conditions for 6 days. The Schirmer tear test-1 (STT-1) was performed in the morning (between 9:00 am and 11:00 am) using test strips from the same batch. The first test (without stress) was conducted on the fifth day of acclimation, and the second test (with stress) on the sixth day. The stress stimulus consisted of recordings of barking dogs, cats fighting and the murmuring of people. For both tests, the heart rate was assessed with a stethoscope before, during and after the tests, and the environmental stress level was also evaluated. Results are presented as mean ± SD and 95% confidence interval (CI). The study found that STT-1 values were significantly higher (P = 0.009) with stress (22.2 ± 6.0 mm/min [95% CI 19.9-24.6]) than without stress (17.5 ± 6.9 mm/min [95% CI 14.8-20.2]). Similarly, the heart rate was significantly higher (P = 0.028) in stress vs non-stress conditions (213.4 ± 37.5 beats per minute [bpm] [95% CI 198.7-228.1] vs 171.5 ± 28.6 bpm [95% CI 160.3-182.7], respectively), and the environmental stress score was significantly higher (P <0.001) in stress vs non-stress conditions (3.3 ± 0.5 [95% CI 3.1-3.5] vs 1.2 ± 0.4 [95% CI 1.1-1.4], respectively). Stress increased tear production in cats. Although the mean STT-1 value obtained under stress conditions was within the normal range, stress can influence the test results. The use of cat friendly handling techniques facilitates execution of the STT-1.

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Identifying policy alternatives to enable the virtual establishment of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

This research seeks to identify an existing policy stream around the establishment of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) through telemedicine to provide evidence of, and advance policy alternatives for, states and countries looking to allow this practice responsibly. This is seen as an important step for access to veterinary care, particularly for cats. The multiple streams policy framework requires identification of a centering event, problem stream, policy stream and politics stream in order to have the necessary conditions for policy change to occur. This research identifies that policy stream through thematic content analysis. State-level policies from across the entire USA that address the virtual establishment of a physician-patient relationship were analyzed to provide themes that could be applied to similar policies in veterinary medicine. Ten key themes were identified and further organized into four high-order concepts through the thematic content analysis. Detailed accounting of the specific policy alternatives is provided in the supplementary materials. The themes and concepts presented provide evidence of a robust policy stream. This content analysis, and the supporting supplementary details, provide many options to guide states in the development of sound policies for the virtual establishment of a VCPR by drawing from the more matured field of human medicine.

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Comparison of Doppler ultrasonic sphygmomanometry, oscillometry and high-definition oscillometry for non-invasive blood pressure measurement in conscious cats.

Systemic arterial hypertension is a common occurrence and can have serious adverse consequences in cats. Therefore, measuring blood pressure is very important. There are many indirect blood pressure measurement devices available. This study compared Doppler, oscillometric (petMAP Graphic II, SunTech Vet20, the Cardell Insight-X0000) and high-definition oscillometry devices for the non-invasive measurement of blood pressure in conscious cats. In this prospective study, blood pressure was measured in 32 cats using the different devices according to the recommendations of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Consensus Statement. Blood pressures (systolic blood pressure [SBP], diastolic blood pressure [DBP], mean arterial pressure [MAP]), time to complete measurements, number of attempts needed, coefficient of variation (CV) between the blood pressure measurements of the different devices, ease of completing measurements and apparent stress level of the cat were assessed. There was a significant difference between devices in the time taken to obtain blood pressure readings and the number of attempts necessary to obtain six reliable measurements. The CV of the Doppler device was significantly smaller than that of the rest of the devices, but there were no other differences between the devices. The mean SBP, DBP and MAP measured by the petMAP device were significantly higher than the measurements from the other devices. The perceived ease of measurement was not significantly different between the various machines. The perceived level of stress of measurement with the Doppler device was significantly higher compared with the other devices but did not lead to an increased SBP. Using a Doppler device to measure blood pressure in conscious cats is fast, relatively easy and gives reliable results. A disadvantage is that the Doppler device can only measure SBP, while oscillometric devices also provide DBP and MAP. However, in veterinary medicine, systolic hypertension is considered the most relevant.

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Comparison of analgesic efficacy of tramadol, morphine and methadone in cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy.

The aim of this study was to compare the analgesic efficacy and the effect on physiological variables and behavior of the use of tramadol, methadone and morphine as preoperative analgesia in healthy cats undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy. Cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy were randomly assigned to receive one of the following premedication treatments intramuscularly: methadone (0.2 mg/kg; n = 10); morphine (0.2 mg/kg; n = 10); or tramadol (3 mg/kg; n = 10). Induction of anesthesia was done with propofol, and maintenance of anesthesia was done with isoflurane. Intraoperative heart rate, arterial blood pressure, respiratory rate, end-tidal isoflurane concentration and frequency of rescue analgesia (fentanyl 2.5 µg/kg) were compared between groups. Postoperative analgesia was assessed using the UNESP-Botucatu Multidimensional Composite Pain Scale, and perioperative serum glucose, cortisol concentrations and postoperative rescue analgesia were evaluated. Intraoperative rescue analgesia was required in 76.5% of cats at some time during surgery, and 27% of cats required postoperative rescue analgesia up to 6 h after extubation. There were no significant differences between groups with respect to intraoperative and postoperative rescue analgesia, pain scale scores and end-tidal isoflurane concentrations. In the immediate postoperative period, after extubation, most of the patients presented with hypothermia; however, 1-6 h postoperatively, hyperthermia was observed in most of the patients, and was most common in the tramadol group. Under the conditions of this study, methadone, morphine and tramadol produced satisfactory postoperative analgesia in most of the cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy, and the effects lasted up to 6 h postoperatively. Intraoperative analgesia was not sufficient in most cases. Significant cardiovascular or respiratory effects contraindicating the use of these drugs were not found. Postanesthetic hyperthermia occurred with all opioids studied and was more frequent in the tramadol group.

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Feline Comorbidities: Hypersomatotropism-induced diabetes in cats.

Diabetes mellitus is the second-most common feline endocrinopathy, affecting an estimated 1/200 cats. While the underlying causes vary, around 15-25% of cats with diabetes mellitus develop the condition secondarily to progressive growth hormone (GH)-induced insulin resistance. This typically results in a form of diabetes that is challenging to manage, whereby the response to insulin is very variable or high doses are required to achieve even minimal diabetic control. Although uncontrolled chronic excessive GH may result in phenotypic changes that raise suspicion for acromegaly, many cats with hypersomatotropism (HST) do not have these changes. In these situations, a clinician's index of suspicion may be increased by the presence of less dramatic changes such as marked polyphagia, stertor or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. The current diagnostic test of choice is demonstration of a markedly increased serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) concentration, but some affected cats will have only a marginal increase; additionally, chronic insulin administration in cats results in an increase in serum IGF1, making the diagnosis less clear cut and requiring additional confirmatory tests. Over the past two decades, HST has increasingly been recognised as an underlying cause of diabetes mellitus in cats. This review, which focuses on diagnosis and treatment, utilises data from observational studies, clinical trials and case series, as well as drawing on the experience of the authors in managing this condition.

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Anti-rabies humoral immune response in cats after concurrent vs separate vaccination against rabies and feline leukaemia virus using canarypox-vectored vaccines.

Some expert groups recommend that cats should be vaccinated with non-adjuvanted feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and rabies vector vaccines, which, in the European Union, are currently not licensed for concurrent use and have to be administered at least 14 days apart (different from the USA) and thus at separate visits, which is associated with more stress for cats and owners. The aim of this study was to assess the anti-rabies antibody response in cats after vaccination against rabies and FeLV at concurrent vs separate (4 weeks apart) visits using two canarypox-vectored vaccines (Purevax Rabies and Purevax FeLV; Boehringer Ingelheim) and to evaluate the occurrence of vaccine-associated adverse events (VAAEs). Healthy FeLV antigen-negative client-owned kittens (n = 106) were prospectively included in this randomised study. All kittens received primary vaccinations against rabies (week 0) and FeLV (weeks 4 and 8). After 1 year, the study group (n = 52) received booster vaccinations against rabies and FeLV concurrently at the same visit (weeks 50-52). The control group (n = 54) received booster vaccinations against rabies (weeks 50-52) and FeLV (weeks 54-56) separately. Anti-rabies virus antibodies (anti-RAV Ab) were determined by fluorescent antibody virus neutralisation assay at weeks 4, 50-52 and 54-56, and compared between both groups using a Mann-Whitney U-test. Four weeks after the first rabies vaccination, 87/106 (82.1%) kittens had a titre ⩾0.5 IU/ml and 19/106 (17.9%) had a titre <0.5 IU/ml. Four weeks after the 1-year rabies booster, all cats had adequate anti-RAV Ab according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (⩾0.5 IU/ml), and the titres of the study group (median = 14.30 IU/ml) and the control group (median = 21.39 IU/ml) did not differ significantly (P = 0.141). VAAEs were observed in 7/106 (6.6%) cats. Concurrent administration of Purevax FeLV and Purevax Rabies vector vaccines at the 1-year booster does not interfere with the development of anti-RAV Ab or cause more adverse effects and thus represents a better option than separate vaccination visits for cats and owners.

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How and why pet cats are fed the way they are: a self-reported owner survey.

This study used an owner-directed online questionnaire to collect data regarding their food and water provision for their pet cats. The survey was conducted in 2019. The anonymous online 30-question survey was available via vetprofessionals.com. A total of 1172 cat owners fully completed the questionnaire. The respondents each owned a median of two cats (range 1-6). They reported being most strongly motivated to feed a particular ration because of palatability, observed and/or expected health benefits, or that the diet was/is perceived as 'natural'. The majority of owners (n = 946, 80.7%) fed their cats exclusively a commercially purchased complete wet food, dry kibble diet or mixture of both. Compared with a previous (unpublished) survey conducted by the same authors in 2013,1 there were substantial increases in the number of owners feeding therapeutic diets (26.6% vs 0.7%) and the inclusion of raw meat in cats' rations (15.6% vs 3.7%). The proportion of respondents providing at least one feeding station per cat was 83.1%, with significant use of enrichment feeding methods (29.1%). Veterinarians need to be aware of changing trends in cat feeding to provide owners with appropriate support. Veterinary advice was frequently sought by owners and can be used as an opportunity to improve cat health and welfare, particularly in multi-cat households, but was not often influential to client decision making.

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