Managing Acute Spinal Cord Injuries

Stephanie Kube, DVM, DACVIM, Natasha Olby, VetMB, PhD, DACVIMCompendium, September 2008

Acute spinal cord injuries commonly seen in veterinary patients include vascular, compressive, and concussive injuries. Vascular lesions, or infarcts, are usually caused by fibrocartilagenous emboli. Concussive and compressive injuries have a variety of pathologies, including intervertebral disk disease, fractures, and luxations (dislocations) of the vertebral column. Although considerable controversy exists over the most appropriate way to manage acute spinal cord injuries, early surgical intervention or decompression remains the best treatment option in managing acute compressive injuries in veterinary patients. High-dose methylprednisolone sodium succinate, an established treatment in human medicine, is falling out of favor because studies have shown little therapeutic benefit and severe adverse effects.

Fluoroquinolones – Then and Now

Lidia M. Pallo-Zimmerman, DVM, DACVIM, Julie K. Byron, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Thomas K. Graves, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Compendium, July 2010

Fluoroquinolones were discovered in the 1960s as a derivative of the antimalarial drug chloroquine. Over the past 40 years, many fluoroquinolones have been developed for use in human and veterinary medicine. As with all classes of antibiotics, resistance to fluoroquinolones is a serious concern, and multiple avenues for resistance are being investigated. Resistance-associated point mutations in bacterial DNA and, more recently, plasmid-mediated resistance have been reported in both human and veterinary bacterial isolates. This article reviews the history and most current literature on fluoroquinolones approved for use in dogs and cats and the spectra of activity, mechanisms of action, resistance patterns, and recommendations for appropriate clinical use of these drugs

Ultrasound of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Martha Moon Larson, DVM, MS, David S. Biller, DVM
Vet Clin Small Anim 39 (2009) 747–759

Familiarity with the normal and abnormal ultrasound appearance of the canine and feline gastrointestinal (GI) tract provides a marked advantage in the diagnosis of GI disease. Although gas may inhibit complete visualization, in many cases, ultrasound is able to confirm or rule out suspected disease. It should be noted that ultrasound of the GI tract does not preclude the need for abdominal radiographs. The two imaging modalities are complementary, and each adds individual information. Ultrasound evaluation of the GI tract provides information about bowel wall thickness and layers, assessment of motility, and visualization of important adjacent structures such as lymph nodes and peritoneum. In the hands of experienced sonographers, abdominal ultrasound has replaced the need for GI contrast studies in many cases, saving time, money, radiation exposure, and stress to the patient.

Guidelines for Reducing Pathogens in Veterinary Hospitals - Disinfectant Selection, Cleaning Protocols, and Hand Hygiene

Joshua A. Portner, DVM, DACVECC, 
Justine A. Johnson, DVM, DACVECC
Compendium, 2010

Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in the hospital setting. Organisms that cause hospital-acquired infections are generally highly resistant, requiring expensive antibiotics and further hospitalization. As a result, many owners of infected pets choose euthanasia. Appropriate hospital disinfection and staff hygiene practices can prevent such infections by reducing the pathogen load in a facility in accordance with the "nosocomial prevention triad"—appropriate antibiotic usage, staff and patient hygiene, and hospital maintenance and disinfection. This review outlines the development and implementation of hospital disinfection protocols and hand hygiene practices in small animal veterinary hospital

Feline Pediatrics - How to Treat the Small and the Sick

Susan Little DVM
Compendium, 2011

Most veterinarians have been presented with kittens that have failed to thrive. These patients are challenging due to their small size, their unfamiliar physiology, and the tendency for their status to deteriorate quickly. The most common general causes of illness and failure to thrive are maternal, gestational, environmental, genetic, and infectious factors. In much of the veterinary literature, the neonatal period is defined as the first 4 weeks of life. However, it is clinically useful to consider defined risk periods: the first 4 days of life (when many problems are related to labor and delivery or the environment); between 21 and 28 days of age (when important changes leading to neurologic and behavioral maturation take place); and weaning (4 to 6 weeks of age).