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    ABSTRACT: An observer blinded, placebo controlled study evaluated the effects of 62.5 μg/m2 dexmedetomidine administered IV on recovery from isoflurane anaesthesia in dogs. Forty-four healthy dogs, weighing 1.8 - 19.95 kg, presented for surgery that was expected to cause mild to moderate pain were studied. All were premedicated with 125 μg/m2 dexmedetomidine and 20 μg/kg buprenorphine IM. Anaesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with isoflurane. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and local anaesthetic techniques were administered as appropriate. Immediately prior to extubation dogs were treated with dexmedetomidine 62.5 μg/m2 (group D) or an equivalent volume of heparinised saline (S). Assessments of heart rate, respiratory rate, pain (short form Glasgow composite pain scale [SF-GCPS], dynamic interactive visual analogue scale [DIVAS]), sedation (simple descriptive scale [SDS], DIVAS) and mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) were performed immediately before premedication, 20 min later, at the time of test drug administration (T0) and at 15 to 30 min intervals until T4 h. Recovery quality was scored 0 – 3 (SDS). Data were analysed with Student’s t and Mann-Whitney U tests, two-way ANOVA and Fisher’s exact test. Significantly fewer poor quality recoveries were observed in group D (D 2[1-3]; S 2[0-3]; P=0.02), however, sedation was increased in group D compared to group S from T15 to T150 min (P=0.0001). Pain scores were lower in group D compared to group S from T15 to T120 min (P=0.001), but the requirement for additional analgesia in the first 4 h following extubation was not different between groups. Dexmedetomidine may decrease the incidence of poor quality anaesthetic recoveries in dogs.
    The Veterinary Journal 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Levels and seasonal patterns of parasite challenge to livestock are likely to be affected by climate change, through direct effects on life cycle stages outside the definitive host and through alterations in management that affect exposure and susceptibility. Net effects and options for adapting to them will depend very strongly on details of the system under consideration. This short paper is not a comprehensive review of climate change effects on parasites, but rather seeks to identify key areas in which detail is important and arguably under-recognized in supporting farmer adaptation. I argue that useful predictions should take fuller account of system-specific properties that influence disease emergence, and not just the effects of climatic variables on parasite biology. At the same time, excessive complexity is ill-suited to useful farm-level decision support. Dealing effectively with the 'devil of detail' in this area will depend on finding the right balance, and will determine our success in applying science to climate change adaptation by farmers.
    Animal Health Research Reviews 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Infection of horses with Anoplocephala perfoliata induces a severe inflammatory reaction of the caecal mucosa around the site of parasite attachment adjacent to the ileocecal valve. Lesions show epithelial erosion or ulceration of the mucosa with infiltration by eosinophils, lymphocytes and mast cells leading to oedema, gross thickening and fibrosis of the caecal wall. Despite this evidence of an inflammatory reaction to A. perfoliata within the mucosa of the caecum there is little information about the nature of the local immune response to A. perfoliata. An ELISA which assays serum IgG(T) antibodies to A. perfoliata excretory/secretory antigens has been developed as a diagnostic test. However, the specificity of the ELISA remains sub-optimal and the role of other isotypes in the immune response to A. perfoliata has not been reported. This study measured IgA, IgE and IgG(T) antibody responses to A. perfoliata excretory/secretory antigens in sera of 75 horses presented for slaughter. The prevalence of A. perfoliata infection, as confirmed by the presence of parasites in the terminal ileum, caecum or proximal colon, was 55%. A. perfoliata-specific IgG(T) and IgE antibodies were significantly elevated in infected horses compared to controls; IgA antibodies were also detected but did not differ between infected and control horses. Diagnosis by serum IgG(T) ELISA had a sensitivity of 78% and a specificity of 80%, by comparison the serum IgE ELISA had a sensitivity of just 44% with a specificity of 82% and therefore did not provide an improved diagnostic test. Western blots with sera from infected horses demonstrated IgE-binding to at least 10 separate components of excretory/secretory (E/S) antigens. A similar pattern was also found with IgG(T). Around 30% of horses had high levels of serum IgE which bound fucose-containing carbohydrate antigens on the parasite surface but this was unrelated to the presence of A. perfoliata infection. Immunoperoxidase staining detected numerous IgE-positive cells within lymphoid follicles in the caecal mucosa close to the site of A. perfoliata attachment and quantitative RT-PCR detected high levels of IgE transcription in the caecal mucosa of all horses. Mucosal synthesis of antibodies was confirmed by the demonstration of A. perfoliata-specific IgG(T) and IgE in the supernatant of lamina propria explant cultures that discriminated clearly between infected and uninfected horses. We conclude that there is an active immune response to A. perfoliata within the caecal mucosa involving local production of both IgG(T) and IgE antibody isotypes; but it remains unclear whether this immune response can reduce or eliminate parasite burden.
    Veterinary Parasitology 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Pain associated with poultry lameness is poorly understood. The anti-nociceptive properties of two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were evaluated using threshold testing in combination with an acute inflammatory arthropathy model. Broilers were tested in six groups (n=8 per group). Each group underwent a treatment (saline, meloxicam (3 or 5mg/kg) or carprofen (15 or 25mg/kg)) and a procedure (Induced (arthropathy-induction) or sham (sham-handling)) prior to testing. Induced groups had Freund's complete adjuvant injected intra-articularly into the left intertarsal joint (hock). A ramped thermal stimulus (1°C/s) was applied to the skin of the left metatarsal. Data were analysed using random-intercept multi-level models. Saline-induced birds had a significantly higher skin temperature (± SD) than saline-sham birds (37.6±0.8°C vs. 36.5±0.5°C; Z=-3.47, P<0.001), consistent with an inflammatory response. Saline was associated with significantly lower thermal thresholds (TT) than analgesic treatment (meloxicam: Z=2.72, P=0.007; carprofen: Z=2.58, P=0.010) in induced birds. Saline-induced birds also had significantly lower TT than saline-sham birds (Z=-2.17, P=0.030). This study found direct evidence of an association between inflammatory arthropathies and thermal hyperalgesia, and showed that NSAID treatment maintained baseline thermal sensitivity (via anti-nociception). Quantification of nociceptive responsiveness in a predictable broiler pain model identified thermal anti-hyperalgesic properties of two NSAIDs, which suggested that therapeutically effective treatment was provided at the doses administered. Such validation of analgesic strategies will increase the understanding of pain associated with specific natural broiler lameness types.
    The Veterinary Journal 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (TB), infects a wide range of wild and domestic mammals. Despite a control programme spanning decades, M. bovis infection levels in cattle in Great Britain (GB) have continued to rise over recent years. As the incidence of infection in cattle and wildlife may be linked to that in swine, data relating to infection of pigs identified at slaughter were examined in this study. Between 2007 and 2011, almost all M. bovis-infected pigs originated from farms in the South-West and West-Midland regions of England. The data suggest that pigs raised outdoors or on holdings with poor biosecurity may be more vulnerable to infection with M. bovis. In the majority of cases, the same strains of M. bovis were found in pigs and cattle, despite that fact that direct contact between these species was rarely observed. Genotyping and geographical mapping data indicated that some strains found in pigs may correlate better with those present in badgers, rather than cattle. In consequence, it is proposed that pigs may represent a useful sentinel for M. bovis infection in wildlife in GB. Given the potential implications of this infection for the pig industry, and for the on-going effort to control bovine TB, the importance of understanding the epidemiology and pathogenesis of M. bovis infection, as well as monitoring its prevalence, in pigs should not be underestimated.
    The Veterinary Journal 09/2013;
  • Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology 08/2013; 7(6):497-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Transfusion of blood products is an important component of veterinary emergency medicine. Donors must be carefully selected to minimise risk of transmission of blood-borne infectious agents. This study was devised to assess the prevalence of such agents in healthy, non-travelled UK dogs screened as prospective donors. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid blood samples from dogs donating blood between August 2007 and January 2012 were screened by polymerase chain reaction for haemotropic mycoplasmas, Bartonella, Babesia, Leishmania, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma spp. Dogs with positive or inconclusive results underwent repeat polymerase chain reaction testing. Four of 262 dogs had positive or inconclusive results at initial screening. Repeat polymerase chain reaction testing in each dog was negative, and none of the dogs developed clinical signs of disease. The positive results on initial screening may have represented false positives from sample contamination or amplification of non-target DNA. It is also possible that dogs were infected at initial sampling but successfully cleared infection before repeat testing. The low number of positive results obtained suggests that prevalence of these agents in a population of healthy UK dogs is low and that use of blood products is unlikely to represent a significant risk of transmission of these diseases.
    Journal of Small Animal Practice 08/2013; 54(8):414-7.
  • Journal of Small Animal Practice 08/2013; 54(8):393-4.
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    ABSTRACT: Eric Morgan looks back at the past 125 years in veterinary parasitology and considers the landmarks that have been reached and the challenges that still lie ahead.
    The Veterinary record. 07/2013; 173(4):89-91.
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether methadone, administered before orthopaedic surgery, results in improved postoperative analgesia compared to buprenorphine. Thirty-eight dogs undergoing orthopaedic surgeries (the majority being tibial tuberosity advancement or elbow arthrotomy) were premedicated with 0 · 03 mg/kg acepromazine and either 20 µg/kg buprenorphine or 0 · 5 mg/kg methadone, intramuscularly, allocated randomly. Anaesthesia was induced with propofol intravenously to effect and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. 0 · 2 mg/kg meloxicam was administered at anaesthetic induction. Sedation was assessed by means of a dynamic interactive visual analogue and simple descriptive scales and pain by dynamic interactive visual analogue and the short form Glasgow composite pain scales, by a single observer blinded to treatment group at intervals for 8 hours following premedication. Sedation scores were higher than baseline in both groups following premedication until the end of the assessment period (P = 0 · 0001), with no differences between groups. Pain scores were lower overall in dogs premedicated with methadone (dynamic interactive visual analogue scale P = 0 · 048; short form Glasgow composite pain scale P = 0 · 0045), and these dogs required less additional analgesia (42%, compared to 79% premedicated with buprenorphine, P = 0 · 045). At the doses investigated, methadone produced superior analgesia to buprenorphine for 8 hours postoperatively in dogs undergoing orthopaedic surgery.
    Journal of Small Animal Practice 07/2013;
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