Sergio Serrano, LV, DVM, DACVECC 
Matthew McMillan, BVM&S, MRCVS
Standars of Care of Compendium 
February of 2009

Dystocia is a relatively common emergency presentation. It occurs in 3.3% to 5.8% of all feline pregnancies; in dogs, the overall rate is around 5%. However, dystocia rates are breed specific: only 0.8% to 2.3% of pregnancies in cats with a normal conformation result in dystocia, whereas in some large-headed and achondroplastic dog breeds, the rate can approach 100%.

Diskospondylitis in Dogs

Alireza A. Gorgi, DVM 
Dennis O’Brien, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Neurology)
June, 2007.

Diskospondylitis is an infection of the intervertebral disk and the end plates of the adjacent vertebrae. This disease is fairly common in dogs and has been seen with many different bacterial infections and some fungal infections. Staphylococcal infections are the most common cause of diskospondylitis in dogs. Other common causes include infections with Streptococcus spp, Escherichia coli, and Brucella canis. Some of the less common organisms isolated include Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Proteus, Actinomyces, Pasteurella, Candida, and Mycobacterium spp. Fungal diseases such as infection with Aspergillus or Paecilomyces spp as well as unspecified fungal infections have also been reported as causes of diskospondylitis.

Pulmonary tromboembolism

Heidi New, DVM, Christopher G. Byers, 
Compendium, 2011

Pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) has been associated with many diseases. Clot formation is a consequence of hypercoagulability, blood stasis, and damage to the endothelium of blood vessels, a set of changes known as the Virchow triad. Diagnosing PTE may be difficult because common clinical signs, including tachypnea, dyspnea, and hypoxemia, are not pathognomonic for the disease. The initial workup for PTE should include arterial blood gas analysis and thoracic radiography. If there is a strong clinical suspicion for PTE, further tests are indicated, such as D-dimer measurement, thromboelastography, and advanced imaging..

Acute respiratory distress syndrome in dogs and cats - a review of clinical findings and pathophysiology

Amy E. DeClue, DVM, MS, DACVIM
Leah A. Cohn, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 
17(4) 2007, pp 340–347

Unfortunately, current mortality rates for ARDS in small animals are close to 100%. As our capability to treat patients with advanced life-threatening disease increases, it is vital that we develop a familiarity with the pathogenesis of ARDS. Understanding the complex inflammatory interactions is essential for determining effective preventative and management strategies as well as designing novel therapies for veterinary patients.

Feline Pyothorax

Tonya E. Boyle, DVM 
Eleanor C. Hawkins, DVM, DACVIM
Standars of Care
August 2005

Pyothorax is the presence of a suppurative, septic effusion within the pleural space. It is typically easy to diagnose via cytologic analysis of fluid obtained by thoracentesis. The fluid obtained may be very turbid and can range in color from white to brown or red. Pyothorax is characterized as an exudate with protein above 3.5 g/dl, total nucleated cell count exceeding 7,000/μl of mostly degenerative neutrophils, pH below 6.9, and glucose concentration less than 10 mg/dl. Generally, extracellular and intracellular bacterial organisms are present on cytologic examination if the patient has not received antibiotic therapy before thoracentesis is performed. Because many cats with pyothorax present in respiratory distress, initial thoracentesis can be both a stabilizing, therapeutic measure as well as a definitive diagnostic test.

Causes and management of complications in wound healing

Jackie Demetriou and Silke Stein
In Practice September 2011 
Volume 33 - 392–400.

Although most wound complications are not life-threatening, they can involve prolonged periods of discomfort for the animal and extended veterinary care, as well as increased costs for owners. However, with the appropriate treatment, most wound complications can be managed successfully. This article describes what might be expected of a normal healing wound, and discusses the common causes of complications in small animals and how these can be managed.

Complications of Ovariohysterectomy and Orchiectomy in Companion Animals

Christopher A. Adin, DVM
Vet Clin Small Anim 41 (2011) 1023–1039
September 2011

Ovariohysterectomy (OVH) and orchiectomy are two of the most commonly performed surgeries in companion animal practice. Techniques for accomplishing surgical sterilization vary widely between geographic areas. While a ventral midline OVH is the standard technique in the United States, veterinarians in continental Europe commonly use a ventral midline ovariectomy, and practitioners in the United Kingdom perform flank OVH. Interestingly, retrospective analyses have shown no significant differences in the rate of stump pyometra, urinary incontinence, or other complications when these techniques are compared, so there is no strong rationale to prefer one technique over another.

Complications of Gastrointestinal Surgery in Companion Animals

Gary W. Ellison, DVM, MS
Vet Clin Small Anim 41 (2011) 915–934. 
September 2011

The small animal surgeon routinely creates wounds in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract for biopsy, for foreign body or neoplasm removal for correction of gastric dilatation volvulus, or to relieve intestinal and colonic obstruction. Unlike dehiscence of a skin wound, which is often easily remedied with appropriate local wound treatment, dehiscence of a wound of the GI tract often leads to generalized bacterial peritonitis and potentially death. Consequently, technical failures and factors that negatively affect GI healing are of great clinical significance to the surgeon. Surgery of the GI tract must be considered clean-contaminated at best, and as one progresses aborally down the GI tract, the bacterial population increases. Therefore, intraoperative spillage, wound dehiscence, or perforations that occur in the lower small intestine or colon tend to be associated with a higher mortality rate than those of the stomach or upper small intestine.